X-Men: The Official Game Review

X-Men: The Official Game for the GBA is a by-the-book side-scroller.

There's nothing particularly noteworthy about X-Men: The Official Game for the Game Boy Advance. As is typical of movie tie-ins, it's a by-the-book side-scroller with all of the requisite combat and exploration that you'd expect from that sort of thing.

Combat mainly involves beating up hundreds of cloned goons.
Combat mainly involves beating up hundreds of cloned goons.

The main mode consists of 25 side-scrolling levels. Some are mazelike and filled with high-tech enemies. Others are large rooms occupied by one of Magneto's top lieutenants, such as Sabertooth, Juggernaut, Pyro, or Multiple Man. If you find the secret areas in the story mode, you can unlock two bonus modes, called arrangement and danger room. These modes let you play individual levels and adjust how many enemies you fight when doing so.

For the sake of this game, the four good characters are Wolverine, Colossus, Iceman, and Nightcrawler. You control one character at a time, but you can instantly swap to a different character just by pressing the left shoulder button. Each character has a unique ability that's useful in certain situations. Wolverine can heal automatically, Colossus can punch through weakened walls and floors, Iceman can attack enemies from a distance, and Nightcrawler can teleport through reinforced walls.

Like in any side-scroller, the general idea is to run, jump, and punch your way through the standard levels and defeat each boss that's waiting in the roomlike levels. Beating up on cloned fodder enemies does feel tiresome at times, but the boss encounters make up for it. Their behavior and superpowers are right in line with what has been portrayed in the comics and movies.

Level layouts and background graphics provide a generic world for the X-Men to fight in. With the exception of a couple of sentinel-inspired environments near the end of the game, there are precious few moments when fans will stop and exclaim, "I know this place!" There isn't much life or animation going on in the backgrounds, which further contributes to the overall blandness of the backdrops. Some of the characters look like their movie counterparts--such as Wolverine, Juggernaut, and Mystique--but most resemble the comic-book versions. That's a good thing, since Iceman and Colossus look much better in the comics than they did in the latest film. Character animation is generally smooth, although each character has only three or four different attacks. Fans of the comics will appreciate the dialogue scenes that appear between levels, since they're drawn in a style that closely resembles artwork from the comics.

Boss battles are fun, like here, where the X-Men are fighting a half-completed Sentinel.
Boss battles are fun, like here, where the X-Men are fighting a half-completed Sentinel.

Not much can be said one way or the other about the audio. The fast-paced music isn't bad, but it doesn't sound like anything from the cartoons or movies. All of the various sound effects are appropriate, particularly the sounds of Wolverine's claws slicing into flesh and the screams of soldiers as they die, but there aren't any voice clips to provide a link between the game and the latest movie.

X-Men: The Official Game for the Game Boy Advance delivers about what you'd expect a movie tie-in to deliver. It won't rock your world, but it doesn't make a mockery of the franchise either.

The Good

  • Plenty of large side-scrolling levels
  • Enjoyable boss encounters
  • X-Men have their key abilities

The Bad

  • Repetitive combat against carbon-copy enemies
  • Generic backgrounds and audio

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X-Men: The Official Game

First Released May 16, 2006
  • DS
  • Game Boy Advance
  • GameCube
  • PC
  • PlayStation 2
  • Xbox
  • Xbox 360

Based on the 3rd X-Men movie, this game lets you control either Wolverine, Nightcrawler, or Iceman in a fight against villains from the movie and beyond.


Average Rating

2888 Rating(s)

Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.