X-Men: Next Dimension - GameCube

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Also for: PS2, Xbox
Viewed: 3D Side-on, Scrolling Genre:
Beat 'Em Up
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Exakt Soft. Co.: Activision
Publishers: Activision (GB)
Released: 29 Nov 2002 (GB)
Ratings: 11+, ESRB Teen 13+ (T)
Accessories: Memory Card


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What do you do with an X-Men license that best fits the well-established and hugely popular franchise? How do you release a beat-em-up these days to a gaming public that, aside from hardcore, just isn't interested?

The answer to both these questions lies in the shiny GameCube game box containing X-Men: Next Dimension.

In a pleasant break from the usual 3D fighting formula popularised by Tekken and Virtua Fighter, the arena concept has been scrapped (!) in favour of free-roaming violent fun. This means that Next Dimension takes a turn reminiscent of Sega AV's Spike Out. Imagine Final Fight, in 3D, with a load of interestingly dressed Mutants and Sentinels smacking bells out of each other and you should get the idea.

The evil Bastion has managed to subdue and subsequently capture Forge, the knowledgeable leader of the X-Men Mutant team. Enter Wolverine and gang! A lengthy and well-made scrolling beat-em-up ensues featuring all 26 of the X-Men and their leagues of enemies.

The narrative and action sequences are pleasantly strung together, with progression hardly noticeable. As one chapter ends, invariably with a larger than usual boss-battle, the game moves Double Dragon-style to the next.

The control system is surprisingly sophisticated for an arcade brawler, with sidestep, combo strings and counter moves all in place. As you would imagine, each mutant comes equipped with signature attacks, to the delight of the series' obsessive fanbase.

There is also a wealth of unlockable goodies, including new outfits, characters and even entire stages. The replay value of X-Men: Next Dimension is further enhanced by the one-on-one multiplayer arena battles develop Exakt Entertainment has squeezed in.


X-Men: Next Dimension - GameCube Artwork