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X-Men Destiny: A Video Game Review

xmen destiny not slide 05aOh boy, where to begin with X-Men Destiny? When I first heard of the game about a year ago, it just didn’t seem like something that grabbed my attention. Sure, it’s a cool idea to play as an original character, choose your own powers, and fight alongside the X-Men, but something just didn’t sit right. You know that feeling when you’re reading previews for games and you just KNOW it’s going to be terrible? This is that game. And, the fact that I played it coming right off of amazing games like Uncharted 3 and Arkham City made this experience just that much more painful.

At the start of the game we find ourselves at a rally following the death of Charles Xavier. Here we meet our 3 main characters to choose from. But, choose wisely, my friends! For the choice you make probably doesn’t make any difference whatsoever, besides each character’s own personal “story line.” I chose the little Japanese girl, Aimi Yoshida, voiced by Jamie Chung, since I like faster characters, but, again, I don’t think it really would have mattered. The mutant power I chose was Shadow Matter, which is a quick teleporting-type ability that’s fast and manipulates matter into shadow-like blades. Hence the name. The other 2 powers that I didn’t choose were Energy Projection, which I think is pretty self-explanatory, and Density Control. Density Control sounds interesting when you first read the description…


“This power grants the ability to control the density of one’s body mass. It can be focused into the fist for a heavy hit or distributed throughout the entire body, making the mutant indestructible. Parts of the body that are influenced are so dense, they turn into an obsidian stone. The power comes with superhuman stamina and durability, allowing the mutant to endure attacks from large groups of enemies.”


Then, you realize it’s just a long, drawn out way to say Super Strong. I never play as the tank-type character, so I avoided this one, and I think I’m pretty pleased with my choice in Shadow Matter.

Anyway, during the rally, surprise surprise, there’s an attack on the civilians that seems to be by Magneto (or so we’re lead to believe), and it’s at this exact moment that your character’s mutant powers manifest themselves and you immediately spring into action. A little too easily, if your ask me. My character teleported across the screen, ran sideways against a wall, dived down, and nabbed a civilian from getting crushed from falling debris. I literally JUST got my powers, and I’m already Superman. Aimi barely seemed phased after accomplishing such an amazing feat. Simply staring at her glowing hands in amazement and stating what had just transpired was “interesting” was a bit off for me. I think I would be freaking out a bit more if I just realized my entire life just changed and that I had super powers.

But, X-Men Destiny really isn’t about the story anyway, right? It’s about the solid action and gameplay.

Well, no, it’s not that either.

What the hell is it?


I look at Destiny as the type of game that, if I was 10 years old, I might enjoy, just because I love X-Men. And, that is a strong might. The game is a mere 6 hours, I believe, and the majority of the time you are pressing the same button combinations over and over again, performing varying attacks and combos. As the game progresses, you are able to gain more mutant abilities, and, as you gather experience points, you use them to upgrade your current moves and powers.

I’ll be honest with you; the only thing that kept me playing this game was the Trophies (PS3) or Achievements (X-Box 360). Achievements are my absolute favorite addition to Next Gen gaming. It adds a whole new level of addiction, which you can either take as positive or negative. I’m obsessed with getting Trophies, and Destiny is the kind of game you rent just to rack up a whole bunch of them. The short amount of time I actually put into the game gave me 30+ trophies, and, for me, that’s a win. But, towards the end of the game, it was starting to take it’s toll on me and that’s saying a lot.

One of the biggest flaws of the game is that you can’t skip cut scenes and dialogue. In this day and age of gaming, that is just unheard of and just shows the complete lack of care put into this game. If you die during a boss battle (and, trust me, you will many many times), be prepared to sit and watch the 5-minute cut scene of the boss explaining why he is evil a thousand times over. It’s incredibly frustrating because the boss fights will often change the camera to a really awkward position, and it’s a lot of trial and error to figure out how to defeat them. Let alone that each boss usually goes through several different “phases,” so once you think you’ve beaten him, he recharges or grows larger and more powerful, or something else ridiculous. And, when you lose, it’s back to “phase 1.” Talk about testing my patience. And, I’m not even going to go into my battle atop a building with a Sentinel. Ohhh, jeez…

Also, at the beginning of certain challenges, the camera pans around the area you are in, basically mapping out very slowly the path your character has to travel to reach their destination. Wow, really? We can’t skip this either? It wouldn’t be as bad if the camera didn’t drag soooooo slowly. God, grant me the serenity…

There are a few pluses I will point out. For the most part, the voice acting is pretty solid. Although uncredited, I’m pretty sure it’s Steve Blum reprising his role as the go-to Wolverine of this generation. The actor they got for Gambit was well done and sounded a lot like the version from the ’90s cartoon show. I did like seeing not-so-big named X-Men like Surge and Pixie. Collectibles are also scattered throughout the game in “hidden” places – *eyeroll* – but these give you extra costumes for your character to wear and X-genes to boost your offence and defense. The costumes were kinda cool, because each was a variation of other X-Men’s costumes like Gambit, Wolverine, and Colossus. When I used one of my Iceman or Emma Frost X-genes, the more I built up my M-Meter (I assume M stands for Mutant) and the more my character slowly started to turn to ice! Pretty cool.

I also liked little inside nods to the comics and other characters. When searching for Gambit, a man tells you, “He’s in his Club down the street; you can’t miss it.” When I saw the sign that said, “The Rogue Hand,” I knew I had found the right spot.

Is X-Men worth the play, through? Honestly, I’d say no. Not even if you’re a huge X-Men fan. It’s just bad. The only thing keeping me mashing those damn buttons for mindless hours was the Trophy Rewards, and that, in itself, should say something about my Trophy addiction. Kids might enjoy it, getting to choose their own powers and fight with the X-Men, but I feel even they would grow weary after just a few hours of play. If you do decide you have to try it, do what I did and just pay the $2 rental fee at the local Redbox.

Sean Foster, Fanbase Press Graphic Designer



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