Nokia's N-Gage didn't exactly get off to a good start. In fact, since its release the phone/game hybrid has seen less than a handful of quality games. Only recently have N-Gage owners really seen a steady (not plentiful) flow of good releases, with titles like Pathway to Glory and Colin McRrae Rally demonstrating what the handheld is really capable of. X-Men Legends is another quality game that, had it arrived earlier in the console's life, could have given it a very different fate.
While obviously hugely cut down from the home console versions of the game, X-Men Legends on the N-Gage retains the same basic gameplay that made those games a success. You are put in control of a four-man team of mutants, with popular characters such as Wolverine and Cyclops being among the members you have available to you. The plot centres on Magneto (who else?) and a new recruit to the X-Men, Magma.
'Special powers are all accessed via an intuitive menu system'
Throughout the adventure you will face endless enemies, but thankfully your AI controlled team-mates do a good job of backing you up as you batter them with brute force and mutant powers. While they aren't highly intelligent and don't do exactly what you want them to do all of the time, they put up a fairly good showing. Special powers are all accessed via an intuitive menu system that becomes second-nature very quickly. As you progress you'll pick up upgrades for your equipment, which adds a levelling up RPG aspect to the game.
One of the N-Gage's biggest strengths has always been its Bluetooth wireless multiplayer gaming support. Long before we knew that the DS and PSP even existed the N-Gage has been providing gamers with (providing they know another person with an N-Gage) local wireless play. X-Men Legends supports up to four players who can each take control of one of the four team members. Without the occasional AI mess-ups and the added benefit of communication with your friends, the game becomes all the more enjoyable.
N-Gage games haven't exactly all been that stunning visually, but X-Men Legends is certainly at the top of the pack in terms of overall presentation and polish. Making use of sprites instead of polygons, the characters all look excellent and are animated equally as well. A big surprise came in the form of numerous FMV cut-scenes and vocal work, including the vocal talent of Professor X himself, Patrick Stewart.
With great N-Gage games in short supply X-Men Legends has no trouble in reaching the top echelon of the console's library. If you have been waiting for a great action adventure title on the N-Gage, the wait is over. With a strong single-player adventure and superb Bluetooth support, this is a game that all N-Gage owners should add to their - probably quite small- collection.
VideoGamer.com Score8 Score out of 10
- Great presentation
- Bluetooth support
- Occasional bad AI
- Some initial control awkwardness