X-Men 2: Clone Wars

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X-Men 2: Clone Wars
X-Men 2: Clone Wars
North American cover art
Developer(s) Headgames
Publisher(s) Sega
Producer(s) E. Ettore Annunziata
France M. Tantiado
Designer(s) William Novak
Joshua Gordon
Stephen Patterson
Artist(s) Steve Ross
Spencer Boomhower
Doug Nishimura
Composer(s) Kurt Harland
Series X-Men
Platform(s) Mega Drive/Genesis
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Platform game
Mode(s) Single-player, two player
Distribution Cartridge

X-Men 2: Clone Wars is a 1995 platform game developed by Headgames and released by Sega of America for the Mega Drive/Genesis as a sequel to a 1993 side-scrolling video game X-Men. The game is based on the successful TV series from Marvel Comics. X-Men 2 was praised by critics and retrospectively acclaimed as one of the best games on the platform. It was supposed to be followed by a cancelled sequel titled X-Women.

Gameplay[edit]

Gameplay screenshot with Psylocke

The game begins with a cold open; the first level begins as soon as the game is turned on with a random character (depending on the direction the player pressed the controller). After one stage, the level ends allowing players to switch out characters. The title screen and credits roll only after completing the first level.[1]

Each character has a "mutant power attack" which can be used in fighting. Unlike the preceding game, there is no energy bar that limits the amount of mutant power attacks a player can use. Some of the mutant attacks can be charged to a greater effect by holding down the power button. The attacks are increased in power when the character has nine or ten bars of health and can perform different functions if the character is in the air.

In addition to these powers, each character has various lesser skills, maneuvers, and quirks that makes gameplay a different experience with each (see above). These powers can be used to reach hidden health (which is in the shape of a double helix) or as a shortcut. The game begins with eight lives (meaning nine attempts) that are shared by all characters and no way to gain more.

Plot[edit]

The game is based on the current story arc from the comics at the time of release. The technorganic alien race known as the Phalanx return and are seeking to take control of Earth by assimlating all of its inhabitants. They have also captured and cloned several mutants for experimentation. Only a select group of X-Men (Beast, Psylocke, Gambit, Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Cyclops) have avoided capture and, temporarily united with their oldest foe, Magneto, they must defeat the Phalanx before all of humanity is assimilated. Along the way, they will travel through familiar landscapes including the Savage Land and Avalon, and battle powerful adversaries such as Apocalypse, the Sentinels, Exodus, Deathbird and more.

Characters[edit]

  • Beast - Beast is somewhat slow and has a poor special attack, but makes up for it with limited acrobatic skills (including clinging to walls and a powerful diving attack), and a normal attack that is about twice as strong as other characters'.
  • Cyclops - Cyclops' optic blast can be charged to become stronger and can harm multiple enemies at once. In addition, he can use a small array of martial arts tricks (such as combo punches and flying kicks) in melee.
  • Gambit - Gambit's mutant power is a fast ranged attack that can be charged to both do more damage and fire multiple cards at once. His melee attack options are similar to Cyclops', but have superior reach (his floor-sweeping attack also seems to do exceptional damage in certain situations).
  • Nightcrawler - Nightcrawler's mutant power, an explosive teleportation that can be charged for greater range and damage, is of limited use, because it cannot get through wall. However, his acrobatic and movement skills, including wall-crawling, double-jumping and diving attacks, are the best in the game.
  • Psylocke - Psylocke's psychic knife attack only works against organic enemies and leaves her briefly vulnerable while performing it, but is armed with a sword for use against all enemies. She can also cling to walls, double jump, perform a unique flying lunge with her psychic knife and a useful 360° jumping attack with her sword.
  • Wolverine - Wolverine's "mutant power attack" is an unexceptional lunge with his claws, but his true mutant power is his unique regeneration ability: When Wolverine has either one or two bars of health remaining, he automatically (after a certain amount of time) heals and regains a bar of health until he has a total of three bars of health. After a significantly longer period, he can heal from three bars of health to a fourth bar. He can also scale walls by using his claws as pitons (which makes his movement while doing so more rigid than Nightcrawler's) and perform a double jump.
  • Magneto (unlockable after the third level) - Magneto is unique in having no melee attacks - his 'basic' attack consists of a limitless barrage of (somewhat weak) energy blasts and his "mutant power attack" is an explosive electromagnetic orb which, while slow to move and execute, can transverse walls. He cannot fly while a player character, but can hover stationary in mid-air, during which time he can rain energy bolts but not his exploding orb. Between these powers, a cunning Magneto player can eliminate certain foes (including one of the bosses) with impunity.

Release[edit]

The European release of the game reused the same cover art of X-Men 2: Game Master's Legacy for the Game Gear, a different and unrelated game. The game was given a KA (Kids to Adults) rating by the Entertainment Software Rating Board.

The game's music was composed by Kurt Harland, of electronica band Information Society. A soundtrack album was released in 1996. Some levels featured different soundtrack elements depending on the character selected although the basic structure of the level's musical theme remained the same.[2][3]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 70.00%[4]
Review scores
Publication Score
Allgame 4/5 stars[5]

Unlike 1993's X-Men, X-Men 2: Clone Wars was met with a universally positive reception. According to retrospective review by GameFan, "In short, Clone Wars is everything Uncanny X-Men was not: nice to look at with its well-animated 16-bit characters and multi-layer backgrounds, (...) easy to pick up and play thanks to good controls and an easily understood interface; a story that is fine for one player but more fun with two. For a 2D platformer featuring licensed characters, the second X-Men is right on target in depicting the world’s mightiest mutants and ranks among the best comic book games produced in the era."[1]

Complex ranked X-Men 2 as the 18th best game on the Sega Genesis, adding that "the game achieved the rarely seen balanced gaming."[6] It was also ranked as the 20th top Genesis game by ScrewAttack, who noted it for having in their opinion the best soundtrack on the system.[7] X-Men 2 placed 19th on the 2013 list of best Marvel video games by Geek Magazine, who stated that "the soundtrack was just as good as Mutant Apocalypse, and each stage was ripe with cool nods to the comics."[8]

X-Women[edit]

A sequel featuring only the female members of the X-Men has been in development by Sega for the same platform,[9][10] but was cancelled in 1996 due to the company's shift to the 32-bit console Sega Saturn market.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Michael Crisman, X-Men RETROspective: Day Two, GameFan, 06.3.2011
  2. ^ "Kurt Harland's page on the soundtrack". Web.archive.org. 2007-10-18. Retrieved 2013-12-18. 
  3. ^ "Chudah's Corner's page on the soundtrack". Chudahs-corner.com. Retrieved 2013-12-18. 
  4. ^ "X-Men 2: Clone Wars for Genesis". GameRankings. Retrieved 2013-12-18. 
  5. ^ Michael, Christopher (2010-10-03). "X-Men 2: Clone Wars - Review". allgame. Retrieved 2013-12-18. 
  6. ^ Insanul Ahmed, #18. X-Men 2: Clone Wars (1995) — Sega Anything: The 25 Best Genesis Games, Complex.com, Nov 29, 2010
  7. ^ "ScrewAttack's Top Ten Video - Top 20 Genesis Games (20-11)". GameTrailers. Retrieved 2013-12-18. 
  8. ^ Jones, Elton (2013-10-22). "Marvel Comics' 25 Best Video Games - Geek Magazine". Geekexchange.com. Retrieved 2013-12-18. 
  9. ^ Staff (December 1996). "X-Women". Electronic Gaming Monthly (Ziff Davis) (89): 199. 
  10. ^ Game Informer Staff (March 2003). "X-Men Video Game Anthology". Game Informer (GameStop) (119): 36–43. 

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