North American cover art
|Genre(s)||Beat 'em up|
X-Perts is a side-scrolling fighting action video game produced by Sega of America and released only in North America for the Sega Genesis in 1996. It is a spin-off of Eternal Champions starring the assassin Shadow Yamoto, who is depicted in her design from Eternal Champions: Challenge from the Dark Side.
The female ninja Shadow leads a group of fellow X-perts in sabotage and other various missions. All three characters have character-specific special moves with differing attributes, along with three unique torture moves, which are used to interrogate various enemies. Players are able to switch characters mid-game in order to carry out different tasks.
The game's plot is based on an alternate timeline in which Shadow Yamoto was not killed by the Black Orchid in 1993. Instead, she formed a vigilante group. In the game, a group of terrorist took over an undersea weapons factory. Unless the United Nations give into their demands, the terrorists will detonate a thermonuclear device that will destroy Earth. Shadow and the X-Perts embark on a mission to avert the crisis.
This game was made as an answer from Sega to Nintendo's Donkey Kong Country. As such the graphics were pre-rendered in 3D then converted into sprite form which is similar to the method used in that game.
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Despite what was considered "revolutionary" high resolution graphics on the Sega Genesis, virtually every aspect of this game was harshly panned by critics, notably gaming magazines GamePro and Electronic Gaming Monthly. Despite having "unique" attributes, all three of the playable characters were virtually identical in gameplay. Each featured unique Death Moves and Interrogation Moves, but otherwise played identically and had no specific advantage or skill that would be required to advance in the game. Interrogation moves were necessary to progress in the game but, as they were performed with identical button commands to Death Moves, often did not work at all leaving players stuck and unable to advance.
Static and stilted animations with an overall awful gameplay were the primary target of critical reception, as the game did not play or control well when compared to other games of the day. Even games several years older that were similar such as Cyborg Justice played much better and were more fluid. Even the title of the game, which was considered goofy and mockingly described as a bad adult film title was not safe from critical panning. X-Perts received low scores across the board from major gaming magazines and stood out as one of the worst of the final generation of Genesis-exclusive titles before gaming transitioned into the Sega Saturn, PlayStation and Nintendo 64 era of gaming.