Friday 9 October 2009

X-Men 32X

The MegaDrive emulator Kega Fusion has been updated to version 3.63. Though Kega has been out-performing the competition since Christmas 2008, it's now doing so with significantly less memory consumption, and as there's been a lot of work in the 32X department...

X-Men 32X will run! Sega Saturno released this one a month or two ago after some donations, however no emulator could run it so we were reduced to a few off-screen YouTube videos, which wasn't really sufficient for an unreleased and potentially groundbreaking game.

This particular prototype is ridiculously early and is therefore practically unplayable. You get to control Bishop (yes, Bishop - no Wolverines or Cyclopses or Storms... Bishop) and you can mindlessly walk around a few 3D maps occasionally attacking ninjas. By pausing you can take control of the camera and have a look around, but aside from this and jumping, this is pretty much everything the ROM offers. You'll often get stuck, various bits don't work and the gameplay segments that DO work, don't work that well. There's six levels, some possibly intended for Rogue and Iceman, and none of them are completable as far as I can see.

The sprites are a bit dodgy, but if we look past this there's a completely 3D rendered world with textures. The only 32X game I can think of that did something similar is the 32X port of Doom, which had to significantly reduce the quality of the audio in order to fit onto a cart. X-Men 32X has made no audio sacrifices, and actually sounds pretty damn good, (not to mention the music is quite long and interesting). If it had a CD soundtrack you could easily mistake it for a Sega Saturn game... almost.

But is it worth the download? If you're interested to see what your 32X could have done, then yes, but if you're expecting a great game here, then no. Like Virtua Hamster it's only good for novelty purposes. Even if the glitches were fixed and the levels were finished, I'm doubting X-Men 32X would have been that good unless some serious engine improvements were made. But this was obviously the same thought pattern being made a decade and a half ago, hence the reason it was scrapped.

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