As far as the gameplay itself goes: it's a beat-em-up. You walk or jump from left to right, and punch and kick enemies until they fall. Most of the enemies take the form of mutant-sized Sentinel robots, but there are lizard men and armored gunners as well as other enemies that were certainly not found in the source material. The bosses include Magneto himself and several members of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, such as Pyro, the Blob, and Juggernaut, who is quite thin and packing a rocket launcher (to the chagrin of comic purists everywhere). The bosses aren't particularly interesting, which is a shame, but that wasn't unusual for the early 90s.
There are no limits to continues in X-Men Arcade, which is probably a decision worth discussing. I myself appreciate this, as it means you can experience the entire game no matter what. However, some will find the game too easy, especially when you can spam mutant powers until you have one bit of life remaining, take a cheap hit, and come back to life spewing mutant powers once again. There is a difficulty setting, and the amount of enemies scales based on the number of players, but the game is hardly challenging when played in this way. A good compromise might have been a toggle for continues. Giving players the choice would have been ideal; as it is, well... at least you won't have trouble seeing the ending.
Though the gameplay is repetitive, and the challenge level is minimal, X-Men Arcade is still a lot of fun to play. It is certainly not the greatest co-op beat-em-up ever, but it's one of the few that allows more than four players, even when compared to other modern downloadable games. It's my favorite co-op brawler from the arcades and its release on XBLA and PSN only reinforces my warm feelings for it.
The Co-Op Experience: The player chooses one of six X-Men: Cyclops, Colossus, Wolverine, Storm, Nightcrawler, or Dazzler. Their objective is to stop the villain Magneto from wreaking havoc on human civilization. They must fight through an army of hundreds of Sentinels and supervillains such as Pyro, Blob, Wendigo, Master Mold, The White Queen, Juggernaut--who strangely wields a bazooka in his boss fight-- and Mystique, who was also a boss enemy in the game, although she simply took the form of Magneto and attacked players with punches and kicks. Later, Magneto kidnaps Professor X and Kitty Pryde, prompting the heroes to go on a rescue mission. [WIKI]
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