NOTE: ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON COMICBOOKMOVIE.COM 07/24/2013
Around the time the X-Men film came out in 2000, publisher Activision became the holder of the X-Men video game license and in 2001 they would publish their first Wolverine game for the then soon to be on the way out Game Boy Color platform.
Lady Deathstrike has developed a machine that can liquify any metal, including adamantium, and it’s up to Wolverine to stop her before the machine can be put to use. Thus begins a Journey that will take the X-Man to the city streets, Japan and the Savage Land and put him in the cross hairs of Cyber, Lady Deathstrike and Sabretooth.
X-Men: Wolverine’s Rage is the perfect definition of an average licensed game. There isn’t anything quite spectacular about it, but it won’t set your world on fire either. You run, jump and attack to make it through a level until you reach the end and every few levels or so you’ll encounter a boss fight. The levels tend to have a theme that changes every couple of stages and the variety is welcome and Wolverine’s character sprite is very well done as well and easily recognizable, starting each level with a fan favorite “snikt” as he pops his claws out at the start of a stage.
The bulk of the game is your run of the mill 2-D action side-scrolling action platforming that doesn’t really change in the games twenty or so levels. Jumping and movement is tight, but attacking leaves a lot to be desired. You tend to lose a lot of health fighting regular enemies in every level past the first set on the city streets, and it’s way easier to just simply try to get around an enemy then wasting your health fighting. Your attack range is fairly short against your foes which tend to have a wide reach. Power-ups for health recovery are very rare, and while you do have a healing factor in the game it is extremely slow to recover any helpful amount of life. You also don’t have time to sit around and wait either as each level has a time limit.
Bosses in the game boil down to luck more so than actual skill, and thankfully they’re not that many in the game. There is four overall with the last one being two of the enemies you already faced. There isn’t a real trick to beating any of them, save the first fight with Cyber where you hit him enough and then get out of his way until he commits suicide by falling off a ledge. The rest are hit and retreat and hope you come out on top.
After all is said and done there simply isn’t that much to talk about in X-Men: Wolverine’s Rage. It’s a decent side-scroller action game that lacks any type of memorable hook or gimic. If you can find it for cheap and want to give it a shot by all means do, but it’s not something you should really go out of your way to hunt down.