REVIEW: X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE (Wii)

xmen origins wii cover

NOTE: ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON COMICBOOKMOVIE.COM 07/26/2013

The Wii version of X-Men Origins: Wolverine is the only game based on the film to exist on another platform, as you can also purchase this game on the PlayStation 2. Right from the start the primary problem with this version is the Wii controller itself and I would very much like to see if the PS2 version is easier to play.

The problem is not due to motion control fidelity, thankfully that’s only reserved for the games QTE’s (Quick Time Events), but the button layout of the dual nunchuck/Wii Remove combo. Similar to Origins on the PSP and Xbox 360/PS3, Origins on the Wii is an action title to the style of God of War or Devil May Cry. It’s easy enough to attack, jump or block as those functions are mapped to the A,B,C and Z buttons, but advanced moves like dodging or lunging are very awkward to perform which is a problem in a game like this. You dodge attacks by using the directional pad at the top of the remote but it is cumbersome to reach. Similarly the lunge mechanic which lets you gain distance against enemies with fire arms is dedicated to the “+” button, so you’re moving your thumb away from attacking, dodging and jumping. It doesn’t help either that lunging is not as an effective tool as it is in the Xbox 360/PS3 version.

xmen origins wii ss1

Not only is the control layout unintuitive, but the levels in the game are a mess as well, and you’ll often find yourself directionless and unsure of where to go. You can turn on Logan’s enhanced senses by hitting the “-” button, and sometimes it will point you in a vague general direction of where you need to be but never how to complete your objective. Often the way out of most situations is lunging to platforms, but you’re never given any clear indication of when you should to this. This leads to walking around an area, sometimes while being attacked, tapping the plus button waiting for the waggle prompt to make itself available.

xmen origins wii ss2

Origins also has the cardinal sin of relying heavily on QTE’s and this happens as soon as the third level. You’re locked in a boss fight with Victor Creed on top of a moving vehicle and throughout the fight you’re prompted to quickly hit one of several buttons or a simple flick of the Wii remote. Failure in some of these can cause immediate death and a restart of the entire fight. It doesn’t help matters that every button on the Wii looks similar and it’s easy to get mixed up in the heat of a fight.

Story wise X-Men Origins for Wii follows the film fairly close, with Logan seeking revenge for the death of his lover leading to the Weapon X program and fights with Gambit and Wade Wilson.

While I can’t of course speak on the PS2 version of the game, I’m going to assume that at the very least the control issues would be a bit better with the way the Dualshock 2 is designed. Better controls can’t really fix a poorly designed game littered with frustrating QTE’s. Even if all you own is a Wii or Wii U and are starved for a Wolverine game, I’d still pass on X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

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