After reviewing Xmen I had trepidations about this, but it's actually a lot of fun. Wolverine is a quick, high-energy platformer with great controls and non-stop action. You can even use the select button to activate his lethal claws.
I guess the biggest problem is the stage designs. Every one is an elaborate trap-fest that feels very contrived. I would have preferred to battle on rooftops, a secret lab, or some more traditional locations.
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While this game is far far better than the first X-Men game for the NES, I wouldn't consider it a good game either by any stretch. As you mentioned, the stage designs do leave a lot to be desired. But for me, that is merely a minor issue in comparison to the one play mechanic that I find spoils the game. And that is using your claws actually diminishes your health. Yeah. Hard to believe, I know, considering Wolverine is known for using his claws for taking out his enemies. But it indeed happens, and I really have no idea on why they decided to do that. The game is hard enough as it is. Why make it harder by penalizing the player for using their weapon? I don't get it.