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X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Score: 55%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Amaze Entertainment
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action/ Adventure/ Platformer (3D)

Graphics & Sound:

Let's get one thing straight, here. X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a pretty fun game... for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. It may have its share of problems, but it is satisfying and gory. When compared to the next-gen versions, the Wii version of this game is a total joke. It's a poorly-designed game that has no excuse to be as bad as it is. X-Men Origins: Wolverine for the Wii is what you get when you build clunky platforming and awful boss fights around an otherwise decent combat system.

The graphics in this game are very standard for a Wii port of a movie-based game. In other words, they're not all that great. Animations are stilted and awkward, and there's a whole lot of clipping. This effectively breaks whatever sense of immersion the developers were going for. However, the character models for Wolverine and Victor Creed (aka Sabretooth) are actually quite decent. To be honest, I have not been following the movie at all; the only thing I knew about it before I played the game was that Hugh Jackman was going to reprise the role of Wolverine. That being said, I was able to recognize Liev Schrieber's face in this game, and sure enough, he portrays Sabretooth in the film. That, unlike the rest of the visual presentation, is impressive.

The game sounds decent, but from a technical standpoint, it is seriously flawed. Sometimes the music track will completely drop. Occasionally, the sound will completely bug out, and you'll hear a number of overlapping screeches. Nobody ever wants to hear that. The voice acting is passable, but it's nowhere near the same level of games like The Darkness. The same applies to the rest of the sound design.


X-Men Origins: Wolverine follows Logan (aka Wolverine) on his first quest for vengeance, but it cuts out several of the missions from the "Uncaged" (next-gen) edition. The game opens in the Canadian wilderness, where Logan and his beloved Kayla have settled into a peaceful life. If you're an X-Men fan, you know that something bad happens, and Logan allows himself to be transformed into a (more powerful) killing machine by William Stryker. Things don't pan out the way Logan would like them to, and we've all seen what kind of person he can be. Put two and two together, and you've got the basic premise of the story.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is an action game, pure and simple. You progress through a number of stages while slicing up legions of bad guys. Every now and then, there's a boss fight thrown into the mix. Boss fights are not very frequent, but that turns out to be a blessing in disguise -- I'll explain later. There's a decent combo system at work here; killing enemies will net you experience, which you can use to purchase new combos and abilities. The action is standard for the genre, but the sloppy animations detract from how satisfying it could have been.

When the focus veers away from the action, the game ceases to be mediocre and becomes just plain terrible. The platforming elements in X-Men Origins: Wolverine are simply awful. When you have to find your way out of a non-linear area, the solution is neither clear nor clever. When you finally get out of the area, you won't feel rewarded; rather, you'll have a headache.


X-Men Origins: Wolverine is difficult for all the wrong reasons. Finding out where you are supposed to go becomes extremely frustrating, because there are no environmental indicators. For example, one level has Wolverine tracking Sabretooth's scent. The trail disappears under an chain-link fence (read: invisible wall). You cannot destroy or jump over the fence. It turns out, you must make use of Wolverine's lunge ability in order to jump to a streetlight that is well out of camera range. This is a mind-blowingly stupid solution to what should not have been an environmental puzzle in the first place. This problem is not limited to the adventure elements of X-Men Origins: Wolverine -- it extends to the poorly-designed boss encounters, as well. The developers must have thought that giving bosses arbitrary invincibility/counter-attacks and stubborn health bars was a good substitute for a fair and satisfying challenge. It's not fair, and it's not satisfying. It's just lazy and frustrating.

If you've got the tolerance to root around for collectibles, you can track down the Blob Cards or destroy a number of Sentinel Observers. While the Blob Cards are sometimes tough to find, the Observers are hard to miss. Wolverine always repeats the line "What was that? Where's that coming from?" when an Observer is nearby. To make a long story short, X-Men Origins: Wolverine has almost no replay value at all, and you will only finish the game if you are a die-hard fan (that is, one who really liked X-Men: The Last Stand).

Game Mechanics:

X-Men Origins: Wolverine does not feature one iota of innovation. The good news is that there is not a whole lot of Wii waggle in this game. The bad news is that the game's implementation of Wolverine-specific mechanics is poor across the board. I'm not talking about the healing factor and the claws, because those are actually handled to decent effect. I'm talking about subtle design decisions that could have and should have worked.

The Nunchuk Analog allows Logan to move. The (A) button is used for jumping and the trigger buttons (Z) and (B) are used for combat. The (-) button allows Logan to use his Feral Senses. This is useful for finding Sentinel Observers (collectibles) and enemy weak points. Most importantly, it is used to send Wolverine into a murderous rage. The game's most broken mechanic is mapped to the (+) button. Pressing this button and flicking the Wii Remote in the indicated direction will allow Wolverine to lunge. It works decent enough in combat, but as I mentioned earlier, it clashes horribly with the platforming sections.

How did they manage to mess this one up? After grinding through X-Men Origins: Wolverine for the Wii, I have decided it is a mystery I will not waste my time on. It's a mystery that you should not waste your time on, either. X-Men Origins: Wolverine fits the all too-familiar stereotype of a sloppy movie tie-in port for the Wii. For a game that is all about "snikt," there's entirely too much "suck."

-FenixDown, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jon Carlos

Sony PlayStation Portable Patapon 2 Sony PlayStation 3 X-Men Origins: Wolverine

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