X-Men Legends (PS2)

With no insult intended to Edgar Allan Poe, his estate, or the literary world at large.

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  • System: Sony PlayStation 2
  • Genre: Action RPG
  • Max Players: 1-4
  • US Release: September 2004
  • Developer: Raven Software
  • Publisher: Activision

x-men legends 2Introduction for those au fait with good literature:

Oh…greetings. I was just delving into my favourite Clive Cuss–, umm, I mean Leo Tolstoy book, Peace and The Art of Shooting a Fuckload of People, and I was fondly reminded of a time when I went over to one of my friendly acquaintance’s place of residence, and he vehemently stipulated my perusing of one example of a current visual-interactive medium named X-Men Legends. Upon my grudging refusal of this sudden imposition, I found myself forced into scrutinisation of this work by means of incessant harassment.

Once I had spent a further five and twenty minutes making my way through much of the material’s opening, I found nothing more than a dreary imitation of such advancers of the medium as Kingdom Hearts and its kin. An X-Men film license masquerading itself as simply a broad sterilisation and amalgamation of all that is average and tawdry in the genre. In finding this, I proceeded to construct a parody, rather wittingly basing it on a poem which bears similar nomenclature to the company of its production, though it does little justice to the genius of the original work.

Introduction for those who don’t give a shit about literature:

So, yeah, I totally went to this person’s house and played a game that was so much like every other action RPG, and basically a pawn of the corporate powers to make money out of the movie, so I went home and totally wrote a poem about it. Fo’ shure. Its called “The Raven”, and it’s totally original, man; it’s black like my soul. It shows my descent into madness from playing the game, like the unfair madness of our lives. Now I am off to cut my wrists into the tomato soup to spite everyone…

Now sit back, relax, and enjoy my raping of Edgar Allan Poe’s totally mega awesome emotionally representative poem.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious game of movie license,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of som eone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“‘Tis some developer,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door–
Only this, and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak September,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
From this game surcease of sorrow—sorrow for lost potential–
For the possibly rare and radiant masterpiece which the angels named X-Men Legends–
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“‘Tis some developer entreating entrance at my chamber door–
Some late developer entreating entrance at my chamber door;–
This it is, and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was gaming, and so gently you came rapping,
And so loudly I was playing, playing on my PlayStation 2,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;–
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “X-MEN!”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “X-MEN!”
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore–
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;–
‘Tis the wind and nothing more!”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped the stately Raven Software of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door–
Perched upon a bust of Magma just above my chamber door–
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony company beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven.
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore–
Tell me what happened to thy originality in gameplay on the Night’s Raven Software!”
Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.”

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Designers whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by the plight of tawdry exploitation of thee
Oh respite! Respite and nepenthe me from this awful repetitive license!
Quaff, oh quaff this foul action RPG, and forget this tawdry film game!”
Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if company or devil!–
Whether publisher sent, or whether developer tossed the game here ashore,
Boring and all rushed, with X-Men characters implanted–
On this console by horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore–
Is there—is there fun in this game?—Help me—Help me find it, I implore!”
Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if company or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore–
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp the wasted time from the game whom the angels named X-Men–
Clasp it from an action game with RPG atrocity, stolen from Kingdom Hearts?”
Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, company or fiend!” I shrieked upstarting–
“Get thee back into development at the Night’s Raven Software!
Leave no black trace as a token of the generic piece of crap thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my love of games unbroken!—Quit the bust above my door!
Take thy excessive loading screens from out my heart, and take thy game from my life!”
Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.”

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Magma just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the horror of a game that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him of film license throws his boringness on the floor;
And the time that the shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be returned…nevermore!

  • GameCola Rates This Game: 5 - Average
  • Score Breakdown

  • Fun Score: 5
  • Novelty Score: 2
  • Audio Score: 7
  • Visuals Score: 7
  • Controls Score: 7
  • Replay Value: 5
1 vote, average: 6.00 out of 101 vote, average: 6.00 out of 101 vote, average: 6.00 out of 101 vote, average: 6.00 out of 101 vote, average: 6.00 out of 101 vote, average: 6.00 out of 101 vote, average: 6.00 out of 101 vote, average: 6.00 out of 101 vote, average: 6.00 out of 101 vote, average: 6.00 out of 10 (You need to be a registered member to rate this post.)

About the Contributor

From 2006 to 2008

Matthew Fraser is a former staff member from GameCola's early days as a monthly email newsletter.

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