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X-Men: Next Dimension
Preview By: Siou Choy
Developer:  Activision
Publisher:  Activision
Genre:  Fighting
Est. Release:  Fall 2002
Posted:  5-23-02

It must be tough to be a mutant in the Marvel Universe. Not only do they have to deal with the same everyday problems us "normal" people do, but they have to learn to control such outlandish abilities as teleportation, weather control, or energy beams spurting forth from their eyes 24/7. As if that prospect weren’t bleak enough (picture an unstoppably runny nose!?!), now they have some nutcase named Bastion bent on destroying their entire race! So it’s up to you to stop him and save your fellow mutants in X-Men: Next Dimension for the GameCube, slated for a September release by Activision.

There will be a total of 24 popular (i.e. Phoenix) and not so-popular (i.e. Toad) playable X-Men characters in the game. Of course, only 20 will be available at the start of the game; the remaining four being the usual unlockable "secret" characters that have become de rigueur for this sort of thing. And speaking of unlocking, each character will have 3 different costumes to choose from; at least after the first thousand victories or so (snore).

Anyone who has played a 3D fighting game in the last half decade or so should know exactly what to expect. Lots of action, massive combos, counters, mid-air fights, and multiple stages. Coming as no real surprise, the GameCube version will look better than the PS2 version, running at 60 frames per second.

X-Men: ND is made up of 8 stages, broken up into as many as 26 different sections. The levels in X-Men: ND will be similar to those found in Dead or Alive 3. Players can knock opponents through walls or off cliffs to reveal a new section of the level to fight in. X-Men: ND will follow the original Playstation’s X-Men 2: Mutant Academy (also from Activision) in the use of the extremely tired and overused Matrix slowdown: the camera slo-mo panning around the character before kicking back into normal speed, for "special" or final moves throughout the game (…zzzzzz…hmm? wha? oh, that again. zzzzzzz).

X-Men: Next Dimension is shaping up to be a solid, if hardly groundbreaking 3D fighter, which should offer gamers exactly what they want upon it’s fall release.

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