X-Men: Wolverine’s Rage

Overview

The title screen for X-Men: Wolverine's Rage.
The title screen for X-Men: Wolverine’s Rage.

X-Men: Wolverine’s Rage is a side-scrolling action platformer game for the Game Boy Color, developed by Digital Eclipse Software, Inc., and published by Activision. It was released on May 15, 2001 in North America, followed by a European release on June 15, 2001. It was also officially licensed by Marvel, and sponsored by WB’ Kids. The sound was designed by Robert Baffy, with additional music provided by Ed Cosico.

The game stars Wolverine, the claw-wielding mutant from the popular X-Men franchise, as he embarks on a journey to destroy a super-weapon, referred to as a molecular destabilizer, capable of turning his superhuman adamantium skeleton into molten metal.

Plot

During the opening cutscene, Wolverine is approached by a gang of thugs. After they attack him, and he subsequently defeats them, Professor X contacts him via telepathy to instruct him of Lady Deathstrike’s deadly plans to construct a super-weapon. Wolverine must go and stop Lady Deathstrike before it’s too late.

A cutscene depicting Sabretooth guarding the secret laboratory.
A cutscene depicting Sabretooth guarding the secret laboratory.

X-Men: Wolverine’s Rage consists of four separate chapters, with each containing four levels and one final boss fight. The first chapter takes place in New York City, as Wolverine searches the streets for clues. It is here that Wolverine encounters several escaped prisoners and crazed soldiers, as well as other deadly obstacles. After tearing his way through the subway tunnels, he finds Cyber atop a tall building. A fight then ensues, ending with Cyber running off the edge of the roof, and plummeting to his demise. Afterwards, Wolverine searches the nearby shipping crates, and discovers their destination is Tokyo. He continues on to the vibrantly colored city, running along the skyscrapers and even breaking into a dojo. Here he encounters skilled samurais and ninjas. Once Lady Deathstrike is discovered and ultimately defeated, she informs Wolverine that it is too late, as the materials necessary for constructing the super-weapon have already been shipped to a secret laboratory in the Savage Land. Clearly angered by this, Wolverine sets off to the swampy Savage Land, as he battles his way past vicious mutant monsters and wild dogs. Deep in the swamp, Wolverine locates the laboratory, which is being guarded by his nemesis Sabretooth. After a climactic victory over Sabretooth, Wolverine enters the laboratory, and is greeted by deadly robot assassins and grenade-launching robot bombers. Once he carefully maneuvers his way through the perilous laboratory, he approaches Cyber and Sabretooth for one final showdown. After they’re both defeated, the laboratory, along with the super-weapon, is suddenly blown up with explosives. The pair set off the bomb in a final attempt to kill Wolverine, who just narrowly escapes the explosion. Wolverine now jokingly wonders how he is going to get home.

Gameplay

A jump-slash, performed by jumping and pressing the attack button mid-air.
A jump-slash, performed by jumping and pressing the attack button mid-air.

The gameplay for X-Men: Wolverine’s Rage is self-intuitive and quite simple. The goal is to reach the end of each level before the time limit reaches zero. Most of the time, this is no problem. However, to regenerate health, Wolverine must stand completely still, which costs a considerable amount of time. This does not apply to boss fights however, as they have no time limit. There are also extra lives and health-pickups scattered throughout the various levels to help along the way. The level design in this game is quite unique, and a lot of times can be downright confusing figuring out where you’re supposed to go. Despite this flaw, the game is not very long, and could easily be finished in one sitting. Upon initially starting the game, the player is given five lives, which when lost triggers a game over. The player must enter a password in order to continue playing after a game over. The passwords are displayed between every other level, and consist of 4 symbols. There are eight symbols in total to choose from.

There is also an alternate costume code for Wolverine, which is revealed after completing the game. The alternate costume gives Wolverine a golden appearance, and also provides faster health regeneration. A secret level select code also exists, which when entered allows a player to press the select button during any level to instantly complete it. These secret codes are to be entered on the initial title screen.

Reception

X-Men: Wolverine’s Rage received mixed reviews from critics, with an aggregate score of 56% from GameRankings. Most critics noted the repetitive nature of the game as being boring and uninspiring. However, some critics offered slight praise to the sound design for being very original and enticing.

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