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In the early 90’s beat-em ups weren’t a rare commodity, nor were they especially memorable. There was one game; however, that took our quarters long after we got tired with those other titles and that title was X-men Arcade. This machine was the real deal when it came to arcade hardware, with some models featuring 6 person simultaneous gameplay. The game, which was based on the television pilot for the 90’s show, features six of the most famous X-men in all their glory (with the exception of the god awful Dazzler) and is considered one of the greatest arcade games ever.
Of course as game services, such as Xbox Live and Playstation Network began to crop up, classic arcade games were a natural fit for the service due to ease of play and relatively small memory usage. X-men Arcade was absent from these services due to licensing constraints. Konami, the publisher of X-men Arcade, long ago lost the rights to rival Activision and were barred from releasing the game at all. After years and years of fans inquiring Marvel about its smash hit arcade title, they finally struck a deal between themselves, Konami, and Activision for the title to be released on both Xbox Live and the Playstation Network.
The title does have a few stipulations attached, however. For those of you expecting new costumes, moves, and graphics, look elsewhere. Due to the complex licensing procedures between the three companies, Konami is only able to deliver a straight port with only a few exceptions made for ironing out graphical textures, but do not expect anything extra here. What you see is all you are going to get. Fans may also be pleased and/or upset that the original voice samples are going to be re-recorded due to quality issues from the original sounds. X-men Arcade will retain 6 person cooperative play with just one catch. If you wish to play 6 players, you are going to have at least two players connect online, as the consoles only support 4 players locally. The game will also feature a few 21st century features such as leaderboards and being able to skip to any level directly from the start menu.
Now that your excitement is to a level that will probably make you climb the walls, I have to tell you that there is not a set release date or price. I am willing to bet that it will be available in the next few months in time to cash in on the lucrative holiday season. All we can do is wait, but at least we know it is coming. And if I know anything about the X-men, this one will be an uncanny hit.