No, it’s not the X-Men, it’s the Ex-Mutants. Yes, there is a difference. The main one being that these characters are apparently NOT homo-superior and do not have powers. I’ve never read the original 1986 Ex-Mutant comics published by Eternity, then Amazing Comics, then Pied Piper Comics, then Eternity again, then Malibu (that’s a lot of publishers for one property), so the only background story I have is what the 1992 video game adaptation provides.
Platform: SEGA Genesis
In the year 2055, the Earth has been devastated by nuclear warfare. Disease and fallout radiation have combined to turn the planet’s population into freakishly ugly mutants. But robot doctor, Kildare, experiments on six mutants (Ackroyd, Shannon, Dillon, Bud, Tonya, and Piper), and eventually restores their humanity (I love that in this story the robot is trying to save humanity and not overtake it. Hah.), thus making them the Ex-Mutants! As in formerly mutants…right. However, the evil mutant crime boss, Sluggo, has captured four of the newly cured Ex-Mutants, and it’s up to you to save your teammates, restore humanity to the mutants, and all before Kildare runs out of energy and shuts down forever!
You play as either Ackroyd or Shannon in this adventure that has you saving a new team member after defeating each level’s boss. Ackroyd touts a heavy battle axe and Shannon a pair of nunchaku, with both able to throw bombs, but even with the different weapons, the two characters play completely identical to one another.
Level design and enemy diversity is actually quite nice. Each stage puts you in a new area, be it the jungle, a factory, a river, or what have you, but the concept of each level is basically the same. First, you ride on an object like a mine cart or log raft and dodge enemies and collect money and energy, then a short cutscene, and back to a fairly challenging maze-like stage. Every corner has its obstacles like electric force fields, rotating hacksaws, and swinging maces, and each level’s new environment with unique color palates and fun weather effects keep gameplay interesting.
Considering I was expecting this game to be absolute garbage, I was pleasantly surprised how it turned out, even if it is still just mediocre. Though, if you are looking to give Ex-Mutants a go in your SEGA Genesis, the best strategy of gameplay is to just run as fast as you can through each stage. Hesitating and thinking too much could cause you precious life energy.
This game certainly doesn’t make me want to run to my LCS and track down some Eternity/Amazing/Pied Piper/Malibu Ex-Mutant comics, but it wasn’t the worst way to kill 45 minutes.
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