Sega's most ambitious project yet for the Genesis is X-Perts. Terrorists have taken over a top-secret undersea weapons installation, and the X-Perts, a three person anti-terrorist group has been sent in. Using the skills of all three agents, you must fight your way through heavily guarded areas teeming with enemy troops. Players will recognize Shadow, from Eternal Champions as one of the X-Perts.
The gameplay is a cross between the side-scrolling elements of Streets of Rage with the special moves of tournament brawlers like Mortal Kombat. There even is a bit of an adventure game built in.
This cart uses the latest compression technology to bring rendered graphics and digitized voice to the Genesis. Sega claims to have over 60 megabits of graphics and sound packed into a 32 meg cart. Wow! Also they have a new Auto Save technology. We want to see what that is all about.
X-Perts is an action game reminiscent of the classic Commodore 64 title Impossible Mission. In the latter, you wander around a large complex, killing enemies while performing certain missions. In X-Perts, you control three members of the covert organization Janus. Your job is to protect their research and nuclear weapon facility, the Aqua Complex, from terrorists looking for new technology to plunder. Kill the terrorists while at the same time fulfilling certain objectives.
X-Perts boasts motion-captured actors, almost standard fare in today's games. It also displays a bit of originality in laying out the Aqua Complex levels as a step pyramid. This shows that what is essentially a side-scroller can have more substance than just eternally moving left to right.
Your X-Pert team consists of Shadow Yamoto, an assassin (from the fighting game Eternal Champions fame); Zachary Taylor, a computer expert and Tashile Claudel, a robotics expert.
When the game starts, you will be given a mission briefing. After reading it, the clock starts ticking. You must make quick decisions regarding which operative you want to send in and to what level of the complex you want to send him or her.
While you are controlling one agent, the others are not inactive, and they can be attacked at any time. You must be aware of what's going on in the entire complex at all times. For example, you might zoom in and have Zachary start fixing an elevator control panel on Level 8, then zoom out to the Main Map to switch control to Tashile and have her kill off the terrorists on Level 3.
As you continue in the game, Janus directors will throw more tasks at you. At some points in the game, you will be given a new mission before you are finished with the current one. You will have to budget your time and resources to win this game. Just remember to find "mission interrupt" in the menu--that's the only way to pause the game. When you hit the Start button to check out the map, the action continues--with or without your consent. If you do not get used to this, you may find a few dead agents laying around the complex, apparently killed when you thought the game was paused!
X-Perts is a side-scroller, which translates into run, kill, run, kill. The unique factor here is that you control one of three characters at the same time (by switching control over to whoever’s active). You have a realtime game where the action, although redundant, never pauses. These missions are a real drag. Even though they are named different things and found in different areas, all they really consist of is you standing in front of something, pressing a button, and waiting for that character to finish. The concept of controlling three players at once is nice, but the rest of the game will not hold your attention for long.
Your mission, if you choose to accept it, will be to control three strange characters around an underwater fortress, killing the same enemies over and over again until you win. X-Perts is not fun. The part of the game that makes it interesting is the idea, I can see where a concept like this could work beautifully--just not in X-Perts. I like how you can choose a different character to control while the other one is doing something in another area. It's kind of funny to watch the awkward animation of the characters when you're moving. They look nice when they're standing there, but when they start walking or kicking...ouch!
X-Perts does not hold up well in a sea of side-scrolling fighters. Be difference between this and the masses is that you get to control one of three fighters at a time. If you leave any one character alone for a while, you might come back to find him/her dead. The three are usually in separate areas of the game, each with his/her own objectives to take care of. Any of them can be attacked at any time, so you'll have to manage your team well. The fighting leaves a lot to be desired. Since this is where most of the action lies, that feature leaves you with a mediocre game-the missions are pretty uneventful. Rent this game if anything.
Umm. I just don't think this game is going to go very far. It sports a great idea-controlling three characters at the same time at different locations in the game. A very tiny bit of excitement builds knowing that while you are on one person's screen, either of the others may be fighting or dying at that moment. The gameplay is what ruins it. The fighting and missions are boring. There's not much of a challenge at all in pressing a couple of buttons to punch or kick enemies to death. Each character has a special weapon, but you can't move while using it! What good is that? I would like to see the basic concept of X-Perts taken further., .to a better game.