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X-Man (Universal Gamex)

DoctorSpuds

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This review is rated M for Mature…

Well, I never thought I’d be coming back here again, the Land of Pornography. But I’m here and I feel the uncontrollable urge to review something, I will of course stick to my preferred console, the 2600, but what to play? Many of the Playaround original titles haven’t seen a lot of coverage, but then again there’s a game even rarer than those, how about X-Man. This game has languished in relative obscurity for a long time remaining mostly within the Atari collector sphere, but was recently brought back into the limelight by James Rolfe the Angry Video Game Nerd in his series on the worst video game box arts as his number one worst pick. I was still a fledgling collector when I saw the video so I naturally had no idea that there were more porn games on the 2600 apart from what Mystique and Playaround shoveled out, it was even later that I found out about Harem, but that’s a whole other box of rocks. For the longest time nobody really knew who made X-Man, and since the company, Universal Gamex, made only this one game before vanishing only deepened the mystery. With some delving from the AtariAge community we’ve learned who the three programmers were, and that Gamex was likely just a shell company used by the programmer to more easily get the game out while hiding their connection to it, that’s just speculation but it sounds better. A second mystery arose when it was found that Spectravision carts and PCBs were used for X-Man, thought the only serious link found is that the two companies used the same manufacturers for their parts, and as far as we know there was no collusion between the two companies. I don’t actually own an original X-Man cartridge but I do have the next best thing, a repro copy that I found on Etsy of all places, you can find repros all over Etsy, actually there’s a repro X-Man on Etsy right now if you want to get it. But it’s time we delve crotch deep into this stinker, let’s take a good long look at X-Man.

 

If I can credit the developers with one thing it’s that they worked very hard on the graphics, well you kinda have to when you’re working with the 2600. The game starts with an attract mode that shows the cast of characters running from doorway to doorway, the buxom blonde followed by the macho stud, followed by the crab, clamps, and teeth, the main commonality between the three enemies is their ability to cut, crush, and separate things, and the thing in question is the X-Man’s thing. When starting up the game you’ll see just how dismally basic it is, it’s a maze game, and quite a lackluster one at that. Each of the three mazes is constructed out of yellow squares, and honestly I wouldn’t really call them mazes, more like linear corridors with small offshoots, there is seriously no getting lost in these mazes. Patrolling the mazes are the three enemies that we saw in the attract mode except smaller, they look fine. My real problem with this stage is the X-Man himself, why does his third leg have a leg growing out of it? Any way you look at him, if you are so inclined, he just looks wrong, otherwise he is as tall as his schlong is long, which I doubt. The final screens in the game are the ‘reward’ screens where you finally consummate your love in three different positions, I will include screenshots because I really don’t want to describe them, they’re not sexy, they’re not arousing, if anything they just make me sad. As is common with games with complex graphics the sounds usually suffer due to lack of space, is that so with this one?

 

Well, if anybody is suffering it’s the player not the game, these sounds are just… dirty! There’s no other way I can accurately describe how the sounds make me feel, pretty much all of the sounds are sickeningly high pitched, to the point of bleeding ears, it’s only something that people who’ve played the game can understand. In the reward screens I’m pretty sure the constant trembling noise is meant to be sensual moaning of some sort, but it just comes off as a cry for help, it seems the game itself is begging for oblivion. I’m going to move swiftly, and sensually, to the gameplay since sticking around here is making my skin crawl.

 

This game is a simple maze game, but without the maze or game. You must guide the X-Man from the beginning of the linear corridor to the colored squares in the center of the screen; there is always an enemy present of the screen, and despite the corridor being very linear you can easily avoid the enemies. The enemies behave in very predictable ways, they will always go into certain offshoots depending on the direction they are moving in, all you have to do is go into a particular offshoot and wait there until the enemy passes you by and then it’s a straight shot to so sexy time. Somehow the programmers butchered the movement, you can move smoothly from side to side, but when you move up and down you jump along on the same grid pattern as the ‘maze’ which makes vertical movement far faster than horizontal movement, the same problem goes for enemies but they just move faster so it’s less noticeable. The reward screens are a simple affair, you simply move the joystick quickly from side to side, the fellow on screen will move with your joystick as he does lewd things to that poor mannequin, I am going to quote the manual verbatim because there is no way I can say it better, and I just refuse to actually type this.

“BONUS POINTS

You can score additional bonus points during the SEXY SURPRISE MODE. At the bottom of the screen you will see a letter "L" (which stands for Low) and a letter "H" (which stands for High). This is your SEXUAL EXCITEMENT METER. As you move the JOYSTICK back and forth in a constant and ever-increasing movement you will build the sexual excitement of "X-Man" and the "Sexy Blonde". For every increment on the Low to High SEXUAL EXCITEMENT METER you reach, you will score an additional 20 BONUS POINTS. You will see the color bar grow and hear a sound effect increasing in pitch for each higher increment you achieve.

‘Sexual Excitement Meter’… it-was-time-for-thomas-to-leave-he-had-seen-18697570.png

 

I really don’t need to say this, but I’m gonna say it anyway, STAY AS FAR AWAY FROM THIS FUCKING THING AS POSSIBLE! In fact the same can be said about any and all of the porn games on the 2600, with the exception of Philly Flasher, it’s just a masterpiece. If you are hell bent on getting a copy to round off your collection expect to pay dearly for it, the repro copy I have cost me $30, the current boxed repro copy on Etsy is sitting at $90, and there is currently a minty boxed copy on Ebay sitting at $650 buy it now. Just don’t buy it; it’ll cost you an arm and a third leg that you just can’t spare. Collector’s Zone right to the boiler room of the Collector’s Zone.

 



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If you decide to let the 2600 rest for a while, I'm sure you could get a few minutes of embarrassment or entertainment from the infamous Stroker 64 on the best known home computer with the 64 suffix. However that game doesn't seem to have been sold commercially, only spread by the wind so little point in trying to locate an original release (heh).

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