Capcom's game plan has always been start simple and then build upon it. X Men, looks great, sounds great, plays great, but in a world of Street Fighter Alpha 2, X Men is more of a step back than anything.
Alright, I'll admit that the game does has a charm that sets it apart from Street Fighter 2, and the licensed characters don't hurt it any. But the game play is pretty slow, and the characters are pretty limited and lacking depth.
In effect each character is based, in one way or another, off of a Street Fighter 2 character. Spiral, for example, not only sports long arms, but can also teleport ... sound familiar, it should, she controls very similar to that of Dhalsim. Cyclops takes care of the Ryu or Ken portion of the game. Wolverine is sort of a mangled combination of both Vega and Chun Li. And Colossus, as you can imagine, is the Zangief of the X Men. It all seems so tired and done before.
There is quite a bit of originality here, as well. The characters can jump far higher, and do much more interesting special moves than their Street Fighter counter parts. Spiral not only teleports, but can turn fully invisible so you can mask your attacks. But these moves are too few, and generally the animation isn't all that spectacular.
While the game doesn't look as good as the best Capcom has to offer, it does have some extremely interesting backgrounds. Each changes at least once throughout the rounds, some continue to change until it almost gets annoying. But nobody can debate the backgrounds are extremely interesting.
And even though the X Men is limited by design, it does offer enough new for Street Fighter II fans that "have to have it all". It can't stand up against other Saturn fighters, but it's a worthy import. Good show.