If you know the Spartacus game then you are not far off this one. I think the X-Men version of the rules is generally better and makes the game play more interesting and not take as much time. I do like this game, very much so. As a board game fan I recognise that is is a very good game. My problem is my romance with the X-Men haha. The ‘co-operative but’ nature of some of the missions is very interesting but feels a bit jarring to the X-Men fan in me. Having 4 X-Men characters take on a bunch of Sentinels or rescuing people is really cool, but motivating them to attack each other to benefit their school just feels off to me. The way you get more students/heroes is very fun and the missions vary a fair amount so it keeps interesting. Being able to ask other schools for resources to play cards is quite interesting too. It's possible to blackmail players even, ‘If you help me play this card then I won't use it against you.’ the more common occurrence is the losing players combining forces to try and take down the front runner.
The variation in play time is probably the biggest reason I don't play it much more often, it could be over really quick if certain missions/cards come into play early and the players co-operate to each climb the ladder quickly. On the flip side if they focus on keeping each other down it can really start to drag out. I would suggest a time or round limit to try and offset that.
Pros: Heaps of X-Men characters! Interesting mechanics, players need to interact in more ways than just on the board, alliances and making deals are just as important as picking what character to send into battle. Just enough luck to give minor characters a shot at achieving something amazing but not so much that it's not worth investing in better characters to begin with. Cons: The negative player interactions jar against the core X-Men values but that is probably more my problem than the games problem, big variance in play time.