Game Review: Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2
Release: September 15, 2009
Genre: Action RPG
Developer: Vicarious Visions, n-Space, Savage Entertainment
Available Platforms:Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, and DS
ESRB Rating: T
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 is the sequel to the well-received original MUA of 2006. It is an action game with RPG elements mixed in just like its predecessor was. This is the newest game based off the Marvel comic universe, a setting that has seen increased usage in the film industry and video game industry as of late.
In MUA2 you take control of a 4-person squad of superheroes (and villains, if you choose) to “save the day”. The game follows the events of recent comic storylines Secret War and Civil War. Any die-hard comic fans should be warned now that as a avid reader myself, I can tell you that the story is not exactly accurate, but a close shot. As you progress into the Civil War segment, you will be required to either side with the government and Iron Man, or cast your lot with Captain America and the rebels. Your choice will determine what missions you encounter as well as the characters you unlock as you progress. Speaking of unlocking characters, three of the most powerful ones in the game (Thor, The Hulk, and Jean Grey) can only be unlocked through finding hidden collectibles.
But onto the gameplay. You move your way through linear levels, fighting hordes of varying degrees of grunt with the occasional boss battle thrown in every so often. You will face big name enemies such as Venom and Green Goblin, as well as other heroes who oppose you. You have a swift attack and a power attack that are unlimited use melee attacks, as well as 4 special attacks that require energy. These typically revolve around some sort of power, but for guys that just have strength they just throw in another melee power that does more damage. A feature that I was excited for that let me down when I got the game was the fusion powers. Every character can do a fusion attack with another character, combining their abilities to make an amazing attack, at least in theory. In reality, most of the combination’s are exactly the same but with a different colored beam involved depending on power, such as a white beam for ice and red for fire.
I really enjoyed the variety of characters. For many of the interactions between the play and NPCs, every single character that you can play has a different script written for them that shows a piece of their personality. This might not appeal to everybody but as a major comic fan I love getting to see a new interpretation of the characters. Also this game makes for great co-op play in my opinion. I played through the whole game with a buddy and we pretty much tackled it in one night. It was a lot of fun to combine the different powers and see what we could do to our enemies, and it is definitely a strong point for this game.
There were two things that really nagged at me. The first was button mashing. Now, MUA2 is not the worst offender I have ever played, but it does degenerate into tapping A as fast as you can more than I would like. The other annoying thing is the camera. You can’t really control it, and since they hide the collectibles in corners and crannies, it would be much better if it was possible to actually look around you instead of just stumble blindly hoping to pick something up.
Overall, I would say this game is decent. It has some bugs that could have been worked out, but overall I would have to say it was a fun experience. I would recommend giving this one a rent before you lay down the cash for your own copy, but if you get a chance I would definitely give it a try.