Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 Review
Developer: Vicarious Visions / Publisher: Activision / ESRB: Teen (Mild Language, Violence) / Played on: Xbox 360 / Price: $29.99
Today in Pay, Rent, or Pass we are checking out the hotly anticipated title, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 for the Xbox 360. The game is the followup to the original 2006 title Marvel Ultimate Alliance.
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This time around the story in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 is centered around the plot from the Marvel Civil War storyline. Players will have to choose sides and create teams of superheroes to either fight for Pro-Registration and the government or to go rouge and be Anti-Registration. The game allows the selection of over 20 characters from the Marvel universe, hero and villain alike, to assemble for a team. Be wary though, depending on what side chosen, Pro or Anti Registration, character choices will be limited. The choices in the game for characters include some great heroes like Iron man, Captain America, and Wolverine as well as some bad ass villains like Venom, and Green Goblin. Its always cool seeing former enemies teaming up together to take on a new common enemy. MUA2 has some extremely interesting ways to take on the enemies in the game. In addition to each of the heroes having their own special abilities to take on enemies the game also offers up fusion attacks. Basically you team up any two heroes in the game to combine powers and deliver devastating attacks on foes. Every single combination of characters has a unique fusion attack and that adds up to over 250 different types of fusion moves. Pretty impressive stuff. The game is played in a third person perspective and while playing players have a team of 4 different characters on screen at once that they can switch between to play as on the fly. The game also incorporates some RPG elements by allowing you to upgrade characters abilities and powers as you progress through the game. This is the type of game that screams multi-player and luckily the game allows play through with up to 4 people at a time. One of my favorite features is the ability to jump in and out of matches. This way there are no annoying game disconnects, I got to play as I pleased. Very nice.
This game has a lot going on at all times on the screen and I was a bit worried about it being too much. Luckily the graphics in the game remedy that fear because everything is extremely crisp and recognizable. The character models in this game are jaw dropping and its very clear the team at Vicarious Visions took their time and did their homework when it came to designing the characters. The environments in the game look like something pulled right out of the comics. Every detail is accurately portrayed and is painstakingly re-created. The lighting in the game is also a big plus, its extremely realistic. One of my favorite things to look at in this game has to be the Fusion moves. Every single one is unique to the characters using them and they all look gorgeous. I found myself getting lost watching some of the more spectacular animations. This game is a huge leap forward from the last installment of Marvel Ultimate Alliance.
The sound in a game like this is a massive undertaking in creating and for the most part, I think the game hits it out of the park. The music is epic in scope and really got me ramped up while I played. One of the few issues I had with the game was some of the voice acting. With such a large cast of superheroes in a game it would be near impossible to please every fan with the correct voices. Some of the voice acting is phenomenal, while other characters fall flat and don’t seem to fit. The Fusion sound effects are also a big win in this game. Its always interesting to think what combining two superheroes powers would sound like and MUA2 does a great job interpreting.
The controls in MUA2 are simple and intuitive and extremely tight. Its not hard to master the controls after a short time playing the game. That’s interesting too because there are quite a few attacks in the game. You have your basic attacks, special powers, fusion powers and healing all in one. Somehow the game makes it very easy to manage all of these. Big win.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 is one helluva fun game to play, with over 20 characters to choose from, a slew of special individual moves, over 250 fusion attacks and two separate story lines to play through depending on the side you choose the game does not disappoint. With a load of unlockables, and online and local co-op play this game will have you coming back for more until MUA3 inevitable gets released. This one is a pay.