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Videogame Review: Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2WonkeyDude98 Mini-Description: In my first game review, let's try something different and review a game from over half a decade ago -- and discuss why it's one of Marvel's best.
Pros: Story, diversity, player dominance, difficulty, playable characters, some animation
Cons: Dialogue, DLC
If you know me, you know I'm not a diverse guy. Looking through my remixes and posts you almost, if not completely, see music. I'm handicapped in almost every other category. So today, I'm stepping out of my comfort zone and I'm going to talk about a video game. This is entirely firsthand, no real edits, so I'm not doing a preamble.
All you need to know is, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 is an awesome game that's aged really well. It's honestly rare that a game for the PlayStation 3 that isn't in the Batman Arkham series to be every bit as awesome as it was over half a decade ago. While not as good as the best games in that series, MUA2 arguably has even more replay value and even more to discover.
Let's start by talking about the game's storyline.
WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. IF YOU DON'T WANT TO READ SPOILERS, GO TO "THE END".
What I really love about this game is its diverse choices that can impact the whole game. The first quarter of the game is mostly linear, including the prologue in Latveria, the underground search for Cyborg Lucia von Bardas and her crew, and saving the Senate (and Stan Lee) are mostly straightforward. However, after this, the disapperance of Nick Fury means no one can really stop the Superhuman Registration Act from occurring, forcing the player to either register to the government (gaining access to Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, and Songbird), or rebel against it (gaining access to Captain America, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist). Of course, the first real time I played through the game I choice anti-registration, because choosing the other side means I had to be on the same team as *shudder* Maria Hill.
But what does that have to do with the game itself? Well, it basically splits the game in two, leading to two possible outcomes altogether (and you can do both by picking any difficulty above Casual and then doing Legendary like I'm doing), but that doesn't even match the conversations. Forget the special conversations that you can have by making certain characters talk to certain others, the extensive craftsmanship, giving every character their own choice of dialogue, and the ability to use it to go three separate paths socially, it adds a whole new level of flavor and diversity to the design of the game.
And ultimately, that's where we get to my biggest issue with this game: the dialogue. I get that it's intentionally off-kilter and dramatic, but some of the lines are more than a little cheesy, and even a little cringey at points. Looking at you, Nick Fury.
But he's also where we get to this game's biggest strength: the characters. 27 characters, all with their unique styles, strengths, weaknesses, and upgrades, with beautifully destructive attack designs and even more gorgeous Fusions. My personal dream team in this game is Nanite Nick Fury (the last character you unlock in the game: and he's borderline unstoppable), Storm, Deadpool, and Thor. However, I feel like with so many characters (like the masochistic payback of Penance or the cannibalistic Venom) that have their own unforgettable flare, it means that when a character is less developed, they become significant outliers for me, primarily Luke Cage and Iron Fist, the only two characters in the game I don't like. The former not being strong enough to justify his generally standard moveset, and the latter just not being interesting. But really, that's more so because of the game rather than the characters. Additionally, while this really doesn't have to do with the game, I'm not fond of how they handled the DLC. Yes, I know they released a Vicarious Visions version for the PS3, but guess what? I don't have it, and I can't find it anywhere online. So especiallly considering it's been five or six years since anyone's cared about this game, it's heartbreaking that I'll probably never be able to play as Carnage or Juggernaut. Tsk.
But really, what this game's biggest strength is is difficulty. Sure, after you start a Legendary run the upgrades you collected slightly waver the challenge (I've had less trouble going through Legendary than Heroic lol), but this game knows how to amp up the difficulty naturally, slowly building (except the respective battles with Goliath and Yellowjacket) in difficulty until the final boss Nanite Nick Fury, who despite not killing a single one of my characters still really was a challenge to beat, if not just because of his insane endurance. This game is just easy enough for everyone to try, but just hard enough so that it still takes a lot of work to get everything.
And as for animations...they're pretty good for their time. A lot of the characters (especially Default Iron Man and the Classic Venom costume) are very sleek and detailed, with a very detailed and colorful roster...that most of the rest of the game can't hold up. I don't really like the mouth movements of...well, any normal-sized character when not in cutscenes, and almost everything except the characters feels very...frigid, in color. Though then again, that's probably the point.
Yeah, this review was pretty rough and I'm not sure it'll hold up well, but either way I absolutely love this game. It's a fun, expansive titan of a game that's worth a light 9/10 and the highest of my recommendations. I know you're probably moved on to the latest gen consoles, but...even the PS4 and Xbox One have this game? So you really don't have an excuse, check this out, you will not regret it!
This is WonkeyDude98, and P.O.S, PUT THAT ALBUM ON YOUTUBE ALREADY
I used to have the original Ultimate Alliance on 360. Good times - Mcgillacuddy
Awesome Review - VideoGamefan5
Good review. - Skullkid755
I'm Getting this for the wii - VideoGamefan5
Review mor games or I'll flail around - LarrytheFairy