Verdict: Great game!
In a Nutshell: Sequel to the original MUA – the heroes’ Civil War gets more complicated when a new threat emerges!
“The Marvel Universe is being torn apart. You and your tema of marvel Super Heroes help Nick Fury launch a secret preemptive strike against Latveria and Lucia Von Bardas only to have to thwart her retaliatory attack on New York City.
Coupled with oter Super Hero incidents, public sentiment turns against Super Heroes. The Superhuman Registration Act becomes law and Super Heroes must register as weapons of mass destruction and become licensed government agents with the United States government.
Lines are drawn as Iron Man leads the Pro-Registration side while Captain America leads the Anti-Registration side. You must pick a side and fight to determine the fate of the Marvel Universe and humankind.”
- Fun Rating: Really Fun
- ESRB: T
- Players/Mode: single-player through four-player / campaign (multiple difficulty levels), trivia, simulator missions
- Game Duration: <10 hours for one play-through
- System: Xbox 360 (also available on PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, Nintendo DS, PC)
- Developer: Activision
- Website: http://marvelultimatealliance.marvel.com/
- Cost: $20-$40, depending on system
|Would I play this again?||Definitely|
|Would I recommend this game?||Yes|
|Was the story good?||Mostly|
|Was the music good?||Yes|
|Were the graphics good?||Mostly, the game over-does the dark colors, at times|
|Was this game difficult?||Some boss fights only|
|Was this game frustrating?||No|
|Was this game offensive?||No|
|Was this game worth your time/money?||Yes|
Playing the game
The controls are very similar to the first MUA game and their predecessors, the X-Men Legends games. One button to punch, one to kick, one to interact, one to jump. To fly, double-jump, or web-swing, simply press the jump button twice. Very basic, easy to use.
The left control stick is your standard movement control while the right stick gives limited camera control. You have three options of height/zoom (close up, moderate, high up), and the camera pans well, most of the time. As with most games of this kind, it has a few hang-ups when interacting with some corners (both seen and unseen). Left bumper blocks attacks that you face, while the right bumper uses a new feature – using a healing token to heal an injured character or reviving a fallen comrade (must be a character in your team of four).
What the game gets right
MUA2 has a well-written story, which is easy to achieve when they borrow from their successful “event” stories Secret War and Civil War. By and large, the characters make decisions logical to their backgrounds and back-stories.
Also, the Fusion element of the gameplay is pretty well done. Fusions are the highlight of the new features of this game. Each playable character has the ability to combine their own power with that of one other character. Thor and Captain America’s fusion is a fun example: Thor blasts lightning from his hammer at Cap’s shield, and both characters can be moved around with the left control stick. Enemies are destroyed by hitting them with the lightning blast between Thor and the reflection blast from Cap’s shield. Granted, some combinations are repetitive (the Thing and the Hulk each have the same Fusions with the other characters, for example), but all are done creatively and have interesting visuals. See the Fusion of Iceman and the Human Torch, or Gambit and Thing, for two great examples.
Leveling up your characters is easier to use and the powers system is much simpler. Instead of something like 12 powers (such as in the original MUA game), each character only has 4 regular abilities (tied to each of the face buttons, X, Y, A, B) and their Fusion power that has a different combination with different characters.
Achievements are mostly easy to come by, as with most campaign-driven games – beat a level, get an achievement, etc. The more challenging achievements include defeating a number of bosses on Legendary mode without revivals or level restarts.
What the game gets wrong
MUA2 seems to be much of the original Marvel Ultimate Alliance re-packaged and given better graphics, as far as gameplay is concerned.
Each character only has one alternate costume, which is kind of a downer.
The simulator missions get somewhat repetitive and start to become unnecessary before finishing all of them.
Sum it up
Great story, good gameplay, and good visuals combine to make this a very fun game. This game is so enjoyable (both single-play and multi-player) that my wife has asked me, “Are you playing that game again?” If you enjoy punching bad guys in the face and using big, fantastic super-powers, this is the game for you.