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Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 Review

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Developer: Vicarious Visions Publisher: Activision
Release Date: September 15, 2009 Available On: PS3, Wii and Xbox 360

Super hero games have come back with a vengeance. Earlier this year saw the release of several solid titles, from Activision’s own X-Men Origins: Wolverine to Batman: Arkham Asylum. Given these successes, as well as the moderate success of the original, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 has its work cut out for it. Can a massive group of super heroes avert a gaming disaster?

Avert a disaster they did, but just barely. Fans of the Marvel universe are probably going to be addicted to playing as all of their favorite characters for some time. Basically, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 is an orgy of super hero characters from the Marvel universe all in one game. These people don’t need a review to convince them that Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 is worth buying. The rest of us are stuck with a game that, at its most basic level, is unable to deliver gameplay that is anything out-of-this-world.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 is a generic brawler. That’s about all there is to say. Yes, it has mild RPG elements in that you can upgrade your characters’ abilities, unlock new moves, etc., but you can do that in just about any game of this type these days. Where Marvel Ultimate Alliance was a stand-out game on last-generation platforms, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 is just your run-of-the-mill beat ’em up. Then again, we are dealing with different developers from the first game.

I will say that I was impressed by the sheer number of characters that you can play as. Mind you, not all of them are good, fun to play as or have voice acting that even resembles their character, but the quantity is nice. That said, it seems that quantity was chosen over quality. The game has well over 20 characters, including console-specific characters such as Blade, Cyclops and Juggernaut. Some of the more popular characters in all versions include Captain America, Green Goblin, Hulk, Spider-Man, Thor and Wolverine.

As you probably noticed from that list, the playable characters include both heroes and villains. That is because the game follows the plot of the Civil War story, which involves the U.S. government requiring all non-humans to register after the Superhuman Registration Act is passed. This causes a split and creates unique alliances between Pro-Registration and Anti-Registration factions. If you like the comic books, cartoons and movies, you probably will like the storyline.

Combining all of these super heroes and villains into one game isn’t just for story, either. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 has a system where you can “fuse” the various powers of two characters together. These result in powerful attacks that can be used against bosses (when employed effectively), as well as a means to clear a large group of pesky enemies. It still doesn’t add a whole lot to the overall experience, though.

While the game certainly could have used more variety in gameplay, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 is still a fairly entertaining game to play in small doses. The voice acting and cut scenes are bad, but on the plus side, the game does support 4 player offline and online cooperative play. This was the only way that I played the game and really could not imagine it being much fun playing alone. If you are a fan at all of the Marvel universe, you should at least give this a rent. For everyone else, it’s probably safe to just pass up.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 7
Creativity: 6
Replay Value/Game Length: 7
Final: 7 out of 10
Written by Kyle Bell Write a User Review