Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 review

That happened like 25 years ago, so yeah it’s quite possible a lot has changed ;)

28 years ago.

Mea culpa.

In my defense, this is marvel we’re talking about. If my take on Ms. Marvel is woefully out of date, give it a few years and someone will retcon it to be correct again.

That’s pretty much all gone. Everybody talks about everything as if it’s very, very important. The problem is, in the comics there was a ton of setup and background that added weight to the proceedings.

Also, a big part of Civil War was the idea that heroes are being legally forced reveal their secret identities. Since you never even see the character’s faces in this game, that aspect doesn’t exist as more than an abstract idea in the game.

And all these faux-weighty discussions are simply a prelude to beating the shit out of a bunch of tiny guys for half an hour, so that also sort of lessons the impact.

Captain America is particularly badly characterized. They go for the righteous boy scout angle, and it really rubs me the wrong way. When he’s written well he’s far more nuanced than that. With Brubaker’s excellent work on Cap still going on it bummed me out to see him turned into a caricature.

The fact that the game opened on a giant floating super-base really set the proper tone. I’d like those characteristics to be brought forward into the new game, but your complaint about boring locations worries me.

I don’t think a serious MUA would have been nearly as much fun.

I agree. It wasn’t.

It sounds like you forgot to bring Deadpool along for all the missions. :)


Best moment in X-Men II was playing Deadpool when you meet Deadpool as a mini-boss. Best game conversation ever.

Heavens to Murgatroide! Starts at 7:45.

Just started playing this and really like it.

It streamlines all of the ancillary stuff that caused so much downtime in the previous games. The loot is now linked to unique level challenges or goals and are now party wide equipment. The maps feel less like random generated hallways and corridors and rather actual environments. There are less upgradeable superpowers, but more focused ones. The fusion powers are extremely fun to use, be it against a single boss or a wave of 25 enemies. I also much prefer this health token system to the SHIELD savepoint respawns.

Also, this civil war plotline is kinda cool, previous games seemed to just throw you at stuff with little rhyme or reason, but this plotline has an actual narrative thread.

Just finished this game, and I can’t see how it can be anything but a thumbs down.
It’s extremely bland (every level might as well be the same) and as a tribute to the characters you play as, it’s just terrible. Getting rid of the loot system and QTEs from MUA 1 was a step in the right direction, but there’s still so much wrong with this game. It was definitely worth a rent, but I feel very bad for my friend who bought it on a whim. This game was only good when it was still called X-men Legends…

Wow, I’m near the end now and I loved it. What was so bad about the levels? Like I said above, the major standout to me was how ‘designed’ they actually felt this time around. Rather than jumbling mazes of corridors and doors, they made straightforward but original layouts, and the physics system within them makes everything in your path blow up real good like.

I MUCH preferred the way health and revivals work this time around, and linking specific loot upgrades/achievements to challenges like (no revivals during boss battles or levels) really gives those tokens a real purpose. Having so many badges to earn with only three slots makes the sheer number feel a bit too overwhelming, but there is a lot of customization potential(though now I find I just let the game auto-equip em which seems to work well enough and it switches em around constantly).

I’m also utilizing almost everyone on the roster constantly just to push through the character challenges. Previous games I got so stuck on a single character because of all the tuning and equipping and imbalanced leveling, but I find myself preferring this system which promotes variety.

What was so bad about the levels was that you basically used the same tactics in every single level. I’ll grant that the levels are not as maze-like as they were in previous incarnations of this game, but that being said I could still close my eyes, spam X and still get through the levels. meh, to each their own, I just think that the marvel characters deserve an experience much better than this game provides. It doesn’t really matter how many characters you have when ultimately they’re just skins on a few different types of characters.

That is absolutely untrue of Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2. In fact, it’s arguably the game’s greatest strength. The differentiation among characters is superb in this game. From their powers to their individual goals to the fusion combos to the costumes and animation to the hidden group bonuses, each character feels unique. I’m planning to shell out for the DLC characters precisely because they’re not just skins.

Also, you talk about spamming X, but that’s not true across the board. It varies by character (man, Storm is awesome!). And at the harder difficulty levels, it’s not going to work.


If that’s the game’s greatest strength then the world is doomed.

Ken and I played some MUA1 this weekend and I really think there’s no comparison between the two games.

From character customization to the quality of the art and story, the first one is just head and shoulders above 2.

Are there any sales numbers on the new game yet? I’d love to see how it did.

It sold 236k on the xBox in September. That places it the 7th highest selling game of the month despite the fact that the game didn’t release until mid-month (sept 15th).

I think I’ve played enough of this now to have an opinion, and I can’t emphasize enough how much more I love this game than the first one. I never really managed to get past the third act of the first game for two reasons:

  1. I constantly felt like I was missing something by playing the characters I was playing, and I was penalized for changing the characters I was playing.


  1. The camera in online co-op was a bucket of gorilla penises and it only served to irritate the hell out of my group of folks any time we tried to play together.

I don’t know if the second problem has been changed, but the first certainly has. In the first game, there were so many characters in so many combinations that had to be individually leveled up and developed and there was a penalty for swapping around your team - eventually the number of choices I had to make and live with got to be so big that the whole thing collapsed to open world game syndrome and I just locked it in its box and never started it up again.

To contrast, in the second game I never feel like I’m missing out and I always feel like any character is a legitimate alternative and I never feel like I’m being penalized for trying out somebody new. The only reason I don’t go switching people out willy nilly in this one is because I feel legitimately beholden to keeping the characters I’ve got in the group because I like them so much - I’m sorry but Hulk and Deadpool and Wolverine aren’t going ANYWHERE - so I only have the one slot to experiment with. Which is fine. I’m at the last part of the third act right now, right after the horrible thing in the Negative Zone, and I’m looking forward to playing more, and with different characters. It might be the first game in forever that I’m actually looking forward to playing through again on a higher difficulty to get the rest of these team boosts and play through the other side of the story. Granted, the story isn’t incredible, and I would prefer that they had done something original (I’ve got an idea involving one of the more sciency villains, four cloned superheroes, and a lab assistant getting sacrificed to animate them that would actually turn the whole I-have-eighty-billion-characters-to-pick-from-but-there’s-only-one-guy-on-the-other-side-of-the-controller thing into an actual mechanic), but it’s good enough to staple the action to, and frankly the story in the first one felt a little too Jack Kirby for me.

Excellent game. I can sort of intellectually understand all the people who are complaining about the changes from the first one, but to me, they’re all just dead wrong. All the changes that the team made from the first to the second turned this from a game that I desperately wanted to love but could not avoid hating because it had a butt instead of a face and all its arms and legs were on backwards into a beautiful Filipino boyyyyyerrrrr…fashion model.

I feel the opposite having briefly revisited MUA 1 after clearing Act II of the sequel. I never finished the first game and phased out somewhere in Act 4 on some spaceship.

Glancing through some of the unlocked cinemas to remind myself why I am in space it became apparent just how little structure the game actually has. It zaps you from one weird place to the next for almost no rhyme or reason for the sake of putting the player on a museum tour of decades of Marvel mythos. Cool in a way, but the more focused plotline and events of the sequel served my naivety far better.

I also used heroes and villains I haven’t tried since I boned up for the DLC(Magneto, Doom, Archer guy, Hulk!), and was quickly decimated in the first room by grunt enemies due to uneven progression.

I really dug MUA 1 for being so insane and obviously having such an obvious love affair for source material, but the streamlined sequel really gelled better with me.

Tom is right also, Storm is a beast. Love her force wind push move, mostly for how the physics make all the environment stuff scatter and blow every which way. So cool.

I still think X-men II is the high water mark.

No, THAT is absolutely untrue. Pretty much every character can be broken down into a tank (Thing, Hulk, etc), brawler (spider-man, deadpool) or mage (storm, jean grey). I didn’t really see much difference between playing Spider-man and dead pool, thing and hulk, iron man and ice man… the characters are soulless.

And storm is awesome, I used her throughout the entire game. You could get by spamming X with her, especially after upgrading her electric fists.

It may be true that it’s not possible on higher difficulties, but with repetitive enemy types and boring boss battles, what would make you want to bother with those difficulties anyway?

I agree with Grundy, this game was at it’s best while it was still called X-men. And really, the standards of the super-hero video game genre (if we’re comfortable calling it a genre) have seriously been raised, and this game falls very short of those standards. Talk about a sophomore effort, MUA2 reeks of laziness.

It makes Wolverine: Origins look like a great game, even with the battle against the sentinel’s boot.

No u.

Yes, theborbes, characters have general categories. Did you figure that out on your own, or from playing any other game with team-based combat? Have a cookie.

I mentioned in my post some of the differences among the characters. If you’d going to ignore what I write when you reply, I can’t really have a conversation with you. But if you’d like to discuss how it’s different whether you’re playing Spider-Man, Deadpool, The Thing, Hulk, Iron Man, and Ice Man, there’s actually a conversation to be had about fusions, character-specific goals, attack types, passive abilities, pro-reg and anti-reg branches, team bonuses, equippable boosts, and some of the other things you’re conveniently ignoring when you make a half-assed observation such as:

Let’s get metaphysical.