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Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2

Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified PolygameistRPGamer Staff
edited October 2009 in Staff Review Blogs
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Review System: PS3
Developer: Vicarious Visions / n-Space (Wii)
Publisher: Activision
Release Date: 09.15.2009
Description: Assemble your dream team from the Marvel Universe from over 24 playable characters, each with specialized powers in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2, an action RPG.

10.06.09 History: I've played X-Men Legends 1 & 2 to completion, most of M:UA1, and Justice League. I usually like these games because they feature comic book heroes I grew up with, somewhat interesting stories, and brainless, kick bad guy butt fun. These types of games combine the mechanics of Diablo with the super powers and personalities of well known super heroes. What's not to like?

Game: I usually reserve the last hour of every weekday to relax a big and play a game before bed. So, since I just received this game, I figured I would fire it up. After waiting 8 minutes for a mandatory install from the disc, I was thrust into Latavaria (SP?), home of Doom. Similar to the first game, this one starts you off playing the New Avengers (Wolverine, Captain America, Spider Man and Iron Man).

My first impression is that the graphics are a mixed bag. While some things look really nice on my high def TV, at times I have problems just seeing the characters against the backgrounds, or telling one from the other. Holding the sholder button for special attacks no longer tells you (via icons) what the character's special attack is to each button. Bummer. The first level acts as a bit of a tutorial, and it quickly teaches you M:UA2's newest addition, the fusion attack. This allows you to use two characters to attack, together, unleashing massive, focused damage on one enemy, or an area of effect on a number of enemies.

As you hold down the proper shoulder button, it shows you, via icons, what type of fusion attack you would do with each character and what button you need to press (Kinda reminds me of passing in Madden football). Even on an HD TV, however, this text is a bit hard to read. While I'm trying to figure which character I should fusion with, I'm getting beat up on. Fun times. Once I do pull off the move, though, it's pretty bloody cool.

So, after almost an hour in, I get the chance to change out some characters. Yeah! Unfortunately, the game hung up with a bug. Serious. I didn't even know PS3 games could ship with bugs. Soooo...tonight I'll try to download the newest patch and see if that doesn't fix the problem.

10.07.09 I got another hour in today. Thankfully, I didn't run into any bug related freezes or anything. I'm starting to dig the game a little more. My first point is so good it deserves to be highlighted.

You can reallocate your skill points at anytime.

Serious. This is awesome. You can refund and reallocate your skill points at any time. This means I can play with different powers, put point in and take them out to see what works best for me. Swwwweeet! Other games don't allow you to do this, or only allow you do it if you pay a high cost. Oh, the game also allows you to switch out characters at any point, not just at 'save' points. Actually, it lets you pretty much save anywhere. I'm not even sure where the 'save' points are at, if there are any.

Next, I really like the look and feel of the menus and whatnot. They really feel they're from a modern comic. If you read, or even thumbed through, some of the newer comic story lines, such as the Civil War series from Marvel, you'll appreciate the visuals.

Did I mention it's really cool how you can reallocate skill points at anytime? That ROXS.

10.17.09 Sorry I haven't updated in a while. I was out of town and working long hours for budgets. I kept playing, I just didn't feel up to spending much time on the net.

Right now, game clock shows I'm 15 hours in. The difficulty seems to spike up and down quite a bit. It is getting a bit harder and more exciting overall.

I did some of the virtual missions / challenges as well. I have to say, they're not quite as fun or exciting as some of the ones in X Men Legends. I especially miss some of the side missions from Marvel Ultimate Alliance 1 that actually had some backstory (Such as Capt. America vs. Cold War.)

So far, a pretty solid game, and enjoyable. <span class="spoiler">I've gotten past the pro reg vs. Anti reg storyline. They could have done a lot more with that, I think. Now we're facing a world crisis together. I just got a few villains join the team.</span>

10.18.09 I hate the final boss fights. Seriously. Talk about a let down. There's soooo many bad-to-da-bone bosses in the Marvel universe and we got... <span class="spoiler">The Tinkerer and a mutated Nick Fury. </span> WTH?

But the pain of those last fights were made up for by the totally awesome <span class="spoiler">Hulk Haiku</span>. Seriously. <span class="spoiler">Once you go Hulk, you won't listen to other poetry again.</span>

Anyway, I noticed that the time next to my save file is wrong. I'd like to say that it's the time I'm saving the game, but it's totally off. Maybe I need to check my PS3's internal clock to see if it threw itself off. So, to be honest, I'm not sure HOW many hours I put into it. Not exactly, at least. I'd say about a dozen. Anywho, I do think they should have fleshed out the earlier levels some. A few of them felt like you just ran up to the boss and called it a day.

I kinda wonder if they had a game like this with the open world and expansiveness of Sacred. Their both action RPGs. Problem is that the comic games are extremely linear. So, no, you're not going to have a 40 hour grind fest with this game like you would with sacred. With that being said, it had a good variety of levels, and overall the length felt just a little short. After all, these games are made for multiple run throughs.

Anywho... review going up soon! Keep an eye open!



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Comments

  • EmeraldSuzakuEmeraldSuzaku Member Full Members
    edited October 2009
    You know, there are a lot of people clamoring about bugs, but I have not run into any, and I beat the game and am working on Legendary.

    Also, the characters get easier to see later, when you get to play maps with actual LIGHT.
  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited October 2009
    Hehehehe....light is good.

    Yeah, I've never had a game bug like that with any PS3 game. Did you download the patch, though? If you did, that might explain why you didn't run into it. Most PS3's connect to the net automatically (once set up for it) and d/l patches for any game you start up, including this one. My PS3, however, does not connect automatically (I had to turn it off cuz it keeps knocking the wife off.)
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  • EmeraldSuzakuEmeraldSuzaku Member Full Members
    edited October 2009
    When I first played it no, I didn't have the patch. I did patch up at some point afterward, though. Of course, I don't usually run into many noticeable bugs on PS3 games, even when everyone and their uncle is talking about them. Spider-Man Web of Shadows was the worst offender with its freezing bugs, and I came across a few small glitches in Fallout 3, but that was it. And F3 reportedly got fixed at some point.

    Hopefully you won't run into anything else game-breaking as you go. I will say that my biggest frustration with the game was the sheer number of too-dark maps for what felt like the first quarter to third (or half, even) of the game. When it's dark, it's *really* dark. There were times I had to use powers just for their lighting effects.
  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited October 2009
    I'm not particularly flustered as long as it patches out. I do believe that if I had this problem, though, it is quite possible that other will have it if they don't patch it. That's a shame because not everyone else has their PS3 connected to the internet (Thankfully, most do!).
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  • EmeraldSuzakuEmeraldSuzaku Member Full Members
    edited October 2009
    Oh, if you're having issues pre-patch, then others most assuredly are. It's more a case of bugs in PS3 games seem to be sporadic, which is interesting. They don't always happen to everyone, and most are not reliably reproduced. Which is probably why they make it into the game in the first place. it is irritating, though. I'm still of the old-fashioned opinion that console games should just work.
  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited October 2009
    Indeed. Maybe I'll give it another run before I patch it. I want to make sure that it wasn't just a freak, one time thing. I'm with you. Console games, even more than PC games, should just work right out of the box. I'm OK with patching in some balancing, tweaks, or ultra rare bugs. But if a bug constantly happens pre-patch, that's an issue, especially on a console.
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  • EmeraldSuzakuEmeraldSuzaku Member Full Members
    edited October 2009
    Yep, that was one of the first points I made in my blog, too. Free reallocation of skill points--both powers and abilities--is so sextastically incredibly awesome. I can actually turn the autospend on without fear, for as long as I periodically check up on the characters, I can still put points where I want them if I see the autospend goofing up too badly. It also means that you can redistribute based on what power levels you have access to, as some powers only become really awesome at certain levels.

    Also of note: each character gets access to the full pool of ability points--it's not split between them or anything. And those are freely redistributable, too.



  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited October 2009
    The ability points are the ones used for buffing attack skills, right? Are there points that you spend to improve Stength, focus, etc? Because I could find the screen that SHOWS those statistics, but I didn't see where I could actually add points to them....
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  • EmeraldSuzakuEmeraldSuzaku Member Full Members
    edited October 2009
    You cannot manually upgrade your base stats other than by grabbing pick-ups that increase them like in previous games. I haven't figured out if those pickups only affect the character that picks them up, or if all character get the bonus. Other than that, stats are automatically upgraded each level with no possibility of input from the player. Unless I've missed something. But that's one of the only things I miss from previous games.

    And yeah, the ability points are the ones used for the buffing skills--the ones that are just circle icons, and are broken down into pro-reg and anti-reg abilities.



  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited October 2009
    Cool. Just making sure. Yeah, I'm not sure why they took away the ability to upgrade stats like ya did in XMen Legends. I though it was fun to have a super strong Storm + electric fists = lotza melee fun! smile.gif I don't miss it as much now that I can adjust abilities and skillz on the fly though. That's just pure awesomeness.
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  • EmeraldSuzakuEmeraldSuzaku Member Full Members
    edited October 2009
    I think they yanked that ability for a couple of reasons. One, everything they've done in this game points to streamlining, and manually tweaking abilities is just another thing to have to play with, and pretty much requires stopping what you're doing every time someone levels.

    Two, that could lead to some serious brokenness. Some characters are already insane, and being able to tweak stats manually could easily lead some smart players into shoving most of the cast into that category. If I could manually tweak Invisible Woman....yowza.
  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited October 2009
    I think a lot more adolescent boys would be happy if they could manually tweak Invisible Woman. Seriously.
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  • FrozenbabylonFrozenbabylon POW! Full Members
    edited October 2009
    I think a lot more adolescent boys would be happy if they could manually tweak Invisible Woman. Seriously.
    ... ?_?
  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited October 2009
    I just call it like I see it. tounge2.gif



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  • UnderdogUnderdog Member Full Members
    edited October 2009
    I ran into 1 bug when I was playing where all my guys got clipped into an area and couldn't attack or move, but it was one time. When I beat it the game was smooth and it ran (save for that one time) perfectly. Great game DLC FTL though I don't want to pay for characters I want them in the game when it comes out. Honestly except for the length one of the best games of the year.
  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited October 2009
    Length? Dare I ask? How long did it take you to run through?

    Yeah.... I haven't run into the bug again myself. I'll probably patch it today if I can tear myself away from Demon's Soul. After reading Omega's review, I had to snatch up a copy. It's not like there's a glut of RPGs on the PS3 anyway.

    I'm enjoying it so far..... And it's the perfect game to play after going through a month of Disgaea.



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  • EmeraldSuzakuEmeraldSuzaku Member Full Members
    edited October 2009
    MUA2 isn't very long. I'd have to check the clock on my end of game save the first time through, but it's less than 10 hours. The first time through, as your characters get more powerful the maps go by faster and faster. I'd say New York is really the longest chapter. At least, that's how it felt for me. It's not that the maps are necessarily any smaller (except for DC), it's just that your damage ramps up faster than the enemies' health....

    The flip side of the speed thing is that the game is meant to be played through at least twice. And the side missions can take a bit if you need a few tries at them.

    Demon's Souls is gooood. It's easy to get sucked away from any game and into that one. I've been juggling a few games, including Aion and another playthrough of MUA2, but Demon's Souls owns me.
  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited October 2009
    Hmmm...short? Clock says I'm at 15 hours thus far. A typo? A bug? Hmmm.
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  • EmeraldSuzakuEmeraldSuzaku Member Full Members
    edited October 2009
    Hmmm...short? Clock says I'm at 15 hours thus far. A typo? A bug? Hmmm.
    I just checked my clear game save. It's sitting at 12:45 of play time, and I had more than three hours of replaying maps, running challenges, screwing around with teams, doing trivia, etc. So, yeah. If you play straight through it's easily less than a 10 hour game. Of course, it's *meant* to be played multiple times, so take that as you will.
  • RebochanRebochan Who needs Rinoa anyway? Full Members
    edited October 2009
    I'm disturbed by the lack of Deadpool in this blog. The Deadpool content in this game made up for a lot of shortcomings in the mechanics, IMHO.
    "One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings." -- Diogenes
  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited October 2009
    LOL... Yes, it was a crime for me not to mention him. Thanks for bringing him up.

    I ran through the game (just finished it) using a group of X-Men (being a long time fan)...but the fight with him and the ensuing jokes afterwards, was well worth some of the shortcomings. I will be certain to mention him in my review smile.gif
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  • RebochanRebochan Who needs Rinoa anyway? Full Members
    edited October 2009
    Deadpool's response to the "Pro Or Anti Reg" choice was hysterical.
    "One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings." -- Diogenes
  • EmeraldSuzakuEmeraldSuzaku Member Full Members
    edited October 2009
    Fighting Deadpool with Deadpool in the party is also rather amusing.
  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited October 2009
    Updated
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  • TGBarighmTGBarighm Member Full Members
    edited October 2009
    I really wanted to love the game enough to buy it, but when I can completely clear BOTH registry options in a single 3 day rental, without cramming, and still have time to grab half the achievements and all of the simulator missions...kind of hard to justify a purchase. Too bad. MUA2 was fun. Even better, the number of glitched powers and passives was kept to a minimum (a major irritant for me in the last two games; we all know the injustice done to Colossus).



  • NyxNyx Staff Girly Girl RPGamer Staff
    edited October 2009
This discussion has been closed.