Super Types

September 17, 2009

The Comics Console: Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2

It’s Thursday! As reported earlier this week, Eidos is releasing FREE DLC for Batman Arkham Asylum today in the form of two new challenge maps. The FreeFlow combat challenge, “Totally Insane,” and Invisible Predator challenge “Nocturnal Hunter.”

“Totally Insane” is right! Oh my god, this was fun! Unlike the other FreeFlow combat challenges that come in 4 rounds with X amount of thugs to take out, “Totally Insane” is a gauntlet match of Batman versus a never ending wave of baddies for the purpose of ranking up the absolute highest score you can. Also, your getting more than just the typically Blackgate prisoners you fight through most of the game. The really crazy inmates that scream and charge at you on first site are dropped in. This challenge will be great for capturing a few achievements that have eluded me so far like “FreeFlow Combo 40″ and FreeFlow Perfection.” I can’t tell you how fun this is!

“Nocturnal Hunter” is your basic Invisible Predator challenge, but a pretty small area (and unfamiliar. I don’t recall seeing this room in the story mode, but I could be mistaken) and loaded with armed henchmen. The medals for this challenge are “What Goes Up” where you knock a henchmen off of a ladder while he climbing up, “Last Man Standing” where you take all the high security henchmen down last, and “Smash And Grab” where you must preform an inverted takedown through the glass floor!

These are some great additions to the BAA challenge mode and I want to give a giant thank you to Eidos for giving this stuff totally FREE! So if you own a copy of BAA (and if you don’t you really really should pick it up soon!) hit up XBLM or PSS ASAP!

While more challenging challenge mode maps are certainly welcome, we fans want to see more types of DLC added to our Batman action. Some of you showed interest in Robin as a playable character with his own unique combat style. PS3 owners were already treated to a similar experience with the Joker as a playable character with his own quirky techniques. As popular as the game has been, I don’t see why any fan wouldn’t be willing to pay a little extra for their own teen side kick.

But can Eidos go deeper with the DLC than just challenge maps? The Scarecrow levels in the game were a great change of pace and a heck of a lot of fun. I think Eidos could make quite a bit of extra revenue pumping some more Scarecrow toxin into the game. Hell, I would spend $60 on a game of just awesome side scrolling platform Batman action by itself.

Last week I said that Batman Arkham Asylum was the best comic book based video game ever. Although, when I gave my opinions on the game, I didn’t give much reason as to why it’s the best comic book video game other than it being the best one to feature a comic book character. I want to make it clear why I think BAA is the best.

One nasty little habit some comic book video games have is attempting to make the player feel like they’re in a comic book. The comic book medium is probably where most players fell in love with the said character, but we’re not playing the video game to play a comic book. Most movie adaptations will try to make the player feel like they’re in the movie. This is the wrong approach developers are going with in their games. One of the stupendous things about video games is that they allow you to become something you typically couldn’t in real life; A great hero or villain or what have you. A good comic book video game allows the player to become the main character. This is where BAA shines bright.

Rarely has a comic book video game allowed the player to thoroughly not only control, but become the main character like BAA has. With the easy use of iconic bat-gadgets like the batarang and grappling hook, the ability and finesse to take on an entire gang of thugs by yourself, and relying heavily on wits and detective skills, it’s not hard to get a rush with the realization that you ARE Batman. Other games like Hulk Ultimate Destruction or Spider-Man 2 (the movie) have done a great job of capturing what it feels like to rampage recklessly and carelessly through a city or web sling between the tallest sky scrapper, but have suffered from dull or repetitious gameplay. BAA manages to transform the player into the main character while having a fun, excellent video game at it’s foundation.

BAA also succeeds as the greatest comic book game ever in more ways than anything gameplay related. Something even fewer comic book games have done is recruit creators familiar with the characters. Enter Paul Dini in BAA. The players are treated to a solid story experience interacting with villains and supporting cast as naturally as they would in the comics. Future comic book games will do well in emulating this. There already have been reports that Matt Fraction is writing the Iron Man 2 game. Again, besides just being a really fun and pretty video game, these are the deeper reasons why I consider Batman Arkham Asylum the greatest comic book video game of all time.

But enough about Batman! This is Marvel’s shot at video game greatness! A friend and I sat down with Data East’s 1991 epic Captain America and the Avengers for the Sega Genesis to kick some Red Skull ass and get pumped for Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2. I started things off as Iron Man and my partner as Captain America. The game wastes no time proving why it’s a classic with amazingly terrible dialogue like “You will not escape!” which was rebutted with “You will be the one escaping!”

Red Skull has decided once again that Earth would function much better under his leadership and has brain washed some of the planet’s most vile and feared villains like Whirlwind, Klaw and the Living Laser. The Avengers truly assemble in this game as Vision, Hawkeye, Iron Man and of course Captain America, are playable with varying attacks and skills. Cameos from other Avengers like Wasp, Quicksilver, Wonderman and Namor are a very nice treat. the game is a simple beat ’em up, but gameplay differs level to level, occasionally becoming a shooter when Cap or Hawkeye take control of a small hovercraft packing cannons, or Vision or Iron Man glide in the air shooting proton beams. The bosses in the game can be very challenging, but once you pick up on their rhythms you should be able to defeat them. Overall the game is fun with a friend or if you’re a big Avengers fan.

Alas, the days of Captain America and Iron Man as BFF’s are long since behind us, and the affect has carried over to our gaming consoles. Activision brings war to Marvel fans. Civil War… for the most part, anyway.

Vicarious Vision’s Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 isn’t a ground breaking game, but it is an enjoyable one. The sequel to 2006’s Marvel Ultimate Alliance shares many of the same qualities, (which isn’t such a great thing) but is noticeably more improved. You’re thrown into the Marvel universe with Captain America, Wolverine, Spider-Man and Iron Man in the middle of a black-ops mission in Latveria, with Nick Fury leading the group. After beating up armies of Latverian troops using light and heavy attacks and your super attacks, you have a very important decision to make; The government is enforcing the Super Hero Registration Act requiring all superheroes to register with the government, and some heroes aren’t happy about it. The story takes a few liberties, but closely reflects Mark Millar’s Civil War mini series.

The story differs depending on whether you decide to cooperate with Iron Man and his soldiers or become and outlaw with Cap and his gang. The decisions you make throughout the game will effect some aspects; options ranging from passive, aggressive or diplomatic. Some of the choices don’t always reflect the response you’re looking for or don’t match up appropriately with the character you’re controlling, but consistent choices can give you and your team specific attributes in combat.

The game’s RPG elements have been heavily stripped down from the last game. As you go through collecting experience points you can buy medals to equip for special abilities. Though, if the RPG elements aren’t something you want to bother with, you can set the game to Auto Spend to equally divide XP accordingly.

Choosing characters and adjusting your roster has been simplified so you can rearrange your party as you like at any time. Mixing and matching unique combinations of characters can result in some amazing attacks, using the game’s newest and best new feature: the fusion attack. Fusions are where you and another character execute a massive attack that not only looks awesome on screen, but feels awesome to do.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 Fusion - SDCC 2--screenshot_viewer_medium

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 does suffer from a few bugs and the occasional glitch, but it doesn’t keep it from being a fun game. The action can get pretty repetitive, but usually isn’t a problem if you’re playing with friends. With plenty of unlockables, side quests and dungeons to explore, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 will have you playing for the rest of the fall. 3/5.

I mostly played through the game as my favorite Marvel character, Mr. Fantastic (why do my friends always make fun of me for that?!). Also in my party I usually kept Daredevil, Hulk and Iron Man. Occasionally adding Deadpool or Iron Fist. Who is your perfect party in MUA2?

Here’s a list of the playable characters!

1. Blade — Exclusive to the Wii, PSP & PS2 versions.
2. Captain America
3. Cyclops — Exclusive to the Wii, PS2 & PSP versions.
4. Daredevil
5. Deadpool
6. Gambit
7. Green Goblin (Villain)
8. Hulk
9. Human Torch
10. Iceman
11. Invisible Woman
12. Iron Fist
13. Iron Man
14. Jean Grey
15. Juggernaut (Villain) — A GameStop, Amazon UK or EB Games AUS pre-order bonus.
16. Luke Cage AKA Power Man
17. Mr. Fantastic
18. Ms. Marvel
19. Penance
20. Psylocke — Exclusive to the Wii, PS2 & PSP versions.
21. Sentry — Exclusive to the DS version.
22. She-Hulk — Exclusive to the DS version.
23. Songbird
24. Spider-Man
25. Storm
26. The Thing
27. Thor
28. Venom (Villain)
29. Wolverine

Possibly more to come via DLC, but nothing has been confirmed yet.

Checkout The Comics Console next week for my review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Smash-Up!

Andrew Hurst



  1. eli

    This makes me wish I had something to play these things on.

  2. billy

    I love MUA so I can’t wait to play #2!

  3. InfiniteSpeech

    I’ve been playing UA2 and i’m loving Storm, Iceman, Juggernaut, Luke Cage, Gambit, and Deadpool so far. Cap is decent but pretty much the same from the last game. I like the quick upgrade system and it doesn’t stop the flow of gameplay too much. The graphics are a GREAT improvement overall and I love the artwork for the character stills. I was lucky enough to get my copy signed by two of the creators at the store I went to…we sat around and had a few laughs and it seems that the office favorie is Deadpool! Overall it’a a fun game and pretty fun to play online with a friend or 3!

  4. Billy

    Those pics are great.(especially the one with Bats kicking that dude in the throat)

  5. My team would be:

    I saw a demo of this online and while it looked pretty damn cool, the glitches looked pretty damn bad…

  6. InfiniteSpeech

    I’ve been playing MUA some more and have yet to run into any glitches…yayy me! so far…lol I got the DLC for BAA but have yet to play it..though I already have the FF Combo 40 achievement i’ll need the Perfection one and this seems like the board to get it on! can’t wait to get off work saturday!

  7. […] the fans to not produce anymore bad games, and so far with games like X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, they’ve made good on that promise. But the Iron Man 2 video game is out May 4th, and […]

  8. […] Captain America and the Avengers is a great classic game, but some parts of it are so BAD, it’s hilarious. More Specifically, the dialogue. Somewhere between the Japanese version of the game and the North American version, the dialogue was miss-translated into some super silly banter between hero and villain. As Cap and the Avengers drop in on Whirlwind and his band of rouges, the evil degenerate shouts “Do not disturb us!” to which the Avengers boldly cry “Why should it goes well?!” Truly awesome. […]

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