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A Look at Ultimate Alliance 2

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It's no secret. I love comic books. I love video games. When you get chocolate in my peanut butter, I'm in nerdvana.

I absolutely LOVED X-Men Legends. X-Men Legends 2, not so much. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance falls somewhere in the middle.

Ultimate Alliance 2 beats them all. What put this game and the first Legends title at the top of the list? Character switching. In a game with such an amazingly diverse cast, you want to try out and use as many characters as possible. The second Legends and UA1 both penalized you for switching. Your "bench" players did not gain any experience, leaving your team seriously underpowered when you swapped in a new member.

Not so in UA2. I loved being able to switch members on the fly, tweaking my lineup for the mission at hand.

The game follows the Secret War and Civil War storylines fairly closely to a point, then it splits off on its own insane tangent, to give everyone a happy ending. Yes, much like the Civil War comics, you must choose a side. I won't get into too much story detail, but you basically have to pick between Captain America and Iron Man, who find each other on opposite sides of the conflict.

Choosing Captain America's Anti-Registration side gives you exclusive access to Luke Cage and Iron Fist, while Iron Man's Pro-Registration gives Mr. Fantastic and Songbird. WHICH SUCKS! Well, for me, at least. I love the B-List heroes, and Iron fist, as well as the old-school Thunderbolts like Songbird are near the top of the list. Not being able to have them on the same team hurts. However, starting a New Game+ allows you to use the full roster, regardless which side you choose. Yes, you can cause a paradox by having Captain America fight himself.

Which leads me to one of the negative points of the game. Currently, you can only start a New Game+ on the highest difficulty setting. This doesn't bother me, as I have no interest in playing through the lower difficulties with a fully pimped-out party. However, many players don't like this. Additionally, there are some glitches to be found, but nothing terrible. More annoying than game-breaking.

Another thing that gets on my nerves a bit is the Alternate Costumes. In previous games, characters had 3 alts to unlock. In UA2, each character only has one, due to development constraints. Which is fine, as long as they're all worth it. Some like Spider Man, Storm and Gambit are awesome. However, the Secret War and Ultimate alts for some characters are just disappointing.

WTB yellow silk shirt and tiara for Power Man.

All in all, the game is FUN. There's tons of nods to the comics to keep fans interested, while still being accessible enough for non-fans. The game has TONS of playtime, between the 2 story paths, simulation missions and unlockables.

Some character recommendations:

Luke Cage: Very underrated. A great "tank" character in the early game. Can take a beating while dishing out respectable damage.
Ms Marvel: Her energy absorption powers make her nearly invulnerable to some enemies.
Iron Fist: Made of win. Great power damage, and the only character in the game with a group heal. Almost essential for higher difficulties.
Wolverine/Deadpool: Characters with regenerating health make Legendary a little easier.
Green Goblin: His glider is almost unstoppable. Learn to master it.
Jean Grey: Remember the end of the third X-Men movie, where Jean just disintegrates everything? Yeah. Totally OP.

THOR: The God of Freaking Thunder. The game gets 10x more fun once you unlock him.

DLC Wishlist:

Moon Knight


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