Sunday, September 20, 2009

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 - PS3

I loved the first Marvel Ultimate Alliance, I really enjoyed the X-men Legends games, 1 and 2. All I can say about MUA 2, is I WANT TO LOVE IT, but has much has I WANT to like this game. All it does is make me very angry. For the following reasons.

Summary, if you are going to make a sequel to a game that is 5 years old. Shouldn't you improve and add more things to the already popular title?! Sure the character models look great, but the level designs...I'm getting ahead of myself.

1) Character Abilities.
In the first MUA, each character had 7 powers and one Super Ability. From these 7 abilities you could equip 4 of them, change them up if needed. If you wanted to use more defensive powers or be more aggressive with your powers. Point being, you could change the combination of all your powers.

In MUA2, you get 4 powers. That's it. No customization of the powers you like. You are stuck with your powers. In most cases, the powers are so similar in amount of damage done. That is really no point to put exp points into powering them up. Instead, find a power that works best for that character and max that one out. For Juggernaut I used 2 of his powers, the stampede ability and his fist spin. The other 2 were kinda pointless, they just did the same thing has the first two.

What they did add was power buffs. Each character gets 6 buffs. You start with 2 and then get another 2 when you decided which side you choose. So you get things like, more focus points, more power to melee attacks. But it just doesn't feel right. Its just pump points into random slot number one. The customization of the characters are lost, and this is just the beginning of what they dumbed down in this game.

2)Character Outfits.
In the first MUA, each character had 4 extra outfits that they could choose from. Besides just looking cool and keeping the gamer interested by having their favorite hero look different. Each outfit gave the character a bonus or two. So Wolverine's Astonishing outfit increased his health regenerating by 2% per second and caused Bleed damage to his opponents. Where the Classic outfit increased his Claw Damage and Critical Strike %. That's just to give an example.

In MUA2, each character gets 1, THAT'S ONE extra outfit. This extra new outfit offers no bonuses. It just looks pretty, or in some cases down right stupid.

3)Character Ability Mapping.
In the first MUA, on the main game screen where you characters were. Your team were in the bottom corner. Here you could see who you were controlling and what powers you had mapped to each button. So you could tell what powers you have to each button by the picture that was displayed in the circle. So Thor's Hammer Toss when mapped to the Triangle button was displayed has a hammer with speed lines. So there was some indication of,"Oh yeah, that's my hammer power". It helped to give the player an idea of what they had in what button.

In MUA2, there is nothing. The character that you are controlling and the powers displayed around him is non existent. Its just the X, triangle, circle, and square. So it makes it kind hard to know, what power I have on what button. So quite often I find myself, hitting pause and going to the character info stage to find out what power I have on what button. What does it do again? So the only way around this is to remember all 96 powers and then remember, which power is on which button. So more often than not, I just end up hitting all the buttons one after the other until I found the one I am looking for. This boggles the mind why they did this. Its so stupid.

4) Level Layout
This is so awful. Don't make levels that it looks like I can go somewhere, then just not make it accessible. This is POOR level design! There's one point where you are fighting outside in Washington and I am next to some stairs. But I can't go up them, or standing next to a alley way, but I can't go down it. If you don't want the player to go in a certain area, then block it off with REAL THINGS. Don't just have that visible wall pop up. This day and age, that should be long gone. Getting to the end of a map that looks like I can keep going, but for some reason, I can't move forward. Apply that to not a giant map, but corridors and hallways. Its Laziness!!!

5)Fight Mechanics
Yes, it is fun to punch things. But in MUA there were enemies that you could only get past, by tripping them, or uppercuts, or stuns. Which was done by hitting a combination of X and O.
Now MUA2 has this, but it doesn't seem to utilize this, its more or less another way to punch your bad guys. It doesn't feel has if it has any effect, if you want you could just punch your way through the whole thing and not use trip,stun or uppercut once.

Where the last one, it felt like it was effective. You weren't getting past these bad guys until you stopped button mashing and actually did some calculated button mashing. Even the upper cut, could be followed up by a jump and hitting the guy in the air in the last one. But nope, not in the new one. Lets get rid of all the tiny tidbits that make up the whole.

6)Team Control
In the first MUA, I could tell my teammates to be aggressive, defensive or neutral. They could attack my target only, or attack any target that appears or only attack when attacked themselves. But NOT in the MUA2, your teammates do whatever they want. Lets take away another one of those little tidbits that make the whole so enjoyable.

7)Equipable Items
In MUA, each character has there own slot for wearing gear that can boost their stats even further. There were even character specific items that boost their specific powers.

In MUA 2, your TEAM gets 3 slots for items. So at first I thought each character got 3 items slots. Which I thought was really good. After playing the game for a bit I realizied that its not individual character slots. Its for the whole team. There are ALOT of items to get with a wide vairety of abillites. BUT YOU CAN ONLY equipe 3 of them. So another little tidbit that pushes the individualism of each character is now gone and it replaced with laziness. Untill I got to the very end of the game. I had gain more Exp badges, I didn't use anything else and I got through the game fine. Which just goes to show that unless your fighting the final boss, you really don't need to adjust them. Also I played the game on Hard, so it wasn't like,"Well you played the game on normal or easy, so of course the boost won't be felt has much".

I have a really good reason has to why they did what they did with this game. It's Activision and there greed to get has much money out of the monkeys has they can.(monkey's is Activisions words, not mine)

Why don't we have more outfits for the characters?!, This is why, Not only do they plan on releasing new characters has DLC. They plan on releasing outfit bundles for the existing characters. Which would explain why they don't have attributes added to the outfits. Its easier and cheaper to add new skins to existing character builds then to add attributes to them which will alter the existing character code causing more problems and testing on their part.

The extra outfit that they do have. I guess I have been out of the loop of comic's for too long, but they look awful. I played the game has Gambit, juggernaut, iceman and jean grey. And all their extra outfits made them look like they should be in some kind of S&M porn.

Same goes for the Bland and uninspired levels. So they can release more levels that fans will recognize from the comics, such has Asteroid M, Gesnosha or Atlantis. The first one had great levels. This one is so...just boring.

What I don't understand is the reviews that I keep reading and listening too. Critics, saying ," There's nothing new, but if you like the first, you will like this one"

FUCK YOU!!, the first one and this piece of shit is like comparing, "If you like eating pancakes, then you enjoy eating shitcakes!" The first one and this crap, doesn't even compare.

I really , REALLY!!! wanted to like this game. I was excited about it, couldn't wait to play it. Then the game started and it didn't feel right, the style, the gameplay, the customization. It was like I was waiting for the good parts to start happening and they never did.

If you watch all the videos of this game, the big and ONLY thing they really are pushing here is the FUSION POWERS!!. Each character can combine his power with all the other characters. Some are cool, others are lame. It is a nice addition. Again, adding one thing doesn't mean you take away all the other stuff.

I am a marvel fan, I wanted to like this game. I really like all the obscure characters they added to the roster, THAT I really enjoyed and controlling your favourite hero or villain is FANtisfying. But the shit and or lack of greatness that they removed or replaced with a half ass attempt is just a slap in the face. This is gonna be one of those games where they will keep releasing all this extra DLC and fans will buy it. Infact there are probable characters that I will buy. I really like nightcralwer and colossus. And if they release those, I would probable buy them. But this game is utter and disappointing shit.

Is it fun to run around and punch and kick and blast the baddies with your favourite Marvel person, yes, but not like this. One does not warrant the other no matter how much I hit the X button. I downright disagree with every site out there that says that this is a GOOD game. Fun in parts,YES, but overall, SHITTERY.

To make myself feel better about this overpriced purchase. I justify it by saying I paid $80 for Batman(Well worth every penny) and I payed $38.83 for Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2. This game is sad, it makes me sad. I was expecting so much more and instead got a cold plate of leftovers.



Just For Laugh said...

I like Marvel heroes too, nice review man.

p.maestro said...

nice honest review darryl!

yeah they robbed the rpg element of the game. i was SUPER disappointed because the last game you could customize your team in all kinds of fun costumes and play all over the universe. china, atlantis, asgard, spacestations and cities, and even hell. this game you got wakanda and iceland. and those only come at the end of the game!!!

and the levels were really really short in mua2... all those hidden collectibles were SUPER EASY to find, there was no challenge at all. unlocking costumes, (defeat 50 enemies!) then they'd throw 20 enemies at you at a time, you use two fusions and you got your costume. i pretty much have everything in this game in less than 20 hrs. 80 hrs later in the first mua and i still haven't managed to unlock the silver surfer (who is an awesome secret unlock character because he actually exists - not like, Nanite Fury)

you're absolutely right, they dumbed down the customizing so it's been reduced to button mashing. when you play a second time and choose the other side, you keep the "status boost" things you equipped... you know what i mean? how you've got 2 for pro and 2 for anti. so choose pro and only use those two, but beat the game and restart with current stats and when you choose anti you now have all 4. that kind of thing. but whatever. on my second playthrough i haven't bothered customizing Anything. it's a joke. the most control you have over your character is "do i want the spinning punch to do 60 dmg or 80?"

i'm going to sell this game back to EB while it's still new.

they could release my dream DLC packs of X-Force, Young Avengers, and even Namor, Nova, and all the NPC's from the game. i just don't care. i'm going back to finish MUA

Blake said...

yeah, I seriously am thinking about taking it back aswell. Where EB has the deal if you beat the game or don't like it within the first week you can trade it back for the full price that you paid.

But, yeah, is NOT the game it should be. Horrible.