Developed by n-Space, the Wii version of Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 is a follow-up to the debut instalment of the series, developed by Vicarious Vision and released in 2006. It follows the events of the Secret War and Civil War story arcs published by Marvel Comics in 2004/05 and 2006/07, respectively.
The game begins, then, with Nick Fury leading a team of superheroes to invade the fictional nation of Latveria in order to prevent the nation from supporting a group of supervillains to wreak havoc elsewhere. The mission, however, is not sanctioned by the US government and results in the introduction of the 'Superhuman Registration Act' as a way for authorities to keep track of what they see as "weapons of mass destruction" in human form. The Act polarises superheroes everywhere and you are given the chance to fight as representatives from both sides during the game.
Split between these two sides is a slew of playable characters from the Marvel Universe; encompassing everyone from Captain America to Iron Man and Wolverine, and beyond. Players can take four such characters to confront each mission, swapping between them on the fly. The four characters themselves can only be swapped at select intervals, however, which can prove frustrating if a group isn't faring particularly well on a certain mission. New characters are unlocked as the game progresses, and each brings a unique super power. Regardless of which characters you choose, however, the basic gameplay mechanics remain the same.
The game is played from an isometric point of view and relies on simple objectives - seek and destroy, etc. - which heavily emphasise combat. Each character has access to standard attacks and special super powers - with the former used to build up a meter so the latter can be used with an oft-irksome tap of the D-pad. Unfortunately, neither is particularly satisfying to unleash, especially at the game's outset. Even basic grunt-type enemies require a fair amount of effort to be dispatched, which quickly makes combat feel like more of a button-bashing slog than a series of exciting super-powered showdowns.
As you progress through the game you can allocate points to upgrading characters' powers. While this is a step in the right direction, you will still be required to spend a good deal of time spamming standard attacks before you can even make use of your better powers. It is also possible to combine multiple characters' powers into a single Fusion attack. While these are very powerful and can even heal teammates, they're fiddly to pull off - you need to hold the Z-trigger and shake the Nunchuk to do so - and they require that you spend 'stars' which, once again, can only be acquired by repeatedly performing more menial tasks.
Button-bashing combat is the name of the game, and it isn't particularly satisfying.
Some decent character models and effects, but environments slant towards blandness.
There is little in the way of memorable music, and only a small amount of dialogue.
Playing through both sides of the story won't take long, and there is little replay incentive.
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Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 is a predominantly unremarkable title that fails to hook you in any meaningful way. Combat is an integral part of the game, but it is a largely repetitive and unsatisfying affair due to an over-reliance on under-powered attacks and button-bashing. When combined with uninspiring objectives, there's little incentive to even see the game through to completion, let alone milk it for replay value.
Quite a good review. I like this better than the first one because it actually has a decent story. I like the fact that it revolves around the Civil War sage and not something made up for the games sake. The demo on the 360 version of the game is fun, but I wont be buying it for Wii because the Wii controls are just flick the Wii remote to attack or use the A button. The marks that you have given it might not be as good as the 360 version, since I have not played any gameplay for the Wii version. The characters have most of their roles from the main story, heros on the run, heros trying to arrest them. Plus you get to play as Venom, Green Goblin and in some versions of the game Gene Gray and the Hulk. So I might get the full game, if it is better than the Wii game.
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I found the first one to be too much of a waggle-fest and it really put me off, so considering this didn't look too dissimilar I've steered well clear...
Given its sales, I think most other Wii owners have as well!
I think it's time for n-Space to go back to Nintendo and ask if it can have another stab at Geist...
Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
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