|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: n-Space||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sep. 15, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Auto targeting works well provided your expectations are reasonable. More often than not I found myself swinging and firing at who I was aiming for. There were certainly a few instances that the targeting system has me doing my best three-part combo into thin air, whiffing past a no name grunt a scant quarter inch away. During the few seconds my hero of choice was practicing his shadowboxing, I couldn't help but wonder what thoughts were running through my enemy's head. I suspect it was "I expected to be dead by now, how am I still alive and why is Iron Man attacking the air around me?"
As mentioned earlier, and before wrapping this review up, I need to get something off my chest. There is a long standing issue I have had since playing the original Ultimate Alliance on the Xbox 360 a couple years ago - bear that in mind as I may be alone on this. It bothers me how there are only a handful of "types" of characters with few exceptions. Wolverine and The Hulk both have devastating melee attacks and can absorb damage. Most range attacks accomplish the same thing and damage; only varied in their visual effects. It's enough to make it feel like there are really only three different characters re-skinned several times over. I'd love an option to turn off "balancing" and allow the truly dominant superheroes to play like it while the less powerful have a harder time of it. Let a punch from The Hulk do tremendous damage while Iceman's regular blows do much more moderate damage. I understand why characters are balanced, but it would be fun to be able to turn it off for more realistic gameplay well, realistic as far as Marvel mythology goes.
That rant out of the way, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 for the Nintendo DS is a fun game that has the most to offer when played cooperatively. The biggest flaw, beyond the minor aforementioned annoyances and distractions, is when you boil it all down this is a game intended for the consoles and that is where it excels. The best of the best DS games are generally those intended and created just for the system, a la The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. Still, if you don't have a console or prefer to take your superhero action with you, this is a solid pickup. But, if you have an Xbox 360 or PS3, you may want to consider spending the extra $20 for the console version - it's worth the difference.
CCC Freelance Writer