Cathode Tan - Games, Media and Geek Stuff
logo design by man bytes blog

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Game Play: Marvel Alliance 2 First Look (PS3)

Snagged the last copy Gamestop had of Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 yesterday, and The Girl and I managed to get a couple hours of play down.

The heritage to the older games is tangible - most of the controls and gameplay mechanics are carried over and the first impression if you've played the other games is that this is more or less that game with a highly revamped graphics engine. Even if that's all there was - the title would probably be worth the price of admission. The graphics are top notch, although the camera leaves something to be desired and there are instance where the areas get past all the lovely dynamic lighting by simply being really, really dark.

We're only toe deep into the storyline at this point, but I think this game might set a new bar for franchise related narratives. The cut scenes are actually something you might want to watch rather than just a setup to explain why you're fighting on a bridge/forest/castle/whatever.

The "fusion" mechanic is interesting. Basically it takes the combo system from before and puts it on steroids - the combined attacks are far flashier, much more powerful and there are specific types of fusion attacks for certain situations. Area attacks are good for mobs, directed attacks for bosses and guided for ... well, running around the room a lot. We haven't quite gotten the hang of them yet.

In some ways the mechanic insists upon itself - there are clearly scenarios where you really need to use it. Which is usually fine, but also seems to make boss fights feel a bit prolonged and sometimes a little brutal. This is also because the health gameplay has changed - you can carry two "health tokens" to fully heal or revive one character, and they always seem to show up when you're fully healed.

In general, though, a big thumbs up. Probably post a follow up when we get deeper into the game. Bottom line though - they've kept a solid core from the earlier games, added a lot of fancy graphics, and added not only a few new twists and plenty of material ... but a good storyline to boot. Not a bad formula.

No comments: