Ultimate (Comics) Alliance!



Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 dropped today, which probably gives you a good idea of how I’m planning on spending the rest of my evening.

But while I’m on XBox Live complaining over a headset mic to Kevin about how my dream-team of the Punisher and the Warriors Three continues to elude me, why don’t you head over to ComicsAlliance to see my brand new article about The Best (And Worst) Marvel Video Game Team-Ups!

Much like the article about Batman games, this one brought back a lot of fond memories, but if I’m honest with you guys, I invested way more of my childhood into Marvel’s console offerings. Whether it was a weekend in middle school spent trying to tackle the friggin’ impossible levels of Spider-Man and the X-Men: Arcade’s Revenge or the hours I spent with friends at Marvel vs. Capcom 2 for Dreamcast (in a steady rotation with Power Stone and Smash Bros. Melee), or even getting a more technologically inclined friend to rip the soundtrack out of the PSX Fantastic Four game that I was one of seven people who played and burn it to a CDR for me because I just couldn’t believe how odd it was.

Ah, memories.

So check it out, and if you’ve got a favorite Marvel Team-Up from the world of video games, let ’em know. Especially if you can confirm that Spider-Man: Friend or Foe is as bad as I’ve heard.

45 thoughts on “Ultimate (Comics) Alliance!

  1. I spent entirely too much time across the turn of the century playing a video game called Spider-Man Pro Skater 2.

    …well, that’s what I called it, anyway.

    Spider-Man’s mask, up there. Frowny face.


  2. “Whether it was a weekend in middle school spent trying to tackle the friggin’ impossible levels of Spider-Man and the X-Men: Arcade’s Revenge”

    Replace weekend with “weeks because I asked for it based on the first level” and you have my experience with that one.

  3. Now that I’ve read the piece, I should also comment on how much I enjoyed the team-ups in Punisher. I really liked having Fury and Widow as AI partners, especially since I had no idea they were in it at all. Also, Iron Man’s cameo may be my favorite use of him ever.

  4. I’ve heard that Ultimate Alliance 2 has a severely reduced number of playable characters and they reduced it even further by making some of the characters included on the disk only unlockable by paying extra for “downloadable” content. Between that and the fact that it’s based on Civil War (insert retching sound effect here) I’ve decided to wait until I can pick it up for under $10.

    And everyone always forgets my favorite Marvel Team-Up game: Spider-Man and Captain America in Dr. Doom’s Revenge. A proto-fighting game from around 1985 that featured the two heroes fighting just about every villain in the Marvel universe in one-on-one fights.

  5. I swear I’m one of the only people who kind of liked the characters in Marvel Nemesis. Kind of wished a couple of them made into further in the comics.

    I blame Jae Lee mostly.

  6. Great, now jazz-funk will be all I hear in my head whenever I read Fantastic Four.

    This can only mean one thing: I will be reading a lot more Fantastic Four.

  7. Y’know, whenever I played crossover games like Marvel Vs Capcom, or Capcom Vs SNK, I always felt compelled to make mixed company teams.

    One of my friends liked to make themed teams himself, like sticking Charlie, Guile and Captain America on the same team. He asked me if I thought the two Street Fighters would be pleased to go into battle with Captain America.

  8. Well, MUA 2 is also a lot shorter play than the first one. It really seems like they nerfed the character selection as well as the costume changes you could have.

    It’s still a fun play, mind you, but I’d honestly rather see MUA 1 redone with the graphics/combat effects of MUA 2.

  9. Captain America and the Avengers is the source of most of my good feelings towards Wonder Man. He would drop off those hoverbikes and Cap would get so freaking pumped! “THANK YOU, WONDER MAN!!”

  10. I was a huge fan of the X-men Legends games (which have been replaced by ultimate alliance). The first XML game was so enjoyable for me that I would play till 3 AM then realize how late it was and grab 3 hours of sleep before work. It just reminded me a ton of the X-men arcade game, except you could use powers whenever you wanted, which made it awesome.

  11. You didn’t mention some of the hilarious Engrish dialogue in the 1991 Avengers arcade game. Not quite “all your base belong to us”, but close.

    “Why should it goes well?”
    “You will be the one escaping!”
    “What an evil thing you done!”
    “Don’t disturb us!”

    Plus of course you get to fight Mech Taco underwater.

  12. I’ll agree with the general “meh” reaction that MUA 2 seems to have generated.

    Cap was my favorite character in the original MUA, but he (and his shield) have been so depowered in the the second game, he’s no longer as fun.

    On the other hand, Luke Cage is a blast to play this time, picking up cars and hurling them at the bad guys all the while shouting, “Sweet Christmas!”

  13. Speaking of bizarre and inexplicable teamups, the next ‘Vs’ fighting game will be Tatsunoko Vs Capcom. Tatsunoko, for the unaware, is the japanese anime company responsible for Gatchaman, Gold Lightan, Tekkaman, and Casshern, among others.

  14. I wasted SO many quarters of Captain America & the Avengers. Every time I would die, I’d hear Cap going “AMERICAN STILL NEEDS YOUR HELP!” and I’d be all “Okay, Cap! Hang on!” and then he’d shout “OKAY, GO!” and the world was good.

    Also, I had no idea about the What If option of Spider-Man. Makes me wish I had a PS1 or PS2 to play it again.

  15. That Fantastic Four music is just odd :)

    “’ve heard that Ultimate Alliance 2 has a severely reduced number of playable characters and they reduced it even further by making some of the characters included on the disk only unlockable by paying extra for “downloadable” content. ”

    MUA had 25 playables on the next gen consoles, MUA2 has 24. Also MUA also had downloadable content, the X-Box could DL eight extra players.

  16. I think one of the stranger Marvel Team Ups had to be the side-scrolling beat ’em up arcade Spider-Man game Sega produced. Which had Spidey team up with the Black Cat (Ok), Hawkeye (uh…ok), and the Sub-Mariner (WTF?).

    Cap and the Avengers…good times. “I CAN’T MOVE!”

  17. Spider-Man and the X-men in: Arcade’s Revenge was my first game I got with my Super Nintendo. and based on that, nearly my last. Thank GOD I got Starfox a week later.

  18. I normally never do this, but Konami X-Men.

    Konami X-Men
    for 6 freaking players.

    I hate to say it, but that piece is a gigantic failure without this arcade classic. It’s THE superhero videogame teamup game.

    It’d be like writing a piece about the worst Superman video games and failing to mention Superman 64.

  19. So… i just watched MARVEL SUPER-HEROES: WAR OF THE GEMS… and it is either a ripoff of, or rips off X-MEN: MUTANT APOCALYPSE. the hulk’s animations are exactly the same as the Beast’s, and Dark Vision (hehehe, darkvision) moves and attacks in exactly the same manner as Exodus did.
    Kind of awesome, that they got two games out of one set of animations.

  20. The best part about that Spidey/Black Cat/Hawkeye/Namor game was that Namor could shoot like electric blasts for some reason.

    My personal favorite Marvel game is Spiderman 2, though I really liked Ultimate Alliance and the PS1 Spiderman.

  21. I hate to say it, but that piece is a gigantic failure without this arcade classic. It’s THE superhero videogame teamup game.

    Cool comment, bro!

  22. In one of his first Silver Age appearances it was established that Namor has electrical powers similar to those of an electrical eel. (Never mind that eels don’t actually do that.) It has rarely been mentioned since, but it does pop up occasionally.

  23. Fun Fact: Greg Pak (he of Incredible Herc fame) wrote the “Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects” comic book series.

    Even More Fun, But Not Quite As Believable Fact: It’s actually pretty good.

  24. I didn’t think that FF music was inappropriate… in fact it seemed the perfect accompaniment for whatever the heck kind of shoulder-swingin’, chest-thrustin’ strut Mister Fantastic was trying to pull off there… or should I call him Mister FUNKtastic?

    Also, I’ve got to find a way to make my battery-powered electronic devices indicate they’re finished charging by saying “HEALTH RESTORED!!!”

    Frankly, from the look of it, you’d think this game was a beat-em-up spinoff of “Clay Fighter” that got repurposed at the last second. “She-Hulk! …versus… Bad Mr. Frosty!”

  25. And yet, Kevin, that list doesn’t include the Questprobe games, and if only someone had the power to add it to that list, all would be right with the world. Alas, there’s absolutely no way to change that list! Is there? IS THERE???

  26. I’m pretty sure Spidey: F or F was another completely generic videogame and then they suddenly aquired the license. There’s nothing in it that would suggest a Marvel game otherwise.

  27. I considered playing Friend of Foe, despite its rep, because it had Iron Fist and Silver Sable in it for a long time, but fought it. Then they added Iron Fist to MUA2 and I felt like I was off the hook (I really shouldn’t indulge my Silver Sable fetish).

  28. I remember when I was a kid I used to get together with my friends and play War of the Gems on my SNES; it was awesome, though most of the times we ended up using Wolverine or Spider-Man and forgot about the rest of the characters…those were good times.

  29. Wasn’t the Fall of the Mutants actually based on a very roundabout way on the FotM storyline?

    I’m about two and a half hours into Ultimate Alliance 2 and find myself tremendously disappointed with the presentation, voice acting, and story. Gameplay’s fine, though.

    The writing team: Evan Skolnick, Ron Marz, and Todd Dezago. Because nothing says let’s adapt Secret War and Civil War like three guys who haven’t worked in the mainstream Marvel universe for over a decade. And another guy named Alex Karr. The last game had at least CB Cebulski consulting. WHOSE RESPONSBILE THIS?

  30. I used to like playing the Punisher arcade game when I was a young’un- it was basically a Final Fight ripoff- instead of Mike Haggar and those other two guys Beating up the Mad Gear gang, it featured the Punisher and Nick Fury fighting their way to the Kingpin. But I liked it.

  31. I was PROMISED that if I pre-ordered MUA2 from Gamestop, I’d get Juggernaut Bitch as an unlockable; not only am I still hanging on that, I can’t even unlock Thor, my favorite from the first MUA!

  32. I love Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 on 360 like a fat kid loves cake. After this and Arkham Asylum, they can just stop making video games for a while, as far as I’m concerned (well, okay, Brutal Legend can still come out, because that will probably my next favorite game of ever in a couple weeks).

  33. “X-Men II: The Fall of the Mutants for PC. Pretty unique.”

    I didn’t know it existed until a couple weeks ago. I kinda want to play it, because I have horrible OCD when it comes to the X-Men.