Sunday, September 1, 2019

The Marvelous Duo - Ultimate Alliance 3 - Part 1

A long time ago, in an age before THE QUIET MAN, Acharky and I used to stream together more frequently. Although the footage from those streams is long gone, we had a series we called "The Marvelous Duo", where we played through the Marvel: Ultimate Alliance games together.

We thought after beating MUA2 that there would never be another game in the franchise. Much of both of our surprises and delights, a third game was announced, exclusive to the Nintendo Switch. Just as I was about to approach him to see if he had an interest in reviving our old series, he actually brought the subject up on his own.


For better or worse, this is exactly what I expected from an Ultimate Alliance game developed in the era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's so strange to go through a game like this now, because back when the originals were released, Marvel comics were big, but had yet to reach the broad, mainstream appeal that they do in today's world. Before the movie, most people would be hard-pressed to identify the Guardians of the Galaxy, but now they're household names.

And after going through levels themed on the Guardians/Captain Marvel, Spider-man, and Jessica Jones respective, combined with a plot to defeat Thanos and collect the Infinity Stone, it's not hard to see the MCU influence, among others like Spider-Verse, Venom and the Netflix shows. That said, it's also clear that the game is taking a more comic book inspiration when it comes to the cast's personalities and designs. In addition, one should not overlook the inclusion of Wolverine from the X-Men, and Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel. While they aren't popular movie picks, both of them are fan favorites from the comics.

Though I've never been much of a comic book reader, Marvel lore has always held my interest. As a longtime fan, it's fun to playthrough all of these set pieces and explore them, seeing what references exist and where they choose to pull from. While I don't expect the script to ever become a masterpiece, I look forward to seeing what else they pull from and how they tie it all together.

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