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Friday, September 18, 2009 

Civil War finds its way into the Marvel Ultimate Alliance game

It's sad to discover that one of the worst, most politicized crossover storylines in Marvel's output has now been used as the basis for Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2:
The story is based on the comic book series Civil War. A deadly explosion caused by a superhuman forces the U.S. government to pass a Superhuman Registration Act, requiring beings with super powers to register with the government or face jail. The law drives a wedge between heroes, splitting them into groups led by the pro-government Iron Man and resistance leader Captain America.

As the story progresses, players must choose to team up with Iron Man or Captain America. The decision determines which heroes players unlock in the early stages of the game. An alleigance to Iron Man provides the services of Songbird and Mister Fantastic, while Captain America enlists the help of Luke Cage and Iron Fist. The premise of forcing players to pick a side sounds promising, until you realize this division only last for a couple missions. It would have been more interesting had developers Vicarious Visions provided a decision with greater impact.
Wow, so now, the already tiresome notion of superheroes fighting against each other, far more than the real supervillains of their shared universe, has been forced into the video game world, not to mention Civil War's thinly-veiled attack on the Patriot Act? Even the series of Street Fighter clones made by Capcom during the 1990s weren't this pretentious. And even if the division only lasts for a couple missions, which I assume means at least 6, that's still too much because of the political allegories. This is no improvement over the horrible crossover comic it's based on, and is an insult to its very subjects and to Marvel fans. Why encourage the players to fight each other and have one hero attack another over political disagreements? If there's any computer role-playing game that should be avoided, it's this one. What next, will there come a toy line based on Civil War? I hope that Disney Corp's buying Marvel Entertainment will prevent that, but there's no garuntee.

Until now, most video/computer games based on superheroics usually left politics at the door. Now, they're starting to seep in, which is no way to sell a game I thought was meant to convey simple escapism and entertainment.

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Oh, well, back to the NES port of Captain America and the Avengers for me.
John K. | 09.18.09 - 12:18 pm | #

While I tend to be fine with politics in my media as long as it doesn't overwhelm the story, I wasn't happy the Civil War story was made into a video game. I was happy that at least the other media adaptations of comics avoided a lot of what was wrong with Marvel/DC today. Apparently that's not true anymore.

I just hope DC Comics doesn't have the boneheaded idea to adapt Identity Crisis as a straight to video story. Now that would really cause problems!
Tricia S. | 09.18.09 - 5:18 pm | #

Oh, that would be fun, "Level 1, Character: Dr. Light, Mission: rape Sue Dibny."
John K. | 09.19.09 - 4:26 am | #

Well put John K. Not to mention how much of the audience are people who read DC Comics when the heroes were still heroic but haven't picked up a comic book in many years. They are rightfully going to raise a s*@!storm if they ever watch it. Especially if they pick it up for their kids thinking "Hmm, it's the Justice League my kids will love this!"
Tricia S. | 09.19.09 - 10:53 pm | #

Or the 2003 animated series and their version of Dr. Light.

"I wonder what he's up to in the regular comics. Hmm...


He did WHAT?!"
John K. | 09.20.09 - 5:30 pm | #

I meant the 2003 Teen Titans animated series. Sorry about that.
John K. | 09.20.09 - 5:31 pm | #

I wonder how many years it'll be now before Dr. Light turns up in the DCU alive again? After that Green Arrow issue in 2005 where he gloated about his crime against Sue Dibny, that must've really been what buried any chances of using him further.
Avi Green | Homepage | 09.21.09 - 2:35 pm |

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