It’s an odd thing when considering re-releases of popular games from the previous generation. This current crop of consoles is truly the “re-release” generation, and while I don’t have an issue with the concept per se, sometimes a release comes around that makes me scratch my head. For the most part, I’m ok with something like God of War 3 or the upcoming Skyrim being remastered and released for these newer, more powerful consoles; after all, these games were incredibly popular in their previous incarnations and will probably sell extremely well with a re-release. The videogames industry is, after all, a business first.
With backwards compatibility now a reality on the Xbox One, we are now getting a chance to enjoy even more last-gen games on our current consoles; and mostly free of charge (provided you already own the games). I found myself in such a situation with my well worn copies of Marvel Ultimate Alliance I and II. I’m a huge comic book and RPG fan, so these two games got a lot of playtime from me. Having sold my Xbox 360, I waited patiently for their release in the Xbox One BC library.
Imagine my pleasant surprise when I learned that MUA I and II were getting a re-release on current-gen consoles. Fantastic, I thought to myself…I can’t wait to see what these remastered versions look like. The two games were certainly not graphical powerhouses in their day, but they weren’t the ugliest games I had ever seen either. I bet a nice coat of HD polish could get both of them looking halfway decent, and I was looking forward to seeing what they looked like.
Imagine my surprise and disappointment when it turned out that these were NOT going to be HD remasters, but simply a straight port of the last-gen games in their entirety. I guess my perfectly good last-gen physical copies were never going to see a BC release now that I was expected to re-buy them just to play them again. Luckily, I was kindly provided with a review copy so i can at least let you know how these games play on our shiny new(ish) consoles.
The good news is that the games are as fun as I remembered, and play just as smoothly. There were no technical hiccups that I could tell, though surprisingly, the games did seems to stutter a big when a large crowd of enemies filled the screen in the midst of all the action. However, I can’t say that I’m too surprised given the fact that these seem to have just been released with no further tweaks at all.
Graphically, there’s not much to say. The games look exactly as they did when I last played them. I supposed I should be thankful that they don’t look or play any worse than normal, since I have been subjected to a couple re-releases that clearly didn’t go through a rigorous QA process.
So there you have it; Marvel Ultimate Alliance I and II are the exact same games that you remember from before, for better or worse. What it essentially comes down to is these two games are finally backwards compatible…they just have to be paid for again. I’ll give three stars for the quality of the games themselves, and dock two for effort.