This Week In Co-op: Marvel Ultimate Alliance
It takes two, bab-y
Going through stacks of games for something old to play with someone new can deliver up some awesome experiences. But, in order to mix things up in the replay department I tend to suggest a cranked-up difficulty, which was the case recently with Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. With Marvel: UA, the hard difficulty mode has to be unlocked by completing the game, and is probably not explored by many people.
To begin with, my co-op partner, Arttemis and I hit a few snags in gameplay, since running in superpowers blazing isn't necessarily a good idea on hard mode. We decided to take a step back from open battle, and focused on sticking together to defeat one target at a time. We quickly became proficient at Doom-Bot-bashing, and moved through the first few areas without many issues.
Then we have to rescue Dum Dum Dugan, and our plan fell to pieces. A distress call comes in to Stark Tower, the Superhero Alliance headquarters for the time being, disguised as a normal transmission. It's then our mission to go to the mobile "Omega base" to find out what's up. In our party at the time, Nightcrawler (as played by Arttemis), Deadpool (as played by me), Magneto for power, and Iceman for status effects. We meet up with Dum Dum Dugan, and thus begins our troubles.
Escort missions tend to be frustrating when it's your duty to keep someone alive, and their death equals instant failure for you and company. Now, when your escort lives up to the name "Dum Dum" by running head first into battle only to be quickly decommissioned, the frustration is overwhelming. We first tried our aforementioned award winning tactic, running in to kill one enemy at a time, but somehow Dum Dum Dugan was always on the front line asking to be maimed.
Doom's got nothin' on Dum Dum
For our second tactic I switched from Deadpool to Magneto, to block the entrances with a larger body so Dum Dum couldn't rush in by himself, preserving as much of his health as possible. This got us to about the third room, but still ended in failure. Playing by the games rules, we even tried telling him to hang back using the in-game commands, but they had no effect on the stubborn old man. Needless to say, we failed quite often with the message "Dum Dum Dugan has died" flashing on our screens prompting mild profanity to fly over our headsets.
Just when we were considering starting the whole game over with the difficulty on normal, Arttemis tried something insane. When we defeated at the first "Super Soldier" miniboss, Nightcrawler (Arttemis) teleported through a wall that led us to the end of the first escort area. Having Deadpool in the party, I quickly followed suit with a teleportation of my own, leaving Dum Dum to a cleared room with no enemies to drain his pathetic life bar. We proceeded to clear out the rest of the enemies without the cowboy-hat-toting tag along, before triggering a cut-scene which brought Dum Dum back up to our position.
The rest of the level had a few small quirks, since we managed to glitch the game to avoid overall Dum issues. Such as the version of Dum Dum Dugan with no health bar randomly joining us in battle to be quickly shut down with a game-ending failure. Eventually we figured out how to get beyond his reach again and again to keep the silly old man alive, triumphing over the Dum Dum Dugan escort through cooperation, creativity and the power of teleportation!
- this week in co-op