In the wake of Disney's purchase of Marvel, we thought it would be fun to brainstorm some fantasy Disney/Marvel ultimate alliances. How about The Hulk, Thor, Simba from Lion King and Ariel's dad, King Triton, from The Little Mermaid? That would be a pretty useful team, wouldn't it? Or how about The Fantastic Four and The Incredibles? Imagine the damage those nine would cause. The possibilities are as endless as they are silly.
For now, though, we're going to have to make do with Marvel-only teams, in the fun four-player action RPG dungeon crawler Ultimate Alliance 2, the sequel to 2006's original. But still, the possibilities for combining superheroes, famous and obscure, feels just as endless, and just as silly, as they do in our fantasy team-up.
This is in no way a criticism. In fact, what's best about MUA2 is trying out all the Fusion Powers, the game's headline new feature. It's a simple but fun mechanic. You kill enemies, usually generic Latverian soldiers or robots, and fill up a gauge on the bottom right of the screen. Once done, pressing the left trigger will display a face button above the head of each of your three team mates, as well as a one word indication of the kind of Fusion Power that combination will perform. Targeted, for example, is good for doing damage to a single enemy; Clearing is great for spreading damage in a radius; and Guided allows you to control the carnage.
Each Fusion Power is different. Well, a lot of them are kind of the same - most of The Thing's Fusion Powers involve him tearing a lump out of the ground - and they'll all get the job done, but finding out for yourself just what cool animations the developer has drummed up for your favourite partnerships is all part of the fun.
Because there are so many playable Marvel characters in the game, over 24 in fact, there are absolutely tons of Fusion Power combinations to discover. James' l33t maths skills tell us that this means "there's quite a lot". Neon's super l33t maths skills tell us the correct method is 23 + 22 + 21 + 20 and so on. Tom's speedy adding skills tell us the total number of different Fusion powers possible is 276. Is he right?
Either way, there are loads. And the sheer number of them in many ways makes up for the game's obvious issues. It's hard to complain too much about the repetitive combat, the generic enemies, the bugs and the at times psychotic camera when you're busy enjoying every Marvel fan boy's wet dream. Play with three other Marvel fanboys either on the same console or over Xbox LIVE or PSN, and, well, you'll probably want to burn your sheets, not wash them.