Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 Primer Guide

Become the marvel of your friends with our combat tips for Ultimate Alliance 2.

Who hasn't wanted to be a superhero for a day? Well, Marvel Ultimate Alliance enables you to live out that fantasy, and more, by allowing you to take control of an entire squad of superheroes! Of course, between dealing with the whims of the general public and trying to find a spandex suit that fits, a superhero's life isn't all fun and games. Thankfully, our Primer Guide will give you a rundown of the superhero basics, preparing you for almost anything that should come your way.

Here's what you'll find in GameSpot's Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 Primer Guide:

  • Superhero 101: If you're new to Ultimate Alliance, or just looking for some quick tips, our Superhero 101 section will get you up to speed.
  • Combat Strategies: Get the scoop on some advanced combat techniques.
  • Achievements: Learn how to obtain this game's every achievement.
  • Trophies: Want some of those PS3 trophies? Here you go!

Superhero 101

When you get down to it, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 is a beat-em-up. But don't let that fool you: there is a surprising amount of depth to this game, and learning how to combat your opponents properly is an important fundamental to learn.

Assembling Your Team

As a superhero squad, its important that each character carries their weight, and the best way to do this is to form a well-balanced team. For example, Wolverine is a great close-range fighter, so his skills would be complimented by someone such as Captain America, whose fighting-style is more long-range focused. In addition, it's not a bad idea to have a character on your team capable of flight, which we'll discuss more in-depth shortly.

Leveling Up

You gain experience points as you defeat enemies. Collect enough and you'll "level up," which not only increases your superhero's stats, but also allows you to specify exactly which skills you wish to enhance. You can do this in one of two ways: via the pause menu, or in-game by tapping "back" (360) or "select" (PS3).

Co-Op Level-Up When upgrading your skills during co-op, the computer will automatically take control of your character, allowing you to improve your powers without worry of holding the team back too much.

Combat Basics

There are three primary attacks in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2: Attacks, Heavy Attacks, and Charged Attacks. Basic attacks (performed with "A" (360) or "X" (PS3) are quick, but weak attacks that are good for transitioning into a combo…and that's about it. Heavy attacks (performed with "B" (360) or "O" (PS3), on the other hand, are slower, but more powerful. Although simple, each can be used in many ways, which we'll explore more on the next page.

Blocking Blocking is an important, but often forgotten technique to use during combat. Although you can't move while blocking, it makes you invulnerable to most attacks. As such, it's generally best to mix it into your combat routine; that is, attack, block to defend against your opponent's counter, then follow-up with some more physical punishment.

Combat Strategies

Okay, so you know about the basic attacks, but there's much to learn of what can be done with them.

Charge Attacks

Charge Attacks are powerful maneuvers that can be performed by holding the "Heavy Attack" button for several seconds. A glow emits from your character when he's fully charged, so keep an eye out for it. Just bear in mind that you cannot move while charging, so it's generally best to perform this attack while in the air, where you're protected from most enemies.

Combos

By linking together your Attack and Strong Attack in different, you can create several types of combos that have varying effect.

  • Multi-hit Attack: Attack, Attack, Attack
  • Launch: Attack, Attack Heavy Attack (flips the enemy into the air)
  • Trip: Attack, Heavy Attack, Attack (knocks the enemy to the ground)
  • Stun: Attack, Heavy Attack, Heavy Attack (briefly stuns the opponent--the word "stun" appears when successfully executed)

Special Powers

Each character has several unique powers that can used by holding the right-trigger and tapping any of the face buttons. Although you only start the game with two, you'll unlock more as you play through the story mode.

Now you can't just run around performing Special Attacks willy-nilly, as you're limited in how many you can use at a time by the Special Powers meter. Thankfully, its energy slowly replenishes so long as can refrain from using a special attack for a few moments.

Fusion Attacks

Fusion attacks allow you to team-up with another superhero in your squad for a powerful and often devastating attack. Every character combination leads to a unique attack, so it's important to experiment and discover what works best for you.

To initiate a fusion, hold the left-trigger to ready-up, causing a button-icon to appear over each of your teammate's heads. Tap the one of the teammate you wish to partner with to initiate the attack. Subsequently, many of the attacks instruct you to hammer on the Attack button to increase its strength (indicated by a button icon displayed on-screen), while others may put you in direct control, allowing you to steer it with the control-stick--these are known as Targeted Fusions, and are ideal for tackling bosses.

Grabs/Throws

When engaged in close-quarters combat, you are able to grab the enemy using the 'grab' button. Just make sure you're within range, otherwise you'll be left extremely vulnerable.

Once the enemy is in your possession, you have three options: attack him, shove him (by pressing Heavy Attack), or raising him above your head (by tapping Grab again) before tossing him in any direction. Each has their own purpose and can actually be chained together for maximum efficiency. For instance, you may want to quickly attack an opponent once or twice before raising him above your head and throwing him at a group of enemies, inflicting damage en masse. As for the shove…it's only really useful if you need to disengage from the enemy quickly. Just keep in mind that the enemy will eventually break free of your chokehold, so decide quickly.

Tip It's important that you learn to time your grab properly. In general, it's best to grab an enemy only when he's isolated from the rest, that way you're not vulnerable to attack during the actual grab animation. Furthermore, bosses cannot be grabbed, period.

Flying

Many characters have the ability to fly (or something similar) above the playing field. To begin your flight, simply tap "jump" twice. For example, Ice Man can skate around above the heads of your foes, while Spiderman can websling for the same effect. This ability allows them to maneuver around in relative safely--at an increased speed--while getting into position for an attack. In addition, you can adjust the altitude that your character 'flies' at by using the Grab and Jump buttons to drop or gain altitude, respectively.

Tip Instead of performing Charged Attacks on the ground, try using them while in the air. Because you're above the enemies, you can charge your attack with relative safety, before slamming into the ground below.

Weapons

Scattered throughout the levels are objects and weapons that can be picked up and used to augment your physical prowess. Almost anything that can be interacted with can be picked up with the Grab button and thrown at your opponents.

In addition, you'll occasisonally encounter actual weapons. These increase the amount of damage you inflict, but beware that it comes at the expense of not being able to use your special powers.

Xbox 360 Achievements

Note that there are Spoilers on this list.

Achievement NameHow To EarnReward
A House DividedDefend your leaders.20
A More Perfect UnionFinish what you started.10
Above and BeyondCollect 200 Team Boosts.50
All Options on the TableDefend a convoy.20
Alliance RebornBreak and enter.20
Back in ActionPerform 10 revivals.10
Coalition of the WillingCrash a castle.20
Collateral DamageStop a convoy.20
Costume CollectorUnlock 23 alternate costumes.10
Decorated VeteransComplete 24 maps in Co-Op.30
Defending Our Way of LifeRescue a hideout.20
Distinguished ServiceCollect 50 Team Boosts.10
Every Trick in the BookComplete all combat mastery goals listed on the Stats page.30
Experienced AlliesComplete 8 maps in Co-Op.15
Extraordinary HeroismCollect 125 Team Boosts.30
Fallen StarAmbush your opponents.20
Freedom Isn't FreeRaid a hideout.20
Grave and GrowingFree a country.20
Heroes UnitePerform 10 Fusions with another player-controlled hero in a Co-Op game.10
I'm With Captain AmericaDefeat all Act II and III missions as an Anti-Registration team.30
I'm With Iron ManDefeat all Act II and III missions as a Pro-Registration team.30
If You're Not With UsChoose a side10
Immortal HeroicsDefeat 25 maps on Super Heroic or Legendary Difficulty without revival or map reload.50
Iron and BloodFight back an ambush.20
Knowns and UnknownsRepay a favor10
Legendary AllianceDefeat all Act III missions on Legendary Difficulty.30
Legendary SchismDefeat all Act I missions on Legendary Difficulty.20
Legendary WarDefeat all Act II missions on Legendary Difficulty.30
Listening InCollect 30 Audio Logs.20
Melee TrainingComplete all melee training goals listed on the Stats page.10
Mission AccomplishedTopple a dictator.5
Oceans No Longer Protect UsProtect a city.20
Old FriendsHave 10 special conversations between characters with a history while in an HQ map.10
Potential EvidenceCollect 10 Concept Art Bundles in HQ maps.10
Power TrainingComplete all Power training goals listed on the Stats page.15
Powers of TwoPerform all Fusions by combining every available pairing of 24 heroes.50
Rookie SquadComplete a map in Co-Op.10
Seek and DestroyComplete all optional mission objectives.15
Sim AmateurEarn 4 Bronze Medals from Simulator Missions.10
Sim ChampionEarn 12 Gold Medals from Simulator Missions.30
Sim ExpertEarn 8 Silver Medals from Simulator Missions.15
Sim Team-UpEarn Mission Succeeded on a Simulator Mission in Co-Op and return to the Simulator menu.5
Superior IntelCollect 125 Dossiers.20
Tactical TrainingPerform all 5 recommended training Fusions in Latveria.10
Trivia BuffCorrectly answer 15 Trivia questions.10
Trivia GeniusEarn all Trivia rewards.30
Trivia Team-UpScore 30 Trivia Fusions.15
Uncontained AggressionYou or other players on your team must destroy 250 health containers.15
Undefeated HeroesDefeat 12 mission bosses on Super Heroic or Legendary Difficulty without revival or map reload.30
United We StandEarn 20 high scores for each type of Fusion: Targeted, Guided, and Clearing.30

PlayStation 3 Trophies

Note that there are Spoilers on this list.

Achievement NameHow To EarnReward
A House DividedDefend your leaders.Silver
A More Perfect UnionFinish what you started.Bronze
Above and BeyondCollect 200 Team Boosts.Silver
All Options on the TableDefend a convoy.Bronze
Alliance RebornBreak and enter.Bronze
Back in ActionPerform 10 revivals.Bronze
Coalition of the WillingCrash a castle.Bronze
Collateral DamageStop a convoy.Bronze
Costume CollectorUnlock 23 alternate costumes.Bronze
Decorated VeteransComplete 24 maps in Co-Op.Bronze
Defending Our Way of LifeRescue a hideout.Bronze
Distinguished ServiceCollect 50 Team Boosts.Bronze
Every Trick in the BookComplete all combat mastery goals listed on the Stats page.Silver
Experienced AlliesComplete 8 maps in Co-Op.Bronze
Extraordinary HeroismCollect 125 Team Boosts.Bronze
Fallen StarAmbush your opponents.Silver
Freedom Isn't FreeRaid a hideout.Bronze
Grave and GrowingFree a country.Bronze
Heroes UnitePerform 10 Fusions with another player-controlled hero in a Co-Op game.Bronze
I'm With Captain AmericaDefeat all Act II and III missions as an Anti-Registration team.Silver
I'm With Iron ManDefeat all Act II and III missions as a Pro-Registration team.Silver
If You're Not With UsChoose a sideBronze
Immortal HeroicsDefeat 25 maps on Super Heroic or Legendary Difficulty without revival or map reload.Gold
Iron and BloodFight back an ambush.Silver
Knowns and UnknownsRepay a favorBronze
Legendary AllianceDefeat all Act III missions on Legendary Difficulty.Silver
Legendary SchismDefeat all Act I missions on Legendary Difficulty.Bronze
Legendary WarDefeat all Act II missions on Legendary Difficulty.Bronze
Listening InCollect 30 Audio Logs.Bronze
Melee TrainingComplete all melee training goals listed on the Stats page.Bronze
Mission AccomplishedTopple a dictator.Bronze
Oceans No Longer Protect UsProtect a city.Bronze
Old FriendsHave 10 special conversations between characters with a history while in an HQ map.Bronze
Potential EvidenceCollect 10 Concept Art Bundles in HQ maps.Bronze
Power TrainingComplete all Power training goals listed on the Stats page.Bronze
Powers of TwoPerform all Fusions by combining every available pairing of 24 heroes.Gold
Rookie SquadComplete a map in Co-Op.Bronze
Seek and DestroyComplete all optional mission objectives.Bronze
Sim AmateurEarn 4 Bronze Medals from Simulator Missions.Bronze
Sim ChampionEarn 12 Gold Medals from Simulator Missions.Bronze
Sim ExpertEarn 8 Silver Medals from Simulator Missions.Bronze
Sim Team-UpEarn Mission Succeeded on a Simulator Mission in Co-Op and return to the Simulator menu.Bronze
Superior IntelCollect 125 Dossiers.Bronze
Tactical TrainingPerform all 5 recommended training Fusions in Latveria.Bronze
Trivia BuffCorrectly answer 15 Trivia questions.Bronze
Trivia GeniusEarn all Trivia rewards.Bronze
Trivia Team-UpScore 30 Trivia Fusions.Bronze
Uncontained AggressionYou or other players on your team must destroy 250 health containers.Bronze
Undefeated HeroesDefeat 12 mission bosses on Super Heroic or Legendary Difficulty without revival or map reload.Silver
United We StandEarn 20 high scores for each type of Fusion: Targeted, Guided, and Clearing.Silver

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