Count me among those that squealed with glee when Marvel: Ultimate Alliance was announced for Steam. Truth be told, I probably did enough squealing for the rest of the world by my lonesome, still mourning the loss of my ultra-rare Gold Edition disc from years ago. Look, times were rough, and I reached that important point in adulthood where I needed to prioritize – did I want to eat that week or did I want the ability to have an epic Magneto-Dr.Strange team-up? As you would imagine, I spent a long time mulling that one over.
What followed, of course, was the point where DLC became no longer available for purchase and copies of Gold Edition became roughly the same price as a kidney. That’s when I looked into the long-forgotten PC version, entering a period of obsession that felt as if it lasted months. In my younger days, I had these phases rather frequently, forgoing anything anything game (and often life) related to lose myself in a particular title. The mod community certainly helped in that. No longer was I concerned about playing as Nightcrawler, no, I wanted to go bigger. Similar to my adventures with Skyrim, I had eventually tinkered with the game so much that it barely resembled its original form, overloading it with skins and extra characters to the point of non-functioning. By the end of my journey, I had a sturdy roster of Lara Croft, Raiden, Goku, and The Punisher. Doctor Doom was screwed. It was too beautiful to exist.
The next squeal from me was one of horror when I did download that Steam version, eager to revisit my old adventures. That was… a mistake. At launch, the game was about as equally functional as my borked modded version, unable to somehow handle the rigors of a 5 year old game. It was an overpriced cash grab, for sure, though I’d argue a broken version of the first game is still probably more desirable than a fully-working version of its sequel. Apples and mildly-rotted oranges, really. If you can find the older PC version… legally, I’d love for more to be exposed to the wonders of an overly modded MUA. Last I heard, someone finally got Chun Li working, so there’s that. For everyone else, eyeing the Steam version without any other options, there are better ways to spend $40.
How much is Gold Edition going for on eBay nowadays? Hey, maybe you’ll get my copy. You’ll know the one. I wrote my initials on the disc in Sharpie because I’m a complete monster.