A quick way to get my attention? Name-drop Marvel Ultimate Alliance. Not only is it the last good Marvel game I can think of (seriously, why?) but it was also, thanks to some bundle magic, the first-ever game I owned for the Xbox 360. I’ve got a soft spot.
So when Activision announced it was updating and re-releasing the games—bringing Ultimate Alliance 2 to PC for the first time, in the process—I felt equal parts excited and nostalgic.
The perfect combination for a disaster scenario.
Yes, the ports are a complete tire fire. Don’t even touch this one with a ten-foot pole, lest the pole burst into flames too.
There are a couple of issues here. First of all, the games weren’t retrofitted with improved controller compatibility. Unless you’re still using a wired Xbox 360 controller, you can expect to contort your hands into all sorts of weird shapes in order to play—the Dash move is mapped to the Back button (or whatever the button with two squares is called on the Xbox One).
Even worse, Ultimate Alliance 2’s audio sounds like it took a break to make popcorn and bacon. Which is to say, there’s rampant hissing, popping, and crackling to deal with. Kotaku has a video if you want to hear the damage for yourself, though make sure to turn down your speakers.
One Steam review says “Even Arkham Knight was less messed up,” and I can’t disagree. These are the sorts of ports I would’ve expected back in 2006/2007 when the games originally came out (during the PC’s darkest days). In 2016? Embarrassing. Worse still: The fact Activision is charging $40 per game for the privilege.