The first Marvel: Avengers Alliance is one of my favourite comic book based mobile games of all-time, so when I heard the 3D sequel to the 2D turn-based RPG was soft-launched down under, I got real Australian, real fast.

With more than 70 million players worldwide, plain old 2D Avenger’s Alliance is the most successful social game Disney has published (the press release said), so it’s no wonder the basic idea stays the same for the sequel.

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Players form a team of Marvel heroes (and just Marvel characters this time, no player-created S.H.I.E.L.D. agent tagging along). Those heroes then embark on a series of story missions, taking turns trading blows with baddies. Each hero and villain is of a certain type (brawlers, blasters and such), which are weak or strong against the other types. Building a diverse team and knowing who to bring into battle when is the key to success.

The most obvious difference between the first and second games is the visuals. The 2D sprites of Avengers Alliance are lovely, but they don’t make for very dynamic encounters. Avengers Alliance 2 makes excellent use of the third dimension with camera shifts, perspective changes and impressive special effects. Everyone’s still waiting their turn to take a swing, but damn if those swings aren’t impressive.

This new perspective unfortunately comes with a new way to pay to add characters to your roster. Where the original game had players accumulating points and selecting which heroes to add to their roster manually, Avengers Alliance 2 goes the random collectible character machine route, with players earning (or purchasing) random chances and hoping for the best.

That’s the only reason I have Yellowjacket on my team. Stupid random chance.

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Disappointing, but not a deal-breaker. Avengers Alliance 2 has plenty of potential, and the fact that the developers seem to be having a lot of fun putting it all together is pleases me.

See what they did there?

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Marvel: Avengers Alliance 2 is currently being tested in select regions, including Australia, where I am located as far as my second iTunes account is concerned, and Denmark—nobody would ever believe I was from Denmark. Folks can read more about the game and pre-register for an exclusive hero when the game launches on iOS and Android over at the official website. G’day!

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