12.13.2009

Marvel Alliance 2 PS3 Online Connection Problems, Errors



Marvel Alliance is a pretty fun beat-em-up, to which I would like to append this phrase "especially when playing with friends." The problem is that the online co-op mode has a ton of connection problems and really stupid errors. I feel like I paid good money to participate in a commercial beta ...

Here's are the three worst things I experienced after about a week of playing online co-op; nevermind that most of it was spent trying to get connected with my friend's PS3.

Read about them after the jump.

Problem: "unable to join game session", i.e. connecting with other players behind a router/firewall.
Solution: Port forward UDP 3074.

Even if you port forward the standard PS3 ports: TCP 5523; UDP 3478, 3479, 3658, 5523; and can achieve NAT2 status on the PS3 connection test, you may still have problems. I had DMZ and UPnP enabled for my PS3 (as did my friend), but we couldn't connect reliably (maybe one out of 20 tries if lucky). The only port that got UPnP'ed consistently was 3658. After much Googling, and not finding anything on this, I decided to look at my router connection logs and deduced that 3074 was the port being used for this game. After my friend and I both forwarded it, we no longer had issues starting a game together.

Problem: Unlocking new characters may de-sync the game.
Solution: facepalm and reload online game immediately! Don't be stubborn like us.

I played 2 maps on my own before I just joined my friend's game; using my game file as the initial save for myself (to transfer my stats). We now play solely off his save game. I managed to grab one M'Kron crystal in those two maps, so when we got to his fourth crystal, it was my fifth. Jean Grey unlocked for me, great. This is where great laughter/sadness ensued. Our game screens desynced, while our controllers remained synced. We were both wondering why the other person was running backwards or into walls or attacking nothing. This was because I had already moved to the next level, while my friend had not. We thought that reaching another checkpoint would re-sync us, but that would not happen. We stubbornly took turns trekking to the boss stage, and voice guided each other to victories over 2 instances of the same boss (hold up, hold left, attack, etc.), and still no luck. Give up.

Problem: End of level cut scenes lead to disconnections before autosave has a chance to kick in at the next level.
Solution: Cry, then replay from last autosave to resync game progress.

More than once, we would clear a level, only to disconnect on the cut scene. Me, being the client would get booted from the game before I load the next level and have a chance of auto/manual save. My friend would save the game, but because my latest progress was the previous auto save (before the level boss), upon rejoining his save file, I was told that I would only save collectibles, not game progress because my file was behind. This led to 2 frustrating things: my friend would have to wait while I re-destroy the boss we just beat, I lose out on the "beat this map via co-op" stat.

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