Marvel: Ultimate Alliance Reader Review
Attention Superheroes!! Dr. DOOM has taken over, attacked the S.H.I.E.L.D helicarrier, and assembled the biggest army of super villains. Its now upto you, the greatest army of superheroes to thwart Dr. DOOM's plans and defeat his army of super villains. Get ready to be a part of the mightiest alliance of super-heroes ever seen. Get ready for the Ultimate Alliance
Someone who has played either of the X-Men Legends installments will instantly be at home with this title. For those unfamiliar souls, Marvel Ultimate Alliance offers a unique and simple yet satisfying gameplay experience, nicely integrating both RPG and action-adventure elements into one powerful package.
With an awesome roster of superheroes to chose from, the players are given the choice to form a team of any 4. Picking pre-set teams, or some established marvel teams (like fantastic four) give you some automatic stats boost. Once you have chosen your 4 superheroes, you can switch between any of them by pressing the direction keys on the D-pad. Attacks are limited to 2 kinds, light and heavy. This acts as a double edged sword, and even though it lacks variety, it does keep things simple and makes for some of the most fun button bashing moments. You really dont want to walk upto a foe and beat him senseless when you can fry his brains out with a fireball from across the room!
This brings me to the best part, the superhero powers. Each superhero is well balanced, with powers attached to the right trigger and the face buttons. Pressing the right triggers brings up your powers, one being mapped to each of the face buttons. But surely Spidey can dispose off that bad guy in more than just 4 super cool ways you ask? Indeed he can. Each superhero has around 10 powers, which can be easily upgraded, and assigned to the face buttons on the go, without even going in the pause menu. All you need to do is remember what power each icon represents for all the superheros, simple really.
The powers are well balanced, and very representative of each marvel character. Spidey can shoot impact webbing, human torch can shoot fireballs, iceman can freeze the enemies in his tracks (I think you get the picture).
Combat in the game is mostly a rinse and repeat procedure. Go to an area, some minions attack, you disperse of them (oh, did I mention they drop lots of health and energy so you mostly never run out) and repeat. After about 15-20 minutes of this, you will enoucnter a boss fight, which are frankly a bit disappoiniting. One would have thought that it would take me more than 75 seconds to bring down the almighty Galactus. Some boss fights require you to think out strategies to beat the boss, some are a simple beat-the-crap-out, and the remaining are split up into mini-games, where you need to press the buttons in the right sequence to take away some of the boss health.
The game also has lots of replay value. Apart from the obvious choice of completing it other super heroes, you can unlock costumes, and even new superheros. The costumes are not just asthetic either, and each costume has a set of attributes associated with it.
This game looks beautiful, period. Although it wont give Gears of War creators sleepless nights, the fully rendered superheros, dynamic lighting, awesome fire and explosion effects, and some great rendered levels make up an immersing graphical experience. Watching Galactus walk right next to where you are fighting, destroying everythign in his path is simple awesome. All in all, graphically the game holds up quite nicely to feature on the next-gen systems. the only disappointment in this department comes from some of the ingame cutscenes, which look a bit dated.
The game has a great score, adding to the atmosphere. The voice acting is really good and over the top cheesy, but seriously, you dont expect our super heros and villains not to deliver those over the top lines. The superhero catchphrases are good, but soon get old.
If you are a Marvel Fan, this is a definite must for you. If you like a good action/RPG mix, get this. If you are looking for a unique and different gameplay experience, get this. So, I guess what Im trying to say is, get this game no matter who you are. It is fun, and quickly grows on you. The difficulty can be a bit too easy, even on normal, but it gets good when you unlock the hard difficulty. Plus, the game has enough trivia and information to satisfy your appetite for Marvel knowledge.
Time now to save the world...
9 / 10