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Marvel: Ultimate Alliance [PC]







Dumbed down from the X-men series, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

8.5

Superb
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Grows on you"

Summary

Game-play
I hated X-men Legends II until I got a gamepad. From the perspective of an experienced RPG gamer X-men Legends II was too basic. Now, going to Marvel Ultimate Alliance, I found it to be downright insulting.

That was until I got into the actual mechanics and heart of the game. If at X-men legends II you need to pick up four "X"s to use your character's ultimate power, here you need to execute combos or melee attacks to charge it up. This is not necessarily a bad thing, it brings a new dimension to the game by forcing the player to use combos. Now, another gripe from me is the automated heal and energy recharge. Normal RPGs have manual health and magic/energy potions (X-men legends II had this). However, the new system grows on you. In the boss matches, there are specific health levels that will trigger the release of healing and energy orbs. In the end, this new system just revamps the game-play and I came to like it since it does make the player focus more on the action.

Jumping up and hitting multiple enemies, charging up powers and executing them at your leisure, Team combination that can wipe out multiple foes or quickly kill a single boss, all the action can make one forgive the missing custom stats panel and the lack of tactics when using healing and energy potions.

Story
The story strives to encompass the whole Marvel universe but this comes across as a bit forced in my perspective. During the Infinity Gauntlet, The Watcher didn't participate so I felt that the involvement of the Watcher here needed more incentive than the "destruction of the universe". Still, these are gripes that can be overlooked.

With the huge cast, character development and attachment could be a problem and it is. In X-men legends II, you can feel sympathy and anger at Angel and Beast's corruption. The power of Doom to corrupt heroes in the end didn't strike me the same way. However if you're looking for a grandiose story that affects all then this is it.

Music/sound
Now unless it is specific to my computer set up, the battle music trigger sometimes sets the volume so high that the conversations are drowned.

Graphics
If I'm not mistaken, some of the mission cinematics are rendered using the game engine itself. To me this is acceptable since it adds fluidity to the transitions. The graphics makes the game playable years down the road.

Overall
One of the best quick action games in my collection.




Fun and easy to pick up

8.0

Superb
Difficulty:
Easy
Time Spent:
20 to 40 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Grows on you"

Summary

I havent played Any of the other games made by raven, like xmen legends or its sequel, but i know that MUA improved on them in probably every way. Its a fun, attractive looking, easily playable team rpg/action/beat em up game that was hard to put down

Gameplay
I have to say, i was amazed on how good the controls were. it picked up my gamepad right off the bat, and the vibration feature worked awesomely.(i have a logitech rumblepad 2) The gameplay throughout the game doesnt really change, and at some times can feel repitative, but its a fun game overall. You pick 4 heroes, and unlock more as you make progress in the game. You can make your own team as well, which i felt was a more fun way to do things, but you can also combine certain heroes and get group bonuses that way as well. It was very fun to play as each different hero, finding out all their strengths and weaknesses. The QTE's were also used very well here, and not overused in any Ninja Blade sort of way. The boss battles were very fun as well, and had numerous steps to them with a rewarding death of the boss. I didnt find the game very hard at all on normal difficulty, but there were definitely times when i felt very challenged, and was questioning whether i would survive or not.

Story
By far the most ridiculous part of the game, but i guess comic book stories are pretty ridiculous. Victor Von Doom(Doctor Doom) has a multi-layered plan to take over the galaxy. The rest is kinda convuluted and gives you reasons to go to different worlds and carry out diffferent tasks. The story was pretty complicated at times, but i did like some twists that the game provided, like near the end when he takes control of some superheroes and turns them into their dark alter ego. Besides that its standard fare. I didnt particularly like the end timeline thing where it goes through each level that you did and what you did and didnt do. I guess that could give it a sense of replayablility, but it was stupid nonetheless, tossing around names and places that I had never heard of, so it meant nothing to me really.

Visuals
This game is from 4 years ago, but keeping that in mind, it still looks pretty good and runs very well, with no real dips in the framewrate. I imagine this is the best looking version, and some of the advanced lighting looks pretty dang good. When you zoom up on some of the things in the game it can be pretty pixely and un-detailed, but it was overall a decent looking game.

Overall I came out liking MUA more than I thought i would. Its fun, accessable, and entertaining. I couldnt imagine a better superhero brawler/rpg/action game that i have played. A lenghly, fun experience that I would recommend to any superhero fan.




Those who like Marvel are going to have a good time with Marvel: Ultimate Alliance.

8.5

Superb
Difficulty:
Easy
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Grows on you"

Summary

When you slam a few superheroes and super enemies together in a disc and turn it into a beat'em-up then this is probably the result. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance: a game that took me by surprise. If you love Marvel then you're going to have a good time with this game.

The story is all about Dr. Doom trying to take over the world. To stop him Nick Fury decides to set up a team of superheroes. Dr. Doom does the same and assembles a team with supervillains such as Fing Fang Foom and Bullseye.

As the story progresses you'll meet a lot of characters from the Marvel universe such as Mephisto's realm and the Skrull Planet so this is really for the fans. Though the story isn't that good because it's just another villain trying to take over the world and you the hero trying to stop him.

Now let's dive into the game-play. During the levels you get to control one character and three other characters help you but they're controlled by the CPU. However you have the change to swith characters anytime. So your team can only have four characters. The roster is great, you have X-Men members such as Wolverine, Storm, Iceman, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Captain America, Ghostrider, Blade, Luke Cage, Dr. Strange, Thor, Spiderman Daredevil, Silver Surfer and even more. All these playable characters gives more replay value and variety since you always have the oppurtunity to try all of them out.

You can also unlock new costumes for the characters while playing through the game. This can be by either playing with that same character or doing a simulator mission with him or her. It's great to have one of these features to see one of these familiar costumes but some can aslo be bizarre like Ghostriders cowboy costume that is completly white.

All characters have different moves. You have the 4-button the quick move that starts a combo if you press another button quickly after that and with the 6-button the chargable, strong move. You can combine combos by pressing 4 first and then either 4 or 6 and then another 4 or 6. It's not really fleshed out enough but if you switch off characters enough then it's great for the most part.
Pressing 8 will make you grab an enemy of the weapon the enemy carries. The 5-button makes you block but I never really used it because the best attack is the best defence!

There are also special moves, most of them being projectiles but during the game I noticed that some actually had the same special move only with a new coat of paint which dissapointed me. Luckily every character has a even more powerful and unique move called the "Extreme attacks". By pressing what was the *-button for y computer every character starts to move and it garantuees to destroy every enemy on screen.

Your goal is to go to the end. It's that simple but during the way get attacked by enemies such as the Skrull, Atlantic guards and others but it's not as varied as it could be because during one level you get only kind of enemy wich is again a bit disapointed.

The bosses are also incredibly easy. It's almost like if you're playing against a normal common enemy only with a higher life bar. The final boss is also very easy wich is again more disapointing.

There's also a level up system. By defeating enemies you get experience points allowing you to level up. With each level you get points allowing you to power up your special attacks, your status and others.

The graphics are great and have a nice variety at the environments. The cutscenes look even more gorgeous unfortunatly the cutscenes are unbalanced. The cutscenes shows only Wolverine, Storm, Captain America, Nick Fury, Iron Man, Elektra, Thor, Spiderman and besides a few exceptions: that's it. In the cutscenes nobody else is shown meaning no attention to characters such as the Fantastic Four, Ghostrider, Blade, Deadpool, Dr. Strange, Miss Marvel, Spiderwoman and others but I didn't minded it too much.

The voice acting can be a problem. It fits the characters but while you're playing as them they constantly make dumb catchphrases such as "You might wanna see a doctor now!" or "Time for an upgrade!" or even "I'm bigger and better". I would turn of the sound while playing it.

The PC version of Marvel: Ultimate Alliance isn't the best one but despite that I consider Marvel: Ultimate Alliance being an enjoyable Beat'em-up. So if you're a fan of Marvel then you should definitly consider getting this game.




I couldn't decide which character to play-- that good

8.0

Superb
Difficulty:
Easy
Time Spent:
40 to 100 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Worth playing"

Summary

Ultimate Alliance is a very nice game with satisfactory graphics and character voices. There are lots of marvel characters to play and I really couldn't decide which one to play since I have many favorites. Finally I decided on Thor.

Good things:
- Many characters with multiple outfit options
- More than 6 powers for each character
- Story line moves pretty nicely
- Cinematics are extremely exciting and fun

Bad things:
- You may get bored talking to each NPC in order to learn how the story goes
- Battles become boring after fighting 2-3 hours. But using special ability powers makes it fun
- If you get obsessed with finding all secret object like me, you may get sick and tired of the game after some time.

During the game, after losing some heroes in the battle, you have to find a save point to revive your team. But finding a save point sometimes gets harder in the game and you have to move on with what you have in your hand. So that is bad in my opinion.




One of the best games that allows you to play co op for 4 players in single mode. Very much characters and good graphik.

10

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
20 to 40 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Best in series"

Summary

One of the best single player co op games. There are very much characters from Marvel and good missions. It should be more in outside evironment but its still good. There are also lot of extras and really good ideas such as playing COMICS. One of the best games that allows you to play co op for 4 players in single mode. Very much characters and good graphik.
One of the best games that allows you to play co op for 4 players in single mode. Very much characters and good graphik.
One of the best games that allows you to play co op for 4 players in single mode. Very much characters and good graphik.
One of the best games that allows you to play co op for 4 players in single mode. Very much characters and good graphik.
One of the best games that allows you to play co op for 4 players in single mode. Very much characters and good graphik.
One of the best games that allows you to play co op for 4 players in single mode. Very much characters and good graphik.One of the best games that allows you to play co op for 4 players in single mode. Very much characters and good graphik.One of the best games that allows you to play co op for 4 players in single mode. Very much characters and good graphik.

8.3

Superb
8.2