Community Review: Marvel Ultimate Alliance
The heros of marvel team up for an epic adventure!
What happens when you force all of Marvels characters to fight side by side to save the world? You get a formula for an awesome game, that's what! Marvel Ultimate Alliance is truly a great all around game so read on and find out why.
The story is absolutely incredible. It starts out pretty simple...Dr. Doom is back and he's destroying a S.H.I.E.L.D vessel that you and your team just so happen to be on at the moment. But then, after saving it, you find out that there was something more behind the attack. Now, you are forced to repel evil villains in so many different areas. We're talking from things as simple as a mobile science lab (if you can call that simple), ranging to underwater, in the underworld (which is technically called Mephisto's Realm in the game), and even in outer space! What's more, frequent plot twists constantly arise. These make the situations you frequently find yourself in seem more dire, and these twists also make it so you want to play even more to find out what happens next. A big plus about these twists is that not one of them is so bizarre and messed up that it leaves you confused. They all make sense.
One of the biggest pros about the storyline is that, at the end of the game, you create a different sort of world based on your actions! The more optional missions you complete, the better the world you create. Of course, if you decide not to complete optional missions, it would mean there will be negative consequences in the end. It just makes it so that you want to play through again to try and create the best world you can. Or, at least, create the world you want.
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance suffers a tad in this department, mainly I think this is because it's a game made mainly for last generation that found its way onto the 360 and PS3. The game's visual are decent, but never really make it above that line, but then again they never go below the line to poor either so the game is pretty much decent all through out.
What makes it all feel all right though is that the environments in the game are pretty colorful compared to those in the X-Men Legends-games, which makes you a little more engaged as to where you are going and what you are doing. That being said doesn't mean that the environments couldn't have been better, because they hardly ever strike you as next generation so even though they are colorful they could have looked a lot better on the 360.
Other than the environments the main focus of your Marvel-experience is of course the characters, which honestly could have looked better in most cases. The characters are often so very shiny and look more like action figures than actual humans, now this could be intentional but with the quality of the pre-rendered cut scenes I doubt it. However most of the characters look decent and the character models never go below what feel acceptable. Other than that the game is pretty much a decent game visually and even though it feels all right you can't shake the feeling that it could have been a lot better looking on the 360.
The sound is just amazing. When you smack someone around, it sounds like your fist, foot, whatever else, is coming in brutal contact with your enemy's body. It just sounds painful. It may actually make you wince (if you really get into a game like I do). But that's not all. Sounds like the helicopters, objects breaking, even the sound of your feet as they move across the landscapes it all just sounds incredible.
The voice acting, too, is simply brilliant. It seemed as if every voice actor really got into their character. The voice acting is done with a great amount of feeling and emotion. If a line is meant to sound panicked or angry, the voice actor made that line sound panicked or angry. If someone made a wisecrack, then they will have that tone in their voice that suggests that they are joking around and having fun (top examples of this are Spider-Man and Deadpool). Seriously, the voice acting just took my breath away.Th. dialogue in the game is really good though, it gets the comic book feel just right with dialogue that feels kind of cheesy but only in a good way. The game is full of references to old Marvel-moments, and certain characters interact differently to each other so for example if you bring in Elektra to the fight with Bullseye he will comment on how he remembers killing her and wonders how she has come back to life. All this dialogue helps add to the atmosphere and can in some cases even help justify a second play through.
The dialogue in the game is really good though, it gets the comic book feel just right with dialogue that feels kind of cheesy but only in a good way. The game is full of references to old Marvel-moments, and certain characters interact differently to each other so for example if you bring in Elektra to the fight with Bullseye he will comment on how he remembers killing her and wonders how she has come back to life. All this dialogue helps add to the atmosphere and can in some cases even help justify a second play through.
The gameplay is relatively simple, but at the same time, it doesn't leave you bored. Basically, you take your team of four (or, if you prefer, less than four) heroes to different locations. In these locations, you are expected to beat up the bad guys and complete certain objectives, such as finding certain objects, protecting certain targets, or beating up the bosses. Sound simple? Yeah, it is. But at the same time, if it were something extremely complex, that would just detract from this game too much, because it doesn't need an extremely complex system in order to work.
The further on you progress, and the more enemies you beat down, your teammates will gain more levels. When a hero gains a level, they will be awarded with skill points. These points can be assigned to certain abilities that they possess to make them stronger. Of course, their stats will also increase, giving them more health, and allowing them to take and deal more damage.
Every hero also has, for the most part, four different outfits. Yeah, this will change their appearance so that you can choose what you think looks the coolest. But it runs deeper than that. The outfits, too, have their own unique abilities, which you boost by using S.H.I.E.L.D credits (money) that you pick up. These abilities can range from being very simple, like boosting your defense or hand-to-hand attack power, to more complex, such as regenerating health over time, regenerating energy over time, or even granting the chance of an automatic restoration of a teammate if they are defeated. You can use these outfits to give your team an edge in battle.
At a certain point in the game, you will be given the chance to create your own custom team. Yeah, so you have about 28 characters to choose from. But what I mean by this is to create a team by using a select number of those characters. When a custom team is created, they will earn reputation points based on their performance. The more objectives they complete, and the more bad guys they beat up, the more their reputation will rise. When your reputation level rises, you can do things like boost the teams max HP, boost their attack power, or even add additional slots to the team roster to allow more members in. This can really give you an edge in combat.
So, gameplay really is quite simple. It's simple enough to understand, and it's even more simple to get the hang of. But really, it doesn't need to be complex, because a basic and easy to understand system is all this game needs to shine in terms of gameplay.
Oh, yes...shine, baby, shine. This is the big thing that you will either love or hate about this game...the lineup! Originally, there were 20 playable characters. But in Gold Edition, you get eight more, for a selection of 28 different playable characters.The selection of heroes for this game is just astounding. The amazing Spider-Man...the incredible Hulk...Daredevil, the man without fear...the smart-mouthed mercenary Deadpool...Ghost Rider...the X-men...the Fantastic Four...Spider-Man's arch enemy Venom...even Dr. Doom himself! You can play as so many different characters that you may have difficulty choosing who you want to take with you. Of course, you may like some heroes better than others. But then, most games are like that, right?
Final Verdict: BUY IT!
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance takes the formula that Raven Software used in the X.Men: Legends-games and makes it even better by adding a much greater cast of characters, more depth into the Marvel-universe and better environments. The game basically takes all the stuff that the X-Men: Legends-games were known for and improve it in almost all aspects. The gameplay is good, with loads of abilities that are sure to fit everyone's taste in one way or another, and even though some power ups are confusing and contradict some of the other stuff that you might already have “upped” the game has a surprising depth in its equipment and gameplay.
The game is also filled with clever dialogue that any Marvel-fan will love, and most of the character's personalities are pretty much intact in the game. Basically if you love Marvel you will probably love this game as well, if only because of its charm.
So has this review convinced you to join the alliance? Let us know what you think and don't be a jimmy.
Verdict: Buy It
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