Latest Game Reviews
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance Review - Xbox 360
With X-Men Legends and its sequel, Rise of Apocalypse, Raven Software created an action RPG that remained faithful to the X-Men universe and won over gamers and critics alike. Legends button brawling combined nicely with a slice of stat-building strategy to create a fresh and engaging action game. They now bust open the Marvel Universe character vault, expanding on the X-Men roster to now include over 20 playable heroes and numerous well known and obscure villains in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance.
Marvel: UA kicks off with Dr Doom attacking a SHIELD Hellicarrier. This triggers a distress call which is promptly answered by nearby superheroes Spider-Man, Wolverine, Captain America and Thor. After some investigating you discover that Doom has set up a Supervillain coalition operating under the banner of "Masters of Evil". His motives, however, aren't quite so clear, so SHIELD director, Nick Fury calls in the help of various superheroes to track down and stop Doom and the Masters of Evil.
Over the course of your campaign you will have access to 25 superhero characters, ranging from the well known (Elektra, Fantastic Four, Blade) to the more obscure (Spider-Woman, Luke Cage, Ghost Rider). Unfortunately, two of Marvel's bigger licenses (The Hulk and Punisher) don't make an appearance due to previous exclusive agreements on other titles. While it’s fun to unlock the other characters, most gamers will settle on a select four to see them through the game. This is partially due to the fact that there really are only subtle differences between each character. Thankfully, however, non-playing characters stats are all given boosts as you progress - making substitutions easier. Of course, setting your team in certain combinations can sometimes reward you with bonus stat boosts. Example being if your team is the Fantastic Four you are rewarded with a +20 health gain per knockout. So playing around with your roster can uncover some nice rewards. Sadly the developers haven't put enough focus on needing certain characters for specific situations. It would have been nice to have to use water friendly heroes in the Atlantis Level for example, as a result most of your party will ultimately consist of strong melee members.
Marvel: UA sticks closely to the formula found in the Legends games; it's essentially a top-down looking action RPG. Taking control of one of your four member party, you must slash/hack and bash your way through the various levels which culminates in a final boss battle. Each character has a primary (normal) and secondary (stronger but slower) attack button, with the heroes' special powers being unleashed via the left trigger. These powers (up to four moves/powers) are assigned via the character status screen and can be boosted, and unlocked, by spending the coins earned through the levels. Some of the powers have a more interactive feel (you have to hit button combos) but most are just stronger, cooler looking melee attacks.
You'll do a lot of crate and pot ...(continued next page)
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