Ever wanted to have your very own Marvel dream team? How’s Moon Knight, Deadpool, Ghost Rider and Blade sound? How about Invisible Woman, Storm, Jean Grey and Elektra? Enter Marvel Ultimate Alliance, let the nerd-gasms commence!
Marvel Ultimate Alliance lets you create and somewhat customize your very own Marvel super team. At first you only have Cap, Thor, Wolverine and Spidey, but after the first few levels you gain access to a plethora of characters. Each character has their own set of skills and abilities that you can upgrade as you level them. There is also gear that you get from defeating bosses that you can equip to your characters, though you can only have one piece of gear equipped at a time. Each character also has their own set of costumes, usually four with the exception of Moon Knight who only has three, each one having different attributes attached to them. The attributes can also be increased as well by buying upgrades for them. Then there is team creation.
Aside form picking your heroes, there is also team customization. With this you can name your own team, upgrade passive skills, like increased damage, and pick a roster of super heroes. You can also select an icon for your team, which gets displayed over characters that are in your roster, even when they’re in the character select menu. When you use the characters that are in your roster, you get a bonus, but if you swap out one of your characters for another you lose that bonus. However, you are able to increase the size of your roster. Now, time to talk about the story!
In Ultimate Alliance, Dr. Doom is up to some nefarious stuff, like attacking S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ. After fending off Doom’s egotistically named doom bots, Nick Fury sends you out to find out what Doom is planning and throw a proverbial wrench in his machine. There is also a side plot that you can do involving Black Widow, and there are little fetch quests sprinkled throughout. I would encourage you do these side objectives because every NPC is voiced, and some have unique dialogue depending on what character you are when you speak to them. Now, some of the dialogue is very good, the rest seems a bit lacking. Another issue I have is with the music.
The music changes, like in any good game, depending on what level you are on. While most of the music is heavy distorted guitar, which as a fan of metal I enjoy, but the guitar is broken up by classical pieces, as well as the dulcet tones of techno. The issue I have is with the with the timing. Most of the time, the music is where it belongs, but sometimes it decides to play erratically. It will cut out in combat sequences creating utter silence, and then suddenly appear when you’re talking to a NPC. The music will also decide to amp up the volume at the most inopportune moments, mostly when you are talking to an NPC. At least you’ll be able to jam out to the music with a friend, or if you’re into that sort of thing, multiple friends.
The co-op in Ultimate Alliance is a very nice touch. You are able to run through the story with up to four people, each one controlling their own hero, both online and offline. The only downside is that the simulator missions, which are mission you get for specific characters by picking up discs scattered throughout the campaign, are one player only. The host chooses who plays, and the other player(s) go into a spectator mode where they watch who ever is playing run through the sim.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance has everything you could possibly want in the vein of RPG beat-em-ups. It has customizable teams, a variety of outfits for each character, and Steve Blum. Now if only it had Batman, then it would truly perfect.
- Great selection of super heroes
- Team creation and customization
- Music glitches
- Some character have very bad dialogue
- Sim missions are one player only