8.7

Review: Marvel Ultimate Alliance (360)

Review: Marvel Ultimate Alliance (360)

I am a huge fan of the X-men Legends series of games, and when I heard that the next installment was not going to feature the X-men, I was sad, but when I heard that it was going to feature the greatest heroes of the Marvel Universe I got psyched! Will this game live up to my expectations or will it be a chink of the armor of Raven Software?

Story:
Dr Doom has attacked the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier and it is up to the world's greatest superheroes to stop him and his plot from taking place or it is the end of life as we know it on Earth. But wait he has enlisted some of the greatest villains to stop you before you can stop him. Can our heroes prevail against such overwhelming odds? Or will Doom rule the Earth again?

Graphics:
Marvel Ultimate Alliance looks great on the 360, and drops the cell shaded look that was predominant in the X-men legends games, opting for a more realistic look for Ultimate Alliance, the stages are rich with detail, and look extremely good. The heroes look great and stay true to their comic book looks, each character has at least 4 outfits, depicting different points in the heroes career, which reminds of how far some of our favorites have come.

Music:
Well the music in Marvel Ultimate Alliance gets the job done, but as with the X-men Legends games, they are far from amazing. That being the music starts to grind its way into your head with all the subtlety of blunt force trauma if you stick around in a stage for too long. And what is worse is that it still cuts out during some boss fights. Come on guys this is the next generation of gaming, I understand that you are on a deadline, and all but I am sure that you could have at least fixed this problem with a patch by now. Well at least the voice acting is still spot on when it come to the characters, and the sound affects sound like what you would think they would sound like. These two things combined make the music bearable, and are what really draw you into the game.

Control:
If you loved how everything played in the X-men Legends series than you now know what to expect, and are more than happy to take off and start running with the control scheme that we are all accustomed to by now. But there are a few changes that vets should be made aware of. First and for most flying characters can now fly indefinitely and are not limited by the leveling up aspects like they were in the original game, however this is now mostly pointless unless you are a long range fighter like Storm (from the X-Men), or Iron Man. Second gone are the life potions, and energy potions that we were used in X-men Legends, and now we must pluck health and energy from our enemies as we defeat them, or knock a boss down a quarter of their health, this proves both nice and annoying, since I saved those for the boss fights, but it was nice not having to worry about your health and your comrades health most of the time. The AI is improved, but it is still not smart enough to help you out in some boss fights, but that is remedied thanks to allowing you to do Co-Op with others over Xbox Live. And finally Cheap over the edge deaths still apply but are far less frequent than they used to be. So to be blunt, there is more control over your party than ever before in Ultimate Alliance.

Design:
Once again Raven Software has done a great job with this game, and with the exception of some flaws they have made another quality product with Marvel Ultimate Alliance. They have done what they needed to and fixed some of the problems with the game, and made the game better. And one of the things I like the most about this game is that they included more puzzles into this game, and made it a challenge to figure out. Brilliant, it is about time that you started incorporation more puzzles into these games. But here are some things that might make the next game (and there will be one better). Most of us know our Favorite hero's background story, so why are we forced to relive it in every conversation out of a stage? More heroes! Unlocking characters is cool and all but when the characters that I have to unlock are my favorites, it tends to lead to frustration (especially when the one you really want to play may never be unlocked unless you complete a series of missions that you have to find in every stage in the game and then beat these extra missions, or use a cheat code which renders your achievements unattainable), and finally purchasing power ups for characters is a must in this game, but why oh why do we have to also purchase extra powers depending on the costume that a character is wearing? But I gripe because I love because all in all they did a good job despite my gripes, and I really enjoy this game.

This is a game that 360 owners should check out, and Marvel fans will lust after. Be sure to at least rent this game, it will appeal to most but it may not appeal to all.

Graphics
9/10

Game play
8/10

Sound
7/10

Fun factor
10/10

Tilt
9/10

Average score
8.6

Marvel Ultimate Alliance (360):

Pros:
More characters you actually want to play (sorry Bishop)
Xbox Live Co-op
More puzzles
The same game play we know and love
All the fun we know and love

Cons:
Cheap deaths still exist
Computer AI is improved, but still needs work

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