Marvel Ultimate Alliance Review

Raven has brought us some fantastic co-op titles over the last few years including X-Men Legends and X-Men Legends II.  Today we see the release of Marvel: Ultimate Alliance for the Wii and the PS3, with the Xbox, Xbox 360, PS2, PSP, GBA, and PC versions released not too long ago. With the ability to play heroes that more than likely debuted before you were born, as well as their more modern counterparts, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance has the largest collection of superheroes and villains ever collected in a video game. 

Just as it is in the X-Men Legends series, you

The game kicks off with some fantastic CGI work, courtesy of Blur Studios, in an intro showing off Thor, Spider-Man, Captain America, Wolverine, and quite a few other Marvel heroes.  The Wii version of the game runs in 480p, which causes some jaggedness in the graphics, although the cutscenes have been sharpened over the previous generation platforms.  After a 6 second load sequence (roughly 10 seconds shorter than the Xbox 360!), I got into the heart of the game.  What I saw surprised me.  Despite the lower resolution and more basic texture work, the game actually looked pretty good!  The vibrant colors of most of the characters helps keep your characters straight when the chaos on the screen inevitably ensues. Even with the reduced graphical power of the Wii, Vicarious Visions has done a good job with the graphics when they are at the default over the shoulder viewing angle.  When the game hits an in-game cutscene is a different story.

Many times in the game you

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance is a great auditory experience.  The background music is dynamic and changes as you encounter tougher enemies and bosses.  As the situation grows grim, the music reacts accordingly.  If you don

Since Raven created X-Men Legends and X-Men Legends II, they had a good grip on a decent control scheme.  With the new control scheme that comes with the Wii, Vicarious Visions had to completely revamp the controls to fit the Wiimote and nunchaku.  Raven also had to create a short tutorial to help players learn the new gestures before they embark on their adventures.  The give gestures used in the Wii version of the game are Swipe, Lift, Lower, Shake, and Thrust.  These gestures sound exactly like their names, and they are as organic and natural to perform as well.  The only other thing you really need to know is that you can tilt the nunchaku to turn the camera left and right.  Additionally, if you quickly juke the nunchaku in one of the four directions you’ll perform a block. 

As you move into later levels, the game gives you a few more tips and hints on how to best expand your melee repertoire.  You can stun an enemy with the lower gesture, or you can trip them by using the swipe gesture.  Some enemies are resistant to certain combinations, but weak to others, so it is in your best interest to learn these and use them often.

Using your powers in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance is as easy as holding the B button, then using the cooresponding Wii gesture for the power you

The gameplay formula for Marvel: Ultimate Alliance was already well established with previous Raven titles.  Like any good recipe, there is almost always room for improvement.  Maybe you like a bit more spice, maybe you want a bit more consistency

The single player game clicks in at roughly 25 hours, and can be played with up to four friends. Since the game does keep track of what missions you take, what objectives you skip, and how you interact throughout the game, you’ll have many opportunities to alter the outcome of the game via your actions, or the cooperative actions of you and your friends. These friends can use the Join in Progress system to join your game at any point by simply hitting a button on their controller. Like any good adventure title, there are secret areas that you can find, so having a second, third, or fourth pair of eyes never hurts, right? 

In addition to all of the in-game content, there are also collectables to obtain as you play.  These can be cinematics, logos, trailers, briefings, load screen art, concept art, comic covers, and more.  In total, there are over 100 items to find, and you can bet it

Ron Burke is the Editor in Chief for Gaming Trend. Currently living in Fort Worth, Texas, Ron is an old-school gamer who enjoys CRPGs, action/adventure, platformers, music games, and has recently gotten into tabletop gaming. Ron is also a fourth degree black belt, with a Master's rank in Matsumura Seito Shōrin-ryū, Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do, Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance, and International Tang Soo Do Federation. He also holds ranks in several other styles in his search to be a well-rounded fighter. Ron has been married to Gaming Trend Editor, Laura Burke, for 21 years. They have three dogs - Pazuzu (Irish Terrier), Atë, and Calliope (both Australian Kelpie/Pit Bull mixes).
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