Well it’s been 2 weeks in America (three weeks everywhere else) that the film “The Avengers” came out in theaters. This movie was the beat-all superhero movie! Fans of these Marvel heroes wet their pants in anticipation ever since the first Iron Man ending that introduced Nick Fury, and with each consecutive movie, they grew more and more excited as they went through more and more pants. Then finally the fruits of their patience was before them and oh was it sweet! It had the action, the awesome one liners, the effects, the story, everything was spot on! Now, lets go back a few years. Back to the year of 2006! This was the Marvel films infant age. The most recent (well recieved) Marvel film from them was Spider-Man 2 and their heroes were growing in popularity. So, Marvel created a game that brought together all the great heroes in one action-packed game: Marvel Ultimate Alliance!
The game’s premise was simple enough at the start: S.H.I.E.L.D’s helicarrier was under attack by the robotic forces of Victor Von Doom and Nick Fury has to bring together a team to save it! You know who I’m talking about! Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! The Ave-wait… Scratch that. Two out of four of the Avengers. He calls on Captain America, Thor, Spider-Man, and Wolverine to fight of the hordes of mechanical men and after an awesome intro sequence, the battle begins! If you have played X-Men: Legends, then this game will feel very familiar to you. You take control of any of these four heroes as they work together in a group to fight off waves of enemies as you traverse each level. You use a single button for your standard attacks and another to unleash your heroes super powers. These powers come in multiple flavors, from shielding to projectiles to physical attacks. These super powers can also be combined with those of a companion on your team to unleash a super attack that can wipe the screen of all enemies and even chip away great amounts of health from the bosses. After defeating enemies, you gain experience, money, and items to use on your team of heroes to power them up and buy new attacks, even purchase new heroes. You can also purchase new costumes for the heroes you already have to give them new stats while fighting.
That’s right. You can choose from tons of your favorite Marvel heroes to join in the fight! Each of them has their own unique power that they bring to the fray: Spider-Man with his webs does great at long range attack, Wolverine is an up-close and personal brawler, and Cap. and Thor can both use long ranger and short range attacks, and thats just the first four. You have the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Iron Man, Silver Surfer, Luke Cage, Dr. Strange, Deadpool, the list just goes on. Some of these characters can even traverse the map in different ways: Iron Man can fly, Deadpool can warp, Spider-Man swings on webs. And each of them is just how you know and love them. From Spider-Man’s quips to Wolverine’s gruff trash talk. Even the villains you face are the same to a fault, like Mysterio and his incessant need to talk about himself in the third person. Each character can also collect side missions where you only play as that hero in comic book missions for extra experience and money.
The pros of this game are many while the cons are few, though can be enough to hinder the game a bit. The fighting is great and easy to pick up. You can also have three other friends pick up controllers and fight alongside you in the game. The voice acting is great and suits each and every character. The graphics are great, both in-game and in the cutscenes and the soundtrack actually isn’t that bad, though sometimes it can drown out some of the characters lines if you don’t lower it in the options. Now for the cons… The characters. Now don’t get me wrong, the game has some real winners but for the 75% of great ones, theres the horrid 25%. Elektra, Daredevil, Blade, Spider-Woman, and that’s just to name a few. These characters are utterly useless with their powers or just feel like ripoffs of other, superior characters.
The second is a good concept gone wrong. Now you are allowed to create your won team of heroes, name them, and level up the team the more you use them. But the minute you add a new hero that you want to try out to the team, the upgrades you had are all down the drain and you have to start anew. So instead of broadening the horizon of your Marvel hero knowledge, you will just know the four that you feel are most powerful and virtually nothing of the rest. The next complaint is the camera angle because, although you can see all the action that is happening on-screen, you can’t really see your heroes up close and personal due to the bird’s eye view the camera has. And when there are hordes of enemies on the screen and you are controlling anyone other than the Thing, you’re bound to lose sight of your character every once in the while. This may seem like more of a nitpick, but when I am swinging people around with webbing like, I wanna see that! If you couldn’t tell already, I’m a bit of a Spidey fan, but why not?
Aside from these minor complaints, you can’t go wrong with Marvel Ultimate Alliance. Just plop down on the couch, invite over some friends, and let the good times roll. And be sure to let a few robotic minion heads roll as well.
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