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View Poll Results: What Do you think about Ultimate Alliance?
Hot Shit 3 42.86%
Iight 2 28.57%
Eh ok 1 14.29%
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Old 12-01-2006, 10:13 AM Offline   #1 (permalink)



 
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Default Marvel Ulitimate Alliance - (PS2)




The Marvel Comics stable includes hundreds of heroes. We could probably name two dozen X-Men without even touching the rest of the pantheon. Somehow, though, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance has boiled this down to an essential 25 without leaving us feeling like anything is missing. The playable heroes we've been given are a good mix, including a whole mess of big name heroes while still leaving room for obscure favorites. Sweet Christmas, they even gave us freaking Luke Cage. Even if your favorite character isn't playable, there's a good chance they'll show up at some point through the course of the story as an NPC. This thing is in every way a comic fan's dream come true.
Better yet, these characters are surprisingly individual. Unlike, say, Justice League Heroes, where everybody who wasn't Zatana played like the same guy wearing different tights, characters in Ultimate Alliance rarely feel homogenous, while at the same time all being fairly balanced. Ms. Marvel might be just a touch too durable and at times some of Doctor Strange's spells can feel like an "I Win" button, but for the most part, no single character overwhelmingly dominates the game. Not that we'd mind terribly if they did. It's a lot more fun to assemble a team of personal favorites than it is to min-max everything to plow through the game.

Then we've got the nifty RPGish leveling system that allows further differentiation between the characters. Or you can just toggle auto-leveling and forget about it if you'd rather just get straight to hitting stuff. The only place the system really stumbles is in tying some abilities to individual costumes. Every character has three unlockable costumes in addition to the one they start with (well, except for Moon Knight, who gets two. But hey, screw Moon Knight), which would be awesome enough if the differences were purely aesthetic. Each costume has three statistical bonuses attached that can be purchased with points separate from the ones used for normal leveling, and these only apply while the character is wearing that costume. You want Wolverine to be able to regenerate hit points? Hope you like his blue uniform.

There's also the option of creating your own custom, named squad of superheroes who will accumulate prestige toward another separate set of levels that can be put toward things like extra damage or experience for the whole team. Unfortunately, you're going to be docked half a level worth of prestige whenever you change the lineup. Half the fun of the game is messing around with the huge roster of playable characters, and the system penalizes you for doing that. Until you're ready to commit to four particular heroes, it's not something worth taking advantage of.

Neither of these things even remotely approach anything game-breaking. Most of the characters' progressions remain completely independent of their costumes or their team bonuses. They're just perks that feel like that could have worked a little better.

Usually, superhero beat-em-ups are good for about a weekend of play at best, but Ultimate Alliance is really full. All of the game's storyline missions are fairly long, and each of the four acts is good for a solid afternoon of play. And that's if you don't bother backtracking or exploring every little nook of the maps. Each level contains side goals, items that will unlock new playable characters, and hidden discs that open additional simulator levels based on classic comics. It's a game that can keep you busy for a long time if you want to see everything it has to offer.

The only real complaint is that, yeah, it's absolutely loaded with characters, customizability, and extra content to uncover, but at its heart Ultimate Alliance is still a beat-em-up. Between the RPGish leveling, bits of gear dropped by certain bosses, and the occasional enemy with a random ability like self-healing or enhanced toughness, the game edges just a little bit into Diabloish action-RPG territory, but it's only putting its toes a couple inches over the line. Ultimate Alliance still gets most of its DNA from games like Final Fight. There are some interesting boss fights and goals through the course of the game's missions, but much more time is spent beating up wave after wave of identical Doombots, AIM Troopers, or whatever cannon fodder enemy is featured for that level. Each character has a nice repertoire of moves and abilities, but there isn't much to keep a player from finding a single simple combination to mash over and over again until everything is dead and the next door unlocks.

Ultimate Alliance is more than enough fun to last through the main story -- especially if you bring a couple friends -- but whether you'll be returning to it again and again over the course of months is dependent largely on your superhero obsession and tolerance for repetition.


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Old 12-01-2006, 10:22 AM Offline   #2 (permalink)

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my roomate and i are almost finished wit it...
 
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Old 12-01-2006, 10:31 AM Offline   #3 (permalink)



 
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Me and Deebo are playing it now we just got it about a week ago. I like it so far it's just like the Fantastic four as far as game play. Tony I might need ya helo on the part we own now. I dunno if my ps2 fucked up or we missed something.
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Old 12-01-2006, 10:34 AM Offline   #4 (permalink)

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Originally Posted by JUS View Post
My and Deebo are playing it now we just got it about a week ago. I like it so far it's just like the Fantastic four as far as game play. Tony I might need ya helo on the part we own now. I dunno if my ps2 fucked up or we missed something.
where u at?
 
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Old 12-01-2006, 10:38 AM Offline   #5 (permalink)



 
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Not real far but it's where we gotta rescue Thor's brothers.


It's like one room where you have to drag a statue and after we put it on the wooden thing nothing happens. So I dunno if we missed something or not we have been through that whole bulding and we still haven't rescued the brothers
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Old 12-01-2006, 10:40 AM Offline   #6 (permalink)

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u prob just missed somethin..cuz i was bout to smash my tv the other day runnin round this one part for like 30 minutes,and finally it was all over some dumbshit
 
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Old 04-02-2011, 05:14 PM Offline   #7 (permalink)



 
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I have played that game numerous times. It was great only to be surpased by mau 2.
 
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Old 04-09-2011, 11:52 AM Offline   #8 (permalink)



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The game is good but the story is really fucked up !
 
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:32 PM Offline   #9 (permalink)



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Love this and the sequel. Wish there were more coming! Open world with these characters would be great!
 
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Old 05-17-2014, 05:49 PM Offline   #10 (permalink)



 
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Is there gonna be a part 2 of this? Haven't finished the first one but if they improve the next one, I think I might like it.
 
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