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Thursday, May 3, 2007

Game Review: Marvel Ultimate Alliance

Are you a big fan of the Marvel Universe?

Do you like beating up bad guys?

Do you like "leveling up"?

Do you enjoy watching over-powered super heroes take down under-powered minions?

Then Marvel Ultimate Alliance is the game for you!

Not only does the game provide an engaging story line that will take you anywhere from 20 to 30 hours to complete: it also gives you some insight into the Marvel universe and the characters which inhabit it.

When you start your very first game, you'll be able to play as Captain America, Spiderman, Wolverine, Thor, Elektra, and many other heroes. As the story unfolds, you'll find yourself gaining access to even more super heroes with which to accomplish your various goals and, if you happen to be playing on an Xbox 360, achievement points.

Have you ever wanted to grab four of your favourite super heroes and stick them together in one super squad? Now you can. In fact, Marvel Ultimate Alliance gives you the ability to create and name your very own hero team. However, the reasons for creating your own squad are not purely cosmetic: keep your team together and beating bad guys to unlock further team bonuses that will aid you in your quest to defeat the villainous Dr. Doom!

Great graphics, great sound, excellent gameplay, and one of the coolest opening cinematics I've seen in recent time make this game a great addition to your video game collection!

As an added bonus for all Xbox 360 owners, Activision has released some great downloadable content (DLC) for Marvel Ultimate Alliance.

The Hero pack (500 MS Points) contains four new heroes that are instantly available for your in-game use: Hulk (awesome), Hawkeye, Cyclops (actually pretty damned good in this game), and Nightcrawler. Not only do you get to enhance your game with these four new characters: you'll also get to 5 new achievements that are yours for the unlocking.

The Villain pack (500 MS Points) contains four new villains that have decided to band together with the heroes in an effort to stop the evil Dr. Doom: Magneto, Sabretooth, Venom (just in time for Spiderman 3), and Dr. Doom. Wait - you can play as Dr. Doom while trying to stop Dr. Doom? Yep. For a more detailed explanation, simply unlock the Doppelgänger achievement and everything will become clear. Anyway, as with the Hero pack, the Villain pack also provides Xbox 360 gamers with an additional 7 achievements.

If you prefer, both the Hero pack and the Villain pack may be purchased together for 800 MS Points, giving you 8 new playable characters and 12 new achievements worth 250 Gamer Points. Having purchased this 800 MS Point DLC myself, I can say that it is well worth your hard-earned money.

Need a second opinion? A third opinion? The links below will take you some great reviews that will no doubt convince you that this game is worth picking up.

Recommendation: Buy It!

Also available on the Sony PlayStation3 and the Nintendo Wii.


If you want to further enhance your gaming experience, why not pick up the The Marvel Encyclopedia. I bought a copy for myself after playing Marvel Ultimate Alliance for a couple days. This hardcover encyclopedia contains 352 pages containing the pictures, vital statistics, bios, and back-stories of more than one-thousand super heroes and villains that inhabit the Marvel Universe. This book makes a great literary companion to a great game!