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| Superheroes help Raven hits jackpot, Review of Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (5 comments )|
by: Wisd85 (15) | Posted in cluster FiringSquad Editors Challenge Round 1 Prelim 2
Posted 75 months ago ( edited 75 months ago ) in category DEFAULT
Overall Score – 8/10
Raven Ultimate alliance
In the past few years, Raven Software had been collaborating with some big name companies, most noticeably Id Software and Marvel. The outcome was fantastic as they earned big bucks from games like Quake 4, X-men Legends and X-men Legends 2: Rise of the Apocalypse. Now Raven Software is aiming for a bigger paycheck by releasing Marvel: Ultimate alliance, an action RPG that promises lots of button mashing. With more than 100 Marvel characters and 12 totally different locations to explore, it is clearly the biggest Marvel related game to date.
Once upon a time there was Doom
The game starts off by Dr. Doom assaulting the SHIELD Helicarrier and in such desperate times, SHIELD director Nick Fury press the panic button to seek superheroes aid. As the story progresses, the superheroes found out that Dr. Doom had assembled a gigantic number of supervillains under the name “Masters of Evil”. Swiftly Nick Fury reacts to the danger and gathers all the available superheroes to battle this fearsome treat.
Along the game, players will encounter high profile villains like Mephisto, Loki, Galactor and Dr. Doom himself. The game also has space for less popular villains like Arcade, Winter Soldier and a lot more. As you meet these characters, you will realize that each of this character had their own personality and the game captures it very well. For example, the game shows how cunning Loki is by tricking the heroes not once but a few times and is definitely fit to be called the god of mischief. Other characters like NightClawer will show his compassion and willingness of self sacrifice for a friend.
The game has more than 20 playable characters to choose from and each character has its own unique power. Thor will have most of his ability in lightning form while Wolverine has many ways to use his trusting claws to fill his opponents with holes. As you progress in the game, your character will grow stronger by leveling up and you can unlock or improve certain skills for your character. Raven Software also did a good job by adding an auto point distributor function. When your character level up, it will automatically add skills points to your often used ability or unlock ability that you haven't have yet. It is a very useful tool for players that are new to the game or just lazy to customize their character, especially for people like me ;).
While there are so many characters to choose from, most of them offer the same gameplay. Controlling Iron Man will give you the same feeling as controlling Thor. Players will do the same punching, kicking and the only difference is the ability each character has. Still that is not enough to give player a variety of gameplay. Unlike Diablo, each character plays differently and players have to change their strategy depending on their character and the skills they choose. Hopefully Raven Software can improve upon this in their future games.
It’s a team effort
As this game is called Ultimate Alliance, player can form his by team choosing up to 4 superheroes to join in and substitute them anything they like. The player can also give the team a name and symbol to represent it. Team management is kind of easy as player just needs to keep completing quests to earn reputation points and when enough points are earn, player can spend it on adding team benefit ability like earning 5% more experience for everyone that is in the team. Beware though, squad rotation is not advisable as changing each member in your team will reduce your team's reputation points.
For the gameplay, anyone that played X-Men Legends or its sequels before will know will feel at home the moment they play Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. The gameplay is simple, you will be asked to do a specific task like disarming a bomb and there will be countless enemies that will try to stop you from completing your task. So player just need display their superpowers to beat up all this bad guys and continue on until you reach your goal. It is fun at first, but after some time it gets repetitive and boring. For the boss fight, things get a little bit different. Most of the bigger bosses in the game cannot be harmed by normal attacks and player must find a way to actived the mini game to defeat it. When activated, a series of buttons will appear on the screen and player must press the correct button to match it. If done it successfully, player is rewarded with a damaging strike on the boss.
The objectives in the game are mostly about collecting item, destroy machine, rescuing a captured hero and killing bosses. In case player got lost and has no idea where to go, the game provides a super GPS system that will mark a big red X on the map to show you where the objective is. Sadly the objectives share the same fate as the repetitive gameplay. Once player completes the first few objectives early on in the game, player has basically witnessed most of the objectives that the game had to offer. Thankfully the storyline saves it from mediocrity as the player will just keep playing just to know what happens to the story next.
The enemies AI in the game is very aggressive as they won’t hesitate to gun you the moment they see you. They are even smart enough fall back when you power up your attack. Though it is frustrating but it deserved praise for their intelligence. As for your team members AI, they are just plain lazy. At time they will just walk around and watch you attack your foe. Maybe SHIELD didn’t pay them enough money to do the job. Moreover, you can’t leave your teammates for the AI to control for too long as they have a habit of commiting suicide, probably to attract your attention.
Let there be sound and shinning ness
Each level has its own art to make it unique. Manderin palace does look like an ancient Chinese palace with modern technology equiped on it and Mephisto's realm has a hellish environment with a touch of fear in it. The texture use in the game is top quality with a touch of HDR to make everything look shining and beautiful. For those that fear HDR effect will turn your monitor into a sun, be ease. The game did a fine job for tuning it to the right proportion and save you from wearing sunglasses. The CG is also remarkably gorgeous and entertaining to watch. It never gets old even after watching it a dozen times.
The sound effects are well done as you can hear the clear sound of Wolverine's claws slashing through his opponent. Soundtrack is another area is done perfectly. It seems each level has its own soundtrack and it truly creates a great atmosphere that suits the level. The voice acting on the other is less than glories. Each character has a few one-liner dialogs and it does not sound heroic at all.
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance is a ‘must buy’ game for those who love Marvel character dearly. It portrays the Marvel universe brilliantly with a great story that involves so many characters in it. The gameplay promises great fun and shall satisfy gamers that seek for pure action. If there is a way to fix the repetitive gameplay, this game will surely be a classic.
Gameplay – 8/10
Graphics – 9/10
Sound – 8 /10
Replay Value – 6/10
Overall score – 8/10
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