Ultimate Alliance: Simply Marvelous
At first glance, Marvel Ultimate Alliance comes off like yet another version of the X-Men: Legends games, and it should. It's made by the same company, and the style of play, in which you select four characters and embark on a mission against a great evil force, is the same. But despite the similarities, Ultimate Alliance stands on its own as a great game and is a must-have for gamers who are also comic book fans.
In the game, Dr. Doom is up to no good, and it's up to you to take him and his allies down. One of the most fun aspects of the game is assembling your team of superheroes to do battle with the bad guys. Hard-core comics fans will spend hours trying to figure out which of their favorite characters to use. You can mix and match characters any way you like or go with classic squads such as the Fantastic Four, X-Men or Avengers.
The amount of time put into each character's abilities to make them equal to their comic book counterparts is seen immediately. Spider-Man is quick and agile, Wolverine is vicious and destructive, Captain America packs a mean one-two punch with his fists and shield, and Thor talks really funny.
Fighting moves, as well as the ability to fly, are character specific. The more you advance in the game, the more moves you obtain for each character. Progress far enough in the game and you'll access locked characters unavailable at the game's start.
The computer-animated scenes between gameplay are great. So much so that it almost makes you wish the entire game could look as good. Not that the game's graphics aren't fine, especially if you're on a next-generation console.
With simple game controls, a great look and a decent storyline, Marvel Ultimate Alliance is easily one of the best comic book video games to date.
-- David Betancourt
Marvel Ultimate Alliance Teen; Xbox 360, PS3 ($59.99); Wii ($49.99); PS2, PSP, Xbox, PC ($39.99); Game Boy Advance ($29.99) Activision/Raven Software