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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution

Published by: Activision
Developed by: Vicarious Visions / Raven Software
Genre: Action RPG
Players: 1-4
Rated: T (Teen)
Release Date: November 19, 2006
Written by: Noel Del Pilar
Screenshots: Link

Last year we got the sequel to the greatest X-men game ever, X-men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse. The game utilized the teaming efforts of the Brotherhood and the X-Men in order to take down Apocalypse. Out of the roster of mutants, you would choose four to go into battle with. This wa sa nice feature, but the wrong selection of fighters could prove costly, or make the battles more intense. Over time, the battles seemed repetitive, but the fact youw ere able to select different teams of characters, it keep the action relatively fresh. This time around withMarvel Ultimate Alliance, we get to do battle with various fighters from across the massive universe known as Marvel.

Due to the story behind MUA, not a lot is known about the game. The basis of the story is that Dr. Doom has decided to team of with various evil forces in order to take control of the world. Catching wind of this, various mutants and superheroes from the Marvel Universe come to the aid of the planet. So once again, depending on the fighters you choose, determines how the story will unfold.

The immersive cast of character sinclude the likes of The Fanastic Four, Captain America, Ghost Rider, Electra, Thor, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Iceman, etc. Now don't think youw ill have all the characters at once. Youw ill start out with about 20 fighters to choose from.As you progress through the story, you will unlike several characters, totally about 140 fighters in all. For the most part, all of them will be playable, but there will be a few that will only have cameos and provide information to help the story further progress.

Just like the X-Men Legends series, the success of your missions depend on which fighters and special abilities you utilize for a particular level or boss battle. To some, this title may be seen as a Hack'n'Slash product because you go through level and level defeating various enemies. The further your progress and the more enemies you defeat, the more experince your fighters game, ultimately unlocking new abilities. But unlike the X-Men Legends series, the battles wont be limited ot the ground only. You will be able to do battle in the air, and even underwater, making some of your battles very interesting and strategic.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance utilizes various combat tactics, raning from grappling, to charge attacks, to fully destructable environments. The game also utilizes various choices and objectives within the story, which will determine the fate of the superheroes. Sort of set up like Shadow the Hedgehog, where depending on the missions you take, you will get a different ending.

The Wii version of MUA offers a more immersive and interactive experience than the other versions. Most of the attacks perfromed within the game will utilize the Wii-mote. So if you wanted to punch or kick, you would simply shake the Wii-mote left ro right. An alternative to that would be to simply press the A button. WIth a sweeping motion ot the left or right, your character can perfrom a more powerful attack. The football motion would produce an uppercut action performed by your fighter. The C button on the Nunchuck allows for regular and double jumps, while the Z button can be used to make your character fly (if he/she knows how).

Marvel Ultimate Alliance keeps the aspect of Co-Op alive and kicking. Gamers have the choice of battling together against the forces of evil, or doing battle with each other. Now add in the online aspect, and you can create some intertwining gameplay experiences. Other bonueses beyond the Co-Op mode is the ability to unlock features like comic book missions, where you cna recreate legendary Marvel battles.

In terms of visuals, the Wii takes a back seat to the Xbox 360 and the PS3, but still offers up immersive environments and atmospheres. Sepcial effects like lighting and explosions are still included within the game, and surprisingly, runs faster than the other versions. This is primarily due to the architecture being based on the a super Gamecube, which Activision is fully knowledgeable of. The main difference you will notice between the three versions is that the PS3 and Xbox 360 will be cel-shaded, while the Wii version will be fully 3-D.

Overall, Marvel Ultimate Alliance is looking to be the ultimate superhero game. Though they didn't improve on the formula use dby X-Men Legends and X-Men Legends II, it didn't stop them from creating an immersive product that is sure to appeal to Marvel goers, online buffs, and those gamers who can't get enough of action rpg's. Come this November, there's one team, one mission,...TO SAVE THE WORLD!!!

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Gaming Evolution
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