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Are you going to buy an Xbox One X This Holiday Season?

Yes
No
Maybe
Hope to Receive it as a Gift


Game Profile
 Written by Chris Reiter  on October 06, 2006

First Impressions: Wet dreams do come true! Uh...who are we talking about?


Size is often a relevant factor toward improving, well, anything. Regular can only take you so far. Sometimes you just want more for your buck. Consumers want their drinks and fries biggie nowadays. They want their action in movies beefed up to unexpected lengths. They want their superhero RPGs to contain more than just X-Men characters. They want it all. That's what we demand, and like a good dog, Activision obeys. With Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, the X-Men Legends games of recent years are going up several levels to include more characters than just X-Men. You're getting a roster of more than 140 characters from the Marvel universe present and accounted for at Wii's launch.

The destruction of do-gooders is at hand and your assistance is needed in this devilish plot. Join Dr. Doom as he hatches a band of super villains formed under the Masters of Evil alliance, who together will set out to steal Odin's power. It is imperative that you do nothing as a team of four heroes of your choice to defend peace and justice in Marvel's comic book existence. For if you do, Dr. Doom's scheme will be ruined and all that is good will stay that way. That is, until next time...

Likely it'd be Raven Software's job to handle all console versions of Marvel: Ultimate Alliance under normal circumstances. But the Wii is a different beast, and so Activision's usual handheld team, Vicarious Visions, will take their place setting here. Still, this shouldn't be a problem as the game is looking no different from other iterations with the exception of the unique (and frankly, improved) direction Vicarious Visions is leading the game toward. With approximately 140 characters in Marvel's mixer on both sides popping up throughout Ultimate Alliance, you better believe it's good news all around. Exactly how the title will function with that many personalities is rather simple. Just over 20 of them will actually be playable. Of these 20+ super heroes, you'll arrange a team of four to go through the main story mode each time you play. What comes of interest in this scenario is that for every story decision you make, for every mission you complete, your team will grow a reputation that automatically opens a newly customized storyline branch based on your settings.

The bigger question probably rattling around in your mind though is just how can it be done? How does an action-role player bearing an extensive list of combos get onto a motion-detection system like Wii? Compounded gestures can't possibly be real for a controller that can't even read them. Or can it? Button pounds are a thing of the past. Ultimate Alliance on the Wii is all about five main hand movements essentially knotted into commands each performed with one flick of the wrist. Hurl Captain America's shield like you'd normally toss it, by making a swooping motion. Uppercut punch bad guys with The Thing by hoisting the remote skyward. Shaking, stabbing, and slamming actions will also be generated (along with a special move personalized for everyone that's playable) with the likes of Wolverine, Spider-Man, Thor, Ghost Rider, Dr. Strange, and plenty more. Conjoining the whole Marvel experience into one package could turn out to be the best thing for comic book games, if the Wii's controllable simplification makes it as easy and entertaining as it sounds.

Factoring in the thought that even on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 Ultimate Alliance will resemble current-gen software excuses Wii this one time from its otherwise paltry visual selections on the platform. Not that Ultimate Alliance looks bad, mind you. It's just, well, not as provocatively attractive as more astounding games that make your eyeballs go pop. Marvel characters will be depicted in a small way from an isometric view, as has been the usual for the X-Men Legends franchise. Under improved revisions though, Ultimate Alliance will supply richer worlds and models, shadows and animations and such. Less like a cartoon, this game's going to be all the more flashier for the better.

Final Thoughts
To sustain a healthy franchise like that of X-Men Legends, growing space is what it needs to stay alive. Stick by the X-Men alone, and you only have one comic book mythos to tap into. Broaden your horizons across the farthest stretches of Marvel's wondrous world however, and you have it all. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance is just one conventional game that is getting the Wii treatment for its launch window. Let's see more of these, guys!


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