Iâ€™m generally not a fan of heavily licensed games, and I will almost always avoid film license tie-ins at all costs â€“ Goldeneye and Blade Runner excepted. I therefore managed to completely miss Marvel Ultimate Alliance when it first appeared a few months back. So, even though this is another title thatâ€™s not new, it actually felt new to me.
If youâ€™re a Marvel superhero fan, itâ€™s safe to say that Ultimate Alliance will float your boat. The game features no less than 140 characters from the Marvel universe, although you can only take control of around 20 of them. Even so, youâ€™re left with some choice talent to control â€“ thereâ€™s Wolverine, the Fantastic Four, Storm, Elektra and Spiderman, just to name a few. Thereâ€™s a similar amount of talent on the side of evil too, with the likes of Bullseye and Scorpion making early appearances and Dr Doom leading the rowdy rabble.
At its most basic level Marvel Ultimate Alliance is an isometric scrolling beat-em-up, with some basic RPG elements thrown in for variety. Although video games have moved on from the â€œwalk into a room, beat up bad guys, walk into the next roomâ€ formula, I found Ultimate Alliance refreshingly simple. Thereâ€™s something pure, nay, primal about simply walking around, finding the bad guys and kicking the living daylights out of them. Thereâ€™s no learning curve, thereâ€™s no real need to read the manual and it really is great fun.