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Gamers, get ready to marvel at your access to the largest roster of comic book super heroes ever found in a single video game.
“Marvel: Ultimate Alliance” offers gamers the chance to choose from a pool of more than 20 characters from Marvel comic books including Spider-Man, Captain America, Wolverine, Thor, Human Torch, Thing, Elektra and Storm. Many are available from the start, others, including the X-Men characters, are locked up and accessible only when certain tasks are accomplished.
The action/RPG game allows gamers to accomplish missions with four characters as a single team. This allows the player to choose a character out of the four while the other three assist automatically. The characters can be switched while playing. And the player can change the entire team to other characters when arriving at a blue circle with an eagle symbol in the center.
The biggest problem, however, is the size of the images. On a wide screen the extremely small size of the characters can be irritating for gamers since it is hard to see what the characters are doing. Because of the size, players could miss out on items that they should collect.
The camera system is another problem. It hardly gives a full or an accurate view of where the player should be looking. Enemies attack from the rear and when the player fails to adjust their view quickly enough the team suffers from damage caused by incoming enemies. When attacks come in crowded groups, it’s difficult to make out who is an ally. Distinguishing enemies is even harder and sometime they are simply bypassed until they start attacking. Players could even fail to see that there’s a door that needs to be opened if the camera view is from the top.
Another problem the game suffers is that the game play is complicated and takes a while to get used to, especially as the moves are controlled with the analog button, which is rarely used in any other game. One of the other difficulties found in the game play is the use of special powers or skills. Those accustomed to RPG genre will have little difficulty but for first timers there are tricks that take time getting used to. The skills offered, however, are too simple and lack diversity. Attacks are limited to two buttons. One allows light blows, the other heavy punches. Players can grab enemies and toss them against walls but there is no kicking button.
Overall this is a game for Marvel comic book fans. They can enjoy playing the roles of many super heroes. The action is good and the difficulty of the game is fairly challenging. However, the simplicity of actions available to the characters and the small view are problems that need to be resolved in the future.
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
Genre: Action/RPG
Platform: PSP
Publisher: Activision
Rating:★★★★: Solid entertainment, especially for fans of the genre.

By Lee Ho-jeong
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