Variety being the spice of life, we're always a little more jazzed to report on games that push the envelope and offer something different. Marvel Ultimate Alliance
can't possibly make that claim unless you count the "gestures" used to control characters with the Wii-mote. But let's be honest: this is a dream game for fans of the comics that spawned these great characters. The four-player action is incredibly fun and there's as much variety here as you could fit into a brawler. If you only have yourself to play with, it isn't quite as much fun but there's still something to be said for having control of one hero while the CPU controls the other three. I really wish there were an online play option to give you and some networked players the same experience you can have in your living room. It's worrisome that Nintendo isn't pushing the angle for online multiplayer when it has worked so well on other systems.
The main game is a straightforward romp through an enemy battlefield, beginning on the deck of Nick Fury's huge combat helicarrier. Fury calls in the heroes to battle a large force of super villains that Dr. Doom has recruited. As you play through, you'll gain experience points that come in handy for upgrading attacks or costumes. In addition to co-op, you can play through an Arcade Mode that looks identical but grants points to each individual hero separate from the team. In the midst of games, you can enter a Simulator that features classic battles from Marvel history. It's like a game inside the game, since fans will immediately recognize these segments from reading the comics. There are additional features that can be opened up as you play, such as content from comics or gameplay movie segments. It's a nice package, but decidedly light fare. You'll enjoy it most if you have at least one other friend to play with... hopefully someone with an appreciation for the source material.