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Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order Nintendo Switch Game Review

Heroes and Villains clash in this cosmic scale Action-RPG

Sep 04, 2019

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order Nintendo Switch Game Review - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Sep 04, 2019
( Rating: 3 Star Rating)

Work together with a team of heroes to take down Thanos and his Black Order across all corners of the Marvel Universe. See what Kidzworld thought of this super-powered adventure, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order!

By: Noah Friscopp

It has been a long while since an Ultimate Alliance game hit video game systems, and this time the co-op action is exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.

Infinity Saga

The story, once again after Infinity War and Endgame, is based on the Infinity Saga of Marvel Comics. Thanos, The Mad Titan, is after the infinity stones and it is up to the whole universe of heroes to stop him. The search will take you from space, New York's super-prison The Raft, Asgard, Wakanda, Xavier's School of Gifted Youngsters and more. Despite how many locations there are, none of them feel all that interesting. They are all guilty of throwing a whole lot of puzzles and enemies at you with little variety. While the base enemies that you face can get very repetitive quickly, the constant flow of epic boss battles against famous Marvel villains is a major highlight of the game. As well as heroes to recruit, the game throws villainous boss battles at the player constantly. Some of these encounters are larger than life and make the focus on teamwork even more critical than usual like the colossal throwdown with Sandman in New York City. Some bosses require unique strategies to finish off, but most boil down to chipping away at a stun meter before you can deliver big damage. There are fully voice-acted and animated cutscenes as well as static dialogue sections where you can talk to characters directly after stressful action sections for a breather. The animated cutscenes are a treat, and seeing so many different characters interact with one another is a joy, with even more characters being present than in the movies. I do wonder how much longer now Marvel can keep using this story, especially after Endgame and this game. Hopefully, we'll see a bit more originality if the series continues to a fourth game. 

You might recognize Thanos' Black Order from Infinity War, they get some more time to shine in Ultimate Alliance 3You might recognize Thanos' Black Order from Infinity War, they get some more time to shine in Ultimate Alliance 3Courtesy of Nintendo

Pick Your Team

By far, one of the best parts of the game is picking your team of heroes. There are over 45 playable characters, most you meet throughout the story. The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Defenders, Spider-People, some of the X-Men, Black Panther, Captain Marvel and more are available as playable characters. Once they're unlocked, you can pick whoever you want, however, there are reasons to select a specific group. You get stat bonuses if your team of characters knows one another. For example, if you choose all of the Guardians of the Galaxy, you'll be a lot stronger as a team. Each of the characters has advantages and are all fairly fun to play. You might find a group you like and try to stick with it, but changing up your squad will make the game more fun in the long run as you try new powers. The only team I did not enjoy that much was Spider-Man, Miles Morales, Spider-Gwen and Venom. Except for Venom with his high damage attacks and Symbiote tentacle moves, they all feel very similar to one another and can make the combat feel a lot less exciting. Using a more diverse team like The Avengers makes for much more exciting battles as you switch back and forth, throwing ranged attacks and clobbering with weapons and fists alike. Even though I tried to swap out my squad as much as possible, Spider-Man and Wolverine were constants in my hero lineup. For the most part, the designs of the heroes' iconic costumes are appealing. Both the comics and recent films inspired the heroes' suits for a look that fans of both will surely enjoy. In addition to the roster that is already unlockable, there are more incoming in both free and paid DLC to help bolster the already massive lineup. X-Men Colossus and Cyclops were recently added to the bunch, and the Marvel Knights Blade, Moon Knight, Morbius, and The Punisher will be the first group DLC with more to come later. In battle and during exploration, your heroes can perform synergy attacks where two characters combine their abilities into one massive attack. These are especially useful when tackling big boss battles on Mighty difficulty, and some treasure chests can only be opened by using a specific synergy which gives you another reason to experiment with your playstyle with multiple characters. 

Surter is one of the many huge boss battles you'll encounter during the hunt for the Infinity StonesSurter is one of the many huge boss battles you'll encounter during the hunt for the Infinity StonesCourtesy of Nintendo

RPG Gameplay

Ultimate Alliance 3 is an Action-RPG in the style of games like Diablo. Each character has several skills and attacks that can be unlocked and upgraded when you level up. You can also play the game with up to three other friends in both online and local co-op making Ultimate Alliance 3 a great party game. These different abilities make choosing your team all the more important so choose wisely. When you recruit a character, their level will be high enough that you should be able to use them right off the bat. Characters that you might not have used in a while don't gain experience points when you aren't using them, though. Frequently switching out the members of your team is the way to go here, as it is the best way to keep your group up fighting strength. You will eventually notice that you may be falling behind the curve and might need to get your heroes' levels up quickly. That is where the Infinity Rifts come in. These are special challenges that you can repeat for higher rewards and difficulties as well as to get a huge amount of experience. Whenever the game might feel a little too difficult, hop in here and take on some of the challenges. Boss fights with adjusted damage, battles with hundreds of enemies, and more await for those who want an extra challenge. Each location has an Infinity Rift to tackle, but fear not. If you don't feel like doing it when you find it in the level, there is a separate menu where you can go back and play old rifts as well as new ones you find on your journey. I enjoy the change of pace and challenge that these provide, but can't help but feel like they also eventually fall into the trap of feeling repetitive especially if you're doing them over and over trying to level up your heroes. There are puzzles to solve in the environments you find yourself in, but rarely do they offer much challenge or an engaging change of pace. Quiet time is important for action games like this one since they can get so hectic, but the puzzles never feel fun enough to feel like a meaningful substitute for the combat.  A lot of the environment-based ones can be skipped entirely with the help of flying and web-swinging characters. I appreciate that these puzzles are here, but they never really feel as fun as you'd want them to. 

A.I.M., The Hand, the super-powered prisoners of the RAFT and more are all looking to stop you and your group of heroesA.I.M., The Hand, the super-powered prisoners of the RAFT and more are all looking to stop you and your group of heroesCourtesy of Nintendo

Final Thoughts

For Marvel fans looking to smash virtual action-figures together in massive battles, look no further than Ultimate Alliance 3. The variety of characters, locations and boss fights will no doubt make any True Believer smile, and there is great fun to be had building up your ideal team of heroes to fight through hordes of enemies.  The RPG systems are deep and rewarding, and the motivation to try new characters does keep the gameplay from growing stale for a while. While that fun does last, the gameplay never really expands. Sure you do unlock more skills and become more powerful, but the pace of combat in the beginning basically stays the same the entire length of the story. With some exceptions with the bigger boss battles, most encounters boil down to simply wearing down the enemy's stun meter, and then unleashing your super attacks when they're down repeated over and over until you win. The enjoyable cutscenes make the story interesting enough to want to see through, and the huge amount of characters do make the game more enjoyable than it would have been otherwise. Overall, it is a solid action-RPG as long as you know what you're getting into from the beginning. If blasting through hordes of enemies, spamming abilities and taking on huge boss battles sounds fun and you're a huge Marvel fan then you really cannot go wrong especially if you plan on playing with friends. Just don't expect much too much more than that. 

Pros 

  • Huge Roster of Playable Superheroes
  • Larger than Life Boss Battles 
  • Levels and Locations Spanning all Across the Marvel Universe
  • Infinity Rift Challenges Keep you Coming Back
  • Four-Player Co-op

Cons

  • Repetitive Combat
  • Not Much Enemy Variety Outside of Bosses
  • Lackluster Puzzles

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order Game Rating: 3

Courtesy of Nintendo

Available now for Nintendo Switch

 

Share Your Thoughts

What do you think of Ultimate Alliance 3? What would your perfect team of Marvel heroes look like? Let us know below!