Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 has seemingly become one of the most underappreciated first-party titles on the Nintendo Switch. Released in between two of the biggest games on the system, Mario Maker 2 and Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Ultimate Alliance 3 was not able to fit into everyone’s schedules. Many could only pick up one or the other while completely overlooking the top-down Action RPG. It’s an incredibly entertaining title for newcomers to the series and a worthy pick up for any fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe or just Marvel in general.

Ultimate Alliance 3

Different from the MCU

Anyone familiar with the MCU, and especially Endgame, knows that the Infinity Stones are the most desired item in the universe. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order takes on this same concept but approaches the story very differently. On the big screen, the MCU only uses the characters that have been introduced as part of their larger, overarching narrative. However, in this release, the story relies much more heavily on its comic book counterparts. The X-Men and Inhumans take a big role in how the plot carries out while also retaining the popular Guardians of the Galaxy and original Avengers. Because of this, there is a lot more mystery on what can happen next.

Thanos is, fittingly, the big bad of this game yet he isn’t as prominent as his movie counterpart. Instead, players are set to be much more familiar with The Black Order. In Infinity Warthis force of villains weren’t as menacing as they could have been. Their powers just weren’t as immense but here they are the driving force of the plot. So this fortunately adds more depth to the group. On top of all this, they work with many recognizable villains, like Nebula and Ultron, to try and carry out their goal. It helps make the unverse massive and intertwined more so than the films where some superheroes haven’t been introduced or are far away from even appearing.

Enticing Gameplay

Anyone who’s enjoyed the originals or games such as Diablo 3then don’t hesitate on checking this out. The hack-and-slash nature of this can grow to be largely addicting and satisfying. Gameplay is defined with light and heavy attacks that vary depending on the hero used. There are also four special attacks that can be utilized when a meter is filled up. It’s very simple but has just enough variability to make things not feel incredibly tedious and repetitive, however, it doesn’t do much to bring new ideas to the genre. A deep upgrading system is also in place. Throughout the campaign, many crystals can be found that come with various ability enhancements. These can be combined and upgraded for every hero. Not only this but a massive skill tree is also available to boost stats for easier battles in later levels.

Team Ninja’s latest is a fairly meaty game too. Nearly 15 hours of gameplay can be found in order to complete the main story portion of the title. Each chapter is focused around a location found in the comics but they do scale in difficulty. Often times, players are sure to know how underleveled they are when attempting to clear a section. To counter this, the game includes Infinity Rifts which are challenges that award XP, bonus costumes, and even secret characters. Plenty of them can be found so there’s an additional couple hours of gameplay once the title is completed, as well as in between chapters. At first, I wasn’t too interested in trying this out yet once I did, I couldn’t stop running through them for new scores and mass amounts of XP.

Deep Roster

As somebody who loves all things Marvel, it’s great to be able to play as characters seen in the MCU films in addition to those from Fox and ones only in the comics, at least for now. With over 30 playable heroes, there are plenty of changes that can be made to ones roster. As the game started, my team included Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Man, and Wolverine. Once things started heating up in the later levels, my team constantly changed to include members from all over the universe and not just ones found within Disney. It was very hard to choose who to swap in and out but playing around with the cast proved to be a high point. Not to mention, the voice acting is fantastic and really makes each character come to life.

I mentioned before that new costumes could be unlocked in the Infinity Rifts. What I didn’t say was that not every character has a new costume here, as of writing this. The developers have stated that every member of the alliance is set to receive one down the line but it’s still a bummer that only half of my team had different suits while the rest used their standard costumes. The DLC does look promising already. With announcements that the Fantastic Four, X-Men, Marvel’s Knights, and Cyclops and Colossus coming, the roster is going to look incredibly nice. Having these characters show up help make this the best Ultimate Alliance to date.

Ultimate Alliance 3

Even though this game was squished in between two of the biggest releases on the Switch, there’s still plenty of room for this to shine. So many new characters are set to join into the alliance while also showing what makes Marvel so great. It does have many nods to the MCU but it has enough to make it stand on its own. Thanks to the MCU, there isn’t a need to introduce many of the characters and in doing so makes this feel like an massive universe for the heroes to run around in. This may be an underappreciated title, but it still packs a punch with its addictive gameplay and enjoyable story to make this a gem on the Nintendo Switch.

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