Marvel: Ultimate Alliance - hands-on

Remember when the DS first launched and there were a ton of games that didn't fit the hardware? We had ports of Splinter Cell and Need for Speed that were more token pieces of software than actual attempts at delivering something new. Well, we don't want to start on that road already, but after a lengthy session with RPG-brawler Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, it looks like it could be happening again.

If you've dabbled in the team-friendly X-Men Legends games at all, you know the setup - roam through overhead mazes as your favorite heroes and pound the tar out of everything. The more you fight, the more powerful you become, unlocking new super-moves and discovering tag-team attacks with your pals. Multiplayer, it's a formula that earned the series a place in ourbest comic book games feature - but it may not work so hot with a vibrating Wii remote and Nunchuk controller.

Our team of Captain America, Wolverine, Spider-Man and Thor was dispatched on a floating SHIELD helicarrier, ready to pound some evil robots into scrap. Thing is, waving the remote to attack isn't a whole lot of fun, and it's not like the minor forearm action immersed us in the action any better than a regular controller. Different combinations of buttons and shaking performed distinct attacks, and the Nunchuk had it own set of motion-y commands, but more often than not, we just went back to using the buttons. Holding A while sweeping the remote back and forth just doesn't make us feel any more like Thor than tapping the A button, folks.

So yeah, you can use the Wii remote's buttons and forgo the tilting, lunging and shaking altogether, but at that point, you're not using the system correctly. We're not passing any judgment on the quality of Ultimate Alliance, just saying the Wii interface may not be the best way to play the game. But hey, if you've got four people wanting to play, you're still probably going to have a good time. This series is just plain fun, and there's a chance that we all just have to get used to this new interface for it to gel properly. We hope to have some multiplayer impressions for you soon.