A beginner’s guide for the return of Ultimate Alliance.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance is back after a ten year hiatus, under new management this time with Nintendo and Team Ninja. Fueled by the newfound explosion in global popularity that Marvel has seen in recent years, this is a game that a great many people have jumped into, while even more are bound to jump in. As you get ready to dive into it, these fifteen basic tips and tricks will help you get to grips with the game’s systems and mechanics. Without further ado, let’s get started.
Ultimate Alliance 3 can be a grindy game sometimes, especially seeing as it has a massive roster of characters, and if there are any that you don’t use for a while, they end up falling behind in terms of progression. The Infinity Trials are a great place if you want to do some quick and effective grinding. You get a lot of XP from them (especially the harder and wave-based ones), so tackle these often.
XP cubes are also a great way to level up your character (at least when they’re not too high-leveled, at which point the cubes become less effective). While you do get XP cubes from the aforementioned Infinity Trials as well (another reason to partake in them), there’s also several of these lying around in the game itself within treasure boxes, so seek them out whenever possible.
Ultimate Alliance 3 is, like its predecessors, a top-down isometric hack and slash title, but there’s also a new Heroic camera setting for you to try out. It zooms in on the character that you’re playing as from a third person perspective, and makes things much less chaotic and confusing (which, to be fair, they can be quite a bit). If you’re playing solo, Heroic camera is the way to go.
Certain enemies in Ultimate Alliance 3 that you come across will have these purple bars beneath them, which indicates that they can be staggered- this is something that you should focus on primarily whenever you see such enemies. They can be quite dangerous and effective with their moves, so rather than attacking the regular pushover guys, make sure you stagger these enemies first to get them out of the way and make the rest of the battle easier for yourself.
If you’re playing solo, make sure you aren’t constantly sticking to a single character in fights. Swapping between all four fighters can be a huge help in combat. Not only does it help with allowing your preferred character to heal up when they need to, it also lets you use the unique abilities and ultimates of the other characters to great effect as well.
DODGING AND BLOCKING
Blocking and dodging are things that you learn about right at the beginning of the game, but it’s important that you don’t ignore these mechanics, as they can be very handy in combat. Dodging (which functions as a dash) helps with both, avoiding enemy combos and helping with the movement speed of slower characters, while blocking can be useful when being faced with AoE attacks that you might not have the time to dodge.
Combat in Ultimate Alliance 3 places a huge emphasis on working well with your teammates, whether that’s in solo play or in co-op. Mechanically, that takes the form of Synergy attacks, which sees two or more heroes combining their abilities to deal unique attacks- these attacks can deal a lot of damage and often have better range than regular attacks- and they don’t really cost anything special or extra to do either. So make use of these whenever possible.
EXPERIMENT WITH CHARACTERS
Sticking to your favourite Marvel superhero can surely be tempting. Lots of people out there will want to do nothing but fly around as Iron Man, and throw around Thor’s hammer, or smash things with Hulk, or swing around using Spidey’s webs. But given just how may characters they are and how they each have their own unique attacks and abilities and ultimates, you never know who might end up striking your fancy, or who might end up coming in very handy in a tough situation. So keep experimenting.
Smashing crates is the most video game-y thing of all time- make sure you honour the long and historic tradition of smashing crates in Ultimate Alliance 3 as well. Smashing crates nets you with red and blue orbs, which restore your health and give you EP for your attacks, so you can see how these come in handy- especially during boss fights.
Most characters in Ultimate Alliance 3’s roster belong to one team or another, be it the Spider family, or the Defenders, or the Agents of Shield, or the Guardians of the Galaxy, or the Avengers, or many, many others. Having two or more characters from the same team can provide some useful stat bonuses- it’s even better if there are three, and better still if there are four.
You’ll often get cues to pick and stuff in the environment and throw it at your enemies during combat- do this whenever you get the chance. From stunning enemies to staggering them to just doing a lot of damage, these can be pretty useful during fights.
ISO-8 is a feature you’ll unlock once you’re past the first two chapters, which provides you with special crystals through main quests and Infinity Trials to provide buffs and stat boosts to your characters. Though it’s easy to ignore this entirely (and maybe even desirable, given the vast options available for experimentation and crafting, not to mention all the menus), it’s definitely worth investing in your ISOs and pairing them with the right characters to yield some really helpful boosts.
Ultimate abilities, or Extreme moves, slowly build up during combat, but when you’re fighting against large amounts of enemies that are putting up a challenge, or a particularly tough foe or boss, make sure to use these strategically. Waiting for all four characters to build up their Extreme moves lets you launch an Ultimate Alliance Extreme attack, which deals massive damage and can be particularly useful in some of the tougher boss fights.
Given Ultimate Alliance 3’s very nature as a hack and slash beat ’em up, it’s understandable that all some players will want to do is mash buttons. And sure, that’s fun- but don’t ignore your upgrades. While it’s easy to forget about them entirely, upgrades purchased for Alliance Enhancements with points acquired in-game apply to the entire team, so they’re always useful no matter which character you’re playing as. So there’s no need to save your points and hang on to them for something bigger- purchase upgrades whenever you can.
Some of the later boss fights in Ultimate Alliance 3 can be tough cookies, so you’re going to need to make sure your entire team is in good shape throughout the entire encounter. So if your teammate gets downed, make sure to revive them- lure the boss away from the revive point and stun them, which should buy you plenty of time to run back to your buddy and get them back on their feet.