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You Can Dress 'Em Up and Take Out the Bad Guys

The Silver Surfer looks marvelous as he battles evil Galactus.
The Silver Surfer looks marvelous as he battles evil Galactus.

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance(all video game systems, ages 13 and up, $40).

In this case, you could say the clothes make the game. In Ultimate Alliance, not only do you take control of 20 of Marvel’s superheroes -- from A-listers like Spider-Man to fan faves like Blade -- but you also pick which costume the hero will wear. Do you go with black-trenchcoated, tribal-tattooed Blade a la the Wesley Snipes films or the original 1970s version with the funky 'fro?

That kind of obsessive detail -- along with endless opportunities to fling Captain America’s shield or Thor’s hammer to clock to the bad guys-- gives this game a punch that comic book fans and ordinary gamers alike will enjoy. The combat action is at times a little too easy. Big bad guys like Scorpion and Radioactive Man? They're not so big or bad. But game maker Activision uses the same role-playing features (upgrading powers and weapons) they created for the hit X-Men Legends to keep gamers interested in playing to the end, when they square off against planet-eating villain Galactus. The bonus in that battle is that players get to take control of the cosmically cool Silver Surfer to help the good guys. In the realm of superhero games, Ultimate Alliance will be a classic collector’s item.

Kenneth Terrell covers personal technology for U.S. News & World Report.

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Kenneth Terrell