Reasons why Marvel Ultimate Alliance is better than Arkham City

You can pretty much tell what this is by the title. Everyone always regards Arkham City and Arkham Asylum as the greatest superhero games ever. While they were amazing, they are not as good as Ultimate Alliance. Sure, MUA may not be the best graphics ever in a game, but it's still an amazing game. Here are reasons why it is better than Arkham City and the greatest superhero game of all time.

Scope

The scope of the game is gigantic. It has simple places like the Helicarrier or the Omega Base to more complex areas like Murderworld or Atlantis, to magical places like Mephisto's Realm and Asgard, to cosmic themed areas like the Skull Homeworld and the Shi'ar empire. and that's not even all of it. Arkham City does have a lot to cover, but once you go through enough of it, it just gets old, boring, and frustrating.

Villains

Ultimate Alliance has a HUGE roster of villains. From Dr. Doom to Galactus to Loki to Enchantress to Mephisto to Attuma to Mandarin to MODOK, etc. It's just amazing. Yes, Arkham City did have an enormous roster of villains. But there were just too many, leaving some to do nothing. Two-Face is a prime example of that. He is officially in the game, but what does he do other than have more henchmen for you to face? Then there are villains who are reduced to side missions or cameos. Black Mask deserves better than that. Ultimate Alliance may have A LOT of villains (possibly more than Arkham City), though it's not too much. No one had to be reduced to a cameo or anything. Every villain got their fair time in the spotlight.

Heroes

Does this even have to be explained? The heroes in the game are even more impressive than the villains. With Captain America, Spider-Man, Thor, Wolverine, Iron Man, Storm, Daredevil, Ghost Rider, Iceman, Dr. Strange, Black Panther, Nick Fury, Deadpool, Moon Knight, etc., you can have whoever you like on your team. And you don't have to buy the overpriced DLC in Arkham City. Really, it would of been that hard to throw in at least one mission with Robin that wasn't DLC? MUA has the perfect roster of heroes to go against the perfect roster of villains.

Gameplay

The gameplay in Arkham City is AMAZING, I admit. You could easily entertain yourself for hours by just going around and beating people up (well, for some time at least. More on that later) But there's too much. There's just so much to do you loose track. You have no idea how long it took me to learn and remember how to divebomb. In MUA, there's a lot to do, but it's simple. Easy to remember, equip, etc. Plus they don't try and overdo it.

After You Beat The Game

I admit, I had extreme fun after beating Arkham City. I did some side missions, found easter eggs, got some riddles and riddler trophies, etc. But it's gotten boring. At this point, it's gotten to the point where your only thoughts are "How the f*ck do I get this f*cking riddler trophy!?!" In MUA, sure, it might still be the same thing. But with the amount of people to choose from, you can have equal fun every time playing it as you did the first time. Plus if you failed a side mission, you can try it again the second time around. You can try and find more simulation discs, etc.

The Story

There is no game out there with a more epic story than Ultimate Alliance. Sure, Arkham City was cool, but there was just too much going on. In Ultimate Alliance, the plot is epic, yet simple. Dr. Doom forms the Masters of Evil to try and take over the world, so Nick Fury forms his team to fight the Masters. It's simple, easy to remember, and is cool. Then, as the game progresses, it gets even better. Doom starts by doing simple stuff like attack the Helicarrier, but eventually starts taking us to Mephisto's Realm and Asgard. When it gets to the point where Doom is stealing Odin's power, it's just truly epic. And aside from Doom taking over Earth, there's an even greater threat with his powers destroying the time/space continuum. That's when the Shi'ar (cool plot for that mission) and Galactus come in. Even aside from Doom and the Masters, there are awesome plots when it comes to stuff like Mephisto's Realm. Choosing to save Nightcrawler or Jean Grey. How awesome is that?

In conclusion: Marvel Ultimate Alliance is the greatest superhero game in existence. Sure, Arkham city was cool, though it's not as good as MUA. Ultimate Alliance was better in story, gameplay, villains, etc.

97 Comments

98 Comments

Avatar image for juandicimo_magnifico45
Posted By Juandicimo_Magnifico45

Some points you argue I can understand, but some don't make sense. Most of your arguments for why MUA is better, regards how large the game is. Having a larger map and more heroes to play and villains to battle is great. However, using the same argument against the Arkham games doesn't fit. Having so many combat options and ways to defeat enemies for the most part is a great feature. It allows for great replay-ability and variety. Also, the end-game content, at for me, has stood the test of time. With new missions with Catwooman, challenge modes to complete with Batman, Nightwing, and more, there is a lot to do. Plus, there are side missions to complete and murders to solve.

Overall I did like your article though. I can tell from what angle you are coming from.

Avatar image for thedarksalmon
Posted By TheDarkSalmon

i think this shows how the marvel is about teams and dc has more intimate character study.

Avatar image for agent9149
Posted By Agent9149

Isn't arkham focused on bat man and his villains and allies. Its not like its gonna encompass characters from other storylines.

Avatar image for billy_batson
Posted By Billy Batson
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Avatar image for lvenger
Posted By Lvenger

Scope and heroes I agree with. Villains hell no. Most of the villains were reduced to mini bosses with a few lines and special dialogue for certain characters. The Arkhamverse villains had far more depth and character to them and it was their actions rather than the fact Batman fought them that made them important. And the Arkham gameplay is simple too with depth for the more advanced players. There's really no contest gameplay wise I'm afraid as MUA didn't feel like you were some of the heroes on the team. When playing the Arkham games, you instinctively feel like Batman and that's an awesome feat. And you can have just as much fun replaying the Arkham games as you do the first time round

Avatar image for manhunter2070
Posted By Manhunter2070

To me its comparing apples and oranges. Ultimate Alliance is more of a beat-em up role playing game, where as the Arkham games is a more story driven open world platformer experience.

Avatar image for smashbrawler
Posted By SmashBrawler

TL;DR

Avatar image for tdk_1997
Posted By TDK_1997

@Billy Batson said:

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This expreses my feeling pretty well.

Avatar image for thecannon
Posted By TheCannon

@TheDarkSalmon said:

i think this shows how the marvel is about teams and dc has more intimate character study.

MUA is still a better game.

@Agent9149 said:

Isn't arkham focused on bat man and his villains and allies. Its not like its gonna encompass characters from other storylines.

They still could of added Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, or someone without having to pay for DLC.

@Billy Batson said:

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That's kind of rude. I have no problem with criticism, though this does absolutely nothing except take up room in this thread and show that just about everything is on youtube.

@Lvenger said:

Scope and heroes I agree with. Villains hell no. Most of the villains were reduced to mini bosses with a few lines and special dialogue for certain characters. The Arkhamverse villains had far more depth and character to them and it was their actions rather than the fact Batman fought them that made them important. And the Arkham gameplay is simple too with depth for the more advanced players. There's really no contest gameplay wise I'm afraid as MUA didn't feel like you were some of the heroes on the team. When playing the Arkham games, you instinctively feel like Batman and that's an awesome feat. And you can have just as much fun replaying the Arkham games as you do the first time round

But in Arkham City, several villains were reduced to pointless role (Two-Face), cameos (Killer Croc), or side missions (Bane). And when we finally did get to someone who had a major role and a boss fight with them, it was lacking something (like most boss battles in the Arkham games).

@SmashBrawler said:

TL;DR

What?

Avatar image for smashbrawler
Posted By SmashBrawler
Avatar image for thecannon
Posted By TheCannon

@SmashBrawler

Then why would you even comment if you didn't read it?

Avatar image for zyrok
Posted By Zyrok

Honestly, I see the same flaws in your arguments that already have been mentioned.

You praise MUA for having a lot of villains and heros, and say this is good, variety is good, yet you blame Arkham City for having 'too much things to do'. I can't see the logic in this. If all the characters in MUA play the same, other than skins, where's the fun in that?

And your story argument is that MUA is more simple. Well, yeah, that's why it's weak. it's TOO straightforward. Arkham games have a really solid story,specially the first one. And the voice acting is amazing. ANd, you said yourself, the graphics in Arkhamverse are better.

So... You give gameplay to MUA, I dispute that, but fine. Arkham wins in graphics, story and voice acting. IMO, it wins in gameplay as well.

Avatar image for zeello
Posted By ZEELLO

Is MUA good on PSP? Maybe I should play it.

Avatar image for soa
Posted By SoA

@ZEELLO: i think you get mar-vell and ronin in the psp version

Avatar image for thecannon
Posted By TheCannon

@ZEELLO said:

Is MUA good on PSP? Maybe I should play it.

@ZEELLO said:

Is MUA good on PSP? Maybe I should play it.

It does have Hawkeye, Ronin, Captain Mar-vell, and Black Widow on the PSP. However, it doesn't have Colossus or Moon Knight (it's impossible to have the X-men). IF you can find it cheap, I recommend getting it, simply because you can then play it ANYWHERE.

Avatar image for gravitypress
Posted By gravitypress

Freedom Force game FTW

Avatar image for thecannon
Posted By TheCannon

@gravitypress said:

Freedom Force game FTW

That's irrelevant to the topic.

Avatar image for gravitypress
Posted By gravitypress

@TheCannon: So is comparing an action game to a RPG game. If you wanted a decent comparison you would have chosen the Justice league action/RPG to compare MUA.

Avatar image for inverno
Posted By Inverno

You can't really compare these games when they belong to different genres. Both games are great in their own ways. Its almost like if I want to compare Elder Scrolls to Assassin's Creed.

Avatar image for mrshway88
Posted By MrShway88

In the end it's just one's opinion.

Avatar image for smashbrawler
Posted By SmashBrawler

@TheCannon: Because I can and I want to.

And that TL;DR isn't accurate, since I did read some of this (and I ended up reading all of it now). All of your points have been thoroughly debunked, so there's nothing I can add to this discussion anyway.

Avatar image for theblueangel93
Posted By TheBlueAngel93

Both, in my opinion, are great games that will put a smile on the faces of most comic book fans, but to compare them to find out which one is "better" is both silly and pointless and therefor unneeded.

Avatar image for highlander_615
Posted By Highlander_615

Okay your argument about the villains is pretty weak. Sure there are a lot more villains in MUA than Arkham City, but they don't exactly play a important role other than boss fight, they aren't integral to the story. Even if you say, Black Mask and Deadshot got a little cameo in screentime, most villains like Lizard and Shocker received as much screentime. Other than that, I see a pretty biased opinion here.

Avatar image for yourneighborhoodcomicgeek
Posted By YourNeighborhoodComicGeek

@CaioTrubat said:

You can't really compare these games when they belong to different genres. Both games are great in their own ways. Its almost like if I want to compare Elder Scrolls to Assassin's Creed.

I agree.

Avatar image for redqueen
Posted By RedQueen

@CaioTrubat said:

You can't really compare these games when they belong to different genres. Both games are great in their own ways. Its almost like if I want to compare Elder Scrolls to Assassin's Creed.

But that would totally be the Elder Scrolls. :P

Gonna have to agree with mass consensus on this, whilst I absolutely loved MUA (and even the second one), Arkham City is a better game. Not in every way, but in most definitely. It's all round a more "solid" game experience.

Avatar image for truemoonchilde
Posted By TrueMoonchilde

I like both games, though I prefer Arkham City.

Do you plan on playing Marvel Heroes? It looks to be a spiritual successor to the Ultimate Alliance games, only it's online and is designed by the guy that made Diablo 1 & 2 (not 3). The Athene live-stream convinced me to give it a try, so I pre-ordered the X-Men pack last night.

Avatar image for royharperblow
Posted By RoyHarperBLOW

@Billy Batson said:

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Avatar image for jaken7
Edited By JakeN7

@TheCannon: Did our conversation in the comic book games tournament thread inspire you to make this thread by any chance?

Avatar image for biteme_fanboy
Edited By BiteMe-Fanboy

I like MUA a lot better than Arkham City. I already played through it over 6 times. And with all the characters you can play as it really never gets boring. Plus, it introduced me to many new characters. After playing as Moon Knight it made me want to read his comics. Now I am a fan of his. Same with a lot of other characters. It was a great game.

Avatar image for thecannon
Posted By TheCannon

@JakeN7 said:

@TheCannon: Did our conversation in the comic book games tournament thread inspire you to make this thread by any chance?

Kind of.

Avatar image for thecannon
Posted By TheCannon

@BiteMe-Fanboy said:

I like MUA a lot better than Arkham City. I already played through it over 6 times. And with all the characters you can play as it really never gets boring. Plus, it introduced me to many new characters. After playing as Moon Knight it made me want to read his comics. Now I am a fan of his. Same with a lot of other characters. It was a great game.

Only six? Lightweight.

And I agree with everything you've said. Only difference is it got me interested in Thor (which is now my favorite hero).

Avatar image for jorgevy
Posted By Jorgevy

they're differente.

I really like both though, freaking awesome games that need GOOD sequels that can capture and inovate the feel

Avatar image for x_29
Posted By x_29

Arkham City/Asylum are better. MUA kicks azz though.

Avatar image for goddamnironman
Posted By GodDamnIronMan

@Manhunter2070 said:

To me its comparing apples and oranges. Ultimate Alliance is more of a beat-em up role playing game, where as the Arkham games is a more story driven open world platformer experience.
Avatar image for kiltro95
Posted By Kiltro95

I personally think of MUA as more of a beat em up game true it has a great naturally progressing story but occasionally it feels like the heroes you pick are just there moving through the phases, yet some of the witty special banter between characters keeps the game alive and a great way to get to know each character is through the simulation disks (that reminds me I need to finish them all), and the way how Uatu tells you how each of your actions would affect the Marvel Universe was a great addition and it makes the player feel like a hero because of there actions, which is what makes it a great game about SUPERHEROES (plural). Batman Arkham is a great SUPERHERO (singular) adventure game because it makes you feel like Batman you are there for a purpose you are there trying to stop the Joker and other Rogues you are Batman.

Avatar image for jack_donaghy
Posted By Jack Donaghy

You forgot your number 1 reason for why you think Ultimate Alliance is better, your apparent mortal enemy Batman isn't in it.

Avatar image for saren
Posted By Saren

Number of sharks punched in MUA: 0

Number of sharks punched in Arkham City: 1

Simple mathematics shows that AC is thus infinite times superior to MUA.

Avatar image for falconpuuunch
Posted By FalconPuuunch

Please bro. MUA isn't even better than Rise of the Imperfects and that game was *fart noise with tongue*.

Avatar image for godofmischief
Posted By GodOfMischief

I like Marvel better, but Arkham City is easily better than Ultimate Alliance in my opinion.

Avatar image for big_nasty
Posted By Big_Nasty

I played both and both games were good but c'mon. MUA was a rinse and repeat of the X-men legends series and AA/AC brought comic book game on a whole new level of repect.

Avatar image for thecannon
Posted By TheCannon

@Jack Donaghy said:

You forgot your number 1 reason for why you think Ultimate Alliance is better, your apparent mortal enemy Batman isn't in it.

I do not hate Batman. I love the character, his games, and most of his movies (Batman Forever and Batman & Robin sucked. And the more I think about it, The Dark Knight wasn't anything special). But MUA is a better game.

@CitizenBane said:

Number of sharks punched in MUA: 0

Number of sharks punched in Arkham City: 1

Simple mathematics shows that AC is thus infinite times superior to MUA.

The idea of Batman not being killed by a shark immediately makes MUA better.

@FalconPuuunch said:

Please bro. MUA isn't even better than Rise of the Imperfects and that game was *fart noise with tongue*.

Never played Rise of the Imperfects, although I already know MUA is far superior.

@TheAcidSkull said:

Lol Wha?

MUA is better than Arkham City. Every reason is listed in the OP.

Avatar image for jigme
Posted By Jigme

GTA San Andreas

Avatar image for thecannon
Posted By TheCannon

@Jigme said:

GTA San Andreas

That's irrelevant to the topic.

Avatar image for kingares109
Posted By KingAres109

Arkham City stomps in everyway.I played alot of Marvel heroes solo games and the only 1 is good are Spider-Man and Wolverine.The only X-Men game I even liked was on Sega.Lol....Sorry but MUA is a beat'em up.Nuff said...

Avatar image for mannequin
Posted By Mannequin

In no day and age will MUA ever be better than the Arkham franchise. I've played both games, and while I absolutely loved MUA it doesn't hold a candle to the Arkham series. If I were you I'd reevaluate my thinking on the matter.

Avatar image for consolemaster001
Posted By consolemaster001
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Avatar image for avenging_x_bolt
Posted By Avenging-X-Bolt

@Lvenger said:

Scope and heroes I agree with. Villains hell no. Most of the villains were reduced to mini bosses with a few lines and special dialogue for certain characters. The Arkhamverse villains had far more depth and character to them and it was their actions rather than the fact Batman fought them that made them important. And the Arkham gameplay is simple too with depth for the more advanced players. There's really no contest gameplay wise I'm afraid as MUA didn't feel like you were some of the heroes on the team. When playing the Arkham games, you instinctively feel like Batman and that's an awesome feat. And you can have just as much fun replaying the Arkham games as you do the first time round

this. Arkham City had an epic story as well and you really never knew how things were going to turn out.

Avatar image for lvenger
Posted By Lvenger

@Avenging-X-Bolt: With Paul Dini writing the story, I was expecting something like that to be the case with the story. It's a shame he isn't writing any Batman comics at the moment.

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