Staggering amounts of backlash for this title aside, the fact of the matter is if you are a Marvel vs. Capcom 3 fan then you’ve probably either have already picked up Capcom’s latest versus iteration or are considering it. It is in my personal experiences that true gamers and casual gamers alike both share the feeling that Capcom has gotten a little too greedy for its own good with Ultimate, and regardless of the reasons or excuses this probably really could have been offered in the form of a downloadable content. The release date has come and gone however and there is nothing we can do now except decide whether we are investing or forgoing UMvC3.
The first thing to needs to be made clear is that this is essentially the same exact game we all bought back at the beginning of 2011, just with a few tweaks and addition of characters. Not much has changed with the gameplay engine, but the aforementioned tweaks are indeed aplenty. Many characters have received some makeovers in terms of their move and combo execution, and some have just downright been nerfed to the point where they just aren’t the same fighter anymore. Easy alterations to be noticed includes unnecessary allocation of new moves to rapid button tapping with Wolverine, who now expresses his love for swiss cheese every time an attack is tapped more than twice in rapid succession. For those who have not experienced this yet or have not played the game yet, just think of Chun-li’s thousand kicks technique. Other obvious additions include an ocular induced projectile from Crimson Viper, Ryu’s power-up mode and ability to rapid-fire hadoukens, and the ability to play as Galactus in arcade mode.
Certain other changes however will probably only be noticed by more advanced players, such as the change in delay with Storm’s jump loops, Wesker’s power and speed reaching near level 1 X-factor after losing his sunglasses, damage reduction in Taskmaster’s air hyper, and Trish’s air Maximum Voltage now hitting as an OTG. There are many more, but this is not the appropriate piece for further elaboration. On the surface it does not seem like much with the gameplay has changed, but this is in fact where the bulk of the modifications have been made. Casual players however will hardly be fazed; though many of these adjustments have already plagued quite a few big tournaments.
Now on to the most obvious and most impactful change, of course I speak of the new fighters. Capcom definitely made some interesting choices, and only suffers more so from a lack of further worthy inclusions if anything as opposed to an abundance of poor decisions. Most are breaths of fresh air whom make great usage of their styles; the overwhelming amount of combo options of Vergil or the vast array of Hawkeye’s arrows. Others such as Nova and Strider seem overly basic and play rather blandly by comparison, yet both are stellar options for effective combos if you can get passed how unappealing their repertoires are. There are compliments to all gameplay styles amongst the 12 newcomers; keep away artists will enjoy adding Ghost Rider or Doctor Strange to their teams to mix things up a little bit whereas vicious combo fiends (no pun intended) who like to play in the fray will find satisfaction in Vergil or Iron Fist’s possibilities. There are even players out there who will enjoy the pure “WTF” style of Phoenix Wright (who those players are…I don’t exactly know). Either way, the “fab” 12 is in all reality 99% of why anyone will be playing Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
There isn’t much to be said about most of the other additions, in fact the “new” stages Capcom has promised us would be some serious slaps in our faces if they weren’t so insignificant to the overall product. Hardly as they are advertised, the new additions to the battle venues are mere clones of the already existing stages, just slightly altered. For instance we can battle on “Chaos at Tricell” which is essentially Tricell Labs only after something has gone horribly wrong and it appears the lickers have escaped and caused a good measure of damage. There is also Asgard Sea of Space which is, you guessed it, Asgard at night time. There are maybe one or two stages that are not obvious copies, but for the most part this is a bit of an empty promise on capcom’s part. Again, not that the stages really matter for much.
Online play does not seem helped or hindered for the most part, there are no extra modes but players can finally watch the ongoing matches while they wait their turn and do some scoping of their own. Overall Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is an easy game to grade, as it is mostly the same game I reviewed many months ago. The changes certainly don’t hurt the experience, and while there are a few new bells and whistles to enjoy the game remains fairly consistent with its previous image. This, of course is not a bad thing. I still believe that Capcom’s latest versus game is the best fighting game to come out in a very long time.
Fun Factor: Much of the same as its (half?) predecessor. Still a very satisfying and enjoyable fighting game.
Difficulty: Arcade Mode is definitely beefed up in UMvC3, the A.I performs more coherent chain combos now and even utilizes DHCs more often. Online as usual will vary depending on the person on the other side of the screen.
Length: Arcade mode run-throughs can last between 10-20 minutes on average without continues. Amount of time spent online or fighting against friends at home has the potential to be measured in days.
On the Negative Side: Nothing significant enough to justify this as its own game, the new characters are a great addition but could have been just as successful, if not more, as a DLC.
Bang for Your Buck: Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a great value for those who have not previously owned or played the first Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Those who want to keep up competitively must bite the bullet and invest regardless. Still, no match will ever be the same as another, and overall amount of time spent playing is impossible to cap.