Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Review
Parent Talk: Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 updates Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, which released earlier this year. It features more characters, additional modes, and other extra content. Unlike violent fighter franchises like Mortal Kombat, UMvC3 is more a flashy, over-the-top comic book. Expect to see lots of lasers, fireballs, explosions, crazy martial arts, guns, and swords.
Plays Like: Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, thanks simple attack input. It also resembles previous Marvel vs. Capcom games, and of course, Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, X-Men vs. Street Fighter, and X-Men: Children of the Atom.
Review Basis: Completed Arcade mode with various characters and poured time into offline/online Vs modes.
Note: At this time, the free DLC Heroes and Heralds mode has not yet been released.
What’s New? Ultimate boasts 12 additional characters and 8 more stages. The interface is changed, the fighting system is slightly tweaked, the balancing is redone, and a couple new modes arrive. Galactus Mode lets you finally play as the planet-consuming giant, while Spectator Mode allows you to observe fighters online. You can read the review of the original game here.
Though Marvel vs. Capcom 3 already had a diverse fighter roster, gamers couldn’t help but want more. The two DLC characters were received warmly, but didn’t quench the needs of fans that waited for the game since the release of MvC2 over a decade ago. Ultimate adds fresh faces, most of which have never participated in a fighting game. The characters are: Strider Hiryu, Firebrand, Phoenix Wright, Frank West, Vergil, Nemesis T-Type, Doctor Strange, Iron Fist, Nova, Rocket Raccoon, Ghost Rider, and Hawkeye. They all have unique nuances that bring a fresh feeling to the battlefield, and thankfully also retain the qualities that make them special.
For example, Phoenix Wright isn’t a conventional fighter—he’s not a “fighter” at all. He clumsily fumbles around, reads papers, searches for evidence, calls his faithful sidekick Maya for assistance, and builds a ‘case’ against his opponent. He has three distinct methods of battle: Investigation, Courtroom, and Turnabout. In Investigation mode, the goal is to gather evidence and switch to Courtroom. Then, his moveset changes, and the trademark “Objection!” is available. Doing so with the correct evidence results in a Turnabout, when Mr. Wright truly shines. He becomes lethal and can access his final attack, the Ace Attorney. He’s an interesting, dynamic character, but thankfully the developers made everyone worthwhile to play.
Strider Hiryu plays similarly to his MvC2 build, but has a wealth of new attacks and surprises. He’s fast, and can handle many situations. Ghost Rider is an excellent choice for zoning opponents and maintaining control over their position during the fight, thanks to his chain attacks. Nemesis is a colossal beast with attack priority that’s hard to scoff at. His moveset isn’t extensive, but powerful, long-reaching, and borderline unstoppable. Doctor Strange is an excellent projectile character and can maintain control against a foe. Frank West is unpredictable with his level-up system that gains him access to new moves. Firebrand is fierce and capable of maintaining pressure with furious juggling. Rocket Raccoon, not a Cable clone, has a variety of traps at his disposal: bear traps, log traps, mines, and more. Hawkeye is equipped with his trademark arrows, but his appeal is different attack patterns and status effects, like freezing or poison. Vergil is quick, and puts out damaging moves. Nova is somewhat like Phoenix or Iron Man, but possesses great aerial maneuverability and seriously strong knockback. Finally, Iron Fist is great for combos and powering up.
+ Fighters are re-balanced, and most of the original characters have new moves to freshen the experience.
+ The comic book packaged with the special edition of MvC3 is included in Ultimate’s gallery as a bonus.
+ Galactus Mode is ridiculous but undeniably fun, and available immediately if you have a MvC3 save. Or unlock it after amassing 30,000 player points.
+ Jill Valentine and Shuma Gorath carry over if you purchased them for MvC3. Other data, like the first costume pack, also transfer.
+ More costumes on the disc. Additional content will come in the future.
+ Online is more robust and better integrated. You’re no longer booted to the main menu if an online match fails to connect.
+ The HUD is made-over.
+ You can reject an online match after being paired up, instead of suffering through.
- Not much extra content out of the box. Galactus and Spectator Mode are neat, but aren’t substantial and don’t offer expansions to the actual fighting. Capcom didn’t add any kind of story or adventure mode, which could have opened up opportunities for challengers or bosses other than Galactus.
- The new stages are merely remixed versions of past environments.
Isn’t this what MvC3 should have been? Early adopters may be displeased that Ultimate released in the same year as MvC3. This upgrade isn’t as significant as Super Street Fighter IV was.
Is this a bad deal for the early adopter?
It’s tempting to be angry. However, even if Ultimate’s content was DLC for MvC3, which fans rightfully asks for, characters would likely be priced at $5 each. That would amount to $60 for all 12 additions. If they came in packs, there would probably be four characters in each, priced at $15, and that would total $45. So Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3’s $40 point is basically a fair deal for the content, and considering the competition. It’s an added incentive for those who don’t have the game yet, or don’t have access to the DLC. Hypothetically, the cheaper route would be to individually choose a handful of the 12 characters. Still, for a better version of an already-fun game, and the benefit of more characters and free post-launch DLC modes coming, this isn’t a bad deal. The knee-jerk reaction may be to dismiss it as a cash-grab, which is somewhat valid, but it’s yet a worthy upgrade.
If you enjoy fighters, and don’t own Marvel vs. Capcom 3, then Ultimate should be on your holiday wishlist. It’s an incredibly fun, over-the-top fighting festival that celebrates Capcom and Marvel history. The many references and nuances provide a love letter to each company’s heritage. You’ll likely forget the flaws once you’re lost in some friendly and maybe not-so-friendly matches. Despite lacking single player content, Ultimate still carries that “just one more match” charm.
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