Review: Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3


Remember what Yogi Berra said about the feeling of “deja vu all over again?”

Check this out: Capcom released Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds in February. The game appeared in stores after a long wait for a retail MvC release, Marvel vs. Capcom 2: A New of Heroes, came out for the Sega Dreamcast (!) in 2000, with the game later being ported over to other consoles.

But it’s Capcom’s style to release multiple hard copy versions of the same game, and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a November release adding twelve new fighters, eight new stages and at least in this reviewer’s experience, an improved online mode. While playing the “Ultimate” version, I didn’t have to wait as long to lose.

Tech-Out liked the the first version of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 for being a game that is for newcomers to pick up and enjoy, but complicated enough for fighting game connoisseurs to appreciate. And of course, the quick, colorful ADD-like gameplay and comic art inspired visuals are also points in Ultimate’s favor.

Capcom’s practice of releasing multiple versions of the same game is starting to get weird, however. Capcom waited more than a full year between retail versions of Street Fighter IV, Super Street Fighter IV and finally, Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition. But with Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, there’s only a nine month wait and the game hit stores in the middle of a very competitive holiday release period. Despite its merits, this is a game that could easily be lost in the shuffle.

The biggest asset for Marvel vs. Capcom 3 are its new characters. From the Marvel side, the game introduces, Ghost Rider, Hawkeye, Nova, Rocket Raccoon, Doctor Strange and Iron Fist. Capcom’s new representatives are Frank West, Phoenix Wright, Firebrand, Nemesis T-Type, Vergil and Strider Hiryu. The new characters offer a variety of play styles. The likes of Vergil, Strider Hiryu and Iron Fist thrive on speed, whereas Nemesis is more of a lumbering sort who fights with brute strength and rocket launcher and Phoenix Wright is a lawyer.

Fighting with Phoenix Wright from the Ace Attorney series is not easy, but his fighting style – which allows him to collect evidence at fight scenes – is one of the more creative aspects of the game. Another entertaining bit is Frank West from “Dead Rising” swinging zombies at his opponents.

An observation: Capcom seems to have operated under a “no girls allowed” policy, given that there are zero female characters in the new roster. This reviewer is kind of surprised to see Marvel’s Black Widow absent from the game, especially since the sexy Russian spy will be in the new Avengers movie. Oh well.

Mega Man and Mega Man X are also absent, although there are reports that Mega Man X will appear only as an alternate costume for Zero, to the disappointment of many vocal fans with Internet access.

Like its predecessor, Ultimate offers players the option of using normal controls or simple controls. The game also has “missions” in which players can learn each characters’ special moves. This is nice, except it’s a pain in the neck to have to press pause and read the command list to find out how to do each move. How hard would it have been to just put the instructions on the screen?

At an MSRP of $39.99, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom seems to a good deal for those who did not purchase the original version, provided Capcom does not publish an “Arcade Edition” with more content next month. Given that Rockstar Games similarly released its “Complete Edition” of L.A. Noire in November – seven months after releasing the basic version – it seems that publishers are training their customers not to buy games at first release but to instead wait a short while to get more content at a lower price. Let’s see how this works out for them.

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
PlayStation 3, XBox 360,  (Reviewed on XBox 360)
Rated T for Teen