Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 releases in the U.S. today and throughout the world tomorrow. At a reasonably priced $40, this game is almost impossible to pass up for Fighting Game fans. To see why, let’s take a look at the good — and the bad — from this latest release in the Marvel Vs. Capcom series.
Capcom has included 12 brand new characters in this game, some of which are fan favorites, and some who are straight oddball characters. The roster includes famous Marvel characters such as Ghost Rider, with his flaming skull and chains whipping people into shape, all the way to Capcom’s Phoenix Wright, the comical lawyer from his own series of games whose fighting style stays remarkably true to his roots.
The game didn’t stop with just adding 12 new characters. Many of the old characters have been adjusted, and several of them got new moves, though a few of them didn’t. This can feel like a huge disservice to the fans, as every Fighting Game fan always wants new toys to play with. Some of the more fun moves, like Storm’s Fair and Foul Wind moves, control space incredibly well. On the flip side, moves like C. Viper’s Red Eye, that she borrowed from Cyclops, don’t seem that effective.
However, the balance in this game seems to be pretty good out of the gate. This balance may be completely nullified in a few weeks, but at the moment it seems very akin to the classic Super Street Fighter II Turbo: everyone has abusable tools and has high damage output, so everyone is a threat. It’s unclear if Capcom plans to patch this game regularly or release a patch once in a blue moon like with the original Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, but nothing stands out right now as being too
The net-code for UMvC3 has been optimized and is a significant upgrade to the previous version’s disappointing net-code. While playing a lot of matches this past weekend, it held up well. And the new lobby system is amazing. Watching matches while waiting is a must for Fighting Games online, as it keeps you from sitting there waiting aimlessly and even lets you plot how to beat the current king of the mountain. I literally lost multiple hours this past weekend just hanging out in the lobbies and watching what people were doing in Ultimate.
The extra modes that are found in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 are hit and miss. Galactus Mode is just what it sounds like: assume the role of a huge boss character named Galactus against computer-controlled opponents. This mode is fun for about 5 minutes, and then it grows old quickly. This is one of the rewards you get for having an original Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 save on your system. Otherwise, you have to spend about 30,000 of the in-game points to buy this mode.
One of the more exciting modes is Heroes and Heralds. This yet-to-be-released add-on adds system direction into the game, giving characters unique abilities like parry. You can also choose a “side” every week — either a Hero or a Herald — and fight for your side online. Since this hasn’t been released, it’s hard to give it an accurate assessment but it sounds like crazy fun.
All in all, 50 total characters, balancing tweaked, new modes, and improved online experience, this will end up being a great investment and provide high replay value. Hopefully this will take a little bit of the sting out of buying what felt like almost the beta of a game in the original version and keep you entertained for years to come.