Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 (Review)

Capcom sure has taken a lot of crap from their fans in recent months. Hordes of angry consumers are upset that they have to buy Marvel vs Capcom 3 for a second time, but I’m not even going to get into that. This is after all my review for Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, and Capcom has really proved their doubters wrong with this thorough upgrade to an already great fighting game.

Since I already wrote a review for the original release of Marvel vs Capcom 3, I won’t really rehash anything I said about the gameplay systems and what not so if you haven’t played Marvel vs Capcom 3 at all, read that review first for my thoughts on the overall structure and playability of the game. So what does Capcom bring to the table with the Ultimate update? Twelve new characters, ten new stages, a revamped main menu and UI, as well as extensive balancing and expanding of existing character move lists.

First, let’s talk about the returning characters. A lot of characters have brand new moves which will force their long time fans to come up with new strategies and ways to integrate the new moves into their play styles. Wolverine is perhaps my favourite example of this as he has gained an attack called “Swiss Cheese” in which he slices his claws repeatedly in front of him. It’s a lot like Super Skrull’s “Tenderizer” attack and is easy to execute (perhaps too easy). Various other characters have a new trick or two up their sleeves while almost every character has been rebalanced or tweaked to some degree. Most of the changes are fortunately minor and won’t really affect the gameplay any differently for regular players, though the hardcore tournament players will be obsessing over each and every small change due to even the slightest tweak being a potential game changer for specific characters on the tournament scene.

All characters now have six colours to choose from with most of them being new colour schemes that were not present in the original release. Captain America, Deadpool and Zero have some cool alternate colour schemes with Zero perhaps being the most interesting due to how his alternate colours pay homage to various characters in the Mega Man universe. In typical trollish Capcom fashion, Zero has received a brand new Mega Man X alternate colour scheme. This is sure to annoy some Mega Man fans, but they haven’t seen anything yet. Just wait until DLC costumes!

In terms of new characters, there’s a lot of really interesting variety. Twelve new faces have been added in total, six to each side. On Capcom’s side we have Firebrand, Frank West, Nemesis, Phoenix Wright, Strider Hiryu, and Vergil. Firebrand is a winged red demon who can flutter around the screen shooting fireballs and doing various dive attacks. He’s a little difficult to get used to, but he seems like a fairly pleasant surprise. It’s pretty possible for Firebrand to be anywhere at once, and I anticipate he’ll be the bane of a lot of inexperienced players online.

Frank West seems like a very enjoyable character. He appears to be very melee oriented due to starting off with his baseball bat and camera. The fun thing about Frank is that he can level himself up and gain new weapons. Each time Frank levels up, his melee weapon will change. What starts off as a mere baseball bat will eventually end up as much stronger combo weapons that we all know and love from Dead Rising.

Phoenix Wright is a real handful to use. His animations are confusing and it is difficult to determine what “moves” will hit your opponent. Phoenix Wright’s moves include throwing papers, sneezing (or coughing?), and falling down on his butt. While I appreciate the fact that Capcom included Phoenix Wright in the game to please his fans, he is an obvious joke character – but not in the good way. In my opinion, he is a waste of space in this game.

As a long time Marvel vs Capcom fan, I’ve been putting a lot of time into Strider Hiryu and am loving how he plays in Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. He is fantastic at both short and long range and his teleports can really help mix things up quite a bit.

Nemesis and Vergil also seem quite handy and I’m sure each of them will be devastating in the right hands. Nemesis sort of reminds me of Venom while Vergil is sure to get a lot of play from Devil May Cry fans as well as anyone who prefers sword-based characters.

On the Marvel side we have Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, Hawkeye, Iron Fist, Nova, and Rocket Raccoon. I’ve really only taken to two Marvel characters and they are Ghost Rider and Nova. The rest, unfortunately, just don’t mesh with my play style at all which is a real shame since I was really looking forward to Iron Fist before release.

Ghost Rider is a long range virtuoso. His chain attacks often stretch all the way across the screen which makes it pretty hard to run from Ghost Rider, and his “eat chain” line that he spits out with each attack sounds great. I feel like I probably like Ghost Rider’s look and voice more than how he plays but, overall, he feels like a really well made fighter with his chain and fire attacks. Oh yeah, and we can’t ignore his hyper where he jumps on his bike and mows down the opponent!

Nova took a lot of heat before release with many fans saying that he just looked like a rehashing of other characters. Essentially, they thought he was a bland and boring version of Taskmaster. I was always looking forward to Nova and I’ve grown to really enjoy using him now that the game is in my hands. He does have a lot of close range rushdown attacks as demonstrated in his trailer, but he also has quite a bit of long range possibilities as well and I can’t wait to try him out against human opponents.

Now, the four characters I don’t like too much on the Marvel side? Doctor Strange seems very well made, but I can’t adapt to his floaty mechanics and, due to him hovering slightly above the ground, I haven’t had much luck using Strange against the likes of Amaterasu, Arthur, or Rocket Raccoon.

Hawkeye isn’t a bad character and his bows have excellent range and speed, but he feels seriously bland and uninspired to me. I like his theme music, but playing him is honestly a bore. The same applies to Iron Fist who I thought looked like a blast in his trailer, but after using him? He just felt hopelessly generic and is nothing but a Bruce Lee rip-off in this game. I understand that Iron Fist is an exceptionally talented martial artist, but the Bruce Lee vibes could have been taken down a few notches.

As for Rocket Racoon? I don’t have any problems with him and his quirky design amuses me, but his small size makes him a little harder for me to play with. It feels like Yoda from Soulcalibur IV all over again. He has plenty of range and can even use traps (think Trish), but Rocket Raccoon is pretty pitiful in my hands and I don’t want to comment on him very much because of this.

I suppose I could mention Galactus as a seventh Marvel character since we are able to play as him now. In Galactus Mode, you simply play as the planet devourer himself as you take down team after team of opponents. It’s fun for one or two matches, but after that it becomes a bit dull. Playing as Galactus is interesting, but it usually feels like a lot of effort on my part to even make him do anything. Capcom does not include a move list for him, so figuring out how to use Galactus is all guess work.

There are ten new stages in total, but they are all just “remixed” versions of existing stages. For example, Kattelox Island is now covered in snow and the SHIELD heli-carrier stage is now set during the day. Fortunately the remixed stages add just enough variety to be interesting to play on, though Demon Village Redux (essentially a black and white version of the original Demon Village) feels like a bit of a lazy rush job.

There aren’t too many other new features, though the ingame UI has been improved making it easier to tell which character is on point and how much life your teammates have left. You will also always know when you have X Factor available due to the electrified red X at the end of each player’s life bars. Another small thing worth mentioning for those who don’t play online much is that the computer AI has been made a little more difficult.

Overall, I feel like Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 is a huge step in the right direction. All of the new characters (except Phoenix Wright) feel as if they belong in this game and all of them are probably pretty viable. While we’re sure to see a frightening number of Vergils online, at least we’re still going to see a little more diversity! If you were a fan of the original Marvel vs Capcom 3, then I would definitely suggest checking out the Ultimate upgrade. The game feels remarkably exciting and fresh again and the new characters add plenty of unpredictability to the fights.

Final Score

9.4/10

Pros:
+ New characters and stages all look really great.
+ Old characters receiving new moves was a great idea.
+ The new characters add lots of new possibilities.

Cons:
– Galactus fight is the same as ever.
– No new innovative game modes.
– Phoenix Wright. Capcom, what were you thinking?

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Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 Isn’t A Rip-Off

 

Note: I am speaking my mind with this post, so a bit of foul language will slip through. If you don’t enjoy reading colourful language, click here for something more suited to your tastes.

 


Over the past few weeks, I’ve spotted a really stupid trend spreading throughout the minds of disgruntled Capcom fans and such. This trend is the belief that the original Marvel vs Capcom 3 was some kind of beta. Um… Am I the only one who fails to see the rampant stupidity in such a belief?

For starters, betas are ridden with bugs, glitches, and many little nuances that will nag at players and interrupt their gaming on many occasions. None of this applies to the original Marvel vs Capcom 3 which is a finely crafted game that happens to be remarkably bug free and insanely enjoyable to play. The game is very polished through and through, and really the only two complaints about the game that I ever see are “boo hoo, no Mega Man” and “whine whine, no additional offline modes.” Sounds like minor gripes to me. Marvel vs Capcom 3 doesn’t smell like a beta at all, nope. Smells like a fully fledged game that is very well developed.

The reason for a lot of people blabbing that Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 is an extension to a beta that we already played is different though. It has nothing to do with how the original game plays or how it feels, no. People are merely pissed off that they have to pay $40 for this wealth of new content which they all assume should have been in the original game… Not because Capcom planned everything from release (they didn’t). It is simply because all of these naysayers are merely greedy pricks.

Let’s look at some other games out there that threw additional content like this at us, shall we? First off, Diablo 2. Remember that awesome PC RPG? I’m sure many people do since, like Marvel vs Capcom 3, it’s pretty darn awesome. Now remember how fantastic the original Diablo 2 was? It was very playable, very fun, very great… And then about a full year later, the expansion was released. It introduced a lot of new gameplay mechanics, new classes, and new locations to play in. How did people react? “THIS IS FUCKING INCREDIBLE!”

Half-Life 2. A different genre, but another game that is right up there with other great games. Remember when Episode 1 was announced and later released? Everyone went batshit insane with joy. Same deal with Episode 2, and we still have people clammering for Episode 3. Both Episode 1 and Episode 2 were well made and exceptionally polished. They introduced a lot of new areas and enemies, and the fans really enjoyed it and appreciated it all. I don’t remember anyone crying that Episodes 1 and 2 should’ve been part of the original game. Valve wanted to continue the story of Half-Life 2 and give gamers more of what they loved. Doesn’t this sound a lot like, uhhh, the same thing Capcom is doing right now?

Then there are MMORPGs. Monthly subscriptions. This is a pretty crappy way to make people continue to play your games and in most cases it is a necessary evil (I said MOST cases), but nobody really whines about it too much. Heck, nobody even complains about MMORPG expansion packs. What happens when World of Warcraft gets a new expansion? The people who go “lol you have to pay for the game all over again” are few and far between. Most people will instead be analyzing the content and all that, and people will get hyped to visit various new areas, try out new hero classes or races, and so forth. Nobody ever seems to be too bothered by the price at all with MMORPG expansion packs as they instead nitpick about changes that expansions bring to the core gameplay (example: WoW Cataclysm completely changed and simplified talent trees, making people relearn a bunch of crap they already knew).

So if expansion packs are tolerated for higher quality first person shooters, roleplaying games, and MMORPGs… Why are they not viewed in the same light for fighting games? Enter Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3.

We are getting twelve brand new characters and eight new stages. To top this off, there will be new modes to play, tons of new moves for existing characters, and more. The game has even received a completely new look! Such extensive changes prevent Ultimate from merely being DLC or a patch because there’s just too much darn content. There is too much… Expansion. Oh my.

Because of the extensive additions the game is receiving, it is required for it to be distributed in physical disc form only. Essentially we’re getting a $40 expansion pack that doesn’t require the original MvC3. This is where a lot of the naysayers just start plugging their ears and refuse to listen to anything that is said. Look, this is nothing more than a standalone expansion pack to a fighting game. We’ve never had issues with these before, so why now? Just because it is Capcom? Because they cancelled your beloved Mega Man games? What’s the problem here? I played the hell out of the original MvC3 to a point where I justified paying the $60 price tag and then some. $40 more for a wealth of content is just fine in my books.

Look at it this way. Twelve characters. One DLC character usually costs about $5. If we were to receive them all as DLC, it would cost $60. Eight new stages? I’m sure we’d have to pay between $10 and $20 in total for those if they were DLC. Capcom is saving you money, you ignorant fools! People just seem to completely overlook this fact for some stupid reason, presumably because they’re angry that people who didn’t buy the original will only have to pay $40 to get everything (minus Jill and Shuma). So what if new players get the full deal for less money than you did? Street prices of games go down with time after all, and eight or nine months after release I’m sure that MvC3’s price would have sunk by a few bucks at the very least.

So Capcom is saving the money of existing players while also making it cheaper for new players to get into Marvel vs Capcom 3. What the hell is the problem with this? I can answer that. There is no freaking problem!

I didn’t even mention the incompatibility issues that would crop up if Ultimate was DLC. What would happen? Well, for starters, Ultimate players would not be able to fight against Vanilla players and vice versa. There are too many changes to the existing characters, as well as the overall gameplay, in Ultimate for it to ever be a simple DLC patch. Compatibility patches (like the ones Mortal Kombat use) will be 100% impossible. There is just too much data, too many new features. Plus wouldn’t it be unfair for an Ultimate player to go online, fight a Vanilla player, and fight with moves that aren’t even accessible to the Vanilla player? That would be horribly unfair, and it would not be able to be remedied with simple little compatibility patches.

There’s also a ridiculous claim that, because existing characters can refer to the new characters by name when tagging them in and such, apparently Capcom recorded all of these lines from the start and it was all pre-planned. Oh yeah, obviously! Because it is clearly the only possible explanation, right? Capcom decided to do a lot of extra work for content that may not have even seen the light of day. Yeah, that makes sense. “Let’s pay all of these expensive and industry-leading voice actors for extra lines that we may never use.” Great logic guys. Really.

Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 is not “”the full game” and the original was not a beta. This is a standalone expansion that saves ALL gamers money by giving us a wealth of content at a price that is cheaper than we’d see it up for if it were to be offered as DLC (which would be impossible anyway).

And who cares if it is coming out less than a year after the original? Eight months, a year, two years, who gives a shit? Don’t people usually want new content sooner rather than later?

Capcom’s decision to make and release Ultimate are both justified. If you enjoy MvC3 and have played it enough, then there’s really no problem here. Don’t want to fork over $40? Then don’t. The MvC3 fanbase doesn’t need whiners like you. Get lost and go play MUGEN.

Top 50 Most Wanted Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 Characters

Several months ago I skimmed through three major sites (Capcom Unity, GameFAQs, Shoryuken) when they were voting on characters they would like to see added as DLC for the original Marvel vs Capcom 3. I added up the tallies from all three sites and posted an article here showing which characters were in demand. Well I’ve done it again, but for Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 this time.

While the three sites conducting DLC polls are still running them for another few weeks, this post is a good indication of where public demand seems to rest. I took the fifty most voted for characters and compiled this list so that folks can check out how voting is going without having to wait until the eventual DLC poll results. Since this is a mashing together of the results of all three sites, it gives a pretty good idea as to what the universal demands are for this game.

So, let’s get to it! Here are the fifty most wanted characters at the moment.

August 8, 2011: Updated the top 50 to include NeoGAF’s early results as well.



Edward Falcon (Powerstone) – 27 Votes



Blackheart (Daredevil) – 28 Votes



Jubilee (X-Men) – 28 Votes



The Punisher (The Punisher) – 29 Votes



Apocalypse (X-Men) – 30 Votes



Batsu (Rival Schools) – 32 Votes



Regina (Dino Crisis) – 32 Votes



Bishop (X-Men) – 33 Votes



Moon Knight (Moon Knight) – 35 Votes



Samanosuke (Onimusha) – 35 Votes



Mega Man.EXE (Mega Man Battle Network) – 40 Votes



Cammy (Street Fighter) – 45 Votes



Tessa (Red Earth) – 45 Votes



B. B. Hood (Darkstalkers) – 47 Votes



Silver Surfer (Fantastic Four) – 50 Votes



Cable (X-Men) – 52 Votes



Nina (Breath of Fire) – 53 Votes



Bass.EXE (Mega Man Battle Network) – 56 Votes



Date Masamune (Sengoku Basara) – 59 Votes



Nightcrawler (X-Men) – 61 Votes



Daredevil (Daredevil) – 62 Votes



Songbird (Thunderbolts) – 62 Votes



Asura (Asura’s Wrath) – 64 Votes



Squirrel Girl (New Avengers) – 65 Votes



Jedah (Darkstalkers) – 66 Votes



Roll (Mega Man) – 66 Votes



Jon Talbain (Darkstalkers) – 69 Votes



Rogue (X-Men) – 69 Votes



Juri (Street Fighter) – 74 Votes



Juggernaut (X-Men) – 75 Votes



Blade (Captain Britain and MI13) – 77 Votes



M. Bison (Street Fighter) – 84 Votes



Black Panther (Black Panther) – 91 Votes



Mega Man (Mega Man) – 91 Votes



Thanos (Iron Man) – 92 Votes



Emma Frost (X-Men) – 95 Votes



Sigma (Mega Man X) – 95 Votes



Ryu (Breath of Fire) – 97 Votes



Green Goblin (Spider-Man) – 103 Votes



Carnage (Spider-Man) – 111 Votes



Dr. Octopus (Spider-Man) – 116 Votes



Jin Saotome (Cyberbots) – 127 Votes



Captain Commando (Captain Commando) – 146 Votes



Cyclops (X-Men) – 185 Votes



Psylocke (X-Men) – 190 Votes



Ms. Marvel (New Avengers) – 274 Votes



Anti-Venom/Eddie Brock (Spider-Man) – 284 Votes



Gambit (X-Men) – 308 Votes



Gene (God Hand) – 372 Votes



Mega Man X (Mega Man X) – 432 Votes

Interesting Tidbits

Anti-Venom?
I’m sure the white Eddie Brock symbiote as the fourth most requested character threw off a few readers. What I did was take all votes that were for Eddie Brock’s Venom, as well as votes that didn’t specify which Venom incarnation the voter was asking for, and simply threw them into the tally for Anti-Venom. So, the 248 votes for Venom are comprised of people who wrote the following in their requests:
A) Anti-Venom
B) Venom (Eddie Brock)
C) Venom

Why did I do this? Because you Venom fans are NEVER going to get Brock’s Venom. The issue is more than just the character not being relevant anymore. Brock’s Venom does not even exist anymore as a character. The symbiote was removed by Brock long ago and has taken on several different hosts since. Recently, Brock attained a new symbiote (remnants of the original Venom symbiote hidden in his white blood cells) which is essentially the same as Venom only, well, a lot more badass. Anti-Venom is the same ol’ Eddie Brock, almost the same ol’ Venom… Just with a new name, new look, and awesome new powers. All of you Brock Venom demanders should really stop wishing for the original to return. He won’t. Ever. MvC3 is a marketing exercise for Marvel, and they would gain absolutely nothing from allowing an irrelevant character that no longer exists into the game. Anti-Venom, however, very much exists. Anti-Venom is what you all want, believe me.

The other Venoms?
I counted ten votes for Flash Thompson’s Venom and three votes for Mac Gargan’s Venom. Clearly they are not very popular.

Breath of Fire
The franchise that Capcom seems to desperately ignore these days managed to muster up about 150 votes at the time of my counting. Nina and Ryu amassed most of those votes, while Fou-Lu (BoF4) and Rei (BoF3) each hovered around the 10 vote mark. Momo, Scias, and Ursula all managed to snag one a few votes each.

Voting Tendencies
The majority of Sigma’s votes came from Shoryuken. They have long had a confusing Sigma fetish and desperately want him included. I’m not exactly sure why, but I won’t complain since I like Sigma myself.

GameFAQs voting was pretty much all over the place with no clear tendencies, proving that their votes are perhaps the most diverse of the three communities (at least in the early stages of voting).

NeoGAF definitely had it on for Emma Frost much more than the other communities. Close to a third of her votes came from NeoGAF. They also gave Roll a nice push and, without them, Ryu (mute dragon Ryu, not homeless fighting Ryu) would have been several places lower.

As for Capcom Unity, they were hot and heavy over Mega Man X (naturally) and, surprisingly, Ms. Marvel. The sole reason Ms. Marvel is so high is because of the Unity voters. If it hadn’t been for them (they had her two votes away from breaking even with Gambit at one point) then Ms. Marvel could possibly have ended up with less votes than Psylocke.

It’s worth noting that all four communities seemed to want Gene quite a bit. Capcom Unity, NeoGAF, and GameFAQs did not seem to favour Psylocke much this time around, with the majority of her votes coming from Shoryuken.

Don’t like something you see? Have an opinion you want to share? Feel free to sound off below.

Final Note: I would not advise anyone to add up the data from all three sites by themselves, as it is very time consuming. It took me roughly seven hours to do in total, which I decided to do bits of while I was at work (yes, I have a very quiet job). Unless you have LOTS of time and are somehow restricted from doing anything productive, then don’t even bother torturing yourself.