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Video Game Review: Few Major Upgrades in ‘Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3’

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CHICAGO – Ten years after “Marvel vs. Capcom 2” hit arcades, PS2s, and Dreamcasts, Capcom released “Marvel vs. Capcom 3” to Xbox 360 and PS3. The result was an exciting fighting game that crossed over two historic franchises into vivid and action packed battles with amazing special attacks and abilities. For the most part, “Marvel vs. Capcom 3” was respected and praised in the video game world.

HollywoodChicago.com Video Game Rating: 4.0/5.0
Video Game Rating: 4.0/5.0

However, there were complaints among the die-hard fans of the franchise (as well as fighting game fans in general) about the character roster size in the game. “Marvel vs. Capcom 2” had previously contained 56 different characters (28 Marvel and 28 Capcom) that could be called upon to fight for your three man team. “Marvel vs. Capcom 3” provided only 36 different characters (18 for both Marvel and Capcom).

After a call for more characters in the roster, each packed with their own special moves and attacks, Capcom took only a year to provide fans with “Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3,” an updated version of “Marvel vs. Capcom 3” that adds several new characters and maps to the original release available for a discounted price.

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
Photo credit: Capcom

You may be asking yourself, “If the changes to the game are only seen in characters and maps, why wasn’t this game just released as a DLC?” Well, from what I understand, development of the downloadable content was disrupted a great deal due to the impact of the earthquake and tsunami that occurred in Japan last March. The decision to make the improvements a standalone game was made due to these unfortunate setbacks.

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
Photo credit: Capcom

So, what does “Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3” provide? The most obvious is the expanded character roster. After the 36 characters that were already available for “Marvel vs. Capcom 3,” Capcom added 12 new characters, six from Marvel and six from Capcom, to the fighting rosters. The new characters assembled are as follows: Marvel characters: Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, Iron Fist, Nova, Rocket Raccoon, and Hawkeye (making Black Widow the only character in the upcoming Avengers movie not available on the Marvel side); Capcom characters: Firebrand, Frank West, Nemesis T-Type, Phoenix Wright, Strider Hiryu, and Vergil.

While these additions are nice, there are some fun characters that are still left off the list that we had previously seen in the “Marvel vs. Capcom 2” release (Gambit, Venom, and Mega Man for instance). While the improved roster has some cool additions, like Ghost Rider and Frank West, inclusions like Phoenix Wright are a bit head scratching with the other names left off the list. When trying out the new characters, I had Wright pinned up against Nemesis, and let’s just say the defense attorney’s tactic of reciting lines from the papers he holds was no match for a monster three times his size. Pretty pathetic
actually.

As far as modes, the game is almost exactly the same as “MvC3,” with the exception that Capcom plans on releasing a game mode for download called “Heroes and Heralds” that looks pretty cool from trailers. Basically, the mode allows you to collect player cards with special abilities that you can use to form the ultimate team. By the looks of the trailer, some of the abilities include increased speed, increased jumping, invisibility, invisible projectiles, and the ability to block and counter special attacks. Unfortunately, the download has not been released yet, so I can’t tell you if it should be added to a list of
reasons to buy the new game.

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
Photo credit: Capcom

As far as presentation, the game is almost exactly like “MvC3,” with the only major difference coming from the menu screens, which are completely comic book oriented. In-game presentation still offers fantastic fights and quality cuts for special attacks that will keep the gamer on the edge of their seat, but it is nothing different from the original release. If you enjoyed the style and fighting of “Marvel vs. Capcom 3,” the “Ultimate” edition will be just as gratifying.

So, is the updated game worth the reduced $40 price tag? Well, if you are an absolute die-hard fan of the “Marvel vs. Capcom” games, there is no doubt that you would want to pick this up for the 12 new characters and 8 new fighting maps. The adds to the roster are very fun and each character comes with its own unique abilities and skill sets. Almost all of them have a different quality that could be used for forming your ultimate team. However, if you are a casual “Marvel vs. Capcom” player or a casual fighting game player, the decision is a little more difficult. Sure, the new characters are a major plus, but
are they worth $40? That is really for each individual to decide. Personally, I think it may be smart waiting for the release of the “Heroes and Heralds” mode before buying “UMvC3.” By the time this mode is released, the price of the game could have dropped substantially, or a cheaper used copy could be available.

If you were someone who was a little short on cash and couldn’t buy the original “Marvel vs. Capcom 3” last year, or you heard about the “Ultimate” edition and decided to wait for its release, then “Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3” is an exceptional fighting game that is a steal at its lowered price. However, those who have already purchased the original “MvC3” will find there is not much of a change between the two games other than the 12 new characters. It is up for each individual to decide if that is worth the cost of the upgrade. Can you survive with the 36 characters the original game provided, or do you want to have every possible character combination in the third “Marvel vs. Capcom” world? The choice is yours.

“Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3” was developed by Capcom and released on November 15th, 2011. It is rated T (Teen) and the version reviewed was for the Xbox 360, but the title is also available for the PS3.

HollywoodChicago.com staff writer Tim Martens

By TIM MARTENS
Staff Writer
HollywoodChicago.com
tim@hollywoodchicago.com

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