Rating: 4.5/5 stars
“Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3” for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 is the successor to “Marvel vs. Capcom 3,” but it’s not a sequel. “Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3” includes 12 new characters and a few extra features, but the game’s concept remains the same. It’s a two player fighting game where you choose a three person team from 48 of Marvel and Capcom’s finest characters. Among them, you’ll see popular characters such as Spiderman, Wolverine, Ryu and Viewtiful Joe, as well as more obscure characters like Dormammu and Nathan Spencer. You use special moves and assists to rack up a big combo to score huge damage on your opponent. Take it from me—this game is addictive.
Let me just start off by saying I played the heck out of the original “Marvel vs. Capcom 3.” I don’t want to brag, but I knew combos with all of the characters, bought the strategy guide and had a win/loss record of 3026/1514. With my special fightpad controller, I played that game for countless hours. So when I heard Capcom was once again charging money for a mere expansion of one of their newly released games (original “Marvel vs. Capcom 3” only came out in February of this year), I was skeptical, but once I read more, I was on board.
The biggest change is the addition of twelve new characters: six from the Marvel side and six from the Capcom side. Marvel brings characters such as Ghost Rider, Dr. Strange and Hawkeye into the fray, and Capcom brings favorites like Frank West from “Dead Rising,” Vergil from “Devil May Cry 3,” and my man, Phoenix Wright. Each character brings a unique play style.
A few changes have also been added to the game’s online mode. The Netcode has been improved for smoother connection and it definitely shows. The game has a spectator mode, so if you’re in a lobby with more than two people, you actually get to watch the other people fight instead of watching their player cards bump into each other for two minutes. That’s seriously how it was in the original “Marvel vs. Capcom 3.” Another welcome addition is the ability to see who you’re about to fight instead of just being thrown into a match with a random person. So, if you just fought a spammer with a laggy connection, you won’t be forced to fight them if you don’t want to.
I am extremely disappointed that the replay feature isn’t in “Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.” “Super Street Fighter 4” included a replay channel that I used all the time to save my most glorious online moments and show them to my uninterested friends. My least favorite of the changes is the new design for the health bar. The character you’re playing has their health in the middle instead of on the top, and it can be confusing knowing which assist button will bring in which character. The game also promises 8 new stages, but really, they just took the 8 stages from the last game, changed them a bit—making the stage at night, or with snow—and called them new.
“Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3” has all the same modes it did before. There’s a training mode to practice your combos and a mission mode where you complete certain combos in order to earn online titles. There’s also an arcade mode with a half-assed story, but who plays fighting games for the story anyway? You’ll most likely be spending the majority of your time playing online.
I’m a huge fan of fighting games, and this one in particular is one of my favorites. Playing an opponent online and beating them with a combo that you’ve been practicing in training mode is a great feeling. I got this game at the midnight release and have been playing it ever since. A lot of these features could have easily been downloadable content, but if Capcom keeps releasing awesome fighting games, I’ll keep buying them. “Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3” feels like it could have come with a few more features, but it’s still the game that I’ve been playing and loving for months. If you didn’t pick up the original “Marvel vs. Capcom 3,” this is the version to get, and at $40, it’s a great deal.