Capcom are no strangers when it comes to re-releasing their video games. The company first did this with Street Fighter II, which had four more iterations released after the original version came out back in 1991. More recently, we saw two more iterations of Street Fighter IV come out, with the releases of Super Street Fighter IV and Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
The original Marvel vs. Capcom 3 game was released back in February this year, 12 years after the sequel came out in 1999. Although the game retained the lightning-fast gameplay fans enjoyed all those years ago, the roster was one of the main things people were complaining about. This is because Marvel vs. Capcom 3 only had 36 people on the entire roster. Having 36 characters in one game normally isn’t anything you should complain about, but it’s a step back in the series considering its predecessor had an unprecedented 55 characters in all.
To satisfy the rabid fan base, Capcom now presents to us Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, which adds 12 new fighters to the mix plus a few other extras that were not seen in the original version. With a regular retail price of $90, will fans who bought the original game be willing to shell out for the game once again just for these extras?
In terms of the 12 new fighters that have been added to the roster, some fans will love the new recruits, while others might be left scratching their heads. Here’s a rundown of the new fighters: Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, Hawkeye, Iron Fist, Nova, Rocket Racoon, Firebrand, Frank West, Nemesis T-Type, Phoenix Wright, Strider Hiryu and Vergil.
The inclusion of the likes of Dead Rising’s Frank West and Ghost Rider come as a welcome addition, since both guys were originally scheduled to be on the original roster but were cut due to time constraints. Putting lesser-known characters such as Rocket Racoon, Iron Fist and Nova in is a little more questionable. It might have been better for the fan base for Capcom to include more popular characters, such as Spider-Man villain Venom and Street Fighter’s Ken, just to name a couple.
Another questionable decision is that all 12 of the new fighters are male characters. Why couldn’t they add more female characters? Even DLC characters Jill Valentine and Shuma-Gorath are not added to the main Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom roster. You still have to purchase the two characters online if you want them, for a price of $9.50 each.
Another flaw that is not going to please some people is that Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom buyers cannot play online with owners of the original game. This may prove to be a problem if you have friends with the original game. A fellow game journalist told me he couldn’t even find anyone to play with when he reviewed the Xbox 360 version of the game. Thankfully, I had no problems finding players on the PS3 version, but the fact the two games don’t share online capabilities might prove to be problematic for some players.
Speaking of the online mode, there’s a new lobby added that was not seen in the original game. This makes finding similarly-skilled players easier as you can hang out and fight with other players frequently hanging out in a specific lobby. In terms of lag, the game holds surprisingly well even when I was predominantly playing against USA players. Some lag is to be expected but it’s not unbearably bad like it can be in some other games.
Aside from the new fighters and levels that have been added, an all-new Galactus mode can be selected. Galactus is the huge, mega-hard boss character gamers can expect to face at the end of the Arcade mode in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. For the first time ever, Galactus becomes entirely playable, allowing you to shoot lasers and swat enemies using his elephantine fists. You only get to face off against the A.I. in seven stages in Galactus’ quest to destroy earth. It would have been enjoyable if you were able to play as Galactus against other player, but I guess Capcom decided not to include this in the end as it would have been too unfair for the player not controlling the giant menace.
In terms of the gameplay, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is as fun as ever. There’s something about 3-on-3 tag-team-style fighting that makes it more fun than the traditional one-on-one fight seen in most other fighting games. The beneficial part about this style of gameplay is that you can always call on a partner to help you out if you are getting close to being knocked out. Not to mention there are insane aerial juggles that you can execute, along with many spectacular-looking special attacks.
Because of the diverse character designs from both Capcom and Marvel, you can expect to see some crazy-looking combos and attacks. Dead Rising’s Frank West arguably has the most humorous attacks as he uses all sorts of weapons to dish out punishment including the likes of a plunger and even a shopping cart! If anyone wants to know, none of the original characters have any new moves or special attacks in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
If you haven’t played Marvel vs. Capcom 3 before, you will be amazed at how beautiful the graphics are in this game. If you were amazed by the cel-shaded graphics in Street Fighter IV, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3’s graphics blow them out of the water. They are bright and luscious as ever and the characters look like they’ve been ripped straight out a comic book. The super moves each character has will light up the screen in an epic flash. Just watching Ryu execute his super-hadouken attack is an epic sight to see.
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is without question a very fine fighting game that all fans of the genre should look into. The online mode is more fun as it’s easier to find similarly skilled players thanks to the lobby, and the 12 new characters really add to the variety of fighter that is available in this game. If you own the original Marvel vs. Capcom 3 game, I have to say the new additions aren’t enough to justify paying $90 for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. It’s essentially the same game, as it still has the same character endings and no storyline to speak of whatsoever. If you haven’t bought Marvel vs. Capcom 3, however, then Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 will be a purchase that won’t disappoint.
Graphics – 9.5
Gameplay – 9.0
Sound – 8.5
Lasting Appeal – 8.0
Overall – 8.5