Game Rant's Curt Hutson reviews Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3
In the grand tradition of Capcom, a company who enjoys milking their fighting games for all they're worth, another updated version to a previously released title is hitting shelves in the form of Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3.
However, is this quasi-sequel worth the hassle of purchasing a new game or does adding buzzwords sprinkled with morsels of new content simply fall into the realm of glamorized DLC?
Without ever playing Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 many gamers might suspect the title will be nothing more than a few additional playable characters - but, in the end, this doesn’t matter. It is hard to resist the game's charm and Capcom has an absolutely winning formula: mix new, popular characters into an already successful game, stir vigorously and voilÃ ! You create a product that is practically identical, but is just varied enough to rouse consumers. Ah, the beauty of repetition and comfort in familiarity.
Obviously, this same formula has been applied to Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 but Capcom has also added some satisfying changes with this round. The majority of the game stays the same, so on many fronts you can refer to our original Marvel vs. Capcom 3 review - but some changes might very well justify a fresh purchase.
The first, and undoubtedly most popular, change is the addition of 12 new playable fighters - including Doctor Strange, Firebrand, Ghost Rider, Frank West, Hawkeye, Nemesis T-Type, Iron Fist, Phoenix Wright, Nova, Strider Hiryu, Rocket Raccoon, and Vergil. A few of Capcom’s newest characters are what can only be described as refined. They are smart, clever and relevant additions that add layers of strategy to a game lacking the complexities of the company's earlier fighting titles. This is the developer's strongest marketing tactic and Capcom has hit this one out of the park. While not every character was given an overly meticulous treatment, and merely serve as enjoyable additions, a couple truly shine.
Phoenix Wright, one of the most highly demanded characters that players wanted in the ring finally makes his way to the franchise. What might first be regarded as a comical choice for a fighter, will quickly throw players a few curve balls. He is easily one of the most unique characters ever in a fighting game. His strategy and special moves are inspired by the Phoenix Wright series of games - making his controls a bit more grounded than some of his contemporaries. Players will literally gather evidence and take enemies to trial. What’s more, once Phoenix Wright has combatants on the stand, he is one of the most powerful characters in the game. Phoenix’s level 3 is a riot, in addition to being absolutely devastating to his opponent. In Phoenix's eyes, everyone is guilty.
Another stand-out, Iron Fist, is a ground combo machine that deals heavy damage if mastered and relies on special moves as well as powerups. Iron Fist utilizes special chi states that can be changed at will and can buff certain aspects such as attack damage, defense and meter gain. He is another unique addition to the roster that builds on the strategic elements Capcom hopes to strengthen in this version. While the other new characters follow the same formula as the older ones in terms of controls, some are just downright fun to play and, ultimately present some fresh, and welcome, options.
Galactus, while not technically one of the new characters, has his own playable mode in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. This game mode serves as only an entertaining reprieve from the main game - but anyone who feels the need to walk a few trillion miles in his shoes are welcome to take on the role of the Devourer of Worlds - and wreck havoc on the heroes. You won’t find a lot more than that in this mode, but that's hardly the point. It’s short, simple and satisfying. Great for crummy days when you just feel like destroying the planet (we've all been there).
All in all, aside from some tweaks to the menus and character selection screen, you won’t find a lot of differences from the original in terms of graphics or overly large-scale gameplay tweaks.
New characters, slight music variations, 8 new stages and a few new modes represent the key items in the package. At $39.99, twenty dollars less than typical new release console games, the price is about right. Sure, it may just be an expensive DLC, but Capcom made an extended effort to go beyond what consumers might expect or even what they needed, to garner successful sales. Bell and whistles aplenty, but thought and depth as well, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a must for diehard fans and anyone who was tempted by the original title.
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 releases November 15, 2011 for Xbox360 and PlayStation 3.