After a decade of waiting Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was finally released. But after only a year of waiting, we get Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
The series is a fighting game franchise that takes characters from Capcom's library of games and heroes from the Marvel comic universe, pairs them off in teams of three and lets them duke it out until only one team is left. That means Deadpool from Marvel can team up with Arthur from Ghost'n Goblins and Resident Evil's Wesker, to take on Spider-man, the Hulk and Ryu from Street Fighter.
UMvC3 adds 12 new characters, a new mode, a bunch of little interface tweaks and character balances. The game overall looks pretty much the same, but the menu navigations has been changed to make the game feel more comic booky.
Now, what will interest most people are the 12 new characters, six from each universe. Capcom adds Frank West, Firebrand, Strider Hiryu, Nemesis, Vergil and Phoenix Wright. From Marvel, we get Ghost Rider, Hawkeye, Doctor Strange, Iron Fist, Nova and Rocket Raccoon. Some players will be disappointed to hear that Jill and Shuma-Gorath will still have to be purchased to play. The downloadable content characters will cost about $5 a pop.
All the new characters are nice additions to game, and will be good fodder for long time players to explore. The learning curve seems a little steeper for the new characters. In older characters the different buttons would spit out a variant of the same move, but now there seems to be a much greater difference between the light, medium and heavy specials moves.
Dante from the Devil May Cry series was a popular character from MvC3, and many players will gravitate towards his brother Vergil. The wackiest new character is the lawyer Phoenix Wright, and he will definitely take some practice to make him sing. Frank West is also another fun character who is pretty off the wall. And though Rocket Raccon is a bit esoteric he is pretty fun to play. If you want a full rundown of all the new characters you can check out guide here.
The user interface has been tuned as well as the menu navigation. When searching for online matches, failing to find a match no longer dumps the player into the main menu. Rather the player is now brought back to the online search menu.
The heads up display is also greatly improved especially when it comes to the X-Factor function. X-Factor gives players a special power boost for a short time, but can only be activated once per match. In MvC3 it was a little nebulous whether or not a player has used the X-Factor, but now it's clear as day. Also, it is much clearer to see if a character is in X-Factor, which is also a welcome improvement. Another important change is X-Factor can be activated when the character is in the air, that wasn't possible before.
We were hoping to get our hands on the new Heroes and Heralds mode, which lets players pick cards that give their team certain power-ups. However, we'll have to wait for the downloadable content to come in a few weeks. A new arcade mode lets players play as the end-boss, Galactus, but the mode won't turn any heads and is honestly kind of boring.
Overall, UMvC3 is a game for fans of the franchise. If you liked the first MvC3 you will definitely enjoy all the new characters and the new interface is much improved. If you always wanted to get into the game, now is the perfect time. UMvC3 cost $40, $20 less than the original and has tons of new content. If you weren't impressed by MvC3 the first time around, this game won't change your mind.