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12/21/2011

REVIEW: Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (PS3)



It’s no surprise to anyone that Capcom likes to launch its games over and over either for profit or for an attempt to keep the public interested in titles that have been in the market for some time. Even today when a video game can be completely changed in almost every aspect via downloadable patches, they keep making new versions of old games. That is the case of Street Fighter 4 which already has three different versions and now Marvel vs. Capcom 3 with Ultimate.

UMvC3 is simply the same game as the previous entry, but it has a few extras that depending on whether you’re a fan or not, you’ll see them as worthwhile or a complete rip-off. Just like in the original version, it is a fighting game that crosses the most iconic Marvel and Capcom characters to fight in a very fast and intense 2D gameplay system that allows for each player to choose three different characters.

Graphically, the truth is that it looks the same; the animations are still very smooth and look perfectly, especially given the fact that this is a very, very fast game. The characters and backgrounds are full of pretty colors with excellent textures, antialiasing and HDR making it one of the few 2D fighters in this generation that actually look like a next-gen game, if not the only.

Sound-wise, the game still has a lot of very cool effects for the attacks and backgrounds. The voice-acting is top-notch and the Capcom characters have both Japanese and English voiceovers. The dialogs among the fighters are usually very cool and funny, especially when characters like Deadpool, Taskmaster or Dante are on screen.

But the real changes in the Ultimate version come with the gameplay. Basically, the game plays the exact same; you have four attack buttons and two for calling assist and changing characters in the middle of the battle.  Capcom made a lot of tweaks with many fighters like change the frame data and damage of certain moves, allow the X-factor power-up to be activated in midair and even add a couple of moves to some of the characters. But to be honest, none of the gameplay changes seem like something that actually required a new game and they feel like they should have been made for free via a patch.

A cool thing is that 12 new characters were added, six from each brand. Among them are Ghost Rider, Phoenix Right, Nova and others. They’re all very cool, have a lot of moves to choose from and are more than welcome to the already-big roster that was available in the original version but they still feel like they should have been in from the beginning if Capcom had delayed the first version of the game a few months. It is now possible to play as Galactus as well; He was an AI-exclusive boss battle before and is now available for fun matches among human players.

The game still has an Arcade Mode to fight your way among AI-controlled teams until you fight Galactus and watch the ending of the character you defeated him with. You can practice in Training and Mission mode and even look at some of the basic combos each character can do and of course, with enough dedication you can pull out your own until you find a good team and become really good with it. You can also play the game online but the truth is that the net coding doesn’t feel improved from the previous game, it still lags a lot and stops a fight in the middle of it and takes you back to the menus.

Another problem with the game is that even though Capcom went and made a completely new version of it, the gameplay still feels vastly unbalanced. The difference in power and performance of some characters over others is extremely high and obvious and forces players to make teams from a tiny group of fighters if they want to get good results either offline and online. Proof of it are the usual videos of tournaments where the good players will always have Wolverine, Wesker, Taskmaster and other fighters that are clearly more powerful than the rest.

Besides that, the thousands and thousands of people who spent their money on the original game don’t have the option to get the upgrades as DLC. Capcom forces the purchase of the new version if the public wants to keep up with it and the truth is that that is extremely unfair. They could have released UMvC3 physically for newcomers but allow the ones who bought the first to get every new thing as DLC like many other games like Grand Theft Auto 4, Uncharted 2 and Little Big Planet did.

Also, buying UMvC3 doesn’t give you access to the DLC characters Jill Valentine and Shuma-Gorath or any of the downloadable costumes. Capcom makes the public pay even more money if they want to have all the real content of the game. This certainly didn’t get a good reaction from the public and when you notice you have to spend more than a hundred dollars to stay on date with this game, you can clearly see why.

A new game mode featuring some card-game and battling over certain conditions is supposed to be coming in the near future but as of now, it is nowhere to be found so looking at a new mode that’s still not included can’t be considered a positive thing in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.

So, if you never bought the original version, UMvC3 is an extremely fun title that every fighting-game fan should try their hands on, but if you spent the 50-60 dollars on the first version, paying again for a simple physical update will most likely feel like a rip-off but sadly, it is the only way for fans to keep up with the game if they want to try the new characters, changes in the old ones or simply keep active in the high-level scenario.

The game is very cool but the upgrades don’t really feel like they should have spawned a completely new title and the worse of all is that the gameplay balance is still nowhere to be found. Still, the game looks, sounds and plays very good for the most part and like all fighting games in the market, it will provide countless hours of gameplay to pretty much anyone out there.

Pros:

-          The 12 new characters are awesome and are more than welcome to the roster.
-          Many old fighters have new moves at their disposal.

Cons:

-          You have to pay for it again.
-          It is still vastly unbalanced.
-          No new game modes.
-          Megaman is not in the game.
-          No changes graphically.
-          Online play is horrible.



-          Graphics and Visuals………..8
-          Music and Sound Effects…....7
-          Gameplay…………………...7
-          Replay Value………………..8

-          Overall Score………………. 7.5 / 10

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