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Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 Review

Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Platforms: Xbox 360 (Reviewed), PS3
Release date: November 18, 2011
Price: $39.99 Available Here   

Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 is another title in a string of Capcom releases that is controversial. Capcom’s M.O. of late is to release  a game and then almost immediately release the same title, albeit with updated content and fixes. However, many Capcom fans have decried that these “updated releases” could easily be released as downloadable content for a 1/4 of the the price. Nevertheless, that has not stopped Capcom from charging $40 for Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. Does this title have what it takes to be a retail release, or should it be $10 DLC? Find out in the following review of the game.

Not much has changed in the way of story from the original Marvel vs Capcom 3. As with many fighting games, the story verges on being nonsensical and silly, but the crossover between the two universes is nonetheless compelling.

For some reason, the characters from each franchise, Marvel and Capcom, have teamed up. However, this alliance has devastating consequences. You see, the universe is not equipped to handle mind bending paradoxes, such as one universe colliding with another. Therefore, when Marvel and Capcom characters come together, it poses a serious threat to everything. In addition to that though, this heinous alliance has angered the god Galactus!

Although I found it hard to follow exactly what was going on in the story (this is no linear, beginning to end game after all!) I still enjoyed it. At times, it felt as though the game had become a fantastic animated comic. Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 is obviously not designed to satiate ones need for a complex plot. However, as a base for the rest of the game to hang on, the plot in Marvel vs Capcom 3 is perfectly fine, so long as you don’t mind not quite understanding how every little detail makes sense.

At its core, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 carries on as a stellar fighting game, wherein you face off with a squad of 3 against another squad of 3. You have to memorize combos, pull off stunning fighting moves whilst hitting buttons madly and there is a ton of high flying action moves that look A-MUH-ZZING! Nevertheless, if you look closer at Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, it becomes apparent that there is a lot new going in this game. 

Undoubtedly, one of the most anticipated features of Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom was the balance fixes that were promised. In part, Capcom used the new characters to help the game’s balance. For example, many of the new characters attacks focus more on projectiles, which are a great help in taking down the melee based characters. However, it was also evident that they really worked a lot on making sure every character was not too powerful or too weak. Although some would argue that the original game should not have been released with the balance issues it had, the changes made in this version of the game are still a treat. One particular fix of note is the changes made to the X-Factor. It is now a much better dispatching method.

In addition to the balance tweaks that the new characters bring, they also bring some very exciting new moves to the table. None of the new characters exemplify this more than the addition of Phoenix Wright. The addition of this scholarly lawyer is innovative and exciting. In fact, it is so awesome how they implemented his courtroom antics that I would hate to spoil it for you. Suffice it to say that if you can imagine him fighting the Incredible Hulk, you will have a good idea of how hilarious and awe inspiring it is to have him as a playable character in Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3.

Of course, each new character (12 in all, 6 to the Marvel side and 6 on the Capcom side) is fun to play around with and master, and it is no surprise that they are the highlight of the this Ultimate version. Sure, the balance tweaks are fine for the older characters and they are still fun, but Capcom really did a tremendous job with all the new characters. Each has very exciting attacks, and they all add their own special ingredient to the game.

To get a better idea of how this game treats new fighting game recruits, I asked my brother to test this game out. He and I were excited to find out that Marvel vs Capcom was trying to make their game accessible to all skill levels. However, we personally found this to be a little untrue. There is no real tutorial. The game has practice  sessions and it will allow you look up moves, but it is still more or less a trial and error session for new players. The game is incredibly hard, and even on the lowest difficulty setting, he had some trouble with getting smacked around. Hardcore players will undoubtedly be thrilled at the challenge, but newbies will be frustrated for awhile, as sometimes the AI literally seems like they are ticked at the player and want them to throw a controller. Nevertheless, it seemed as though  he still had a blast once he learned some of the basic combos, went through the Missions mode and pulled some amazing combos. New players should be warned that this is not a game that is pick up and master. You will need to spend a plethora of time to truly understand what it takes to be any good at this game. And a fighting stick will also go a long way, as it is nigh impossible to do everything with just a controller, even once you switch to the simplified controls.

The soundtrack in Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 is fantastic. Plenty of high energy audio makes each fight come alive and I really found myself entranced with each new track. In addition, voice acting is also quite solid. Each character, whether they be from the Marvel Universe or the Capcom Universe, were each voiced with care. For example, Iron Man’s voice sounded great, as did X-Men’s Storm. Every single one them sounded true to form. They even had specific voice lines that were tailored to each character they were facing off against. That being said, I couldn’t help being a little disappointed when I heard the same lines over and over again. If there is anything this generation has taught us, it is that game developers can and should be able to make it seem as these characters are actually real and not saying the same lines over and over again. Unfortunately, the characters in this game have around 2 standard lines that they say at the beginning of their battles and at the end when they win. Thankfully, as I mentioned before, they do change it up depending on who they are fighting, but it still gets old. Adding to this lack of verbal expression, the voiceover guy also seemed to be at a loss for words. For the first hour of the game, I thought he only knew how to pronounce each characters name and tell you to “Get ready for the fight of your life!” Thankfully, almost mercifully, he finally started switching up his lines later in the game, although he still seems to only have a few.

One of the biggest complaints many had with Marvel vs Capcom 3 was that the HUD was terrible. Capcom had promised to refresh it, and they did. Nevertheless, it still has some serious annoyances. For example, making it so that that A1 is on the bottom was an awful decision. In addition, the Dos Equis X’s are terribly huge and could have been reduced in size, thus allowing more important elements of the HUD, like the terrifically tiny life bars of tagged out partners, to be larger.

I digress though, as the graphics in Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 are actually quite wonderful. Each background is full of action and interesting secrets that you can pick up on when you have a moment away from the frenetic fighting. In addition, Capcom created a variety of alternate color schemes for the game’s characters.

Overall, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom is great buy for those who have not picked up the game yet. You get all the updated stuff and a brand new game for 40 bucks. As far as those who bought the original game though, this game is a tough sell. You could buy each new character at $5 a pop and and that would be a $20 price increase than this game, which also includes balances, tweaks,  better online features and spectator mode. That said, it still feels as though this game was intended to make sure that Capcom thoroughly wringed every single cent they could out of this release of Marvel vs Capcom. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether you think it is worth it to buy an updated version of a game you already have in exchange for a slew of new characters and all the other cool new hawtness that Capcom included. This game is fun, has awesome fighting mechanics and will completely satisfy any gamer who wants a fantastic, violent comic book experience.