Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3

9.8 Overall Score

Near flawless port of the console version | Lots of cool new features exclusive to the Vita

A third release for the same title might be much for some fans

Written by on February 21, 2012 in [, , , , , , , , , , , , ]

It’s hard to believe that it’s really been more than fifteen years since the heroes and villains of the Marvel Universe stepped out of the pages of their monthly comic books to face off with the video game superstars of Capcom. Things have certainly come a long way since a quarter was dropped into that first X-Men vs. Street Fighter arcade machine. First, the X-Men brought in some super powered backup with Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, then Capcom evened the playing field by bringing in a few ringers from its other games in Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes.

More than a decade after the last Marvel vs. Capcom mashup, fanboys and fangirls everywhere suffering from a Galactus-sized hunger for more finally got a hold of Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds and all seemed right with world. “Wow,” thought many gamers, “how could things possibly get any better than this?” That’s right about the time the developers answered with Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, adding more characters and a few new gameplay tweaks. Which all leads up to this … for the first time ever, the Marvel vs. Capcom series is being put in the palms of your hands with the release of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 for the PlayStation Vita.

I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t really have high hopes for UMvC3’s road trip to Sony’s new portable system. After all, this is usually the part of a review where I’d have to bemoan what’s missing from a game making the leap to handhelds, whether it’s stripped down graphics to improve performance or lost gameplay features that developers just couldn’t make fit. I can’t do that here. Instead, the Vita version of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 actually manages to cram all of the features of the console version into its compact package, and even adds a few extra goodies for good measure.

Let’s start with the presentation. The Vita version of UMvC3 is virtually indistinguishable from the PS3 version. All the graphics are crisp and clean, with colors that pop. Plus, no matter how intense the action gets, the framerate never seemed to stutter below a smooth 60 frames per second. Okay, so if you REALLY want to nitpick, there are a couple of minor details shaved from some of the more dynamic backgrounds, but it’s not something I’d have ever noticed is I wasn’t actually looking for it. And as far as the sound goes, every punch, every kick, and every snarky one-liner has made its way to the Vita fully intact as well.

As good as the UMvC3 may look, it really doesn’t mean much if there are sacrifices in gameplay. Here’s where the Vita version really shines. The developers at Capcom didn’t take any shortcuts here. The game still sports the same 48 character strong roster as the console version (you’ll have to pay for Jill Valentine and Shuma-Gorath as DLC), available right at the start for both Offline and Online play. The Vita version also includes the Heroes & Heralds mode, which was added as a free downloadable expansion to the console versions of the game a couple of months back. Everything that made the last console version of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 “Ultimate” is right at your fingertips on the Vita.

So, what about those extra goodies I mentioned earlier? Where do I start? One of the coolest, somewhat gimmicky additions allows players who own the PS3 version of UMvC3 to link the Vita up to the console and use it in “Ultimate Controller” mode to play the game on the PS3. Players can not only use the Vita’s buttons like a normal controller, but the touchscreen also has four fully customizable buttons and an X-Factor activation button. Other Vita exclusive features include recording and play back of matches, the ability to gift new costumes to other players over the Vita’s Near application, and a touchscreen control option that’s helpful to get beginners into the action.

I’ll be honest … it’s really difficult to find much fault with Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 on the Vita. In fact, the biggest complaint I could make is that it’s the third time I have to buy the game (as well as the associated DLC I’ve already got on the PS3). If that’s the biggest knock I can find, I’d say Capcom’s done a pretty good job. So many games these days are called “must haves” that the term seems almost watered down. However, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is an honest to goodness “must have” addition to any Vita owner’s game library.


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Author: David Chapman View all posts by

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