Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Hands-On Preview – Round Two! Fight!
Written Wednesday, November 02, 2011 By Richard WalkerView author's profile
Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds is one of those games that you can only really play in small doses before your eyes give up. Well, that's what we've found anyway. All of its explosive pyrotechnics and bright, bold colours are so vivid and retina-scorching, that after a couple of hours, we simply have to throw in the towel. But with Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, hanging up your controller/fightpad/arcade stick/whatever might be that little bit tougher thanks to a batch of new characters and features that promise to make the game what Super Street Fighter IV was to Street Fighter IV.
Of course, the prevailing view of UMvC3 has been a cynical one, especially in light of Super SFIV and Capcom's tradition of re-releasing games with a a new prefix in the title and new features, but Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is actually a generous package with plenty going for it, in the same way that Super SFIV was a worthy update for Street Fighter IV. And at its proposed budget price, fans of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 will find a lot to love about Ultimate MvC3, while those who neglected to pick up the game in the first place have an excuse to discover and enjoy it for the first time.
We went hands-on with Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 recently, enjoying several bouts with a member of Capcom's French PR team who was kind enough to sit down and take us through the new characters. There's a total of twelve new fighters in the game, ten of which we were able to sample in this almost complete code, with the notable absence of Dead Rising's Frank West and 'Guardian of the Keystone Quadrant', Rocket Raccoon. So, for our first fight, we chose to go in with an all-new team consisting of Nova, Firebrand and Ghost Rider.
Of these, Nova and Ghost Rider prove the most effective, with Johnny Blaze (Ghost Rider) using his chains for some long reaching attacks, that can span half the screen. His Hyper Combo finishers are also as spectacular as you'd expect, riding in on his hellbound motorcycle or whipping up a storm with those chains of his. In short, Ghost Rider is a straight up badass, and a great addition to the UMvC3 roster. Nova is equally powerful, using blazing flame attacks, including a screen filling supernova Hyper Combo a lot like Phoenix. Ghosts 'n Goblins' Firebrand by comparison is more of a support character, but he's still fast and slippery, with rapid slashing swipes and fire-breathing projectile special moves. He's not to be underestimated, despite his diminutive stature.
Next up, we try teaming up with Dr. Strange, Iron Fist and Strider, which it transpires is a formidable trio, with Strider's speed proving tough to defend against. He's also able to stick to the sides of the screen to evade attacks and line up rapid, darting strikes. It's easy to see why he's still a big favourite for MvC2 fans, and he's every bit as fast and dangerous as he was in that game, deploying robotic dogs across the screen as one of his Hyper Combos. Dr. Strange and Iron Fist are also similar in their fighting styles, with the former using his occult mastery to blast rivals with spells, while utilising high-kicking martial arts moves not unlike Iron Fist's kung-fu prowess. The combined speed of Dr. Strange, Iron Fist and Strider makes them a hell of a team up, but we decide to try mixing it up a little for our next round.
This time we test out Nemesis of Resident Evil 3 fame, Phoenix Wright and Dante's brother Vergil for an all-Capcom team, and each has their own strengths and weaknesses. Nemesis is strong and slow like Hulk, making him a good match for a larger character like ol' greenskin or Sentinel, while his rocket launcher gives him some advantageous ranged moves. Vergil is similar to Dante, but has a lot of his own distinctive moves that are as swift and strong as Dante's sword attacks. The characters we've played as so far make perfect sense, but Phoenix Wright is a bizarre anomaly. He's a great addition, but he's an odd one that some players may find confusing, as he shouts his phrases like 'Hold It!' and 'Objection!' He doesn't really fit in with the rest of the roster, but that's sort of why he's interesting, and only extended play with him will show what he's really capable of, as we couldn't really suss him out.
For our last fight we went with Nova, Hawkeye and Ghost Rider, all of which prove to be personal favourites, with Hawkeye also being a good counterpart to Taskmaster with his arrow attacks, and a great addition to the team of Avengers already on the character list. Sadly, we were unable to test out the Heralds and Heroes mode involving Galactus, as it wasn't in our build, or any of the other new features promised for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, for that matter. Each of the ten characters we tested are interesting and exciting inclusions however, and although there could have been some better choices, Capcom has obviously put plenty of thought into adding fighters who are worthwhile and balanced, fitting in with the existing character selection.
As a package, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 looks to represent decent value and anyone who upgraded from Street Fighter IV to Super Street Fighter IV will more than likely find plenty of reasons to do the same with Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Frank West and Rocket Raccoon also look to be another pair of intriguing and off-the-wall characters for the roster, so Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 looks to be worth the asking price, even if the cynic inside you baulks at the notion of forking out for another version of the same game you bought earlier this year. With balancing tweaks, new backdrops, new modes and twelve new characters, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 might just be worth a punt, especially for the die-hard fans. Hell, we played for a relatively short space of time, and managed to get hooked. 'Nuff said, true believers.
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is out on November 15th, 2011 in North America, November 17th in Japan and November 18th in Europe.