This review will be particularly painful for me to write. If Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and its small roster and lack of content was a slap in the face, releasing Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 in the same calendar year with the amount of content that should have existed in the original release was a kick in the crotchal region. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is what Marvel vs. Capcom 3 should have been in the first place, end of story. Now, the real version of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 has made its way to the PS Vita, facing potentially stiff competition from the likes of BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend.
This brings me to the painful part: I recommend Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 for the Vita.
I liked BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend. It’s a great fighting game. It’s a bit too technical for me, though, and I feel like it’s going to be a niche fighter rather than a mainstream fighter. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 on the PS Vita is the same game as Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 on a console, but with a little more added in (surprisingly, without any additional cost being paid to Capcom). With the accessibility of the mechanics, the popularity of its roster, the quality of its presentation, and the full featured online play, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is, in my opinion, the mainstream fighter to pick up on the PS Vita. Aside from being easier to get into and more familiar for fans, it should have a larger community to play against in online matches.
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 comes with the full roster of its console counterpart (excluding Jill Valentine and Shuma Gorath, who are both available as DLC characters), as well as all of the game modes. Heroes and Heralds, a new mode, provides you with a great deal of extended community play online, and extended play offline. Both online and offline modes pit Earth’s heroes against Galactus’ heralds. You choose a side and fight. In Online, the Heroes and Heralds wage a week long campaign where each person’s victories count toward the team. At the end of the week, the team with the most victories wins, and the battle resets for another week. In Offline, you wage a territorial control war against an AI opponent. Either way, character cards play a major part in how you face battle. Character cards are earned and can be equipped, resulting in bonuses for your character.
As with the console version, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 on the Vita comes with a spectator mode for while you’re in queue for an online battle, but unlike its console coutnerpart, it adds a replay mode. Replay allows you to save your match replays for later study. Did you get your ass handed to you by a particular skilled opponent? Slow down the replay and see what you could have done better against a stronger player. Improve your technique and avenge your loss. There is also an Ultimate Controller mode for using the Vita as a controller for your copy of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 on the PS3, but I was unable to test that feature. Documentation states that it brings touch controls to the mix, which I think will be as poorly implemented as the touch mode on the Vita.
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Yeah, there’s a touch mode. No, there’s no learning curve at all. Yes, there’s no learning curve because there’s absolutely no skill involved beyond being able to tap a screen. Swipes or taps move you on screen, while a simple tap of the screen will start a combo, with subsequent taps (not gestured taps, just a poke) extending the combo to a ridiculous conclusion. With half a dozen taps, I was able to pull of a 48 hit combo as Deadpool. This was the same on every difficulty mode I played, even as far as Very Hard. To clarify even more, on a Very Hard match, I was able to KO all three opponent members without ever switching off Deadpool, and losing less than half of my life bar. And that half life bar was only lost because I was trying to see if different gestures or taps had different results. This may be a fun game mode for children who can’t grasp the full concept of fighting game mechanics, but it’s just boring screen tapping for the rest of us. Thankfully, you can exclude touch enabled players from your search for an online match.
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 on the PS Vita is almost everything you would want it to be. Yes, there are a lot of loading screens, and they take a long time to finish up. Sure, Capcom decided to completely block the PS Vita’s ability to do screenshots from the moment the game starts to the moment you close it, further cementing their anti-consumer attitude. Yeah, touch control consists of simply tapping the screen to pull off major damage combos that make beating the game in touch mode a cakewalk, even on the hardest of difficulties. There’s not much you can do about the first two, and in the grand scheme of things, they’re nothing more than minor annoyances. As for the ridiculous touch controls…just don’t play with touch controls or with people who have them enabled. Aside from those relatively minor issues, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a great purchase for fighting game fans looking for some action on the Vita. It beautifully recreates the console experience on your handheld device, and is a great example of what the Vita is capable of.
|UMvC3 exemplifies console on handheld|
Translates well to handheld interface
Heroes and Heralds mode
|Loading screens are long and plentiful|
Touch control is implemented poorly
Capcom blocked ability to screen capture