Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was met with both excitement and controversy after its announcement at San Diego Comic Con back in July. When it was announced that a new version of the game would be coming out 7 months after the release of MVC3, it had some fans in an uproar, complaining that Capcom and Marvel are only doing it to make a quick buck off of the fans. While having an update come out within the same year was a bit of an issue for some fans, others, most notably those in the fighting game community, were thrilled that an full update was on the way that would correct glitches and make major balance changes to the roster. As for myself, I was a bit confused as to why Capcom decided to go with a disc instead of a full DLC release a la SSFIV AE, but I was nonetheless excited to see what changes were made to the game. Even with all the additions and changes made to the game, is it worth buying “again” or has Capcom become “Crapcom," as some fans attest?
Updated Moves and Balances - UMVC3 may look and sound like MVC3, but that doesn’t mean it plays the same way. Various updates and balances have been made to each of the original 38 fighters and new characters have been added. Fighters have been either buffed up or nerfed to make fights more balanced and adjustments have been made so that players won’t be able to take advantage of glitches from MVC3. In addition to buffs and nerfs, fighters’ movesets have also been updated. For example, when down, down, and special is inputted for Ryu, it activates his Satsui no Hado and gives him a temporary boost in power and speed. This is much like Wolverine’s Berserker Rage mode. With these new movesets and balances it will be interesting to see what kind of combos the fighting game community will be pulling off at the start of the next tournament season.
Twelve New Characters Join the Fray - UMVC3 has more than just updated move sets and balances. It also introduces 12 new fighters into the game, increasing the roster count to fifty. Actually, it's fifty-one if you count Galactus...more on that in a bit. These new fighters range from space travelers,(Nova, Rocket Raccoon) seemingly normal everyday guys (Frank West, Phoenix Wright) to the downright demonic (Firebrand, Ghost Rider). These 12 new fighters bring new moves and fighting styles that both pros and casual players alike will find fun to experiment with.
No More Watching Cards Fight - Since Street Fighter IV, Capcom has been innovating the way players interact with each other when not in a match. One of those innovations is letting those who are waiting in the lobby watch the two players who are currently in a match. This became the standard for all fighting games that came after it, but apparently MVC3 missed the memo. They got the message this time around and so spectator mode is now a part of UMVC3. Unlike spectator modes in other fighting games, internet connection has no effect on watching the match. So if you have a low to medium ping it will not affect the viewing of the match.
Free Heroes and Heralds DLC - To give players a break from playing seriously against each other, Capcom decided to add a new mode called Heroes and Heralds. This is a mode that divides the fighters into two groups; Heroes of Earth and Heralds of Galactus. Players equip a set of up to three cards that alter different abilities of the fighters. Alterations include super armor, increased high jump, projectile invincibility and multitude of stat, ability and combo enhancements. If you thought players were already doing crazy things in the main game, imagine the things that they can do using these alterations. There is just one catch, though…
Heroes and Heralds Delayed - …which is that the post-day one DLC Heroes and Heralds hasn’t been given a set release date as of yet. Honestly, this isn’t a big deal since the game just came out a little over a week ago, but it would have been nice to have at launch.
Should Have Copies Super Street Fighter IV AE - In all honesty, I think UMVC3 would have been better received by the “mainstream” audience if the game would have been a DLC update option in the vein of Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition. Sure it would have been a large update to download, but it would have benefited from a lower price point. By having it that way, Capcom would have been pleasing everybody; those who don’t want to buy a retail disc and those who do. It would also have been ideal to NOT release the sequel within the same year as the original.
No Replay/Upload - This is a minor thing with the availability of recording devices, but when nearly every other fighting game has a replay/upload feature, it makes sense to put one in your game. This tool helps players scout each other, learn moves that they didn’t know that could be pulled off and lets players gauge each other when tournament time comes along. Why this feature isn’t included in UMVC3 has not been said, but itwould have been greatly appreciated.
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a vast improvement over MVC3 in terms of move sets and balance updates, improved net code, spectator mode, an increased roster, and new modes. While it does not have much to offer the casual player, pro players will love the changes made to UMVC3 and are hard at work unlocking its potential. Some say that they are not buying UMVC3 because Mega Man isn’t in it, or because Capcom canceled two Mega Man games, or because they don't like Capcom’s practice of updating a game that is only a few months old. To the first two reasons, I say they are idiotic reasons not to buy this game. If the fighting system was broken or terrible, then that would be a valid reason, but “Mega Man isn’t in it? UMVC3 is teh suxxorz!!” is not. As for not buying it because you are fine with the last iteration, I say this: if you are serious about wanting to compete at EVO levels, you will need to update to keep up with the competition. UMVC3 is a whole different game compared to MVC3 and you will be left in the dust if you don’t update. That said, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a must buy for pros wanting to further their game, newbies who passed on UMVC3 but want to get in on the action, and for those who just love fighting games.