Marvel vs. Capcom 3 took a decade to deliver, but when it finally came out, most fans were satisfied. But then, something happened. All the promised DLC with new characters never really came about following the tsunami that rocked Japan. Fans were upset. But with Ultimate MvC3, we’re getting new characters and a whole lot more. We sat down with the producer, Ryota Niitsuma and had a discussion with him. Enjoy.
I want to talk about the characters this time around. Rocket Raccoon in particular. How does he fit into the MvC Universe?
When we think of Rocket Raccoon, that character just lends himself to comedy, so we can take some of the comedic aspects of his character and personality and incorporate that into the game. And I think that’s what makes him fit really well.
Will Frank West play as he did in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, or will he play differently?
Well the base play style for Frank West will be the same, but we made some adjustments and tweaks to him so we’re able to open him up more because while there are similarities with the two games, there are also some great differences, so we had to match him to Marvel vs. Capcom. This time out, I think he’s more fun to play.
What was the decision to put the characters we have now in Ultimate in the game?
First off, we had scheduling issues because we wanted to get this game out at a certain time frame so we were restricted with what we could do within that time.
On the Marvel side, Marvel had a list of the characters they wanted to see in the game, and they just presented that to us. We checked their list and then we signed off on the characters we thought would work.
For the Capcom side, we mainly listened to fan’s requests. There was a lot of fan input on what characters they wanted to see, so we took that into consideration when choosing the Capcom side. Then the second level of consideration was balance issues, in terms of characters who have speed and characters who have strength, and the overall gameplay.
Third issue was not just individual balance, but the entire game’s balance. So we wanted to make sure that these 12 new characters didn’t upset the balance that we had established previously. That we could just put them in and they would be a good match.
I remember reading early on that the character Nemesis was going to be too violent to put in the last game. So how did you work it out that you could put him in this game?
Yeah, that’s true. I did say that originally that Nemesis would be too grotesque or something to that for this type of game and the main reasons for that was because of ratings issues, the rating board wouldn’t include a character like that for the rating we wanted for this game.
What we had to do is that we had to consult with them on how far we could take it. What could we do? So what we did is we looked at the source material for Nemesis and we started making the character, and we just went slowly, piece by piece, okay Nemesis can do this, let’s make that. And then we showed it to the respective parties involved and asked, ‘Is this okay?’ ‘Is this too much?’ And we just got approval incrementally to incorporate him.
I think we pretty much pushed him to the limit as far as the rating boards would allow to show. So we had to make sure it’s the way we presented him in the game that is palatable for this Teen rated game.
From the Capcom end, I’ve seen Rival Schools has gotten a reference before (With Batsu in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom), Star Gladiator (with Hayato in Marvel vs. Capcom 2) has gotten a reference. So how come Power Stone gets no reference? We love Power Stone!
We didn’t go out of our way to ignore Power Stone. Like the Star Gladiator and the Rival Schools stuff, some of those things we were just able to pull in as kind of fan service things that we got to put into the endings and what not, and I think there just wasn’t an opportunity to present Power Stone in one of those settings, that was the only thing. It’s not like we were trying to ignore Power Stone, cause it just didn’t make it, that’s all.
What are some new gameplay features? I know you can do X-Factor in the air now. What are some other gameplay features we can look forward to?
To touch on some of the few features that we’ve tweaked in this game, to talk about the X-Factor, we wanted to make sure the gauge doesn’t drain so quickly as before so that way, the fights can last a little longer than they have before. We think that aspect is important.
Also, before, you could knock characters in the air, for air combos, or knock them to the ground, so now we have a way that you can knock them horizontally as well, so we think that adds a cool thing. And we’ve also created a system where by doing so, you can steal parts of your opponents hyper combo gauge added to your own.
And also, the damage effects for the character models themselves, we’ve improved a few of them, so they bring out something a little more when you’re playing the game. Not all the characters, but a lot of them you’ll see that we’ve tweaked that aspect of it. I think most of the gameplay elements have been announced up until now, but those are some of the more finer details that have been changed since the previous version and Ultimate.
So I know we’re not going to get any more DLC characters, but what kinds of DLC besides costumes do you think we might get?
Yeah, we are planning additional DLC, not just costume stuff, but there is other stuff in the works.
The backgrounds are going to be pretty much the same, but has the music been changed up? What kinds of added features to the actual design can we look forward to?
Talking about sound first, there’s no big changes there, but all the new characters have their own songs, so we made sure to add music for all the new characters. But there’s no big sound changes for the overall game.
As far as other developments of the UI, specifically the gauges on the screen, we’ve tweaked those and modified those a bit. But overall, it’s pretty much a similar design scheme as the original Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
Are you surprised with any of the characters the fans have picked as favorites? Because online, I’ve seen that everybody seems to love Wesker.
Yeah, I think the dev team, we’re always surprised with what the fans have decided to choose and more specifically, not just the characters they choose but how they play with them. Because a lot of times, we go in designing these characters with a certain intention that they’ll be used in a certain way, and when the game gets out though, the fans start using them in a completely different way that we hadn’t expected. And it’s not good, or bad.
I think actually, it’s probably more good because it shows how the game can be fun and it’s something different, but it’s always a surprise to see how people take to the things. When you’re designing the game, you have intentions that A, B, and C are the ways it’s going to go, and people are going to use it that way. But when you see people play, they do something completely different. And from a dev team’s perspective, that’s awesome to see.
The last game was very projectile based, but the new characters seem like they have a lot of projectiles, too. Have you seen with the way that people play that they like characters with projectiles?
Actually, I don’t think there was a conscious effort to put projectile based characters into Ultimate, what happened is we just got these 12 new characters and just looking at the way they would be animated and their source material, they just happened to have projectiles, and we would know they needed projectiles.
For example, like a character like Hawkeye. You can’t have Hawkeye without projectiles. I think what happened is, we chose these characters because we thought they would be a good fit, they looked cool, and then when we go to the source material, a lot of them have moves that would be projectile based.
So it just ended up that we had a lot of projectile based characters, whereas we didn’t set out in the beginning consciously to include more projectile based characters.
Are we going to get new endings for the characters already, or is going to be the same endings and we’re just going to get new endings for the new characters?
The new characters will have new endings. The characters who appeared in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 will pretty much have the same endings they had the first time out.
All of your focus is on this one, but are there any possible plans to do another edition, or is this the final edition?
Right now, there’s nothing in the schedule for a version that comes out after this. For us, this is THE version of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 that we want the fans to play.