Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Release: November 15, 2011
Price: $39.99

✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✩✩

Score: 8/10

So, you already bought Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Gotcha, we know how you feel. But think back to a time in the early 90s when Capcom was notorious for releasing slight updates to Street Fighter 2 and selling them off as full priced games.

Granted, in the age of downloadable content, no company would get away with that today. And neither would Capcom, which is why with 12 new characters (13, if you count playing as Galactus) 8 new stages, and some minor tweaks to the play mechanics, and you practically have a brand new game here. And at only $40, it’s a steal. Want to know why? Continue on for our review.

 

THE SAME OLD SONG AND DANCE, BUT IMPROVED

Remember when we said you “practically” have a brand new game here? Well, that’s true in every sense of the word. Practically. In many ways, UMvC3 is the exact same game as its predecessor but with new characters and scenery added on for good measure. We see that as a good thing. While we know not everybody dug the transition from Marvel vs. Capcom 2 to 3 (we have some friends who refuse to even play 3), we liked it a great deal and find it comforting to be able to jump right back into the gameplay and still be able to pull off sick air combos with Chris, Hulk, and Wesker. But we now also have the ability to do the same with the new class, like Phoenix Wright, Nova, and Frank West.

The combat is as smooth as ever, and all the battle techniques like Advancing Guard and Crossover Assists return. But you can also do a few new things that hardcore players will like and most likely abuse the hell out of online, such as turning X Factors on in the air and keeping the battles both distant and yet close with projectile heavy characters like Dr. Strange and Ghost Rider. It adds for minor touches that we’re sure are going to be a big deal come online game time.

 

THE NEW CLASS

Undoubtedly, the main reason to pick up Ultimate MvC3 is the new characters, who all, surprisingly, play radically different from each other, bumping up the unique characters in this game to 48. Like the roster already, some of these characters you’ll love, and some you’ll only use once and never play with ever again.

Rocket Raccoon, for instance, is a powerhouse who can avoid a lot of attacks because he’s so low to the ground, kind of like Servbot from MvC2 but actually good. That said, we found that while we like him, we’d probably never take him into battle online because we don’t feel confident with him. He’s just not our play type. Firebrand on the other hand will be a beast come game day, and we’re going to tear it up with him. That’s a promise. But again, that’s just because we like how he moves and plays. He’s versatile and can be an annoyance to others with how much he flies around. He’s sort of like M.O.D.O.K, but better.

All of the new characters though have their own special play styles and they mesh well with the roster already in place. For instance, we already have our new team—Firebrand, Super-Skrull, and Dr. Strange, so you know it’s on.

Some of the characters who were already here before have been slightly modified, as well. Some for the better, and some actually for the worse. For example, Wolverine's new move has him doing multiple jabbing motions that totally changes him as a character from his previous standard slashes when tapping the attack buttons multiple times. We don’t even think we can use him anymore.

Captain America, on the other hand, seems to have gotten lighter and quicker. We actually like him now, and it just goes to show that while you may think you already know this game and these characters, there was definitely a great deal of work put into the old, making this game feel really fresh and new.

 

SOME OF THAT SPIT CLEAN AND POLISH 

The game is just as beautiful as ever but the new stages and costumes really add some more vibrant life and texture to it. It feels more like a comic book than ever. The stages from before all return, but there are some new ones that play off the old ones in clever and unique ways. In Haggar’s Metro City stage for example, there’s a new stage that modifies that, which is now accompanied by sentinels everywhere and fliers in the background with all of the threats that have been eliminated, with Mega Man’s face most notably NOT have an X over it, which is cool. There’s also Spiderman’s former rooftop stage, but on a ground level, with cars flying by in the background. It’s pretty.

The new character costumes are just win. Ryu can now have blond hair and a red gi (sound like someone you might know?) and Captain America can now have his strange triangle shield from his earlier comic book days. It makes for a geek nerdgasm that’s even bigger and stronger than the last iteration.

Speaking of the last iteration, if you have it on your save file, then you’re in luck, as you can get Galactus Mode right off the bat. In this mode, you actually play as Galactus, and let us tell you, it’s not easy being a god. You can’t block for one thing. Or even pull off all the moves without timing them against your opponents. But if you simply MUST get every ending in the game, then beating it with him is a must.

The endings are the one sore spot for us, though. Most of the old ones haven’t changed, like Hulk has the exact same ending from MvC3. But some have, like Ryu’s, which is completely different, so beating the game all over again with characters you already did it with before is a necessity, just to see if things have been altered at all. It’s a bit of a pain, we won’t lie.

 

WORTH THE 40 BONES 

Even if you already have Marvel vs. Capcom 3 in your collection, Ultimate is worth getting. The new characters add a lot of variety to the roster and totally changes things up. Uncovering the new depths to the gameplay mechanics makes it seem like you’re playing a totally different game at times.

Look, we know you might be angry that these characters weren’t just downloadable content. But if you think about it, if all these characters WERE downloadable at, say, $5 a pop, then the math weighs in your favor. Five bucks times 12 is at least $20 more than this game costs. So Capcom did you a favor, buddy. If you loved the last one, then you’ll love this one, too. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is definitely worth the forty bucks.