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January 4, 2012
Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3 - PS3 Review
Release Distributor Publisher Developer Offline Players Online Players
Media HDD Space Resolution Move Controls Tilt Controls OFLC Rating

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Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3 is out now on PS3.
It may have taken more than ten years for Marvel vs Capcom 3 to arrive after Marvel vs Capcom 2, but it took less than ten months for Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 to hit store shelves. Apparently the improvements between the standard and Ultimate editions were intended to be released as downloadable content but the earthquake in Japan last year scuppered those plans. Marvel vs Capcom 3 was well received here at Futuregamez scoring a tidy 80% back in February. Can Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 improve on its predecessor? Read on.

Like its predecessor Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 has a very cool intro where the camera pans around static 3D fights between characters from the game. It looks fantastic and along with the ominous music it gets you in the mood for some fighting action. Almost all of the same game options are present here, which is to say youíve got Arcade, Vs, Training and Mission modes in offline play and Ranked, Player Match, Lobby and Leaderboard modes for online play.

There have been a few enhancements to the game to help justify the ĎUltimateí moniker including twelve additional characters, new stages, more alternate costumes, more efficient match-making for online play that now lets you see the connection quality of your opponent before a battle and a re-balancing of some characters. You can also trigger Ďx-factorí, which deals additional damage for a short period of time, in mid-air. Itís also possible to watch an online match if thatís your cup of tea Ė and apparently it is for many people because Capcom added this due to Ďcustomer demandí.

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Ryu takes on Iron First in UMVC3 on PS3.
The twelve new characters are comprised of six from Marvel Ė Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, Hawkeye, Iron Fist, Nova and Rocket Raccoon Ė as well as six from Capcom Ė Firebrand (from Ghosts and Goblins), Frank West (Dead Rising), Nemesis T-Type (Resident Evil 3), Phoenix Wright (Ace Attorney), Strider Hiryu (Strider) and Vergil (Devil May Cry). These twelve join the cast of thirty-six from the previous game, while Jill Valentine and Shuma remain available for download, taking the total number of characters to fifty Ė a hefty roster in anyoneís language. On a personal note I was sorry to see that Gambit and Mega Man both missed the cut but you canít have everything.

There is one additional game mode in Ultimate, available via DLC, called Heroes and Heralds, which can be player either online or offline. You start off picking which side you want to fight for and then battle the other side for global domination. When you play online you engage in a week-long campaign for supremacy during which you canít switch sides. In offline play your job is to secure all disputed areas by crushing your foes repeatedly. Each victory you earn gives you a certain percentage of that territory and youíll secure it once youíve earned 100%. There are different campaigns for each side adding to the longevity of the mode.

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Visual effects in the game often impress.
Victories earn you ability cards which provide additional benefits during fights. You need three ability cards to make a deck and the order you select them will change the benefits they give. Each ability card is ranked and youíll earn lower-level cards for each victory. To earn the better cards you need to secure territories and unlock bonus areas. Bonus areas are unlocked by defeating a complete line of characters on your Hit List Ė a five by five grid of opponents who are checked off as you beat them. You need multiple victories in each bonus area to secure it but be careful because a single loss will see that bonus area disappear.

For those unfamiliar with the series each fight is a 3-on-3 affair Ė one character per side fights at any given time, but they can call in their team-mates to assist or replace them during the fight. Outside of Heroes and Heralds the main offline mode is Arcade, which Dave wasnít impressed with the difficulty of in Marvel vs Capcom 3, saying that it was too easy all the way to Galactus (the final boss), who was too hard. As far as I can tell Arcade mode is more balanced in Ultimate, with many of the six fights between you and Galactus providing a stern challenge (providing you choose the right difficulty level). Galactus can be quite a handful, particularly the first few times you fight him, but as you learn his moves and the best way to block or avoid them he becomes a simpler proposition.

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It's an objection to Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney!
The other offline modes, Versus, Training and Mission seem largely unchanged. Like Dave before me I was disappointed in Mission mode, which doesnít do anything other than ask you to perform an increasingly difficult series of moves with each character. I didnít think this mode was structured very well either as the difficulty escalates quickly; one minute youíre doing a simple heavy attack or maybe a hadoken, next thing you know youíre doing a five-hit combo followed up by an air attack and finishing with a hyper combo. Veterans of the series will likely have no trouble with this but for newcomers it will feel like a missed opportunity for what could have been a fantastic interactive tutorial.

Online play is a smooth and enjoyable affair and the ability to see your opponents connection speed before agreeing to a fight is a welcome addition. Fighting games such as Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 really suffer when lag comes into play because the timing between moves can be less than a single frame, but I didnít have any lag issues in my time online. I did get pantsed a lot, but I canít blame lag unfortunately. Additionally you can search for fighters from the same region or with the same rank as yourself so you should be able to find a closely-matched opponent with a decent connection speed easily. Heroes and Heralds definitely adds longevity to online play and the ability cards are an interesting (if not very deep) addition.

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Strider takes on Ghost Rider in Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3.
The biggest criticism that can be leveled at Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 is that there simply isnít enough content here to justify being a standalone release. Anyone who forked out for the original game isnít going to be rapt at having to pay close to full-price (I saw it selling for $60-70 in the past week) for a game that offers one new game mode and twelve extra characters. Certainly the additions could have been offered as DLC as well as being a standalone game, but alas thatís not how Capcom has done it this time around.

Beyond that I donít have many criticisms of the game. I do wish the Mission mode was structured better and that there was an additional game mode or two but other than that what is here works very well. Although other team-members jump in and assist during battles I never felt that the game got too cluttered and itís always relatively easy to spot your true opponent. Additionally there is a wide variety of characters to choose from and plenty of different fighting styles to master which should keep you busy for quite a while.

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Visually UMvC3 is very impressive.
Visually Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 is great to both watch and play. The characters are vibrantly coloured and move with satisfying fluidity, particularly in the case of quicker characters like Wolverine and X-23. There are a stack of special moves and each of them is accompanied by flashing lights and colourful effects. As Dave said when reviewing the original game, ďBold, colourful and frantic sums it up.Ē Indeed.

The music is pretty cheesy and will appeal to as many as it grates on. I was more in the latter category, mainly because I spent a bit of time looking around the menus and the menu music is quite repetitive. During fights youíll barely notice the music but the sound effects are powerful enough to keep you in the moment. The voice acting is solid but not spectacular, and the script for charactersí opening and closing comments can be a bit hit and miss.

Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 is a polished title that looks great and plays like a treat. The biggest gripe will be that there isnít sufficient content here to justify a re-release (at close to full-price) and such a comment is fair. However what is here is a lot of fun and the new Heroes and Heralds mode, along with the twelve new characters will provide sufficient fun for many players. If you didnít play the original Marvel vs Capcom 3 title then now is a great time to join the fun, but if you did buy the original youíll have to think long and hard about splashing out for this.

Review By: Mike Allison

GRAPHICSAs with the original itís bold, colourful and frantic. Itís very pretty to watch in action.
SOUNDQuite mixed with some good stuff and some not so good stuff. Most of the voice-acting is solid though.
GAMEPLAYThoroughly entertaining 3-on-3 fighting action which will take a while to master. Simple controls are available to newcomers which helps.
VALUEIf you have the original Marvel vs Capcom 3 game you can probably pass on this. If you donít have the original game then youíll be kept busy for some time.
OVERALLUltimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 could easily have been released as DLC but is still a high-quality game in its own right. If you donít have the original this game is well worth your time and money.

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