reviews\ Feb 24, 2012 at 9:30 am

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Review (PS Vita)


With the release of the PlayStation Vita, it was important for the company to flex its processing muscles with the system, showing that a game experience with it was just as good as, say, playing on the PlayStation 3.  So it’s probably no surprise that it asked several developers to bring some of its console hits to the system.  For the most part, this process has worked with fabulous results.  Just look at what Ubisoft did with Rayman Origins.  Or, for that matter, Capcom with Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.

The brawler, which first appeared on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 last November, features over 40 of the best fighters you’ll find in both Marvel and Capcom’s respective universes, including older favorites like Wolverine, Chun Li and Spider-Man, as well as new additions like Ghost Rider, Phoenix Wright (a kooky add-on if there ever was one) and Nemesis from Resident Evil.  They all mix together into one delightful fighting smorgasbord, complete with crazy combo opportunities, insane super moves, and one hell of a fight against the planet-eating Galactus, the final boss waiting at the end of the game.

This isn’t entirely a straight port, as Capcom has added a couple of new features to keep fighting fans entertained.  The first is the new Replay mode, which lets you view fights just to see what mistakes were made, or what combos might be considered keepers.  This is bound to be a big hit for folks in the fighting community.

As for the second, Touch Mode, it’s built more with rookies in mind.  Using the PS Vita touch-screen, you can execute a number of moves, including combos, super moves and character switch-outs.  While it’s very accessible, it also makes fights blindingly easy, which is good when you’re facing pros online, but doesn’t quite feel the same when it comes to naturally building a fighting style.  It is optional, though, and the default controls work just fine, whether you’re going with D-pad for movement or relying on the analog stick to execute attacks.

All the rest of the modes are intact, including Heroes and Heralds, where you fight through a card-based system, earning rewards and even playing as Galactus at one point, squashing teams that stand in your way.  You can fight locally with your friends, or hop online (through either Wi-Fi or Ad Hoc) and challenge opponents through PlayStation Network.  (If you’re a real fan, you can also download additional outfits through PlayStation purchases, and get access to exclusive characters Jill and Shuma-Gorath, if you feel like adding to the roster.  And the ones you downloaded for the PS3 version?  Free of charge here, so you don’t have to pay twice.)

We would’ve preferred a few new character or background additions to this game, but there’s a reason they called it Ultimate back on the consoles.  You’re pretty much getting the same experience here, but, honestly, that’s not a bad thing.  You’ll keep plenty busy with this game’s content.

What took us by surprise was how silky smooth this game runs on the Vita.  The frame rate remains at high pitch, even during online battles, and both the 3D backgrounds and characters look fantastic, especially during Supers, when characters go flying all over the screen.  (Ghost Rider’s death stare is particularly bad-ass, as is Phoenix Wright’s case closer.)  The sound impresses too, between all the character voice samples (Deadpool is hilarious) and great fighting tunes.  Some of them are even nostalgic for Capcom fans.

Though Touch Mode lets some players get away with highway robbery and there aren’t any exclusive PS Vita content additions, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is an ideal handheld brawler that really deserves to be in your game collection.  It’s a damn near perfect port of the original, and it gives you more than enough to do in terms of brawling, both online and off.  Time to get to fighting!


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