I love me some fighting games! Yes-sir-ree~ I’ll admit I haven’t played any of the Marvel vs. Capcom games or the like before – that is, before Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 for Vita is pretty much the same as the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions, but it has the added handiness of being able to be played on the go on a hand-held.
Ultimate Marvel vs .Capcom 3 came out about 7 or 8 months after Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds – this included various character balances from the original and an additional 6 characters each from Marvel and Capcom. The core mechanics of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 are largely the same as Fate of Two Worlds, but with a few tweaks in the more technical aspects of the game, such as button-mashing Hyper Combos (like super moves) which do more damage when you continuously press buttons during activation, and being able to activate X-Factor (increased damage, speed and health regeneration for a very limited time, like a last resort) in the air.
There are many different modes for this game, most of which are self explanatory. You can battle people online in Online Mode with the same consoles as you – personally I think it sucks that there isn’t any cross platform support. Offline Mode offers you the Arcade, Training and Misson Modes and just for the Vita, the Touch Mode.
- Arcade Mode is pretty much like the story mode for this game – you against the CPU in a range of stages leading to a final boss at the very end (Galactus). Each character has a unique ending sequence at the end of Arcade Mode.
- Training Mode allows you to pick a team and basically work out a play-style for them at your own pace. The CPU is like a dummy and you can set them up do to anything you’d like (stand still, continuously jump, block, etc). This mode is essential to people who want to play MvC3 at a competitive level – while MvC3 is fun to button-mash and play casually, when it comes to competitive play there are a lot of technical aspects you need to consider like execution, timing, cancelling moves into Hyper Combos, using your tag team effectively, executing unblockables, etc.
- Mission Mode I feel is a good place for people to start if they want to start learning to play MvC3 seriously. Basically you pick a character and complete missions which involve executing instructions on attacks properly. For example, if you chose Chun-Li, the first mission is to execute a Kikoken L. That’s half-circle forward + light attack. Later down the track you have to work in Kikoken L with other combinations of attacks to create a combo. These missions slowly get harder and the instructions slowly get longer (Crouching L, Crouching M, Crouching H, Launcher, M, M, H, S – bread and butter combo for nearly every character), but it’s fun and allows you to experience what each character plays like and what they can do.
- Touch Mode is only available for the Vita. Like the name implies, you play MvC using touch controls. This mode can only be accessed offline as well, so if you want to fight people online you’re going to have to learn to play the game properly. This is mode really just feels tacked on, and it’s not very fun to play – just tap the screen and your character automatically moves and executes chains of combos and finishes with Hyper Combo if there is Hyper Meter available.
The only noticeable difference between the Vita version and the Xbox360 and PS3 versions is just the touch mode. The graphics are still superb. The backgrounds are still in 3D, although they don’t have any animations. In terms of characters and the on-hit particles, the graphics are still amazing and everything plays smoothly. A couple of things annoy me with the Vita version though. First of all, the loading times seem super long sometimes! I guess maybe it’s because they’ve condensed this entire game onto a hand-held console, but seriously sometimes it feels like I’m sitting there for a minute on a loading screen and I just wanna play! The other thing that annoys me could purely be personal – I’m used to playing with an arcade stick (I have a Tournament Edition stick for Street Fighter wee!), so trying to play pad-style is an adjustment – my hands and fingers are just too small. I can’t cancel into Hyper consistently because my thumbs aren’t big enough to hit two buttons at the same time – namely ‘square’ and ‘triangle’, that might just be that I’m not used to playing with a pad though.
Overall, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a really fun game to play on any console, and being able to play it on the go on a Vita is just handy if you want to train whenever you have a spare minute. If you really want to see high-level play, go to YouTube and search for competitive matches – it’s amazing what some people can do in terms of combos and play-styles!
The ability to use the Vita as a controller while playing the PS3 version of the game was not reviewed due to the reviewer not having the PS3 version.
This review is based on the digital download version of the game, which was provided by THQ Australia