Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Review

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 makes a smooth transition to the PlayStation Vita, keeping its fast-paced combat intact and adding some new features.

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is going mobile. The PlayStation Vita version of this chaotic, 2D fighter features everything you'd expect from the console version, along with some welcome additions. These include replay support for online matches, as well as support for Heroes and Heralds mode right out of the gate. The Vita's direction pad, thumbstick, and face buttons all work well for a fighting game, and there's even touch-screen support. Of course, UMVC3 is just as challenging as before and can break your heart with a single combo. It's mean, it's flashy, but most importantly, it's Marvel, baby!

This version of UMVC3 runs just as smoothly as its console counterpart. The only sluggishness occurs when performing hypercombos, but it is minor enough to be negligible. All of the fighters are rendered in full detail and beautifully shown on the small screen. Of course, some concession had to be made when working on less-powerful hardware. This means all the special effects--fireballs, impact flashes, and the like--have been knocked down to a lower resolution.

The Vita's front touch screen can also be used in single-player or multiplayer. Movement is performed by swiping in a direction, while tapping the screens makes your character attack, usually with a basic combo that ends with an ultra. It's little more than a gimmick and can be filtered out when searching for online opponents.

The 12 new fighters from the console version are all included, and many of them personify the game's shift in focus between MVC3 and Ultimate. Together with the original cast, they raise the total to an impressive 48 fighters. Players who prefer to rush in aggressively will find Wesker's moveset to their liking, while those who relish keeping foes at a distance will appreciate Hawkeye and Ghost Rider. Additional tweaks to the fighting mechanics, such as scaling back X-factor and beefing up team aerial combos, carry over into this version as well.

When using touch, tap a character portrait for an assist, or the meter for a hyper combo.

You're not on your own to discover these changes. Mission mode, which teaches players basic techniques for the cast, has been updated to accommodate all of these tweaks. The 12 new characters have their own mission sets, while the missions for veterans have been updated. Unfortunately, this mode has issues in the way it presents information, so if you don't know your gram from your ragtime shot, then you constantly have to pause the game and dive into the menu to see the move's input. Being able to watch a demonstration of the current mission would also have been appreciated.

The Shadow Mode downloadable content from MVC3 is altogether absent. Its replacement is Heroes and Heralds mode. Heroes and Heralds has you collecting cards and assigning them to your three-person team to unlock new bonuses and abilities. The steady trickle of new cards, as well as the new abilities they confer, make this an addictive addition. But with so many radically different card abilities, it can be confusing to go up against enemy teams if you don't have all of the cards memorized.

One feature that fans were dying for in the original Marvel vs. Capcom 3 that made it into Ultimate is a spectator mode during online play. No longer are you confined to watching two sets of life bars tick down while awaiting your turn; now, you can see all of the action for yourself. Replay support is also included in the Vita version. From a replay-specific leaderboard, you can sort through replays based on region and even save them to your Vita's memory. When viewing replays, you can scroll through the action frame by frame, show input data, and even pull up an overlay that shows character hit boxes.

Nemesis' jacket is specially designed to resists giant, blue laser beams.

During our play sessions, online play did have some hiccups. Part of this was the aforementioned slowdown during hypercombos, but at other times, it was simply lag. Few games went by completely free of lag; however, what lag we did encounter was brief and didn't significantly detract from the experience. And just like on consoles, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 for the Vita may feel inviting at first, but when you sink a little deeper, you discover a game in which victory and defeat hinge on a fine line. It's a high-risk, high-reward system that buries you in a brightly colored light show at the slightest misstep. This game makes a graceful transition to the handheld space while retaining everything from the console version.

The Good
Replay support and spectator mode for online matches
Retains superb style and animation from the original
Heroes and Heralds mode is addictive.
The Bad
Mission mode still lacks key teaching tools
Pockets of lag during online play.
8
Great
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Discussion

25 comments
TacticalKuma
TacticalKuma

WOW! This is a must have Vita game. It's almost the same as the consoles

tr1n1tr1n1
tr1n1tr1n1

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

makmaw711
makmaw711

great fighter! didnt know it would have graphics this good! you can see the detail in the clothes and everything! greaat game really

snake63
snake63

Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom is awesome. I can't wait to Mortal Kombat to come out.

Triangels
Triangels

I think the graphics are pretty much nice and close to Console version but What i really dont like about this game is lack of gameplay elements, i am fan Of BluBlaze series and when i get to play this one ,,,, makes me feel its not hardcore enough and even its not serious enough

JTrockin
JTrockin

Couldn't this have been done on PSP? The graphics aren't any better.

wowwow27
wowwow27

I guess its just me, but I am sick of fighters. The two top games on the vita (this and rayman) do not interest me at all, Id rather play Army Corps of Hell and Wipeout.

Aentikraist
Aentikraist

i wish they could add jill and shuma as non dlc but anyway ill pick up its fun to play this jewel on the go XD!!!! have anice time UMVC 3!!!!!!!!!!!!!

johnmetcalf
johnmetcalf

Gallactus is one cheap son of a gun.

7heDragon
7heDragon

@pqwoei i want nemesis' rocket launcher!! lol

pqwoei
pqwoei

I want Nemesis' jacket!! lol

InquisitorCrox
InquisitorCrox

Nah, its just doesnt attracts because of that. MK dark atmosphere and less cartoonish approach do not cause me this discomfort.

grey_fox1984
grey_fox1984

@InquisitorCrox Too old for this cartoony title? that's your reason? are the other big kids going to make fun of you?

timmytom15
timmytom15

I got this without knowing the score and i like it so far

MonsieurEek
MonsieurEek

Thanks, Maxwell. This was a helpful review. It's the most comprehensive I've seen as far as how the port was handled; all the others I'd read were very cursory. Glad GameSpot does due diligence instead of rushing these out.

InquisitorCrox
InquisitorCrox

I m goona skip it for MK, i m too old for this cartoonish title, but i m glad that Vita is stepping up, its starting to have better games than normal consoles, at a smaller price...

painpas
painpas

High quality release. Heroes and Heralds is great and truly addicting.

chazy035
chazy035

You get an 8 you an 8 and you get an 8... Objection! - You gets an 8.....

theJBlounge
theJBlounge

Awesome. I hope it gets a decent online community. I can unfortunately see the servers going empty in a few months.

JustPlainLucas
JustPlainLucas

Was possibly thinking of getting this game, but I'm just not in the mood for fighters right now.

anticusho1984
anticusho1984

I only got the regular marvel vs capcom 3, this game and blazblue will be a great addition

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 More Info

  • First Released
    • PlayStation 3
    • PlayStation Vita
    • Xbox 360
    Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom reveals a new roster with 12 new legends from the Marvel and Capcom universes.
    8.1
    Average User RatingOut of 624 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
    Developed by:
    Capcom
    Published by:
    Capcom
    Genres:
    Action, Fighting, 2D
    Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
    Teen
    All Platforms
    Mild Language, Partial Nudity, Suggestive Themes, Violence