|PS3 / XBOX 360||USA|
By Spencer . November 14, 2011 . 5:18pm
Since Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds came out less than a year ago I’ll spare the introduction and jump right into what’s new. We’ll start with the twelve new characters added into Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
On the Capcom side, Phoenix Wright joins the cast with a never before seen fighting style. Being a lawyer, Wright isn’t a martial arts master. He "attacks" by launching opponents in the air with a sneeze and deals damage by shaking his head in frustration. While Phoenix Wright can string together a combo and knock enemies out of the air by throwing papers, you have to find evidence to thoroughly power him up. Press any attack button + special in investigation mode to make Wright get on the ground and dig. Wright is vulnerable in this state, but he can call Maya to put up a shield or better yet another partner character like Nemesis to distract the other player. If you find correct evidence it lights up on the bar above your hyper combo gauge. Incorrect evidence can be tossed and acts like an arcing projectile. Switch to trial mode (down, down + special) and Wright can present the evidence, which gives him different kinds of projectiles depending on the items he finds. This mode also gives Wright more moves like Press the Witness which makes him rush an enemy by walking in to them and Paperwork, the paper throwing attack mentioned above. If you find three pieces of evidence you can strike an enemy with an "Objection!" by pressing forward + H. This move changes Phoenix Wright to a third state. Turnabout mode gives him a giant pointing finger with ground bounce as a regular attack plus a level three super called Ace Attorney inspired by the courtroom scenes from his Nintendo DS games. Capcom also gave a nod to Ghost Trick in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 with a Sissel color scheme for one of Phoenix Wright’s alternate colors.
Frank West is another character you have to power up in the heat of battle. He gains more moves when you earn Prestige Points, a staple from the Dead Rising games. End a combo by taking a pictures (QCF + special) and you’ll earn the same amount PP equal to the combo number. At level two, Frank gains a roundhouse kick and a rolling dodge that lets him roll through another player. Each level also upgrades his weapons like turning the baseball bat to the spiked bat and he eventually gets the paddlesaw, a combo weapon from Dead Rising 2, that takes up half the screen with each hit. Players can power up Frank faster by drinking a beer (down, down + S), but this also leaves him open to an assault when he throws up. Capcom also gave Frank some zombie throwing moves, but he is an in your face character in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 instead of a zombie summoner like Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars.
Rocket Raccoon is one of the interesting newcomers from the Marvel side. This tiny character can dodge attacks like Sentinel’s energy blast without blocking or ducking. While Rocket Raccoon doesn’t have a lot of reach, he’s fast and can bolt towards enemies (or out of danger) with his rocket skates. Rocket Raccoon has projectile attacks too, but what makes him unique are his traps. You can litter the stage with mines and giant springs that launch enemies at the cost of one super bar. If enemies get too close Rocket Raccoon can burrow and show up behind them. It feels like Rocket Raccoon is a counter to giants like the Hulk. Ghost Rider is another character that can play keep away. His chain whip takes up nearly the entire screen. Ghost Rider can also pick up enemies by breathing fire on them and cancel right into Hellfire Maelstrom, a hyper combo that has him create a fiery tornado. Doctor Strange can follow an opponent with tracking teleports and tracking projectiles that combo. One of his super moves counters projectiles, which is useful when playing against a keep away fighter. He’s a tricky character I’m still figuring out how to use in a team.
The new characters are amusing to play with since they’re different. However, it doesn’t feel like Phoenix Wright is going to replace Phoenix (Jean Grey Phoenix) or Wesker as a tournament character anytime soon. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a fast paced game and there’s too much luck involved with finding the right evidence on time. Vergil, on the other hand, seems to be a competitively designed character. He can teleport above and behind enemies or fake them out. While every quarter circle motion doesn’t do a special attack like Dante, Vergil has his own set of attacks and is a pro at juggling. Nemesis is another powerful character who can deal ton of damage once you trap your opponent in the corner. He almost feels like the Juggernaut due to his size and a similar punching assist that ends with a rocket launcher shot. I thought Hawkeye would play similar to Taskmaster, but Capcom give him a different set of moves. Hawkeye is a zoning style character with straight forward shots and Ragtime Shot which makes arrows rain. His trick arrows have status attacks one of them poisons the other player and another freezes them. Iron Fist is an on the ground fighter who can buff himself in the heat of battle. You can change his chi to amplify attacks, enhance defense or increase the rate the hyper combo meter charges.
Speaking of the hyper combo gauge meter, it charges a bit slower than vanilla Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Capcom also tweaked the X-factor, a comeback move that supercharges a character’s attack, speed, and recovers life, by toning it down too. X-Factor boosts are shorter, but it’s still possible takeout one maybe even two characters while its active. X-Factor can also be used as a cancel to keep a combo going and new for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 you can activate it in the air to extend an air combo. Want to add even more hits? Then mash buttons during hyper combos just like past Versus games. All of the returning characters were rebalanced and out of the entire roster Ryu received the biggest makeover. He has, believe it or not, more fireball moves mapped to the special button. Ryu can shoot a rapid fire hadouken assault or an explosive fireball that sends an enemy flying to a wall. He also has a hado shoryuken that sends an opponent flying upwards further. The biggest change is Ryu can transform into Evil Ryu (down, down + S), which gives him access to two super charged hyper combos. The Shin Hadouken technique does more damage and fires a straight forward energy blast that reflects 45 degrees upwards.
Another modification players will appreciate is the game appears to have better netcode. I’ve been playing Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 online and it takes less time to start a match compared to Fate of Two Worlds. I haven’t seen any lag hiccups either, but that may be because the servers aren’t packed with players… yet. Spectator mode is a nice addition, but it would have been nice to have a replay mode or channel like Super Street Fighter IV. Single player gameplay is mostly the same aside from the addition of a gimmicky Galactus mode. You can unlock this by either having a Marvel vs. Capcom 3 save file on your console or earning 30,000 player points. In Galactus mode you play as the game’s final boss who can’t move, but can snap his fingers to send characters flying backwards. Most of Galactus’ attacks take up a large portion of the screen, but there’s little threat since the computer controlled characters kind of stand there waiting for you to charge up a power punch and KO them in one hit. Galactus mode has its own ending, but after playing it once I don’t think I’ll play it again anytime soon.
I’m looking forward to seeing how Heroes and Heralds mode mixes up the game. Capcom announced this free DLC package will let players customize characters with 100 different cards that grant abilities like super armor and invisibility. This might make Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 a different game from its predecessor, but I wasn’t able to test this out. What I’ve been playing is Marvel vs. Capcom 3 with some neat new characters and gameplay tweaks.