There are a couple of fighting games that I like to play. I don’t review a lot of them on this blog because I am neither a Street Fighter nor a Mortal Kombat player. Not that those games are bad, because the recent Mortal Kombat is really good, but I have complaints that I know a lot of people would not fully agree with me about. My favorite fighting games are franchises like the Super Smash Brothers series with its huge list of Nintendo characters and an easy-to-get-into and fun-to-master combat system. I know Street Fighter is the major fighting game people play in tournaments and online, but I prefer Capcom’s other fighting games. I love their fighters like Rival School and, of course, the famous “versus” series. These games with their cross-franchise fighters like Tatsunoko vs. Capcom and the more popular entries in the series being the ones where the Capcom franchises fight the Marvel universe. I decided to take this next review and do it like I did with my Stacking review. I am going to review both Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and its update sequel, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. I know the hype around this game was probably not worth it, but I love this game more than Marvel vs. Capcom 2, and it is right-up-there for me anyway, with Tatsunoko vs. Capcom and Rival Schools as some of my favorite fighters of all time. I know some people who don’t like this game as much as I do, but screw it, I love it and here is my review of it. Let us get started in this mixed franchised fighter known as Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
There really isn’t any story to this, even though Capcom promised us a story mode. However, this isn’t a major complaint for me since if we did get a story mode, we would get spoiled and annoying hardcore fans of both sides nitpicking it apart, and to be honest, I don’t really care if there is a story mode or not. I will, however, try to put it together like I did with my Tatsunoko vs. Capcom review. The story revolves around Albert Wesker making a small Legion of Doom-like team by teaming up with villains from the Marvel side, to put it simply, wanting to rule the world. The good guys from both sides decide to join forces, and while fighting against each other, team up to take down Albert Wesker, Dr. Doom, and the other villains to keep them from summoning Galactus, who is more than likely going to destroy the world. Again, I don’t really care if there is little-to-no story in this game. Fighting games are having a revolution, with more recent fighters having actual stories in their story modes, but the entire premise in this game would be too confusing to even care about. Plus, do you ACTUALLY care about the story in a fighting game?
The gameplay is in the classic Marvel vs. Capcom 2 formula of 3-versus-3 fighting where you make a team of 3 fighters and go through an arcade-style format, fighting against other teams and eventually getting to Galactus in a final fight. There are the usual fighters like Ryu, Chun Li, Wolverine, and Iron Man from the last game, and there are some new ones like Deadpool, Ghost Rider, and MODOK. There is a lot more variety with the fighters here than in Marvel vs. Capcom 2 which had a bit too many characters that played like one another (did we really need 3 Wolverines?). There are also the usual fighter types like Dormammu, who controls the battlefield, close range fighters, fighters that use tricks, and the fighters who do better while in mid-air. There are online modes, but don’t expect a lot of them. That is fine with me, but I know a lot of people got really angry about this since there weren’t as many as Capcom’s other cash cow ... I MEAN, other fighting franchise, Super Street Fighter 4, but I am getting ahead of myself. There are the typical online lobbies where you find opponents and fight them, a spectator mode (in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3), and depending on which one you play, a Shadow Mode, and a Heroes and Heralds Mode. The shadow mode in the Marvel vs. Capcom 3 game puts you against AI-controlled teams that were designed by the fighting style of real people. It was pretty fun, if a bit easy, since I could wade through them with relative ease. The Heroes and Heralds Mode is a lot like the recent Gem System from Street Fighter X Tekken, where you can equip your team with different cards that have different perks that can really change up a fight and make it even more over-the-top than they can already get. The rest of the stuff this game offers is the usual fighting game stuff, like bars to fill to execute super moves, unlockable art and videos, and you get the idea. It might be light on content, but if you love fast-paced, hard-to-control fighting, then you will love this game. That is why I love it, because it’s fast-paced, and not slow and clunky like Mortal Kombat (movement-wise). I just have more fun with faster paced 2D fighters and am not a big fan of slower-paced fighters. This is why I’m really interested in trying out games like Persona 4: Arena, and am more of a fan of games like the BlazBlue series.
The graphics are beautiful. They are 3D and not 2D, but it looks great with some impressive details and colors thrown into the mix for a very pleasant graphical presentation. The stages also look fantastic even if there might be a time rift opening when you play as Tron Bonne at the same time you see Tron Bonne in the background. The music is fun and fast paced with some good and some okay tracks. The voice cast is also fun, with a bunch of different talents like Jim Cummings, Steve Blum, Nolan North, Dee Bradley baker, Tara Strong, David Kaye, and Fred Tatasciore to name a few. Overall, Capcom brings a good graphical presentation to go along with great controls and fun and fast fighting.
So, what is wrong with this game? Well, there is a mix of bad game designs and bad business practices with this game, and with Capcom as a whole. While I do not mind that there is not a bunch of online modes like in other fighting games, I can agree that there could have been more. I mean, I have had fun just fighting against people in the versus mode and not in some tournament, but it is surprising that the producers didn’t think of adding more modes to either version of the game. The next bit of criticism is aimed at Capcom and their business strategy towards their fighting games. Back in the 90’s, it was reasonable, but still stupid how they released Street Fighter 2 over and over again with just tweaks and updates since we didn’t have the ability to put in patches over the consoles. Nowadays, it makes you look like money-grubbing punks when you re-release a game or what they do here, a pseudo update in the retail market. Yeah, the Japanese Market doesn’t like DLC AS MUCH, but that’s over there. Over here, you could easily make Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 a downloadable update like they did with Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition. In a way, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 isn’t bad at 40 dollars, but I felt like they could have made it 20 dollars for just an expanded roster and 8 new stages. This is where I have mixed opinions on how I look at this problem, because recently, Neatherealm Studios did just this with their releases of Mortal Kombat: The Komplete Edition and their version that is out on the Vita. In a way, you guys can stop harassing Capcom over this when one of the better fighters (to some people) did the same Capcom business move. What about BlazBlue Continuum Shift Extended? It is just a few tweaks and such, but still the same game as the last game. I am not saying that all this angry fanboyism is fully wrong, but give Capcom some peace when you should feel bad that other companies do this not just to video games, but to movies also. How many times did Avatar come out for theatres when we were already content to have it on Blueray and another Blueray copy of the director’s cut? How many copies of the original Star Wars films do you have? I am just saying to quit griping about this and realize that it’s not just them that are doing it.
The big questions are these. Am I a tiny bit annoyed that they did this, and they may or not do this with all of their fighting games? Yes, I am. Am I upset that I spent 70 dollars when I could have been patient and not buy into the hype knowing they were going to do something like this? I kind of am. The bigger and more important question is, did I have fun with these two titles? Well, yeah I did, and I still do. Again, I prefer these kinds of fighting games to others and I love them. Yes, I wish they didn’t do these kinds of business practices with their fighting games, but they might change. We can hope for that, right? It might not happen soon, but hopefully they do think about not doing this kind of stuff anymore since there is a rumor that a new Darkstalkers is coming out. You can pick up Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 for your Xbox 360, PS3, and your Playstation Vita and while it doesn’t come with the Shadow Mode, it is more balanced and fun to play through. I still like this game, but again, I do hope Capcom changes their business plans in the future.
This game gets an 8 out of 10