Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 PlayStation Vita Review
Capcom supported the PSP launch with Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower, a bizarre and attractive 2D fighter that helped show off some of the handheld's best features.
Fast forward to 2012, and history repeats itself with Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, another off the wall beat-em-up that puts PlayStation Vita's processing muscle on display. It's a cool port of last year's console brawler, but as you'll learn, this somewhat handicaps the experience.
Similar to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 SKU, Vita UvC3 pits characters from both the Capcom and Marvel camps against each other in thrilling three-on-three smackdowns, where you're able to create dream match-ups featuring the likes of Chris Redfield, Ryu, Dante and Phoenix Wright from the Capcom side, versus Wolverine, Iron Man, Incredible Hulk and Captain America from Marvel's camp, or you can just mix everything up. Want a team featuring Haggar from Final Fight, Viewtiful Joe and Spider-Man? No problem.
The Vita edition retains the all out craziness the series is known for, and we had a blast playing it, thanks to an easily accessible d-pad, face buttons and triggers, which didn't get in the way of pulling off Hyper Combos and other cool maneuvers. Even switching is easy, as tapping a trigger causes a teammate to briefly appear with a well-needed assist, while pressing and holding either right or left shoulder buttons brings in another hero or villain; it's like tag team wrestling, WWE style.
Meanwhile, the game looks sweet on Vita's five-inch OLED screen. Capcom brought the level of background detail down a peg, but the characters still shine. Go ahead and watch the action unfold behind Demon Village, Tricell Laboratory or Metro City and soak in the impressive artwork and silky smooth play. You can even admire character/background art while inside the virtual gallery.
That said, Capcom threw in some minor additions to make UvC3 Vita stand out, though neither will influence many to pick up the game. The first, Touch Mode, lets you control characters by rapidly tapping the screen. The idea was to make the game more accessible for casual players, and taking that into account, the developers succeeded, since it's possible to unleash 25-hit combos with several finger pokes.
Unfortunately, this made UvC3 too easy. People often complain about the final boss, Galactus. Well he's a pushover in Touch Mode on the game's default difficulty.
Thankfully, you can always switch back to traditional controls on the fly, and Capcom was smart to let players nix Touch Mode while online so opponents don't gain the advantage; FYI, the game supports offline and online play, with lobbies for up to eight people, a nice touch.
The second Vita exclusive feature involves replays, where you're able to go through a match move by move to see what you did right and wrong. Cool for diehard fans.
That's it. No bonus characters (Jill Valentine and Shuma-Gorath are still DLC only) or stages. It's a bit of a downer, since the console versions don't have much content to begin with; Mission Mode is more of a tutorial.
With this in mind, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is still a solid fighter, especially if you missed it last year. There was potential to make this the definitive version, but as it stands, it's another quality title for Sony's monster machine, and a worthwhile pick-up you should play.
Review copy provided by Sony.
What's Hot: Gorgeous port with few sacrifices in visual quality, 50 character roster featuring Marvel and Capcom standouts, packed Gallery, excellent button controls, Wi-Fi and online play.
What's Not: Needs more content, Touch Mode makes the game too easy.