Now it's time for something COMPLETELY different... Normally I review comic books on this blog. However, last month I did my first non-comic book review, which was a review of the Batman: Under the Red Hood DVD. Since then I've reviewed two additional movies in Captain America and Thor. So as you can see, I've been branching out a bit from only doing comic book reviews. That's basically what this post is all about, branching out even further. Earlier today, I received my copy of Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 and decided, “What the hell, I might as well review THIS too!” Now, I've only spent about 3 hours or so playing this game(with an hour of that just fooling around in training mode), so needless to say, I still have way more to do, but I think I have a good enough feel for the game to at least throw together some thoughts on the game itself as well as what I liked and disliked. So there we go. Now, let's see how this review works out...
Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3:
What kind of game is it?: Okay, if you're one of those people who never played Marvel vs Capcom 2(and if you haven't, why?!) here's a quick idea of what this game is. MvC3 is a fighting game where you choose teams of three characters and “tag” them in and out of the battle, so although there are six characters in each match, the matches are fought one on one. The off-screen characters can preform quick attacks by jumping into the fight, but are vulnerable to attack when they do so. Each team has combo meter that fills up when a team member attacks or gets attacked, which can be used(and depleted) to unleash a variety of hard hitting, deadly super attacks. Your team can also preform double or triple super combo attacks, busting out crazy damage to your opponents by pooling their various talents. You also have an “X-Factor” that can be used once per match which can power up your team, temporarily making them stronger, faster, able to heal from damage quicker, etc. You win when you defeat your opponent's threesome or your threesome is defeated.
Who's in it?: So you want to know about characters and who's in the game, right? Well there are an impressive 50(!) characters, 25 Marvel characters and 25 Capcom ones. 51 characters if you count Galactus... Yes, that's right, you can play as frigging GALACTUS! I haven't unlocked Galactus yet, but I figure that should be good for a few chuckles. Because I'm a nice guy, here's a handy list of all of the characters in the game. First up, your Marvel characters: Captain America, Deadpool, Dr. Doom, Dormammu, Hulk, Iron Man, Magneto, MODOK, Jean Grey, Sentinel, She-Hulk, Shuma-Gorath(who you have to download), Spider-Man, Storm, Super-Skrull, Taskmaster(!), Thor, Wolverine, X-23, Dr. Strange, Ghost Rider, Hawkeye(!!), Iron Fist, Nova(!) & Rocket Raccoon. Yes, the Marvel side is STACKED. As for the Capcom characters, here ya go: Firebrand, Frank West, Nemesis, Phoenix Wright, Strider, Vergil(!), Akuma, Albert Wesker(!), Amaterasu(?), Arthur, Chris Redfield, Chun-Li, Crimson Viper, Dante, Felicia, Hsien-Ko, Jill Valentine(who you have to download), Mike Haggar, Morrigan, Nathan Spencer, Ryu, Trish, Tron Bonne(why?), Viewtiful Joe & Zero. Being a lifelong Marvel Zombie and all, I've naturally spent more time playing as the Marvel characters, although I have played as a few of the characters from the Capcom side, mainly the Resident Evil, Devil May Cry and Street Fighter characters(in that order).
What's it about?: If you DID play MvC2 then you know that the story was... vague... And that's putting it nicely! It had something to do with a female pirate, a flying pirate ship and some goo named Abyss that wanted to kill you for some reason... Yeah, I didn't play THAT game for it's story, obviously. This time around though, there actually IS a story! AND it makes sense!! Crazy, no? Albert Wesker of Resident Evil fame has contacted the villains of the Marvel Universe(led by Dr. Doom) and has asked them to come over to his world(the Capcom universe) to help him take it over so that they could rule as gods. Unfortunately, the Marvel villains can't find a power source large enough to open the dimensional portal to Capcom land. Super-Skrull suggests tapping into Galactus's power, which Doom is fine with. This works and allows the characters to travel between worlds, but pisses Galactus off BIG TIME, to the point where he decides that he'd eat the Earth for the arrogance of Doom and Wesker. So now the heroes and villains have to band together to stop Galactus from going through with his threats... Cool, no?
The Good: Um, before I mention anything else, one of the best things about this game is it's price... In a day when most new games are $60, this game came priced at a sensible $40(and with my $10 Amazon credit thanks to buying Batman: Arkham City, it was only $30 and change!). The action is really fast paced. With 48 characters(up to 51 with Galactus and the DLC characters, plus whatever extra characters Capcom may have up their sleeves), there's A LOT of moves to learn. Every character has an ending story if they are the one to lay the final hit on Galactus, thus giving you a reason to defeat the game with every character. I've only unlocked 3 so far, but Taskmaster doing a TV commercial telling people to train with him since he was the guy who defeated Galactus was all sorts of awesome. The story and dialogue is pretty sweet. I can't tell you how hard I marked out when Nova mentioned Speedball after beating somebody. Hawkeye is in the game, which is always a good thing. In Dr. Strange's ending there was an appearance by the Scarlet Witch AND Wiccan which was awesome. In other words, the endings have been great so far. The graphics are sharp, colorful and all around good. There are a pretty good amount of unlockable “titles”(whatever they are) which should have me pulling off all sorts of objectives to acquire them.
The Bad: I'm not really much of an online guy, as in I hate playing online, so there really aren't THAT many different game options... You have the standard arcade, you have the mission mode(which really isn't worth talking about) and you have versus... And that's it. There IS another mode being released for free at some vague time down the road(Heroes and Heralds or something like that), but until then it's mainly arcade mode for me... Some of the voice acting for this game is pretty bad... The play mechanics here are WAY different than MvC2, so it's going to take me some time to actually be semi-good, which isn't really a bad thing, but still. Galactus is a frigging BEAST! The first time I played against him he probably battered me a good 6 times, including dealing out 150 hit combos... I guess that's realistic and all, but damn... $5 for ONE downloadable character Capcom? Really?
The Verdict: I like fighting games. I love Marvel Comics. Hawkeye is one of my favorite characters. Nova is another. In other words, this game delivers a LOT of good things for me. Sure, I have to play the game on “easy” right now due to me getting my ass handed to me on “normal” but I'm sure the more time I put into this game, the better I'll get... In theory at least. Granted, this game is pretty different from MvC2, but why shouldn't it be? MvC2 was/is one of my all-time favorite fighting games, but let's face it, the game engine is like 10 years old now, in video game terms, it's a dinosaur! So while it'll probably take me several frustrating days of getting my ass kicked by the likes of Galactus and Dormammu(who's REALLY strong here!), I'm confident that in time this game will end up as one of my all-time favorite fighting titles. Now if only we could get Loki or Ultron as DLC......
Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.