On Tuesday one of the greatest Capcom battles returns, 12 new characters, revised fighters and the continued fight against Galactus will roll out on retail shelves. So what’s the verdict? We skipped around the basics that many will find boring and instead decided to focus on the fighters and changes themselves. Expect a separate article shortly focusing just on Heroes and Heralds, our preview copy didn’t have mode unlocked yet so we just blazed through all the characters.
Read up below to decide if it’s worth your time or if you’ll hold out with the original for now.
The big boy is back, this time he’s available in Offline SP mode with most of the devastating attacks from boss mode. Use hand crushes, infinite supers, deadly punches and even the finger flick to toss the AI off walls and develop mini combination strikes. It doesn’t really come into play given so many of his attacks hold concentrated death or 150+ hit attacks that cripple characters for life. Unfortunately, he is only available for offline arcade mode. So no online surprises in ranked matches. If you have a previous save file from MvC3, Galactus mode is available right away. Otherwise, he will be unlocked after accruing 30,000PP.
I felt it would have been an interesting mode for offline versus combat. The VS series has been a favorite party game for most players and using Galactus would make any newbie (or uninterested GF/wife) competitive against more seasoned fighters. Galactus is a fun stress reliever but his mode isn’t gonna be your long term boredom killer.
Strider is back in action, for those hoping he has returned to his original MVC glory days, those might never return, while he does have Ouroboros as a backup, the majority of his attacks suffer from age in an era of Advanced Guard counters and new fighters. He’s not a wash as a character but timing is critical in how he fights and plays support to the rest of your team, by no means is he a front line fighter anymore with characters like Vergil in the mix. His transition mimics closely to the Strider of the MVC2 era which was very much nerfed for sanity back then.
Strider is better suited to a stick and move style. His move set allows for quick escapes if things start to get too hairy. He can rush in but his low health makes it dangerous to whiff against a power puncher like Wesker. Having two level three specials sounds impressive but in actuality, it sort of limits his rush down tactics by waiting for levels to build and in a Vs game waiting gets you Ko’d.
Objection! He’s a mystery character in many respects, we spent a bit of time trying to get used to his abilities but it’s still a bit of a mess. You actually have two modes of function, regular mode and secondary where he uses evidence found in battle for special attack bonuses. Add in deciding which super to use at times, Maya is great for a direct offensive but if you need ultimate domination of the screen you can also call out the judge who blacks out the screen for absolute devastation across the screen. He’s quirky but he’s fun, I just don’t know where he might fit in outside of pure support on a team given the strength of Maya’s defense ability.
The little lawyer that could is surprisingly more complex than I had imagined. Searching for evidence takes some time and luckily his Maya call ins can buy you some time and even outright protect you while you snoop around. If you manage to collect three pieces of evidence and hit an objection, he turns into a beast. This Turnabout or, “Light” Phoenix Wright mode, boosts him to devastating levels. He also gains the added bonus of being invincible when you call him to assist in this mode.
Speed doesn’t describe Vergil properly, nothing does really. His attacks are quick and easy to execute, his pure speed and connections are unrivaled in many respects and it’s enough to drive other players up the wall. Fortunately his attacks aren’t as simple as Dante but if you combine the two it’s a pure headache for anyone you’re facing as they just don’t stop their offense. Fortunately if you can juggle Vergil his strength does tend to go down a little faster than the rest of the field.
I’m glad Vergil isn’t the annoying button mashing spam peddler like Dante but get ready to see A LOT of him online. The cross up ability of Vergil is a new level of frustration to employ. There is good enough balance that he doesn’t feel cheap and his combo ability will make him an early favorite online.
Melee goes to new heights, Frank packs an assortment of weapons and short-range strikes against his opponents. Not our favorite addition to the roster at all but what can you do. His range is limited but when he swings that zombie around I would say watch out. The golf club and bat are some of the more common power moves to start or build a chain and they really leave a mark. His power comes from charging in with a power move or two and then connecting and bouncing opponents for extended combos, be sure not to let your guard down around him or he’ll end up chipping away more health than you expected. He’s a solid character and for those who were begging for him to be added they’ll no doubt have a field day with him.
- The key to staying in a match with Frank is to take lots of photos! No, really. Taking photos after your combos levels Frank up and boosts his attacks and makes him more potent. It may take a bit too long to get maxed out so a good defense is needed to stack his offense.
A slower fighter bringing all to many memories of Tron Bonne for attack variations, while his floating and swipes seem to accelerate some combinations, his general movement comes off sluggish at times. To buff that, Capcom gives him a higher damage ability than others, it’s not the perfect solution to an issue like that but with so many characters getting super speed upgrades it might be all they can do. Granted it is fun flying over special attacks with the right timing and wasting someone elses super bar, he’s just not able to deliver that critical combination after the fact. Couple in that his air combinations are a bit tough to pull off but they can setup some powerful team attacks.
Firebrand is a flyer. As long as you keep that in mind, he can be more useful than trying to work on the ground. His air control is among the best in the game. Its a bit early to right him off but his low damage output and chunky feeling makes it tough. That being said, he is fun to use.
Slow, clunky, huge. These normally show a problem character, in the case of Nemesis though… it’s just a list of reasons to stay away from him as an opponent. While everyone seems to have taken a dive on damage points Nemesis stands above the rest, his hard swipes bouncing players and his rockets adding insult to injury. He’s slow but he’s massive and takes a lot of damage before he becomes compromised, if you’re using decent support characters you can defend him when he gets in a bind and resume what can only be said as pure abuse to your opponent.
Nemesis is one of the more straight forward, no frills fighters. Which is actually a good thing for him. He is a Tank and I think his boots are made of lead but having a rocket launcher keeps him balanced. His movement speed is among the slowest in the game but many of his specials cover ground well and he luckily has a dash.
Fei Long fans may find themselves at home with Iron Fist, his moves strike quick and when chained can inflict a ton of damage. He’s a close range fighter that works best on a weak defense but when combined to an air combo or primary special he can take command of a fight. In a battle of heavyweights Iron Fist will be able to juggle opponents enough to chip their health into the abyss, if you’re able to handle keeping it on the ground or to smaller jumps he’ll devastate anyone hoping to spend the match purely in high altitudes. Relying on him as a backbone to any team is a wise idea just from his endurance.
Iron Fist is good at two things, Wearing pajamas and beat downs. He is one of the more balanced fighters with good speed, defense and power. He feels reminiscent to Hayato from MvC2. There is also something very satisfying about the way he literally kicks and punches your opponents faces in. He also has good combos and quickness to still be able to compete with fighters with a ranged arsenal.
A powerful character turns to a devastating force, he’s not a button masher delight which is a relief but he is powerful to the point where it’s frustrating. If you’re familiar with Ryu, Ken, Akuma or even Dan you’ll feel right at home with his attack patterns, pretty much every single move is a quarter turn variation for attacks. Even in the worst spots we found ourselves able to pull out victories with Nova based on the variety of attacks and speed at which he can execute them in the battle. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Nova become a commonly encountered opponent by the technical fighting crowd, he fits in perfectly for anyone looking to execute precision strikes.
I was a fan of Nova before I used him in UMvC3 and now I’m a super fan having used him. His ground speed isn’t the fastest but his specials are relatively quick and help him close distance or get across the screen. His mobility and high damage combos make him very useful. Nova is a great addition to any team as all of his supers work in the air as well.
Another non-base player, Doctor Strange reminds us of an earlier Magneto where timing and selection was everything. Spam attacks will not work coming out of him and patience is a must, learning the full range of his moves and combination attacks for quick damage are key. He’s a dangerous character to face though, his range is the screen and his specials are just as far, for someone who can do range, beams and close combat it’s kind of a nightmare to fight someone when they’re in the groove with him. For Marvel fans, they would expect nothing less of Doctor Strange and it’s well reflected in his fighting abilities in the game. Just use a lot of practice before you try to showdown with everyone.
Dr Strange is one of the more unique energy users in the series. There are enough techniques that will let you jump right in and be effective but there is a lot of potential to be found with some training room time. From specials, supers and even basic attacks, the good Dr is plenty fast. His speed is very useful to move around and set up his more tactical spells.
Bringing hell fire and a relentless chain to the screen can never hurt, actually it can and it hurts like a mofo. Ghost Rider focuses on the entire battlefield with his attacks, the chain can dominate from the ground or juggle opponents and call in characters from across the screen. For those irritated with Phoenix Wright defense the chain does physical damage instead of beam damage and can strike through his assistants shield. His supers are critical for timing, riding on his bike is cool looking until you realize someone hopped right over it and took 0 damage. He’s not a tough character to learn and can be a great help in a pinch.
Ghost Rider is like a more bad ass Dhalsim. His chains have an almost projectile range and if you are up close, you can just burn peoples faces. High damaging moves also often cause knockdowns or wall bounce, which are great combo set ups. The Penance Stare is a close range level 3 super but is able to link directly into another combo for massive damage. In fact, were able to link it into a combo that will wipe out a life bar before you are done adding to your combo hit count.
Task Master fans might have trouble taking this one in, Hawkeye is here and ready to roll in the latest battle. Those using him might find him a bit frustrating but we spent some time digging around his combinations to find that he’s not the worst fighter in the lineup and his damage ability is quite high. Direct shots, trick shots and some power supers can really set any opponent up for a fall if timed right. Hawkeye does suffer from the same issue of timing though, while his normal attacks can be chained for support (trick shot and straight shot) his special relies on an open state for the opponent. He’s not for everyone but he can be formidable with the right dedication.
Hawkeye has effective and clever ranged attacks. He also has some pretty effective combos that can be set up from his ranged moves. Although more of a zoning type attacker, he is not a beam spam type as his attacks take some thought to maximize their potential. His speed is decent enough that he can move about and poke arrows into opponents without leaving himself too open. His damage output isn’t very impressive and hurts his overall potential.
One of the big gripes with Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 was the lack of range characters like Cable, in a sense you have that again. Rocket Raccoon might not seem like the death bringer that the Viper Beam loving cable was but he’s got a lot of speed, simple range attacks (gun) and even an energy cannon that he can use 2 shots at a time from. For jumpers, Rocket Raccoon is going to be a pain, he loves traps and his specials are dangerous no matter how you approach him, distance fails, jumping in fails and close range is just a bad idea. He’s quick and doesn’t do the most damage but he makes up for that in the ability to dash and juggle opponents like mad.
Rocket Raccoon is one of the most fun fighters in the game. His traps are effective and his gun blasts fire in many different directions to make them effective at keep away, anti air or even jump in combo starters. His normal jump is one of the least amazing things in the game. But, he does have a rocket jump that gives him great multi directional mobility. He does suffer from a serious durability deficiency but he does make up for it with his burrow teleport maneuver and all around quickness.
For us, Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 is a dream, it’s a dream we wished could have happened originally as it really makes it hard to revisit the original game after playing through. The additional characters bring new balance to the field and allow people who aren’t fond of characters like Dante to finally strike back and offer some variety to the game. It has polish and even the original characters have been tweaked out, although some may feel Doctor Doom doesn’t need to jet around at the speed of light in his new form. Overall this is the game that MVC3 should have been, one can only hope that Capcom sticks with the game long enough to release decent DLC options until they revisit the series in the future. At 39.99 it’s a steal for any fighting game fan, for existing owners it might be a tough buy but it’s worth it for what they managed to deliver this time around.
Keep a watch out for our Heroes and Heralds impressions, we’ll have it soon!
This has been a team review by: Franks, Tec2k and Vee