I was extremely wary about writing a review for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 on Vita. For starters, I barely scrape an “acceptable” when it comes to fighting games, with my clumsy fingers bashing the buttons like a chimp at a typewriter. Secondly, our man Del has already done an incredibly in-depth review of the console version, where it scored an impressive 8/10. In fact, he covered it so well it’s hard to know what to say.[drop2] Luckily the Vita version has a few new additions which I can go through, as well as answering the all-important question: does such a fast paced beat’em up work on a portable device?
To start with, the game’s story is still absolutely crazy. Albert Wesker and Dr Doom have teamed up to conquer the world of video games and comics, and if you think that sounds bonkers, Galactus catches on to their plan and decides to intervene and try to destroy everything. At least it gives all 48 characters an excuse to beat the living daylights out of each other.
In terms of content, the Vita version isn’t getting a stripped down version of UMvC3. The full roster is there, along with the Arcade mode, Mission mode and training modes. There’s a wealth of content to unlock too, such as character endings and costumes (which can be sent to people via Near).
Visually the game is absolutely amazing. As far as I’m aware it belts along at 60fps without any noticeable drops, and the 3D character models look just as sharp as they do on the home consoles. The only area that has been downgraded is the backgrounds; although there is so much happening on-screen that it’s barely noticeable. It’s good to see that the Vita can easily handle the several hundred explosions per second that the game dishes out.
I never found the DualShock 3/Xbox controller D-pad particularly easy to use when playing UMvC3 on the home consoles. However, I’m happy to report that the D-pad on the Vita actually works pretty well. It’s a bit smaller and closer together than on the DualShock 3, and reminds me a bit of the D-pad on the Street Fighter ‘FightPad’. With a bit of practice I found myself managing to string together some fairly decent combos. My only complaint is that the buttons feel a bit too close together, and as such I sometimes found myself hitting ones I didn’t mean too.
A Vita game wouldn’t be a Vita game without a bit of touchscreen wizardry, and Capcom has duly obliged with the inclusion of touch controls. This allows you to forgo weeks of practising, instead giving you access to the fancier moves by simply tapping the screen. Some of you may baulk at this but don’t worry, you are given the option to disallow gamers using touch controls to enter an online fight with you. It’s an interesting inclusion, but for me nothing more than a curio, and within five minutes I was back to the buttons.[drop] Those who have purchased the PS3 version of the game will be pleased to hear that all the DLC you’ve bought can be used with the Vita version.
Heck, by using the ‘Ultimate Controller’ mode you can use the Vita as a control pad for the PS3 game. Oh Capcom, you so crazy.
A rather substantial addition for those who are serious about their fighting games is the Replay Analyzer, where you can download a fight you’ve had and check it out frame by frame, reviewing button presses.
Also coming, but was unavailable to test, is the Heroes & Heralds mode. It will be available at launch for free and is a separate mode that adds new features to online and offline gameplay as players “choose between two factions, Heroes or Heralds, and utilize combat enhancing Ability cards in a series of battles to help save the world or take it over”.
So, does Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 work on the Vita? Goodness yes. Capcom has provided the full home console experience, and then added in heaps of extras for good measure. Even with such a strong launch line-up, this game is well worth a look.