Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 (Vita) Review

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Vita

When I first turned on Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 for the Vita, I expected a semi-faithful port of a stellar fighting game. I anticipated uncomfortable controls, toned-down graphics, and slower gameplay, all resulting in a game that just didn’t feel the same as the consoles. After all, aside from Super Street Fighter IV 3D on the 3DS last March, that’s exactly what my portable fighting game experiences have ever been.

As it turns out, I have played Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 for the Vita more in a week than I ever played it on Vita’s big brother PS3. While that may sound absurd, it’s actually a beautiful thing; aside from a few minor technical issues, I can’t tell the difference.

The transition from console to portable didn’t hurt the UMvC3 experience one bit. The Vita version retains all of the features found on the consoles while adding new touchscreen controls. The Vita hardware fits the game very well, though I find it much easier to use the control pad than the left stick. I’ve found myself able to pull off combos on Vita that I still can’t replicate on the 360 or PS3, and I’m actually considering using the Vita as my main controller for the PS3 version, a testament to the efficacy of the Vita’s layout. Of course, then I’d have the added advantage of touchscreen special moves a la SSFIV3D, but that’s just icing.

Even with the near-perfect control scheme, UMvC3 Vita adds touch-screen controls that make things even more crazy than before. Some of the controls are pretty easy to figure out, like touching the X-Factor symbol to activate it or touching the Hyper Meter to unleash a Hyper Combo, but the rest are just plain nuts. As Nemesis in training mode, I pressed the bottom right of the screen three times, and Nemesis performed a 12-hit combo with a launcher in the middle and a Hyper Combo at the end. THREE SCREEN TOUCHES, THIRTEEN HITS. I expected to touch one side of the screen and have Nemesis do one move, but he went through a whole basic combo! These new controls could made for some ludicrous battles against friends, but I fear that some online players could abuse the living hell out of it… when they’re not fighting the familiar Capcom online connection issues.

What’s most interesting about this new portable version of UMvC3  is the possible impact it could have on the pro fighting game circuit. This is a situation unlike any they’ve dealt with before: a portable game that mirrors the console version AND exists on a device that can control said console version. If they allow players to control the PS3 version using the Vita, the implications could be immense. A player favoring the Vita would have the advantage of being able to train anywhere at any time; the intricacies of the fighting engine could be mastered from the back seat of a car or the waiting room of a doctor’s office. If that player decides to enter a tournament with his Vita and wins, the handheld device could rival the fight stick as the preferred method of control. It’s hard to wrap my head around, but it is a logical possibility.

(Of course, knowing the Fighting Game Community and their penchant for hating change, this seems like a long shot, but it’s intriguing nonetheless.)

I never thought I’d be able to take the Marvel vs Capcom experience with me wherever I go, but the Vita has made it happen, and Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 is just as good on the go as it is on the consoles. With such a successful translation on the market, perhaps the industry has finally found a handheld that can act as a mobile console replacement, following right along with current trends in mobile computing… or maybe Ultimate MvC 3 is just that incredible.


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Author: Jason Fanelli View all posts by
Jason lives and breathes gaming. Legend tells that he taught himself to read using Wheel of Fortune Family Edition on the NES. He's been covering this industry for three years, all with the Node, and you can see his ugly mug once a week on Hot Off The Grill.

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