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Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
Score: 81%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Media: Download/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Fighting

Graphics & Sound:
Most people enjoy a good party, especially when some of their favorites are present. You can certainly say the same when it comes to video game crossovers and a great example is Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. So how about we get this party started?

Any time I think of crossover fighters like Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, I canít ever get the image of the old 2D fighting games out of my head. Nowadays, weíre graced with 3D graphics in our fighting games and they look great. Seeing some of my favorite characters in a fleshed out 3D model brings a certain type of joy to my heart, but itís not only that fact that gets me excited. The over the top animations and battles as a result are amazing and UMvC 3 does not hold back in this regard. The team combos, even the regular combos, look and feel great. I gotta say, you can color me impressed.

For everything that I could say about the music, itís easy to be summed up with "itís great." I really enjoy the soundtrack in this game. Itís so fast-paced and rock heavy that it really gets my blood pumping, even when Iím simply selecting my characters. Alongside the soundtrack are the amazing sound effects. The graphics and animation are great on their own, but when paired together with the sound effects, you get an experience truly awe-inspiring to behold. Without the sounds and music, the game would only be perhaps half as good. To sum it up, the game looks and sounds great.

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a pretty standard arcade fighting game. You select your main character followed by two assist characters. You are then put against another team of three and whoever reduces the opposing teamís health bars to zero first wins. The health bars sit at the top of the screen with the timer in the middle. A victory is also possible if you have more cumulative health than the enemy team. Pretty simple concept, right?

The fun starts with the controls. UMvC 3 features a fairly simple three button control scheme. Your Light, Medium, and Heavy attacks are mapped to the (Square), (Triangle), and (Circle) buttons respectively. Thereís also the (X) button, which allows you to use a Special attack. Alongside this are two different modes of control. The Normal input scheme is what you see in most fighters. Youíre responsible for using the combos and coming up with your own moves. This method allows you to be more flexible with what you want your character to do. The Simplified scheme allows you to use special combos by simply pressing a button. This scheme isnít very involved and limits what type of combos you can do with your character, but itís very easy to pick up and play. Also, movement is tied to the Directional Pad and Left Stick, but you knew that, didnít you? Yeah, you did.

UMvC 3 isnít short on things for the player to do. While the main draw will probably be the Arcade and Online Modes, thereís also other modes for more casual players to enjoy. In the Offline section, players are able to set up regular Versus Matches for fun or hone their skills in Training. For players that enjoy a goal, the Mission Mode is available with specific missions for each character. Keep in mind that in this mode, youíre locked with the Normal control scheme. The Heroes and Heralds Mode allows players to equip their characters with various types of cards to change their attributes. Last up, the Gallery allows you to view the different movies and artwork youíve unlocked. Perfect for those who enjoy taking in the fruits of their labors.

I enjoy my lone wolf style, but I still like to know I have backup when I need it. The Assist System is pretty much exactly that. You choose two characters alongside your main character and theyíll be on standby in battle. By pressing (R1) or (L1), you can call a character to rush in and attack the enemy for you. This can be useful for combos or just giving you a hand if you need it. Holding the corresponding button will allow you to swap places with the character, giving them a chance to fight and letting another character rest if theyíve been having a hard fight. Itís always nice knowing someone has your back.

There isnít much to say about the difficulty, really. For the most part, itís left in the hands of the player. Regardless of which game mode you decide to throw yourself in, youíre pretty much left control of the difficulty along with a plethora of other settings. Thereís five difficulties to choose from and they affect what kind of embarrassment youíll receive from the computer. The lower end of the spectrum contains Very Easy and Easy. This is for the more casual player looking to get a grasp on the controls. Following this is the Normal difficulty. This is the default difficulty and recommended to those who have a grasp of the controls and are probably trying to up their skill a bit. At the higher end of the spectrum are Very Hard and Hard, which are for the more skillful player. As much as Iíd love to get beat before I even knew what was happening, I think Iíll leave these for the good players.

Game Mechanics:
Behold the X-Factor! Yes, it sounds like something only the X-Men characters could use, but thankfully itís available to everyone. The X-Factor is marked by an X-shaped gauge next to your characterís health bar and can be activated by pressing the four attack buttons simultaneously. After activation, it generally provides a speed and damage boost, but it also provides bonuses based on the character, such as combo cancelling or increased damage on attacks. If one or both of your support characters are out for the count, the X-Factor is stronger. If youíre down in a match, the X-Factor may very well turn it around for you.

A stylish finish always gives a nice feeling inside after, doesnít it? Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 gives you plenty to work with as part of the Hyper Combo system. Each character has a Hyper Meter at the bottom of the screen that builds up over the course of the match. You can then activate your Hyper Combo by pressing the three main attack buttons, so sit back and watch the fireworks go off. If you really want to get fancy, you can perform a Cross-Over Combination with your assist characters by pressing both Assist buttons simultaneously. This will allow everyone to jump into the fray and show the enemy whatís up. Nothing like a big finishing move to make you feel fancy.

UMvC 3 may be a bit of an oldie, but itís still a goody. On the PlayStation 4, youíll see thatís definitely a true statement. With all the previous DLC included along with an updated performance output, I think the game still warrants your attention. Granted, the game is still pretty old and many people may not be playing, but the true dedicated fans are still around and that should be good news for those who truly enjoy the game. All of those people are also probably pretty skilled at the game, so you can expect to spectate some good matches.

-SS-54, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ren Plummer

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