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Games We Love: Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3

"Plus a look ahead to Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite"

The gaming world was itching for more Marvel vs. Capcom and they got their wish at the PlayStation Experience earlier this month. The Infinite “reboot” was announced for a 2017 release, but also a PS4 port of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 came out that same night. Amidst all the hype that day, I bought that port right away and it felt like 2011 all over again. The second version of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 not only brought in new characters, but provided countless memories for the next five years. It’s also coming to Xbox One and PC in March, but is the $25 PS4 port worth going back for fans and welcome to newcomers?

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One of the main reasons these current gen ports (or remasters) are happening are because the game got delisted for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Those versions are hard to get these days and you can’t get the DLC anymore due to Capcom’s licensing rights to Marvel expiring at the time. Now that they got the license back for this and Infinite, they can re-release the game again with the DLC already included. That means Jill, Shuma-Gorath and all the alternate costumes are in from the get go minus Magento’s alt. Also 1080p for a beautiful game like this doesn’t hurt along with improved performance because some stages lagged on their original versions. Tournaments were mostly played on three stages since the other ones had a lot of going besides the fighting game action. Fans expecting more than just a port however were a bit disappointed.

That’s right the PS4 port of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is exactly what it is, a simple port. No balance changes for the cast to many want to happen for years. The online netcode is the same as it was on 360 and PS3, which was bad then and still is today. I often avoid connections less than three bars, but even at four or five, lag still happens. Plus, since the majority of players that bought this port have been playing for years, you’re entering shark-infested waters. That’s my major reason why it’s daunting for newcomers to come in now. However, if you’re not gonna spend too much time in online matches, there’s enough offline content to keep you busy.

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Arcade mode, combo-based trial missions and the card-based Heroes & Heralds are all in as single player content. Heroes & Heralds is a fun mode to tinker around with all the cards that mod characters. Besides those, you can spend hours and hours labbing it up in training mode. That’s what I love the most about UMvC3. There’s a lot of characters and team combinations to come up with and figuring their dynamics is fun. It’s still one of the best fighting games today in terms of creativity for that reason alone. In recent years, we seen the tournament landscape change with players winning with characters and teams we don’t expect. Unlike MvC2, where the high level meta got stagnant with only a few out of the 50+ roster, half of UMvC3’s roster is surprisingly viable. It’s always cool to see a character you don’t expect wreck some of the better ones.

While it is nice to play UMvC3 again on current systems, I’m more excited for Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite. Yes, I called it a “reboot” because it’s going back to 2v2 instead of 3v3. Also in the gameplay footage released so far, there’s no assist calls to extend combos. Instead you get to switch back and forth between characters to continue combos like Street Fighter X Tekken and Tekken Tag Tournament 2. Also there’s a new gem system related to the Infinity Stones from the comics and the current Marvel cinematic universe. From what I heard, the Infinity Stones are more like grooves from Capcom vs. SNK 2 which is way better than SFxT. More importantly, the roster is gonna be a little different than what we’re used to.

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Will Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 be the last time we’ll see the X-Men team up or tangle with Capcom characters? It will suck if that’s gonna be the case, but Marvel did recently say don’t count them out yet. They’re doing their best to make it happen, but if it doesn’t I’m gonna blame Fox for their grip on the X-Men and Fantastic Four IPs. Yes, some Marvel characters making their fighting game debuts will be cool to see, but it’s not gonna be the same if the originators of the Versus games won’t make it to Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite. It’s great that UMvC3 is out again to rekindle the hype and while the PS4 port has it’s issues, it’s still worth getting for both casual and tournament-level players. Good luck however to newcomers because the online players are not gonna go easy on you.

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