9 months after the release of Marvel VS Capcom 3, Capcom have released the latest big update to the game in the form of Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3 for retail. 12 new characters, 8 new stages, rebalanced gameplay, improved online features and the long awaited spectator mode have made it to this release. At a cheaper price than the first game, it's an absolute steal and worth getting.
As with the original MVC3, there is little to no plot in the game apart from knowing both universes of Marvel and Capcom collide and awaken Galactus, leaving it up to the heroes of both sides to take him down and save the earth. In Ultimate MVC3, the game does begin with a short prologue this time which uses the comic that came with the special edition of the game in USA. It's a nice touch even if there is hardly any story to be had. There is really no need for a story in this kind of game as the gameplay is why you'd want to buy this.
The gameplay is exactly like last time. You have a team of 3 characters and you fight your opposing teams to win. The fighting system remains the same but with some balances to already existing characters as well as giving some of them new moves. The X Factor ability which increased your strength and speed has been balanced out this time to be not so overpowered and you can now activate it in the air. The game remains highly accessible to newcomers and hardcore fighting game fans alike with two different control styles. There's the Normal setup which has the many button combinations of past fighting games and the Simple mode for those who are new to fighting games with simple button presses to perform the flashy and powerful moves.
The 12 new characters added to the roster bring the grand total to 48 characters, or 50 if you have the DLC characters Jill Valentine and Suma Gorath. The new characters for Marvel's side are Ghost Rider, Hawkeye, Doctor Strange, Iron Fist, Nova and Rocket Raccoon. The new characters for Capcom's side are Strider Hiryu, Firebrand, Nemesis, Vergil, Frank West and Phoenix Wright. Each of them bring very unique play styles to the table and are really fun to use.
The online mode has gratefully improved from the original game. The first MVC3 had a lot of problems with the online features. The netcode wasn't great, you were booted back to the main menu if you didn't find a connection and there was no spectator mode which made waiting in lobbies for your turn very boring. Ultimate MVC3 has fixed all those issues and the online has a much better performance now. The addition of the Spectator mode is very welcome and makes waiting for your turn much more interesting as you will be able to see other matches take place. There is much less lag now, but it will vary on your internet connection. You also now get to see your opponent's connection signal before you battle and there is now a feature where you can see if the player is good sport or a rage quitter. Multiplayer also exists outside the online mode which will please those who want to play with friends on the same console.
The graphics remain the same as the previous game which looks fantastic. The visual style has a great cel-shaded comic book look to it and it all runs at a smooth 60 frames per second. The menus have had an overall which look like comic book panels. The same goes for the character select screen which looks brilliant.
The audio has the same catchy soundtrack and character themes along with some brilliant sound effects which you can customise and the voice acting for the characters is solid. You have the option to switch the Capcom characters voices to English or Japanese which will please those who prefer a certain voice for the characters.
If you never brought the original Marvel VS Capcom 3, this upgrade is highly recommended if you enjoy fighting games that are fast and frantic. If you already brought the original game, again this is highly recommended. Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3 is the definitive version of the game. It's cheaper price, new additions and gameplay balances make it worth the money. Hands down the best fighting game I've ever played. Let's play some Marvel baby!