I wanna take you for a ride that is Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 on the PlayStation Vita. Continuing the success of the series on consoles, Capcom is set to burst open the fighting game handheld front with the Vita version of UMvC3 just in time for the launch of the hardware. With virtually the same experience from the console iteration, I am left impressed and disappointed at the same time, but ultimately the on-the-go experience is still quite enjoyable.
The game modes stay roughly the same as before with Arcade, Versus, Training and Mission mode coming included in the game, with a free Heroes and Heralds mode available on the PlayStation store as downloadable content. This new team based mode has you earning new abilities via upgrade cards that you can use to customize your team with as you play as the heroes or Galactus’ Heralds. The replay mode that allowed you to study every little detail of matches is not included in the game. The game’s online experience is one of the smoothest experiences on the system so far, whether you are playing against someone in another state or halfway across the globe. I experienced no noticeable lag in my matches, so mixing this with a smooth consistent frame rate lead to a very enjoyable experience.
The newly created touch mode is nothing more than a gimmick if used solely, but if used sparingly for Hyper attacks or enabling your X-Factor is it an enjoyable addition. Using it for movement and attacks consist of swipes, taps and gestures across either the rear touchpad or the front touch screen. Rapidly tapping while near your opponent, your character will pull off some rather impressive combos and possibly transition into a devastating hyper attack. For traditionalists, this is pure heresy, as with touch mode any one can pull off the most dangerous combos simply by tapping, negating all those long hours in the training mode studying hit boxes and damage numbers.
All of the 50 characters have squeezed themselves into this portable version, including the 12 new characters, 5 from the Marvel side and 5 from the Capcom side. Sadly Shuma-Gorath and Jill Valentine are still DLC only characters, sigh you can’t win them all. Graphically UMvC3 looks almost identical its console cousin and is definitely a showcase game for what the Vita is capable of. Of course it is not without its faults with some flat looking special move effects, but that all can be forgiven due to the smooth frame rate that the game puts out, while still looking impressive.
The load times are one part I wish could be improved on, as some of the loads are longer than I would have liked. While not being overly long, a few can be just long enough to make you start getting antsy, but since the game is super smooth, I don’t mind waiting.
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a safe bet for any fans of the series looking to save the Earth once again from Galactus on-the-go or feel the need to let off some super hero steam while drinking coffee at a Starbucks. With both solid offline and online modes and picture perfect frame rate, I will be defending the Earth on-the-go for many months to come.
Note: The Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 review was written based on the Vita version of the game provided by the publisher.