Review: Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 — Addictive after all these years

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 originally came out in 2011 and garnered a lot of praise for its fighting style. Much like Killer Instinct, the game focuses on fast-paced combos to vanquish your opponents. You earn special moves rather quickly and have to employ them again and again to succeed. While games like Mortal Kombat X make it difficult to pull off these sequences, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 relies on them. This is why the game is still one of the best fighting titles out there even after all these years. Its focus on fun appeals to newcomers and experienced gamers alike.

The game focuses on fast-paced combos to vanquish your opponents

When I first heard about the game, I thought it would basically be Mortal Kombat set in the Marvel universe. Surprisingly, it’s so much more! The first aspect of the title you immediately notice are the comic book-like visuals. The assets look like they were taken directly from a graphic novel. On Xbox 360 the textures were blurry due to the limitations of the hardware but on Xbox One they’re crisp. Apart from that, the game runs at a steady 60 FPS throughout its single-player and multiplayer components.

The added power of the Xbox One elevates Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 to another level because it offers complete immersion by removing problems the game experienced on last-generation hardware. This allows you to focus on the moves rather than worrying about noticeable frame rate drops and other annoyances.

As with every fighting game, each character has different powers and figuring out the moves and controls can get a bit messy. In other games I’ve noticed that all characters are properly balanced for each other. For example, in Mortal Kombat X, I never felt I was ever at a disadvantage if I chose a particular character. I could always combat their powers and have a shot at winning. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 feels like you have to choose particular characters to combat others.

For example, choosing someone like Dante against Dormammu isn’t going to cut it—at least for beginners. Dormammu has incredibly powerful long-range attacks which do a considerable amount of damage. One hit of his noticeably knocks down your health bar. Dante has to get close, swing his sword a number of times to do the same amount of damage. Choose your characters wisely. Dormammu can kill his enemies by standing in one spot and shooting at them so you need someone who also has similar abilities, like MODOK.

While the multiplayer runs smoothly and you don’t really notice many bugs, Arcade mode has plenty. Let’s take a look at the final fight against Galactus. After reentering the fight for the 50th time, I had a new strategy, but, as it turned out, I didn’t need one because a bug meant that Galactus didn’t move for the entire fight. I managed to beat him on normal because he froze for a good 30 seconds. I got the achievement but that really isn’t how I wanted to win. Apart from enemies clipping through each other if they get too close, it really isn’t all that bad. I didn’t encounter any game-breaking issues in my playthrough.

The game has a few small bugs which don’t detract from the experience

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 has just a few smalls bugs which don’t take away from this amazing game. There are so many characters to choose from, with various abilities and powers, so countless numbers of character and power combinations are possible. Plus, you have to fight with three characters in every match. The possibilities are endless!

Mixing up Marvel and Capcom characters is the way to go…though, I have to admit, the Marvel characters have more flair. I ended up selecting them again and again, not because Capcom’s characters are terrible, but because the Marvel universe is just so rich and diverse. If you don’t own the game, it’s definitely worth investing in especially if you enjoy fighting games. However, for people who already purchased it on Xbox 360, I don’t see any reason for you to buy the updated version.

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