Comic-Con 2011: Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 Panel Recap
Alright, so I was a huuuge Marvel vs Capcom 2 fan. Not so far as to learn every crazy combo – I don’t have much patience. But enough of a fan that I still regularly play my imported Dreamcast copy (I couldn’t wait until release). Bearing that in mind, I never bought MvC3. Maybe it was the fear of seeing a beloved game get a sequel after so many years. Maybe it was the lack of drive to try and compete with serious arcade-stick gamers. Or maybe I just suck. But either way, I was this close to finally buying a copy when I heard about Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. And even though I wasn’t slighted a purchase, I still feel uneasy on behalf of all its fans.
Why the hell release a new game so soon after the original? What about all the DLC that was promised? Wasn’t there enough of a backlash about Super Street Fighter IV (I know I was screaming)? Well representatives of Capcom and Marvel held a panel at this year’s Comic-Con and… never answered that question. Damn.
What they did talk about were, of course, the new additions. From a purely gameplay point-of-view, Ultimate is much more a series of tweaks then an overhaul. Spectator Mode is the only outright new addition, allowing players to… well, spectate on other online matches. This was apparently a highly sought after addition. Second in requests was the only other real system change – X-Factor. This last-chance power has been better balanced and can now be activated while in the air. Meaning those dudes that juggle you in the air for 50 hits just got a new way to seal the deal.
Besides that, it’s all about the characters. Four new characters were shown (of an announced twelve), 2 from Capcom and 2 from Marvel. Because this was technically a Capcom panel, the discussion was focused on their entries.
Strider Hiryu is back from MvC2 and he’s been balanced to feel familiar to fans but also viable to the new game. He’s all about dashing around, creating area complications with his tools, and otherwise looking badass as a sci-fi ninja that rides a robotic tiger.
Firebrand is a surprise addition, pulling way back from Ghosts & Goblins, as well as his own, albeit much lesser known title, Gargoyle. This guy is a technical beast. Expect moves that harken back to the attack style of this famed baddie. If the hardcore fighters in the row behind me are any indication, Firebrand is going to be a serious online contender.
The Marvel characters announced (but not given the video treatment) were Hawkeye and Ghost Rider. Getting my hands on with each of the characters on the show floor I didn’t find much to get excited about with Hawkeye. If you like ranged fighters, sure, but he doesn’t seem to have much more than that. But what do I know. Ghost Rider is an immediate fan favorite and everyone was using him. Complete with chain grapples and motorcycle riding, expect a more viable Omega Red character.
Along with the expanded roster (50 total including Ultimate additions and 2 DLC), there will be 8 new stages to play in. What they are was not discussed, but hey, I know there’s going to be eight of them.
This is the point in the panel when the panelists called for audience members to combat for the honor of the warring franchises. Without spending too much time on it, the two highly enjoyable bouts went way in Marvel’s favor. Something the Capcom panel was not too pleased with. I guess that’s what you get for picking two randos against Marvel’s specifically selected world-competitors.
After the bouts, Capcom wet itself in excitement over the myriad of new costumes for its characters. Because this justifies asking customers to purchase an entirely new game, right? Expect 2 new costumes for each character, with Capcom fighters getting an emphasis on past game connections (such a War of the Gems), and Marvel fighters getting comic-tied colors to combat with.
But the dress-up fun doesn’t stop there. Pre-ordering the game grants you several “enhanced” special costumes, many of which involve modified models, rather than just re-colors. Reserve your copy with GameStop to get a special Storm, X-23, Chun-Li, and Morrigan. Best Buyers get Super Skrull, M.O.D.O.K., Viper, and Wesker. Finally, Amazon lovers receive Sentinel, Doom, Strider, and Akuma. I don’t know all of the comic tie-ins with the costumes but M.O.D.O.K.’s Elvis impersonation is pretty great, Cyber-Akuma is a huge fan treat, and Viper’s costume is apparently associated with an as-of-now unannounced venture.
Think all the new costumes sound awesome, but only want to pre-order one copy? Fear not, for Capcom loves money and they’ll be selling all the costumes down the road.
So how you feel about Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 really comes down to your own preferences and your fandom to the franchise. Are character balances, tweaked X-Factor, Spectator Mode, and a butt load of costumes enough for a new retail purchase? If I had already bought MvC3 I’d personally say hell no. But as it stands I can’t really see a reason not to wait and jump in with all of the new additions. Apparently I’m the crowd Capcom is appealing to but shouldn’t the hardcore fans that already invested been their actual target? I guess we’ll find out when the game releases sometime this year (tentatively).