By Jason Cipriano
Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 has been out on console since the middle of November, and its quality has been well documented since then (even by our own Charles Webb). So, with the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game covered ad nauseum by now, why is the Vita version even worth mentioning? It includes some exclusive modes and features that the console versions couldn't, make it worthy title in its own right. Find out if the Vita version is the way to go, or if you should stick to your fight sticks on consoles.
For the most part, the overall package and gameplay in Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 on Vita is almost exactly the same as it is on consoles: all the characters are ported over, every stage is featured, and both arcade mode and online player included. Even the Heroes & Heralds card game is included with a mandatory update. So what's left?
The biggest change to the gameplay is that the Vita version of UMvC3 includes the options of using the touchscreen as an input source. In other words, you can fight until your heart's content by just tapping on the screen. While this won't be the preferred method of anyone that's ever played a fighting game before, it is a nice inclusion for someone who's thumbs aren't so well versed in the way of the Hadouken. While the touchscreen makes the game drastically easier, it also gimps the characters, only allowing them a limited move set to sync up with the screen taps and swipes.
It may be a bit of a mystery why these were never included in the other releases of the game, but the Vita's UMvC3 includes the ability to capture your match and share it with others. More importantly, that means you can also view other players' matches, allowing you to potentially glimpse greatness, and maybe even learn a thing or two. You could even watch your replays over and over again to see where you made your mistakes, and then try not to make them again.
In a unique take on cross-platform integration, Capcom have included the option to use the Vita as an "Ultimate Controller" for the PS3 version of Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom. The "Ultimate" part of the controller is emphasized after linking the two systems together via WiFi, and using the Vita's touchscreen to set up and execute supermoves during a match. While it feels a bit gimmicky, there isn’t any other game in the Vita's launch line-up using the system as a second screen compliment to PS3 play. There is one drawback, if you want to take the Ultimate Controller online, you'll need to make sure your PS3 has a wired connection, since the sync ties up the system's WiFi. Hopefully this is just the first in a long line of unique interaction points, and not just a one off that's only ever used by reviewers when they are trying to test all of the game's new features.
While there may be only a few additional features, Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3 still manages to be a standout amongst the Vita launch titles. It's a true demonstration of what the device can handle, proving just how closely this generation's console games can be replicated on a handheld. It's also the first time a Marvel Vs. Capcom game has ever appeared on a portable, so having the option to play such a great game wherever you are is well worth the investment.