Developer: Capcom / Publisher: Capcom / Platform: PS Vita / Price: $39.99 / Release Date: Feb. 22nd 2012 / ESRB: Teen [Mild Blood, Mild Language, Partial Nudity, Suggestive Themes, Violence]
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 releases once again, actually for the third time (if you count the original MvC 3 release), but now for the Playstation Vita! This time around the game comes with extra features unique to this Vita release. But with these additions is it really worth the purchase? I’ll cover the pros and cons of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 for the PS Vita and see how it stands up to the console versions.
First off, the game looks amazing! There is hardly any graphical difference from the console version to the PS Vita version. If I had to be nit-picky about it, the only difference I see is the special effects texturing. When an attack lands you see a little bit of pixilation from the sparks that fly off the characters. Also when preforming a Super Move, you don’t get all the flash, flares, and explosions in the background that you would normally get from the console versions. But that’s just me taking a white glove to the surface.
The speed is also on point. I haven’t experienced any frame rate changes on the PS Vita version versus the console version. It runs at a smooth 60 frames per second, and with that five-inch, multi-touch, OLED screen, this is truly a great port to visually enjoy.
This Vita iteration also offers online play through the Sony Entertainment Network. While playing online with the PS Vita, I didn’t experience any problems. I played over a Wi-Fi connection and set up my match pretty much the same way you would in the console version. I didn’t experience any lag or any disconnected matches at all. Gameplay was smooth and very responsive. We weren’t able to test the connection over the AT&T 3G option, but naturally, chances are successes will entirely depend on the strength of that connection and fluctuations in consistency wherever you live.
While playing online I unlocked a special costume and discovered a Vita feature called Near. With Near you are able to leave special items, like costumes, in the location that you choose. So say if I leave an item that I unlocked in a game at the location of my house, someone in that vicinity can actually download that item to their PS Vita and use it in the game. It wasn’t clear if the PS Vita uses its GPS location data for this feature in order to know where the item was placed, but this is a pretty cool option for generating and keeping friends, and I hope more games will use this.
With the PS Vita you have the option to play in Touch mode. It’s not a greatest addition to the game but it offers a new element to the gameplay. While using the touch function you can pull off a decent chain combo just by touching the screen in succession. You also have the option to turn on the back touch screen if you don’t like using the front and having your hands in the way of the on-screen action.
When it comes to playing any game on the PS Vita, one of the important factors to consider is the controls. If you own the PlayStation 3 version of UMvC3 you can use your PS Vita as an “ULTIMATE CONTROLLER”. This enables you to use the touch screen to launch special moves and super moves in the console version of the game with just one touch of your portable. Once you are in Touch mode, it actually has certain properties attached to the gameplay in order to use the touch feature. For instance, automatic block is enabled when using the touch ability. Also while attacking you don’t just start throwing out punches. You sometimes dash towards your opponent and then attack them.
In my opinion, the touch screen doesn’t really serve that much of a usable purpose, especially for any tournament players out there. I played around with it for about five minutes and went back to using the D-pad.
All-in-all Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 on the PS Vita is a great port from the console versions. All the original characters and modes are there. And with the ability to challenge other players online and offline, gives it an even greater replay value. It would have been nice if it came packaged with the DLC characters Jill Valentine and Shuma-Gorath. (That would have been a great incentive to purchase the game if I already had the console version.)
So if you are up to play UMvC3 on the go, the only way you can do it is on the PS Vita. In my opinion Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was a fun game to play on console. It makes it even better to play it on the go with nearly no downgrades. If you are looking for a fighting game for the PS Vita and you haven’t played UMvC3 by now, this would be a great buy. If you already own it for either console, it’s practically the same fun, chaotic game packaged with touch screen features.