Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 PS Vita review

Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3

This is the fighting-game equivalent of necking a bottle of out-of-date cough syrup and watching your favourite ’80s cartoon. UMVC3 is a brutal assault of colour and flashing lights, shying away from tournament fave Street Fighter’s studious action in favour of physics-defiling three-on-three combat that has as much to do with slapstick comedy as martial arts.

You might imagine a fighter that places more emphasis on juggling and lighting effects than the Moscow State Circus can get pretty hectic on the Vita’s 5in screen – and you’d be right. It’s a credit to the underlying MT Framework engine that the visual spectacle remains almost intact on a handheld console, losing only a touch of lighting detail.

Crisp presentation of Ghost Rider’s flaming head and Chun-Li’s monstrous thighs demonstrate that the character detail is nearly identical between PS3 and Vita too, which is good news for the game and console alike.

How does it play on Vita? Nearly identically, aside from a new frame-by-frame replay mode that helps you break down each triumph and trouncing. The 48-character roster remains intact, and although quarter-circle and half-circle moves are trickier to pull off with Vita’s analogue sticks, the hit buttons’ close arrangement under your right thumb makes it easier to roll off those long combos than using a PS3 controller.

There’s a touchscreen mode for if you want to have done with buttons entirely, but in reality it’s so simplistic and shallow that only those attracted by the wild visuals and subsequently put off by the depth would appreciate them.

Yeah, there’s depth. Hidden away beneath the silly moves there’s a real challenge – massive combos to learn, tricky aerial juggling to master, no tutorial… UMVC3 doesn’t just inherit the PS3 incarnation’s fun and intensity; it brings all the problems along too.

It’s not just the absent tutorial – there are still just three game modes, little in the way of unlockables and, inevitably, not all the fighters feel as unique as bomb-dropping menace Rocket Raccoon.

No niggles can disrupt the game’s intensity and panache, though. The impact of the visuals on Vita are impressive enough, but together with a solid control set and at least an attempt to include new features make this easy to recommend

Our Score

Score: 8