Left for dead when Capcom’s contract with Marvel ended years ago, Marvel vs. Capcom returns in a big way! Not only are we getting Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite in 2017, but a PlayStation 4 exclusive port of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is out now!
Let’s start with the new game. Based on what we’ve seen so far, it strays away from the tried-and-true 3v3 format established in Marvel vs. Capcom 2. Instead, it appears to be a 2v2 fighting game with no assists and time gems that act like the Groove system in Capcom vs. SNK 2. The closest comparison I can give is that it looks like the underappreciated Tatsunoko vs. Capcom.
I think that this shift is going to be divisive among hardcore fans of the series. However, I’m cool with this for a few reasons. One, the series has gone through a number of format changes leading up to the format popularized in Marvel vs. Capcom 2. Two, as much as I love the 3v3 with assists format, the learning curve to just understanding what’s happening on screen as a viewer is steep, let alone participating as a player. If Capcom is able to find the right balance of accessibility and hype, this has the potential to appease the hardcore and casual audience.
What ultimately (no pun intended) makes the gameplay shift more palatable is the news that Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is now available for purchase exclusively on PlayStation 4. The classic fighter returns in largely the same state that it was before, but with slightly sharper graphics. If you’re holding out hope for a sorely-needed balance patch, it’s not already in there and it’s questionable that we’ll ever get one. Despite that, it’s wonderful to have the game preserved on a modern platform. In fact, I was actually slow in completing this post because I was too distracted playing Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 in between.
Getting a brand new Marvel vs. Capcom game and getting the old one back is the best of both worlds. Will keep my fingers crossed for the inclusion of X-Men characters, but for now, let’s get hype for this new era of crossover action!