Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 Preview (PS3)

When I had a chance to sit down with Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 at a recent Capcom Gamer’s Day Press Preview event, only one thought was going through my mind: Phoenix Wright.

I love the Ace Attorney Nintendo DS point-and-click style adventure games and fighting games in equal measure, and so the combination of seeing a character I’m a huge fan of recreated in 3D combined with the fact that he’ll make a truly interesting and different addition to the roster of Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 mainly because as a character he has no offensive attributes – excites me.

Frank West comes with Zombies in tow, obviously

Before we talk about Phoenix, though, it’s worth talking in general about Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. Releasing a very scant nine months after the original release, some have claimed the release is a cash-in, while others have joked that the original release of the game was tantamount to a sixty dollar beta test. While I’m not sure about the validity of those hyperbolic statements, it is true that everything is incredibly familiar feeling in this upgraded release.

The biggest addition to the game comes in the form of 12 new characters – 6 from Marvel, 6 from Capcom. Marvel nabs Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, Iron Fist, Hawkeye, Nova and Rocket Racoon, while Capcom bring in Dead Rising’s Frank West, Strider Hiryu, Vergil, Nemesis, Firebrand and the aforementioned blue-suited lawyer.

I’m naturally more of a Street Fighter player than a MVC player, but the implications of some of these returning characters are pretty obvious at a glance. Frank brings Dead Rising 2’s combo weapons, stun-inducing photography moves and summonable zombies into the picture, while Ghost Rider can zoom on screen atop his flaming motorcycle and run-down opponents.

Nova, Vergil and Strider are all fast-moving offensive characters, while Doctor Strange provides a much-needed fireball counter move for those who struggle with keep-away characters. Resident Evil’s gigantic mutated zombie Nemesis offers another large brawler-style character armed with a rocket launcher, while Firebrand, a dragon-like creature from Ghosts and Goblins, has wings and therefore can fly in a limited fashion.

Almost all the characters bring some sort of original move-set or twist on the Marvel formula to the table, Phoenix Wright being the most remarkably different – and the playable roster is probably the most important thing in a fighting game.

The combination of the 12 newcomers plus the 2 downloadable fighters from the previous release brings the playable roster to 50, which is a whole lot of characters. Older characters haven’t been neglected either, and as well as balance changes you’ll find characters like Ryu, Chun-Li, Wolverine and Iron Man packing entirely new moves or ones with greatly edited properties.

The menus of the game have been overhauled, and the character select screen now boasts a cool comic-book style that’s a vast improvement in style over the previous game. The game boasts a small number of new stages which are edited versions of old ones, too, but the real reason to pick this up is for the new characters and the gameplay changes.

There are more extra features and changes that’ll be covered in our full review, but the event simply had the game playable multiplayer, an ideal chance for me to get stuck in and learn about some of the new characters available.

I checked out Ghost Rider first, as he’s got a flaming skull for a head – which is pretty impressive and attention-grabbing. While Ghost Rider is traditionally depicted atop a Harley-style motorbike, in Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 he’s sadly limited to that mode only when he’s doing a specific special move – otherwise he’s on foot.

Despite that, he’s a very effective, different character. Thanks to using a set of chains to lash out to the opponent from almost full screen, Ghost Rider can be described as a character who is great at controlling space, even able to zone the opponent out with physical pokes and attacks that reach way further than most normal physicals.

Better still, he hits hard and has a very high damage output and a sinister voice. “Do you know how many lawyers there are in hell?” he threatens Phoenix Wright at the start of a match. While Ghost Rider is something new, Strider meanwhile plays very similarly to how he did in Marvel vs Capcom 2, from where he’s a returning character.

Firebrand is fairly average on the ground but ridiculous in the air – presumably thanks to those wings. He can control space very effectively thanks to the control he has over his flight path. Doctor Strange is slow but powerful, and has a super move which involves using some sort of magic book. A magic book! I don’t know much about comic books, but that seems cool.

Okay. Let’s talk about Phoenix Wright. Wright comes with three different modes, inspired by his DS adventures – there’s Investigation Mode, Court Mode and Turnabout mode, named as such because in his trials Wright has an uncanny ability to cause things to “Turnabout” – spin on their heel right as the case looks lost.

In investigation mode Wright is a pretty useless fighter. Hitting the ‘special’ button along with Light, Medium or Heavy attack will get Wright searching on the ground for evidence. ‘Good’ Evidence appears lit up in his court record, above the super meter, while bad evidence is useless and must be discarded with the same command that picked it up.

There are a few special moves including summoning Wright’s sidekick Maya that can be used along with assist characters to help keep others out while he searches for evidence. Once you’ve got three pieces of good evidence in tow you’ll want to hit down-down-special to switch to Court mode.

Once you’re in Court mode there’s more moves to do which all involve mundane things – throwing paperwork, tripping over, and calling in Maya. He’s a lawyer, not a fighter! Presenting the evidence you picked up in Investigation mode creates various types of fireballs, bizarrely, but what you want to do in Court Mode is land your ‘Objection’ move – which launches you into Turnabout mode.

Ghost Rider’s chain allows for long-range keep-away attacks

Turnabout mode makes Phoenix’s accusatory pointing motion into a massive blue hand of justice and turns him into one of the most powerful characters in the game. While Turnabout mode only lasts for a limited period of time, he can definitely wipe out an entire team if correctly used off one activation of Turnabout mode.

His hyper combo move sees him convict his opponent with the evidence you picked up. And with that, Capcom sold me a copy of Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 – Phoenix looks, moves and plays just how I imagined he might. They did good.

We’ll have our full review of Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 in the coming weeks. It’s out later this month.

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By stuntkid (SI Elite) on Nov 01, 2011
Ohh! Need to get my hands on this so I can play as Phoenix Wright :D