Fighting games are the one genre that always bring to mind the days I spent chucking coins into a machine at my local arcade emporium. Now you can get outside again, thanks to the arrival of Marvel vs Capcom 3 on the PlayStation Vita. It’s one of the most colourful titles on the Vita and it’s also a bit of a looker. But does it have the moves to win over the masses?
Marvel vs Capcom 3 certainly grabs your attention from the start thanks to its eye catching intro, which is full of familiar faces and bright bold colours. Even though it doesn’t actually say anything, it still gives you an idea what to expect, showing off most of the 48 heroes you will be able to take control of in your mission to save the world from the evil mega villain, Galactus.
What’s interesting about Marvel vs Capcom on Vita is that it takes an always online approach. As you soon as you reach the main menu you are given the option to connect to the PlayStation Network. Not only does this allow you to connect with friends to fight, but first it’ll check for downloadable content (if you downloaded DLC on the PS3 version, you’ll also be able to use this in the PS Vita version) and any gifts you have found via the Near app are included as well.
Once these pleasantries are out the way, its time to play and there are certainly plenty of options on offer. First up is the main, offline mode, which is split into four different modes. First up is your standard Arcade Mode; the main story which sees you choosing three fighters from the huge roster, in order to fight your way through the stages in order to save the planet. On a similar note, is the Touch Mode, which is basically identical to Arcade, but with included touch controls making use of the Vita’s large and impressive OLED screen.
Both these modes are packed with action, seeing you fighting through various stages as you attempt to takedown your enemies. As usual, the action is fast and frantic, providing a fluid fighting experience which is hard to fault. If you are not a big fighting fan you may struggle with the controls at first, however Capcom has at least had the courtesy of including a command list in the pause menu, allowing you to learn the moves you’ll need to progress as you go. Another bonus for amateur fighters comes when using Touch Mode, as this make fighting a whole lot easier. To fight or move your character you simply touch the screen in the desired direction, making hitting out at the enemy a lot easier too. This is also great for combos as you can rack up a large chain when you have the enemy in a vulnerable position. Interestingly, you can also use the buttons and special moves in the Touch Mode.
Whatever character you choose to use in the game you are in for a treat. As mentioned, there are certainly plenty to choose from, each with their own unique moves and personalities. During most of my play-time I formed a great partnership of Wolverine, Dante and Hulk, a lethal combination against any enemy, although to complete the game and see all the endings you will end up using all of the characters on offer.
One thing that has to be said about the action is just how fantastic it looks. Stop fighting for a second and look at the screen, it looks just like a still page from a comic book. One thing I have noticed about a lot of the Vita launch titles is the wonderful graphics and this game is no different, offering plenty of colour and great action without compromising the performance of the game.
Moving away from the two main game modes, you also have access to a few other offline modes. Training, which obviously explains itself and also Mission Mode, which tasks you with pulling off set moves against an opponent. The Mission Mode is fairly simple to begin with, asking you to pull off one of two moves, however it soon gets complicated and you’ll find yourself having to pull off all sorts of combos.
Although we were unable to test the online we can still tell you a little bit about it. The Online Mode is split into four areas, ranked matches and player matches, which explain themselves this is also the case with the Lobby and Leaderboards. The Lobby is the most interesting addition, allowing you to create a room for up to eight players to take part. Here you can choose options such as allowing touch controls as well as limiting the regions players can take part from and capping the rank limit, making for a much fairer fight between you and your friends.
All of the above options from the main menu are glued together by your fighter license. Accessed by pressing the right shoulder button on the main menu, this is the place to get your entire play history, such as your player points; how many times you have used each character; your battle data, which gives you information such as how many times you have fought, your win race, both offline and online and also how you compare to your friends, via the friends leaderboard. The license area is very in-depth and will therefore please those who like to stat check.
There are a few final options worth mentioning which come in the form of the Gallery. This is the place where you’ll be able to view all of your unlocked goodies, such as character endings, items you have found and shared via Near, artwork and more. Even better, you can also view replays in this section, allowing you to playback fights and relive past glories, or indeed see where you went wrong. The Gallery is packed with goodies, so its definitely worth checking out.
Marvel vs Capcom 3 is a fantastic game. It feels like this franchise was created just to play on the Vita. It’s colourful, fast paced and a lot of fun. If you are looking for a great on the go experience, which you cannot go wrong with this. It’s fight-tastic.
Rating: OutstandingReview Policy(version tested: PS Vita)
You can order your copy of Marvel vs Capcom 3 from Shopto.