Alas, Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, your time is spent. We had some fun times–remember when Sentinel was steamrolling everyone?–but now it’s over. Developer Capcom has dug you an early grave to make way for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, the $40 follow-up that, for some, has come much too soon. Regardless of how you feel, the game is here, and it is the superior version, with new characters, stages, and rebalanced gameplay. Of course, it’s also just as challenging as before and can break your heart with a single combo. It’s mean, it’s flashy, but most importantly, it’s Marvel, baby!
Watch enough high-level matches in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and you see a few definite styles emerge. Players gravitate toward Wolverine, Wesker, She-Hulk, and others for their ability to relentlessly assault opponents and lock them down in close-range combat. Even Dormammu, with his fancy black holes and energy pillars, spends most of his time teleporting into melee range. The rush-down game has stolen the spotlight, and now Ultimate wants to make it share. The game has dedicated almost half of the new roster to favor zoning, or fighting at a distance, in the hopes of cracking the original’s single, all-encompassing strategy.
Joining the roster are 12 new fighters, many of whom personify the game’s overall shift in focus. Together with the original cast, they raise the game’s collection to an impressive 48 fighters–just eight shy of Marvel vs. Capcom 2’s total. Some of these newcomers, such as Iron Fist and Nova, are hard-hitting, straightforward brawlers. However, roughly half favor fighting at a distance or with unorthodox tactics. Consider Doctor Strange, the sorcerer supreme whose numerous projectiles range from homing disks to a fireball that can ricochet across the screen before striking its target. His long-range antics aren’t new to the series, but they were rarely used in the previous game during competitive play.