Fighting games have never made an entirely successful transfer to handhelds in the past. Some have been designed to suit the strengths of that platform, but rarely has a direct port been successful in capturing the experience of a fighter on the go. Thanks to leaps ahead in technology and some innovative new ideas, we can now experience fighters like Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 properly on handhelds.
If you have played Marvel vs. Capcom 3 before, you know exactly what to expect. This is a direct port of the console title released late in 2011, with all of the bells and whistles you would expect from that updated version. The online functionality seems solid and, despite having some trouble finding matches, I was able to play with absolutely no lag or connection issues.
You might think with the Vita’s small buttons and d-pad that playing a fighting game as frenetic as this would be a challenge on the system, but they are comfortable and allow you to pull off all of the same moves you would in the console version. It all controls perfectly and you’ll quickly feel right at home with your favorite teams. I never had any problems playing for extended periods of time either, although I can’t imagine that being something you would find yourself doing with this particular version.
New to the Vita port are touch controls, which are entirely optional, but are meant to allow players to pull off fast and easy combos with the quick use of the touch screen. By simply tapping on the screen, you can perform most of your character’s specific moves with no trouble at all, stringing together combos with ease. There’s no telling who this feature is for and chances are that most people would disable it in online matches, but it could be useful for those looking to blast through the story mode as quickly as possible.
The lack of any new features outside of some neat touch control options is a bit of a letdown and you might have a bit of trouble finding people to play with online, so don’t expect this to replace the console version. However, if you’re looking for a fun fighter to play on the go no matter what your experience with the series is, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 will serve you well.
Pros: All of the same great characters and features from the console version, online play works remarkably well
Cons: Not much new content