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Video Game Review: Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (Vita)

March 12, 2012 | by Uma Smith | Comments (0)
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (Vita)
Who let the dogs out (woof, woof, woof, woof)!

Years ago, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I ran into X-Men vs. Street Fighter in the arcades. The thought of two different worlds joining together seemed as surreal and exhilarating as having DC and Marvel characters within the same comic! Fast forward to 2011, and we see Marvel vs. Capcom 3 finally became available for both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles. It didn’t stop there, though. PlayStation Vita users can now also partake in the excitement with the release of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. However, is the handheld port “ultimate” enough to keep fans happy?

CONTROLS (4.25/5)

The controls work very well in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, as combos can be pulled off consistently without hiccups. A traditional layout with attack and character switches allocated to the face and shoulder buttons provide a familiar feel to Capcom fighter veterans. Plus, players that prefer the convenience of mapping “Hyper” combos and special moves to a particular button (wimps!) have that option as well.

The game also makes use of the Vita’s front touch screen. Swiping your finger in a direction will move your character while tapping on the screens will perform attacks — combos follow suit if you continue to tap. I wouldn’t consider using this exclusively if you want an authentic fighting experience, but it’s an interesting approach to incorporating the Vita’s potential to the game’s controls.

GRAPHICS/SOUND (4.5/5)

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 manages to maintain its sharp and solid appearance through the amount of detail and colour design found in all aspects of the characters and battles. Everything from the combos, super moves and backgrounds look “marvelously” impressive. While there are moments of slowdown during Hyper combos, the frame rate drop isn’t that noticeable.

You get a huge variety of music here, which manages to keep the battles stimulating and dynamic. Furthermore, the attacks’ sound effects never sounded better with such clarity. And what Capcom game is complete without some cheesy dialogue? You get plenty of it here performed with nice voice acting. Some may be noticeably annoying, but it helps keeps the gameplay lively and humorous.

GAMEPLAY (4/5)

The worlds of Capcom and Marvel have clashed as the characters must join forces to save the Earth from Galactus… and that’s all really you need to know about the story so don’t expect any elaborate cut scenes outside of the intro.

You select a team of characters and engage in a three-on-three battle against either computer- or human-controlled opponents. In the Vita version of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, you get a total of 48 characters to choose from. During battles, you can swap amongst your chosen characters, allowing the ones standing by to recover from the damage they’ve taken.

The battles are engaging thanks to a well-balanced setup. You can execute certain special attacks and Hyper combos once your Hyper meter is filled. There is also an X-Factor ability, which temporarily grants increased damage, speed and health regeneration when activated. Once you incorporate these during your battles, it’s combo after combo of everlasting fun that keeps brimming with entertainment even after repeated play.

Included in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a training mode, which helps you get acquainted with the mechanics and fundamentals. In addition, there’s Mission mode from the console version that tasks you with completing a set of unique objectives for each character. A noteworthy exclusive addition to the Vita is the Touch mode, which changes the way the game is controlled (as mentioned earlier in this review).

While Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 for the Vita is as enjoyable as the console version, it also suffers from the same potential downfalls. If you play exclusively offline, there is limited variety in terms of the game modes available. And while having the game’s entire cast of fighters accessible from the beginning is convenient, it does remove the thrill of unlocking those characters. Without the motivation to gain new playable characters, gamers may lack the drive needed to complete the single-player mode repeatedly.

Of course, the real fun lies in the multiplayer. Here, the game supports both ad-hoc and online play. For the most part, it functions quite well over PSN for both ranked and non-ranked matches — and if you think touch controls are cheap, they can be disabled during multiplayer. I did experience some lag, but it was still generally stable and exciting enough be the highlight of the game.

OVERALL (4/5)

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is definitely a “marvelous” title for the Vita due to its top-notch graphics, dynamic gameplay and familiar control scheme. While it may not be the most in-depth or lengthy title, it offers an entertaining handheld fighting experience that shouldn’t be missed!

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2011 RotoRob Video Game Awards

January 1, 2012 | by RotoRob | Comments (0)
There’s no doubt that 2011 was a great year for gaming, which made sorting through all the exceptional titles to come up with the best of the best a daunting task. Last year, I tackled the process alone, but this year our five-person team all cast their votes — the results of which comprise the 2011 RotoRob Video Game Awards.
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Video Game Review: Voltron: Defender of the Universe

December 2, 2011 | by Uma Smith | Comments (24)
Graphically, the cel-shading looks pretty bland while the environments appear ordinary for the most part. This does not apply to the space missions where the backgrounds are impressive. Unfortunately, once the number of animations and action on screen start to add up, the frame rate suffers. The video sequences consist of clips from the cartoon with the quality being maintained from the original. Getting to see such footage is refreshing as it conjures up wonderful memories of the entertainment many of us came to love.
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Video Game Review: Under Siege

June 14, 2011 | by Uma Smith | Comments (78)
For those that only have the Dual Shock controller, the button layouts may seem overwhelming at first. However, the tutorial does an effective job in helping players become accustomed to the control scheme. You can even do things like modify the speed of the cursor along with invert the direction for the sticks and adjust their dead zones. Whichever controls you use, rest assured that you’ll be able to play without pausing to think about what the buttons do.
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Video Game Review: Moon Diver

May 17, 2011 | by Uma Smith | Comments (0)
Both attacks and jumping are executed with the face buttons. When rushing to dash and slash at enemies, the controls are responsive and feel adequately mapped on the controller. However, moving doesn’t feel as solid since this is done through the analog stick only. At times, your character could end falling off a cliff or platform because of the way the stick makes them move. For a side-scroller, d-pad support would’ve been appropriate. Sadly, there is no option to customize the controls, which could have remedied this issue.
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