An Argument in Favor of Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3

Since its reveal at the San Diego Comic-Con, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 has garnered some outcry from fans mainly due to its announcement only months after the release of Vanilla MvC3 while others welcome it to the VS. Family with open arms.

I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t enraged at first, however, after thinking about it and looking at the facts, I calmed down and reevaluated the situation (not talking about the Jersey Shore).

What I find to be common about the people complaining about UMvC3 is that they are mostly casual fighting gamers, as opposed to competitive gamers, or gamers who don’t know the critical intricacies involved in (or even the meaning of) “game balancing”. I’m not saying it’s only these kinds of people, but it’s looking more and more to be the case.

What I plan to do is not to convince gamers to buy it, instead I’m going to convince people to stop pulling “facts” out of the aether and to look objectively at the upcoming update to Gaming’s Greatest Crossover. Now, don’t get me wrong on my argument, I’m sure there a lot of casual players who are supporting UMvC3 as well as competitive gamers against it, this article is mainly to inform those who think they know what they’re talking about.

Issue #1: “It should have been DLC!”

There are several responses to this complaint and I’ll detail every one of them.

“Capcom has been doing it since the 90s, get used to it.” This is a lazy and detrimental response to one’s argument in favor of UMvC3, but a response nonetheless. The better ones are…

First, it was going to be DLC, but the recent earthquake/tsunami threw off Capcom’s development schedule. Many people already dismiss this as a cheap excuse, but if one were to look into the facts, Capcom HQ is actually located close enough to have been affected by the earthquake. Not directly at the epicenter, but close enough for disturbance. Street Fighter IV Producer, Yoshinori Ono’s tweets on Twitter confirm this (among others’), in decent English I might add. While Ono is not involved with MvC3/UMvC3 at all, he tweeted that his team and numerous other Capcom Japan employees had to leave work for an extended amount of time.

Second, UMvC3 isn’t just the DLC we were going to get, it’s extra material as well. UMvC3 Producer, Ryota Niitsuma confirmed in several interviews that this is approximately 50/50 in terms of planned and new content. For Vanilla MvC3, we were initially going to get 1, maybe 2 of the newly announced 12 (1 for each side) as DLC, and that’s not including Jill and Shuma Gorath.

Third, believe it or not, it actually is too big for DLC. What many people fail to realize (or choose not to due to anger), it’s not just new characters, stages, and “costumes”, it’s literally pages of changes to the existing cast (including new moves and balance changes), and an improved matchmaking experience. That, in itself, is already considerably more data/memory than the Arcade Edition DLC to SSFIV.

If you think about it, UMvC3 is not just a patch like AE, it’s revamped from the ground up changing everything from the menus to the HUD, leaving only most of the fighting-engine in tact and even that got rehauled.

Finally and most importantly, if none of the other responses matter to you, charging $40 isn’t a half-assed, last minute tag-on to entice you into buying, they are actually saving you a lot of money.

Let’s do the math shall we?

For characters alone, I’ll be using Jill and Shuma’s price as reference as to not (as one YouTube troll puts it) “make up numbers”. Together, Jill and Shuma’s DLC costs roughly $10. Assuming Capcom would’ve charged the same amount for the new 12, they would’ve charged $60 for them.

Off the bat, that’s at least $20 saved for a new game and that’s not including the new stages, balance changes, and matchmaking improvements. You would have actually paid more for DLC.

Issue #2: “But we were promised a Spectator Mode (matchmaking improvements) in Vanilla for free!”

Short answer: No we weren’t.

I’m not sure where or when exactly this rumor originated, perhaps it was from misinformed YouTube rants and word-of-mouth, but Capcom has stated numerous times since launch that they couldn’t (or simply wouldn’t) implement a Spectator Mode to the Vanilla version.

Watching an Imaginary Spectator Mode with those Player Cards continually bouncing… one of my biggest pet peeves in Vanilla MvC3. I have no excuse or defense for Capcom on this one nor do I choose to come up with one.

Honestly, they just screwed up on that one.

Issue #3: “I don’t have $40 to shell out for another copy! I paid $60 for a beta test!

To be honest though, I actually think this is a decent point but with a simple solution.

If you’re still worried about the money, trade in your Vanilla MvC3 towards UMvC3.

Feel how you want about buying a “$60 beta test”, but either way you can pay yourself back in more ways than one by trading in your Vanilla MvC3. The trade-in value for Vanilla won’t suddenly drop with the release of UMvC3. Worst case scenario, you’ll only pay off most of UMvC3 with Vanilla (as opposed to all).

Plus, there’s no download times. Assuming it would be possible to download UMvC3, and considering how long it took to download Arcade Edition for SSFIV on a perfect connection (“perfect” being relative), downloading something the size of UMvC3 would be ridiculous.

Issue #4: “But nobody wanted any of the new 12 characters in UMvC3!” or similarly “They should have added x y and z!”

While the characters are obviously the central part to any fighting game, I can understand the disappointment for some that Mega Man X or so-and-so didn’t get chosen, for me, that so-and-so is Gene from God Hand.

But to those with the former complaint, not everybody thinks that. There are actually people who are hyped for the newcomers. Some people are excited to see Phoenix Wright’s fighting game debut, and others for Strider’s return. While there were skeptics for the unusual Rocket Raccoon, most everybody is accepting him as a pseudo-Cable.

Which brings me to my next point, it seems that most people are unaware that Capcom has little to no say of which Marvel characters make it into the final roster.

Here’s how it works: For Capcom’s characters, Capcom resorts to fan-interest as well as their own personal interests for character decision. For Marvel’s characters, Capcom offers suggestions to Marvel, but Marvel Ultimately (pun intended) gets the last say which characters make it into the final roster. This is mainly used as promotion for the characters that Marvel will be featuring in future movies or comic series (e.g. Ghost Rider has a sequel and Hawkeye is in Avengers).

I feel your disappointment but, as usual, supplemental DLC is not out of the question.

Issue #5: “Ha! That means there’s going to be an Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Arcade Edition/Hyper Fighting/etc.”

Ha-ha, that joke was so funny when SSFIV came out, it’s totally not dated anymore. (sarc.)

First, who knows, maybe there will be. I won’t pretend to know Capcom’s plans for the Marvel series. It’s Ultimately (pun always intended) up to them. But if you ask me, I’d wager they’d do the next iteration (if any) a la SSFIVAE.

Second, so what? Call me (as one Gamespot troll puts it) a “Capcon but kisser and brown noser” (yes, he misspelled “Capcom” and “butt”), but most of the competitive fighting game community welcomes the update.

Look at SRK’s, iPlayWinner’s, or Event Hubs’ home page back when UMvC3 was announced, look back when SSFIV was announced, not once did any of the veteran/pro players complain (outside of game mechanics). New edition or true sequel, people will buy it, not out of stupidity or blind-love for a franchise, but because there are players who appreciate these changes even if it ends up happening to every other fighting game Capcom pumps out.

I think Maximilian (creator of the “Assist Me” MvC3 tutorial videos) puts it best, “The more fighting games, the better!” Go ahead and call the entire competitive community a bunch of fanboys (and don’t expect a friendly response), but that’s exactly why new editions are made anyway, for the fans that want it.

And, in the end, that’s all that really matters: If you want and like the game, buy it. If you don’t want it, don’t buy it. It’s really that simple.

Realistically, you’re not going to do any disservice to Capcom by boycotting, or any other publisher that releases new editions of games. More often than not, they aren’t bad games. Granted, Vanilla MvC3 in retrospect is an unfinished game, but it wasn’t bad, I think it’s safe to assume most of us had fun with it.

Conversely, I don’t see much of the casual player-base complaining about the yearly Call of Duty installments (I could be wrong, I don’t read up on COD complaints). Call of Duty is a great example, they may not reinvent a whole lot with subsequent sequels, but they aren’t bad games by any means, they’re fun.

This was not written to spark hatred between competitive and casual players, but merely as an observation by myself as a bystander. I tried my very best to get across a clear message without malice to help the misinformed better understand the situation.

If for some reason you still disagree or don’t believe me, feel free to look up the early interviews from Comic-Con for yourselves, they’re still out there. If you ask me, the only thing anybody should be debating about MvC3 is the gameplay and players.

I know it’s more fun to play towards our own confirmation biases (i.e. hearing only what we want to hear or reading only what we want to read), but it’s much more useful to pay close attention to both sides of the story, especially if you’re on the fence about this game.

That’s all I have to say. I concede that I may have left out some other topics, but I feel these were the most important, especially the complaints regarding the cost.

So take care. I hope this at least made you re-think this situation or at least helped you see the other side of the argument.

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