MP: Being a full retail release rather than DLC, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is going to have to bring some significant additions to MvC3. What are the biggest changes in UMvC compared to MvC3? What are the new characters and has the full list of characters been announced?
RM: The biggest change we’ve made for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is the addition of 12 new characters. The goal here was to expand the roster, not just in terms of numbers, but in terms of gameplay variety. In addition to the characters, we’ve added eight new stages, and increased the number of costume colors for each character from four to six. Gameplay rebalances in the game have also been massive, including a change to the way X-Factor works and new moves for much of the cast. The 12 new characters are: Ghost Rider, Iron Fist, Hawkeye, Rocket Raccoon, Nova, and Dr. Strange on the Marvel side and Vergil, Nemesis, Strider, Firebrand, Frank West, and Phoenix Wright for Capcom. The full list of 50 characters can be seen here: http://www.marvelvscapcom3.com/us/characters
MP: What sparked Capcom's decision to make this a retail release only, rather than Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition which can be downloaded? Is it too large of an update to be DLC?
RM: There were two big issues that kept this from being a DLC release: first, like you mention, it’s an incredibly sweeping update, with gameplay changes that touch every character. Second, we didn’t want to freeze out new players, who would be facing the prospect of buying a new game plus buying all the new characters. A la carte, that could end up being more expensive than the $40 box product even for fans who did own Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
MP: A lot of attention will be on the new characters, but have the existing characters undergone any changes as far as balance or move lists?
RM: We’ve tweaked every character on the roster to be more competitive, plus added new moves and new abilities where they were needed. One example is Magneto, who was used in an aggressive rush-down style in Marvel vs. Capcom 3. We slowed him down, but added new gravity-based moves that can control the opponent and provide spacing for more long-range attacks. Overall, Magneto is now more dependent on tactics and strategy and less dependent on execution, which was the goal for our rebalancing him.
MP: A question that I'm sure is on a lot of fans' minds is if Sentinel has been nerfed. Has he?
RM: Sentinel received some rebalancing attention a few weeks after Marvel vs. Capcom 3 came out, and after that, his power was well in-line with the rest of the cast. In Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, every existing character has been made stronger, with the possible exception of Phoenix, who has seen some significant rebalancing to make her more easily killed prior to her Dark Phoenix mode.
MP: A huge complaint I had with MvC3 was the lack of spectator mode when playing in parties. It was rumored that a spectator mode would eventually become a free patch, but the patch never happened. Will this been included in UMvC or will we see more of the bouncing player cards during a party match?
RM: Spectator mode will be in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3! Capcom has listened to the fan requests and delivered a fully functional spectator mode to allow fans to see matches while they wait in lobbies.
MP: There were also some fan complaints with online connectivity. Will online functionality be improved?
RM: Overall, the network code has been improved, so it should be easier to find online matches and stay in them. Capcom loves hearing fan feedback regarding our games, and we listen closely on our Facebook page and at events to what fans have to say, and that feedback ends up becoming improvements like this.
MP: Are there any other new modes in addition to "Heroes and Heralds?
RM: There will be a Galactus Mode, which allows players to take on the role of the Devourer of Worlds and play Arcade Mode from the other side. It’s a blast to squash puny heroes as you progress through increasingly difficult stages.
Below are questions from readers via Twitter:
TrainsAllTalk Asks: There are a lot of the questions about the new "Heroes and Heralds" mode. Is it a multiplayer mode?
RM: Heroes and Heralds mode is playable both online and offline. Playing online, you will compete in a weekly war between factions, and every battle counts. That mode is definitely multiplayer, and every online match you win will be rewarded with a new ability card. The offline mode has a bit of a territory-conquest vibe to it, where you’ll be fighting for control over different factions on a map in a single-player campaign.
JCM_FoXR Asks: Sure it's probably a long way away, but can you comment on the eventual Wii U version of the game? Will we see it in 2012?
RM: I’m happy to share that Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 will be a launch title on the PlayStation Vita, coming February 22nd, but we have made no Wii U related announcements.
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 hits stores in the US on November 15.