The Good: Huge cast of awesome characters, deep fighting system, 3-on-3 is fun and hectic, online play is a blast, wonderfully ported graphics and controls
The Bad: Overly complicated fighting system, no option to just play as one character, touchscreen controls suck, no exclusive modes or characters
Marvel vs Capcom has been a fan favorite for a decade. This version is an excellent portable fighter with a huge cast of AAA characters, tight controls, and a good amount of modes. Online play is what will keep you coming back for more, but the fighting engine has a few issues that most hardcore fans will hesitate to admit.
The story is pretty much a dead throwaway. Galactus is a super giant trying to destroy the universe, but Marvel's and Capcom's are colliding and that's about it. Sounds kind of like Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe right? Ignoring the lame story, you will probably dive right into arcade mode and the first thing you will notice are the 40 some odd characters. They are all here! On Capcom you have Frank West, Phoenix Wright, Amaterasu, Chris Redfield, Albert Wesker, Tron, and tons of others. Marvel's side has Dr. Strange, Electro, Spider-Man, Wolverine, X-23, Thor, Hulk, She-Hulk and more. These are all awesome characters, with each their own unique moves, hypers, and combos. The game is built off a 3-on-3 engine so the game gets really hectic. I wish I could only use one character, but you can't do it. Pick three of your best because each work off each other in tandem.
The way the game uses all three characters is pretty crazy at first. New comers will be overwhelmed by the over complicated combos and controls. I had more fun with the simple control scheme because no matter how much I practiced I just couldn't truly master any character. Even if you go into the mission mode you will probably get stuck on every character somewhere. The button combinations are just ridiculously complicated, and this goes for most Japanese fighters like Soul Calibur. The simple controls shrink everything down to special moves on one button, combos on another etc. This was more fun because I could pull of crazy combos without much effort. The Vita version has a third control option and this is using the touch screen. This is probably for children because you just tap away at the enemy and your character automatically pulls off combos and hypers, but it is usually the same combo over and over again.
Hypers are both cool to pull off and to look at, but not so fun on the receiving end. Some combos can go in the 50+ range if you pull off a hyper. Depending on how many of 5 levels your hyper meter is you can do some serious damage. Have it high enough and you can pull off a super hyper which uses all three characters. These will almost wipe out your entire health bar. There are a lot of technical terms with the game that will take a few hours to get used to. There is jump cancels, super jumps, and all sorts of lingo that only hardcore fans will take to heart.
After you spend some time button mashing in the arcade mode there is a whole Heroes and Heralds mode that is kind of like a campaign mode where you slowly conquer areas. You get a hit list sheet, and if you get 5 in a row you get an A rank card. These cards have abilities that will be equipped with your fighters. The cards take a while to learn to read and understand what each ability does. Some will let your character auto-block, or at level 2 hyper you can jump cancel automatically at the cost of a bar. It's all pretty in-depth and complicated, but some tinkering around and you will get used to it.
The online mode is where all the fun is at, and it is just as fun on the Vita as the consoles. Not much to say here but that it is online. Watch out because you will get your butt handed to you by most players. In terms of other modes the game doesn't really have any, but the online mode should keep you busy for quite some time. The visuals are pretty stunning with lots of effects, great looking character models, and I didn't experience any frame rate hits.
Overall, UMvC3 is a great package on the Vita, especially with Cross-Play on the PS3. The graphics are great, the controls are tight and responsive, but the touchscreen controls are disappointing. I would have liked to have seen some mini-games, or maybe a few extra modes just for the Vita, but as it stands this is a pretty good PS3 port. If you love hectic, in-depth, and complicated fighters then look no further.