Skyrim may claim it is the most in-depth and encyclopedia inspired strategy guide on the market, but the Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 guide is pure madness when you realize this is 589 pages of insane button-smashing study material. Unlike many of my reviews, I slimmed this down as the Marvel vs Capcom 3 guide I reviewed awhile back covers this pretty well and so I will take this from a different angle.
First off, I highly recommend reading through the introductory parts of the guide. Sure you maybe some badass cool UMvC3 fighting guru, but this is a good introduction to the tweaks that Capcom made to the overall gameplay. Gone are many weaknesses and cheap wins from the first game, and this is the section where you will learn new rage triggering mechanics that will soon have every kid in online matches calling you cheap and cursing you like a sailor. Yes, there really is that much valuable information just in the first few pages.
The bulk of the guide then covers every character available upon release of the game. Basic moves, combos, and tactics are once again covered in beautiful spreadsheets full of numbers like hits, damage, recovery and notes to aid players in developing solid fighting techniques. It maybe hard to believe but BradyGames managed to cram even more strategy per character in this guide than the prior one. Those that buy this and still get bested on easy mode may want to consider some professional training.
Even those who only want help on specific characters will find it beneficial to sit down and read through the guide in its entirety. This is great insight into how opponents move, what weaknesses they may have, and even give you some clues as to how a human opponent may play specific character. Knowing strengths and weaknesses of this massive list of characters goes a long way to making you a master of the game.
Is an almost 600 page guide just for a fighting game crazy? Yes it is. However, the authors are clearly fans of this game as the vast amount of detail they shoveled into this book is staggering. Old characters just plenty of care and attention when it comes to what mechanics changed and how they operate differently from the first game while new characters receive plenty of discussion and coverage on their nuances. This is a guide that is not only fun to read, but it also makes studying the opposing team effortless and enjoyable. If you buy Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 and do not pick up this guide, well, you are doing yourself a major disservice. Seriously, this should be included with every game purchase!