Disclaimer: Leo Wyld is an editorial contributor for Guard The Galaxy. His views do not necessarily reflect the views of every other contributor associated with this site.
Cosmic greetings, all! Tons of new toys announced and our first trailer. To paraphrase an icon... Truly, this is the age of Guardians of the Galaxy! (And, yes, the Year of the Raccoon). What are we gonna talk about today? I have spent a fair amount of time on this site discussing Marvel Heroes. While there are not nearly enough video games that offer us the opportunity to play the role of the galaxy's "premier procyonid protagonist," there is one other significant one that I have mentioned only in passing a couple times...
Flarkin' Awesome! Issue 008 - Hey There, Fighter Fan!
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Many people resented that it was a full-priced separate game that was essentially an expansion to Marvel vs. Capcom 3. For those who did not purchase the original, however, it was indeed the ultimate version. And, most importantly, a thoroughly well-designed fighting game that can be enjoyed by players of all skill levels. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, among other changes, added a number of new characters that were not in the original version. Among these characters was Marvel's Rocket Raccoon. This was the first time many people became aware the hero even existed, myself included. For me, though, I read his Wikipedia article, joined Marvel Heroes Beta forums where I discussed and learned of him, and read his entire comic appearances before I even owned or played UMvC3. Others were not in the same position. UMvC3 was played by many who were not comic fans but were fighting game fans or perhaps just gamers in general. For these people, Rocket, as a character, has been defined solely by the way he is portrayed in this game. I've done compares and contrasts in this manner between Rocket and his Marvel Heroes counterpart... it is now time to do the same for UMvC3, and I think it is very important I do so. (More After the Jump)
First off, his model. Very well done, near perfect really, I cannot complain. In fact, sorry, Gazillion, I think I might like Rocket's model on UMvC3 slightly more than his Marvel Heroes one. Among other things, he is actually much closer to a correct height compared to other heroes than he is in Marvel Heroes. Most importantly, he looks pretty cool.
His costume is modeled after his blue and crimson Guardians of the Galaxy volume 2 costume most people are familiar with. And his alternate "costumes", as with other characters, are just recolors of that, inspired by different comic costumes. The one exception is his 1985 costume which is available in a DLC pack. (Don't have it yet, myself. Horrible procrastinator)
The voice is Greg Ellis, subtle Cockney accent, as he often was portrayed with, until recently. Mr. Ellis also did his voice on Earth's Mightiest Heroes. I prefer Steve Blum's take on the accent in Marvel Heroes, but Greg does a good enough job and there is not *that* much dialog. What dialog, quips, and text quotes there are seem canon enough, mostly, cannot really complain. As a matter of fact, Capcom gets bonus points from me for reinforcing #RocketIsARaccoon in some of these.
Now, the moves. *Sigh* This is where things unravel a bit and cause some pretty significant confusion amongst UMvC3-only Raccoonatics. Don't get me wrong, some of the moves are an admirable fit. As with any Marvel Vs. game, though, some stuff is added purely for fun, and some of that fun stuff is far from canon.
His basics include a punch, a tail swipe, and a pistol blast. Ok, those work ok, the pistol for sure. Especially if Rocket is competing in a streetfighting competition instead of taking down hordes of aliens.
His grab is running up his opponent and clawing at them. Alright, a bit primitive, but Rocket has been shown clawing at someone in panel. He'll resort to his basic animal defenses if need be, and a fighting competition could do that.
His taunt is spitting at the ground and making a snarky comment. Ok, that works very well.
Wild Ripper - He does a lunge forward with an energy knife (which also features in his victory animation). Rocket tends to prefer guns, but it is a mostly melee-based competition, and it is tech he could have access to, so I will give the energy knife a pass. (And it was even mentioned again in his LEGO Marvel appearance)
Spitfire - Pulls out a large high-tech gun and fires a burst of energy. No problem with this. Completely within Rocket's wheelhouse. Good job.
Oil Bomb - Throws a balloon filled with oil to the ground, which he can later ignite with his pistol when someone is on top of it. A solid tactical plan, which is Rocket's closest thing to a superpower, but rather low tech. A balloon? Really, don't think Rocket would do that unless he was trapped in a low tech situation where he absolutely had to improvise. Since he has big guns and energy knives with him, that does not seem to be the case.
Mr. Flapper - Springs some sort of large bear trap. You could have a high-tech bear trap, I guess, but it is just not Rocket's style. He has never used anything like this in the comics. Though a tactical genius, Rocket does not usually rely on traps, he uses his agility and cunning to tackles foes head on.
Pendulum - One of the more cringe-worthy moves for those who actually know Rocket outside of the game. Rocket triggers a log trap, that is right, a log on a rope that swings down and hits the enemy. Funny to see, sure. Again, though, so many things wrong with this be a move for our interplanetary gun-loving space raccoon. Is he suddenly employed as a park ranger in an impromptu paintball match to the death? Is he an Ewok? No, no, he is not. Rocket Raccoon would not only not use a log trap, he would likely laugh at or mock anyone who employed something so primitive.
Angel Gift - Rocket places some sort of high-tech mine that, when the enemy makes contact, causes a rock to fall on their head. Maybe some sort of magnetism or something. Ok, it is much better than a primitive bear or log trap, but, again, Rocket tends to tackle enemies head on. Needless to say, he has never used such a device in the comics, though.
Claymore - Rocket puts down a high-tech claymore mine that sets opponents ablaze when they step on it. Technologically possible, something Rocket could do if he needed to rely on a trap. Again, though, not really the trap sort and such a thing has never been used by him in comics.
Grab Bag - Rocket's third high-tech mine triggers some sort of electrically charged net trap. Ok, that is a way to make a primitive trap more high-tech. Still not sure Rocket would use such a thing, though.
Rocket Skate - A mid-air move where Rocket uses his ol' Rocket Skates to charge through the air. It is still not certain whether the skates were part of the fake memories or whether he really had them, but it is based on something from the comics, even if he has not used his Rocket Skates in panel since 1985 (he does have the 80's costume for DLC). I'll say a good call on this one, Capcom.
Tunnel Rat - Ugh. And back to solidly non-canon in the worst possible way. Rocket digs a tunnel through the dirt. Like a mole or rabbit or racc... no, raccoons do not burrow. And, guess what, neither does Rocket, ever. In one comic, he expressed a dislike for being underground. While he has called himself a raccoon, he tries to distance himself from behaving like an animal (and again, not even regular raccoons burrow). If this had just been a move on UMvC3, it would have been bad enough, but its true dubious legacy is that it inspired Gazillion to give Rocket a burrow power on Marvel Heroes. Let's move on... *sigh*
Rock 'n' Roll - One of his power moves. Rocket pulls out some sort of huge chain gun (which Marvel Heroes doesn't even have) fires that for a bit, then immediately pulls out a large high-tech gun and fires a plasma blast. Big guns, check, shooting them, check, doing both enthusiastically, check. I don't think you could throw together a better power move for Rocket Raccoon. So, major props to Capcom for this one.
Mad Hopper - Another hyper move, throws down a very large trap (which he specifically exclaims ways more than himself, a common observation that has been made about his cannons). Anyone who steps on the trap is launched upwards by a giant spring pad. Random. And not really something Rocket has or would do, although I'm sure he would think it was funny to see an enemy launched into the air.
Rocky Raccoon - Rocket pulls out a shovel and buries his opponent in a hole, then, declaring he loves the smell of napalm..., he jumps onto the ladder of some sort of aircraft and a giant bomb is dropped on the opponent. Over-the-top and amusing, but I am not convinced it is something Rocket would do. Rocket does not really rely on explosives much. I've mentioned that in other FA's. If they had to have a big explosive move, they should have done the moment from Guardians v2 Issue 1, where he pulls he pulls out his special super-grenade calls it affectionately by name and gives it a toss. Or...
Groot? He is mentioned in a text victory quip, but he has no presence in Rocket's moveset, at all. Groot drops down, proclaims "I Am Groot!" and does a massive beatdown on the opponent. That has actually happened in the comics many times and would have been a perfect ultimate move. Maybe hindsight is 20/20 but I still cannot believe Capcom missed that opportunity.
So, that basically covers our look at Rocket in UMvC3. There are some basic moves I did not cover, but that should give you an idea. And, if you do only know Rocket from UMvC3, please, for my sake, go to my site read some stuff, read his section on this site, read his Wikipedia page, better yet, get Marvel Unlimited and read some comics, but be very aware that the portrait Capcom has painted of Rocket is a colorful and entertaining, but largely flawed, portrait.