Since the first goof up of the accidental leak of UMvC3's characters, there has been one thing hanging on my mind: who the heck is Rocket Raccoon?
Fans and developers alike have been comparing him to all sorts of standards such as being a zoner like Arthur, to being a sort of pseudo-replacement to Cable. One enterprising comic book buff even submitted for our approval a panel straight out of Rocket's comic of him donning a mask of Cable while shouting out, “Hyper Viper Beam!”
Luckily, it seems as if Rocket will have certain elements of inspiration from both but will handle like an entirely different and unique character that deserves all distinction of being one of the coolest and arguably competitive fighting character yet.
Rocket certainly has elements of strong zoning with a few different projectile tools. First, he has a sort of laser bazooka which seems to be very flexible in its aim as well as being able to use the laser pistol he's equipped with for minor ranged pestering.
His projectile specials are nothing compared to his traps though. While you can see for yourself in the trailer the varying effects they have (like net trap's ability to earn free combos, though its combo scaling is unknown at this point), it's interesting to note that Rocket can very quickly lay traps and move afterward. Like in the video, you can bait your opponent to move past your trap, block his moves, and push block him into your trap! Lay down a net trap every now and then and you can scare your opponent into attempting block strings on Rocket!
It's also hard to believe a character so small with so many moves to control space such as log trap, net trap, shrapnel trap, oil balloon, and his projectiles, also has such mind boggling movement options. Rocket Raccoon's rocket skates seem to act like a shorter, faster version of Spencer's wire pull. It's likely the number of times you can use them in the air will be limited like Spencer's wire pull, but they cover just enough space with such speed that you can easily create a lot of confusing, crossing up assist situations. The speed of rocket skates is also important as it looks to be very difficult to punish on reaction. Unlike Spencer's wire pull, which leaves him very open and vulnerable during his fullscreen pull animation, Rocket's skate movement is extremely brief, so pretty much only random, wild attacks will catch him in the act.
Rocket- rocket- ROCKET SKATES!
So how would you want to fit Rocket Raccoon on your team? While Rocket Raccoon looks to have tons of options to help him control how he wants the flow of the fight to move, there are a few noticeable gaps in his power. Firstly, while his size makes hitting him hard, 90% of the time, small characters have less than standard health pools, so he won't be able to take too much damage. His size also gives his normals very stubby range that's reminiscent of Viewtiful Joe, though Rocket has several moves that cause him to charge forward, so this is slightly mitigated.
It also looks like he lacks any moves to help take the pressure off him if an opponent starts to rush him down. Many characters can chase away rush down with hyper combos with fast start up or invincible start up. Other times, they have fast and useful moves like X-23's fast normals or Hulk's armored normals. But if an opponent can break through Rocket Raccoon's control, he may need to fall back on the help of good assists to regain control of a match's momentum. He'd probably do well in the lead or pivot position of a team with assists revolving around defense rather than offense or combos.
Asides from that, Rocket Raccoon's reveal trailer paints him in a very positive light and I can't wait to make a team for him!
As a side note, Rocket Raccoon is automatically a hundred times cooler than every other character with his cockneye accent.
Frank West also returns from his introduction in Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom and he's obviously been revamped since his last appearance on a Capcom Vs. game.
The first thing that's immediately noticeable about Frank is that he is another micromanaging character like Phoenix Wright. Luckily, there's not much micro to his managing, as he can seamlessly combine both the aspects of combat with his resource management, making the process of making him stronger much easier compared to Phoenix.
+2 hunger points! +4 bravery points!
Frank's assist attack from TvC, the camera flash stun, returns as a proper special move that not only seems to retain it's instant hit properties, but is also integral to Frank leveling up and becoming more potent.
Frank players can even OTG with camera flash and cancel right into his shopping cart hyper, which means leveling up as Frank will be an inevitability rather than an option. It does seem that Frank's ability to control space well with special moves from TvC hasn't been retained. Frank can still pull out zombies and man-throw them at his enemies for the chance to hit them and earn a free combo, but overall, his reach is limited to the normals he has on hand from his current level.
Fortunately, when Frank is maxed out at level 4, he becomes unbelievably strong. The paddlesaws he gets equipped with are easily one of the best attacks I've ever seen in a fighting game as they not only have great reach horizontally but also a huge hitbox that makes ambiguous crossups a breeze with Frank so long as you reach level 4. The mechanics to how Frank levels up still needs to be explored as some times in the released videos, Frank would take as many as three photos to level up once, which can be detrimental considering how fast characters can get knocked out in UMvC3. While it is known that he can take a swig from his drink to level up three times at once, it carries the risk of having Frank vomit at an inopportune time. Even at level 2, Frank gains his trademark quick dodge move, which allows him to quickly cross up his enemy with an assist. It's unknown if this move has an invincibility though (like Cap's newly invincible cartwheel).
Frank also lacks a level 3 hyper but has three level 1 hypers which cover all the options he needs. He has an OTG hyper, a hyper that rushes forward with invincibility, and a hyper which is specifically for anti-airing opponents. So while he lacks the ability to do huge, unscaled damage, he should have an answer for most situations with his hypers.
Frank definitely doesn't have the mobility or options to be an anchor. I can, however, see him being a powerful lead, as the sooner he can take photos to level up, the more threatening he can become. As long as he can level up early on, you can tag him in and out to recover health and save him as a powerful threat if you need to scare your opponent. Having assists to help extends his combos won't be a bad thing either, especially if he still has assists while maxed out at level 4. He could also possibly be a battery since it appears that he doesn't need to rely on his hypers as most other characters do.