This is a game that many thought would never see the light of day. And after Disney bought Marvel, I thought the chances of it would be even slimmer. But thanks to the renaissance of fighting games, the third installment of what was for a very long time the most popular fighting game in America has finally arrived.
Marvel vs Capcom 3 has many of the same basic mechanics of the previous game, along with some new and interesting additions that make the game more approachable to beginners and gives players who are down a character or two better odds for a comeback.
It’s Solid - While it’s always tough to call a game balanced before it’s released to the public, so far the whole cast has been given lots of options and unique abilities to make them useful in combat. One of the biggest changes for returning cast members was to make sure they could hold their own on point instead of being only used for their assists. For example, Tron Bonne, mostly used for her stun gun assist in MvC2, has been given drills that are safe on block, which can be used to set up a level 3 hyper command grab.
Art in Motion - You may think its cel shading, the game actually uses a modified graphics engine from Lost Planet 2. The result is much closer to a comic book than any game I’ve ever seen. Every character has been lovingly crafted. Gone are the days of a mish mash of sprites from games years apart.
Unlockables - Always an important thing to have for players who enjoy single player modes, there’s plenty of art, music, and movies to unlock. While there are a few characters to unlock, it doesn’t take more than 4 or 5 trips through arcade mode to earn enough points to unlock them.
Lag Simulation - The training mode has an interesting option that actually simulates playing online under various qualities of connections. This will come in handy for anyone who plans on entering online tournaments. The game can be forgiving with inputs, so if you have fight under a bad connection, it can be done, and you’ll be able to prepare for it.
Mission Mode - Pretty much the Challenge Mode from Street Fighter IV, this mode gives you a series of combos to perform, teaching you how to perform different types of cancels. They’re basic combos that let you understand what a character can do, as only certain characters can jump cancel their normal moves, among other things. They’re good starting points for players who want to understand the combo system.
No Tutorial - For a game with so many options and advanced tactics, it’s a shame that none of this is explained in the game. While there are many helpful resources like the strategy guide (with many contributions by professional players) and Shoryuken.com, a basic tutorial for things like snap backs and delayed hyper combos would be appreciated. With games like Blazblue demonstrating everything step by step, I’m annoyed that Capcom doesn’t bother with it at all.
So Much For That Story - While there are some cool cinemas, once again, all we’re getting is pictures and text. Capcom made a big deal about putting a bigger emphasis on the story, and we’ve already seen most of the story cinemas as trailers online. So for those looking for a deep story mode, you’ll sadly be disappointed. While it’s true that most people don’t care about the story mode, it’s a shame since Capcom claimed they were going to focus on it.
Marvel vs Capcom 3 is one of the biggest releases of this year, and it’s a very solid game. It’s a little barebones compared to some other fighting game packages, but the depth of gameplay and large cast make this a really fun game to explore. The combo system is very free form, and when you add in the assists and different way to cancel moves, the sky is the limit. For any fan of fighting games casual and hardcore alike, it’s a no brainer.
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