Published on February 16th, 2011 | by Kyle Spencer, Editor
Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 Review
Marvel Vs. Capcom 3
Release Date: February 15, 2011
ESRB Rating: T
Platforms: Playstation 3, Xbox 360 [Reviewed]
The long decade of waiting for the fighter–that many gamers would contest as being one of the most important titles to the genre–has finally come to an end. Marvel and Capcom have settled their long legal woes to bring one of the greatest fighting franchises back to the forefront. The series is back and brings with it the intensity and depth that gamers have come to love from the Marvel vs. Capcom series for years now. MvC 2 featured over fifty characters and seemed to be more concentrated on working with the characters who presented the best combos and was heavily focused on strategy. MvC 3 still has some heavy strategy to it, but it seems that the characters are more well-rounded and easier for casual gamers to use. Although the intensity is still prevalent, the game that you remember from ten years ago has certainly changed.
MvC 3 is a extravagant piece of art, and is built on the three-on-three battle royal design. Each player will construct their team of three fighters consisting of the best of the best from the Marvel and Capcom universe. The fights are dazzling and feature high-speed character switching and astonishing combos and special moves. Although the game does do a lot with the combat, the controls have been simplified to draw in the casual audience. This does seem to also propel the game forward and add a ton of replayability. The fighting and combos are extremely fast paced but character movement is slow. It is also easier to pop your opponent into the air by using a single attack move, and perform air combos to finish. Calling in assists from your partners has also been “nerfed”. Core gamers can grasp the new mechanics very easily while veteran MvC players will find themselves having to re-learn the games mechanics and combos.
Many fans seemed to be disappointed by the slimmed down roster. Having gone from 56 characters down to 36. Four characters are locked from the start that you unlock by earning points for your matches, finishing moves and overall performance. The characters are vastly different in size, power and speed so choosing your three has to be done strategically. There has even been times that I found myself returning to character I never thought would perform well in a MvC game such as Nathan Spencer or X-23.
Each character is unique and balanced to fit the rest of the roster. They are very entertaining to watch as well. The characters seemed to be more balanced than in MvC 2, which leads me to wonder whether the developers actual decision was to address balance issues than to overload the roster with a ton of characters. I’m sure there will be some coming down the pipe in the future through DLC, but that remains to be seen.
The changes didn’t stop there. There is the newly implemented “X-Factor” mechanic. Each of the game’s characters change with this new mechanic activated, and the “X-Factor” increases the speed and power of each of the characters. It is a solid cancel move that can even stop hyper combos. Sometimes pulling off the “X-Factor” can be a bit tricky and will take some time to master.
There is also the added ability to switch characters and assist while performing a mid-air combo. Dante was my favorite for this technique.
HULK SMASH PUNY INSECTS
MvC 3 also adds some new modes. Aside from simplifying the games controls, there is now the added”Simple Mode”. Simple Mode re-maps the three-primary attack buttons to focus on Special moves. Performing hyper combos is a one button move, and specials are performed by pressing a single attack button and direction. If you think that this will hurt the core game, it does have it’s downfall. Some of the characters heavy attack combos can not be performed, leaving some of the characters unbalanced.
Hardcore fighting fans are going to find a solid foundation here with MvC 3. You can “preset” a three-man team prior to jumping into game mode for quick access and customize your player license. Your player license shows you all of your stats from the traditional win-loss record, to the amount of times you used a particular character. You can set up your license to take on challenges from others around the world even if your playing through the arcade mode. The game also features a very solid training mode and mission mode. Both modes are solid features to practice and build up the team that you work best with.
One piece of solid news is that the online servers for MvC 3 have been performing well up to par. I discovered no lag during any of my online matches.
The arcade mode is pretty standard and what you would expect from a fighting game of this magnitude. The final boss is none other than Galactus from the Marvel universe. The battle will take your fighters through two random characters from your roster, and coats them in a “Silver Surfer” kind of getup. Once those two are defeated you are left to fight the planet-eating giant himself. When I say that fighting Galactus will leave some frustrated, that is a huge understatement. Especially when fighting on harder difficulties, be sure to save your hyper and special combos until you fight Galactus up close. Once he gets going with his beam attacks they are enough to kill off one of your fighters in one attack.
The Final Truth:
Marvel vs. Capcom 3 offers a great deal of solid gameplay and mechanics to hardcore fighting fans but to the casual audience this may be a short trip you take. The game is a tremendous amount of fun and offers a huge amount of replayability. For you competitors out there, this is a triumphant return of the series that has been on a ten year hiatus. Graphically, the game is astonishing and the animation and combo effects together are visually pieces of art. However, there are some things that could have been added to make MvC 3 a classic. “Survival Mode” or a “Spectator Mode” would have been nice additions. I can’t count how many times that I had to wait in the wings of a fight and watch a menu screen instead of the match itself. Even with these small short comings MvC 3 is a solid fighting game that offers a lot of replayability and depth that veteran fighters will cling to in a heartbeat.
[xrr label=”Rating: 8/10″ rating=8/10]
+ Graphically Stunning
+ Solid Balancing
+ New characters feel like character of old
+ Player License
– Lack of gameplay modes
– No Spectator mode
– Only 36 characters