Review – Marvel Vs. Capcom 3
Hulk smash or Hulk gash?
While I have always enjoyed a good Capcom brawler, I always preferred the tighter, slower paced games like Capcom Vs. SNK 2 or Street Fighter Alpha 2 than the games in the Marvel Vs. Capcom series. Don’t get me wrong I do still enjoy the crazy hyperactive Vs. games and still consider them to be some of the best fighting games ever made. I just wanted to let you guys know about my personal preference and if you are somewhat annoyed by my preferences and already know the difference between the two styles then you don’t need me to tell you to buy this game because you probably already have done so by now because MvC3 is an excellent fighting game and a worthy sequel to MvC2.
For those who don’t know the difference, the Marvel Vs. Capcom games play much like a standard fighting game with a lot more projectiles. Typically the games are based around teams of three fighters moving around super quickly and franticly tagging in and out of the fighting arena while covering the entire screen with all kinds of massive projectiles. If they are not throwing projectiles then they are performing huge one hundred plus hit combos or air -uggling your arse into oblivion. If there was any game that is the most likely to give you an epileptic fit ,MvC3 is it.
Capcom were very conscious about making the gap between the MvC3 and Super Street Fighter 4 much bigger than say Capcom Vs. SNK 2 and Street Fighter Alpha 2 for example. Compared to SSF4, special moves and combos in MvC3 are much easier to pull off. Capcom have removed the kick buttons so you now have three attack buttons and a â€œspecial attackâ€ button which launches the enemy in to the air for air combos just like in Tatsunoko VS. Capcom. Also to pull off a â€œSuper Specialâ€ move you are only required to do a regular move like a Dragon Punch or Fireball, but instead of hitting one attack button you hit two. This helps the play focus more on the actual battle and performing combos, as supposed to perfecting complex button and joystick inputs which is useful for a game as quick as this one.
MvC3 is a very fast and fluid game so it’s easy to string together a whole bunch a moves together to perform a massive combo and that’s part of the fun, but for a novice the game can seem a little button-mashy. For those who take the time to work out how to combo people properly you will be able to pull off MvC‘s trademark insane combos which, if done correctly, can do a heck of a lot of damage while looking awesome at the same time. To a novice though it may seem impossible to fight back from such an onslaught of attacks at first and they won’t know what they did wrong without hours of practice and reading up guides on various websites and message boards or looking up useful training videos on YouTube.
And this is my major problem with Capcom. I have friends who love fighting games but don’t play them twenty four hours a day. In fact I have a couple of friends who love playing Capcom Vs SNK 2 on the Playstation 2 but have never pulled off a Dragon Punch knowingly in their entire lives and it’s these people who Capcom should be aiming for, otherwise these games will always stay in a niche market. Just like in SSF4 in typical Capcom fashion there is a combo training mode which is utterly useless to a beginner because they don’t explain where or when a person should use the combo. Capcom should be doing a step by step video guide on these things and not waiting for the community to pick up the slack. Also, there is an easy operation mode for people who can’t pull off the moves but again this is just plain lazy as this won’t teach the player how to actually pull off a fireball or a dragon punch and instead just giving a player a shortcut which is a shame.
Like I said though if you are will to put the time in to MvC3 then there is an excellent fighting game to be found here. For a start the thirty six strong character roaster is pretty damn strong by all accounts even though Capcom where faced with a tremendous task of selecting a board spectrum of characters that are not only interesting to play as but also Capcom needed to pick characters who fans of both companies actually care about and recognise and for the most part Capcom did a great job. Although there are some notable absences such as Captain Commando, Frank West or the two Striders who would have been excellent choices for the Capcom side while on the Marvel side where are characters like Juggernaut, Psylocke or Iceman. I know some of these may be added in the future as DLC but as it stands right now there are some noticeable absences but it does not ruin the experience in my opinion. The best bit about Capcom’s choice of characters are in fact different enough from each other that they all feel pretty unique in their own special little way. This is a tough achievement when faced with creating move sets for thirty six characters and probably had a lot to do with way some fan favourites like Ken or Zangief did not make the cut.
With MvC3 you have to take on three men built like he-men. I say men, but there’s women, robots, mutants, dogs and whatever the fuck M.O.D.O.K. is. The game is manic and colourful, with simplified controls making it easy to learn how to do a lot of the moves and combos. The mission mode helps with learning different combos as well. The cast of characters is varied with no on character really playing anything like another.
Its definitely not a game without its flaws though, some of the characters are pretty difficult to use and don’t seem that strong whilst others seem overpowered. I would love to talk about the multiplayer, but I’ve had real difficulty getting connected to other players and looking online I’m not the only person. Apparently this is going to patched down the line, but in the meantime its seems a bit broken.
I am also slightly apprehensive about this game due to DLC being announced, including 2 new characters, I have a feeling this DLC is already on the disc. Knowing Capcom I wouldn’t be too surprised to see a Super MvC3 coming out 8 months down the line with another half a dozen characters added to the list. The game is fun, but far from perfect.
Secondary Score: 7/10
The one thing that really stands out about MvC3 is its presentation which is absolutely beautiful and filled with both Capcom and Marvel’s personality and style. The game always runs at a smooth 60FPS which is a great achievement when considering everything that goes on during a typical hyperactive lightshow that is a MvC3 match. The game has a great comic book asthetic which is present throughout the entire game. All the characters are cell shaded which gives the game that 2D comic book feel even though the game is entirely 3D and even the menus have a stylish comic book panel feel to them which just adds to the charm of the game.
The sound is also something that I am very, very fond of. Unlike Super Street Fighter 4 you get your traditional smack talk and character introduction at the beginning of the fight. Some of which will be different depending on who is in the arena at the time and this is great because there are some very interesting bits of dialogue that crop up because of this. There are also two separate soundtracks and sound effect settings, the standard ‘Arcade’ setting and ‘Epic’ which gives the game more of a Hollywood movie feel. Each character has their own background music – usually remixes of themes from previous titles – and most of it sounds fantastic. You can also chose to make the characters voices English or Japanese or a mixture of both. It’s clear that Capcom have put a lot of time and effort in to the presentation of this game.
Unfortunately, Capcom have taken a backwards step with the online play. Don’t get me wrong this is a fun game to play with friends and is pretty much lag free for the most part but there are some boneheaded decisions that Capcom have made that kind of spoil it. For a start don’t both having more than a two person lobby as the people who are not playing can not see the match which is stupid because they perfected this in SSF4.
Ranked match mode also has massive problems in this game as well which is a shame. For example when you play a ranked match it’s impossible to see what kind of lag the opponent has so you can’t back out if some guy with a bad connection challenges you unlike SSF4 which is annoying. That’s if you can actually connect to your opponent in the first place. I have had a lot of problems connection to people and it’s not just me. Everyone that I have spoken to about this say about 33% of the time they get the connection error message and booted back to the menu. Apparently Capcom do have a patch in the works but as it stand this game is kinda broken online which is a shame because it’s one of the main draws for potential customers of the game.
Overall I feel that Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 is a fantastic game with great presentation and gameplay, but with pretty big problems with the multiplayer and no proper tutorial for beginners, I don’t feel comfortable giving this game something like a nine out of ten as it stands at the moment. The game is also a little light on gameplay modes as well when compared to other fighting games so if you are the kind of person who like to play fighting games alone then there is not much here for you either. MvC3 has potential to become a truly fantastic fighting game, one of the greats even. But it all depends on what Capcom does next with this title in terms of patches and DLC so lets hope that Capcom are serious about supporting this title and make good on some of their promises otherwise I could see potential interest from fighting game fans fading rather quickly and that would be a shame because this is a good fighting game marred by some lazy decisions.
Capcom maintain a really good hype machine. Announcing it at last years Captivate expo was the start of it and between then and now they have been drip feeding us alternative costumes and secret characters saying characters wont make the cut only to pull them out the hat at the last min making me call up my mates who might actually give a fuck about MvC3 and shout at them WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU HEAR WHATS HAPPENING WITH SENTINEL?! Congrats you have driven me into a frenzy (which is not hard) and you’re doing a great job Ono keeping me entertained on twitter with your Twitter account. So for the rest of this im going to try and keep it in my pants and not wank off furiously while i write this.
MvC3 is colorful and very pretty, significantly better than recycling sprites from 1995, and better looking than Street Fighter IV which suffered due to being limited to arcade hardware on the laughable Taito Type X2. It’s nice to see that Capcom have made the Xbox and PS3 the first platforms and are considering an arcade version depending on the sales and popularity. My guess is that the current SEGA hardware, which is similar to the 360, could handle it. Although this might make it a touch pricey for arcade operators. The fire animation on Super-Skrull and Phoenix is some of the best fire ive seen in a game. It’s cool seeing the X-Factor aura and various effects really bring out the hyperpowered-style game play.
The character collection is awesome. Everyone seems to just work even Amaterasu (the wolf from Okami) and mad characters like M.O.D.O.K who hovers and has the ablity to just fly around the room. There is literally not a bad choice in the bunch and everyone has been tweaked so it feels like everyone is on roughly the same playing level. Of course, give it a few months and there’s no doubt there will be some unstoppable characters in the tournament play but to the mere mortals everyone can do a bit of damage. Even Arthur from Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts who you would think would be a little gimped is actually really useful with a whole host of really clever projectiles which can play a nice game of keep away and improvements on some of my old faves which were once considered very low-powered but now have fresh set of claws (oh Felicia i knew you had it in you, baby).
Four characters are hidden but by the time you have played though the game once or played in a party with your mates you will have enough points to unlock them. You dont have a shop as such, collecting points just unlocks stuff automatically which seems a little gimped. If you’re going to have unlockables why bother if you can unlock them in the first hour of play? I know people did not like it in SF4 but that was because it was a little too tricky (to this day I still haven’t unlocked Akuma on my Xbox.
The practice room is awesome along with the Missions Mode which is where you do some set moves or combos in a certain way. These go a long way in to breaking you in to the flow of MvC3. There is a mode to simulate lag in the room too so you can pratice playing against people with various collection levels but there no option to make it spike between say two bars and five bars which is often how peoples connection works, which reminds me i need a new router.
Online mode is fun and just works. Connectivity is great and smooth. It’s just let down a lot by a lot of bollocks. Online modes: there’s not enough of them. You can’t change the timer and when I was starting out you need more time or better yet infinite time to kill someone. It’s not as much fun to win on a Time Over. You can’t force a lobby to have no Simple Mode which is pretty shit as Simple Mode is pretty fucking ridiculous and you can’t view matches if you are in a lobby. They had this down in SSFIV so why can’t you do this now? They are already boasting about new DLC which is going to make everything run smoother but being able to watch other people’s matches is pretty damn important. Now you have to sit in the lobby twiddling your thumbs while hearing your mates hoot and holler at the over the top combos and massive come backs and such. You do get to see a little visual of their license card move about and you also get to see the life bars going down which is nice though [/sarcasm]. Also who ever decided to allow people to use simple mode in ranked matches needs to be beaten with a stick with a couple of nails sticking out of it.
With all the DLC promises – like playing pro players’ ghost data and the ablity to watch matches in lobbies – this feels like we’re getting 75% of a game. Its so much fun and so good and with all the other bits they are promising in the coming months via DLC it could be a 9.5 maybe even a 10. But it’s let down by a lack of online, match and ranked match options as well as some bad decisions.
Guest Score: 8/10