Before Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (MvC3) hit stores, the hype was pretty intense. Now that the game has hit the market, the game has definitely lived up to it’s hype.
From the open credits to the selection screen to gameplay, the user experience feels like you are literally in an incredibly entertaining comic book that begs you to keep reading and flipping pages. This classic-style fighting game is visually stimulating and is ridiculously deep in terms of character moves and fighting combinations.
As you’d expect, the game features all the classic characters that old school comic fiends would expect as well as a slew of new arrivals. Disappointing though, is the omission of classics characters like Mega Man or Venom, for example. However, each character has their own signature styles and that goes for both the heroes and villains.
As the title indicates, this is the third entry in the series and it carries over the three-on-three battles and hyper combos. As with the previous installments, “tagging in” partners for brief attacks is available as well as a special meter to execute bone-crushing moves.
As for the gameplay, there are four main attack buttons that include light, medium, heavy, and special attacks. There’s also a common move that pops opponents into the air for combos and a shift to calling in partners through the assist buttons instead of pressing punch and kick.
The roster of characters for MvC3 is 36 deep, four of which are locked when you start the game. Each character has their niche, and no two are alike. Some are physical and use brutal force, others use a quick, aerobatic approach, while others use magic and basic fighting techniques. The great thing with exploring the characters and their moves is that the combination feel almost limitless.
One cool element of game play is the X-Factor mechanic, which boosts the speed and strength of characters. It’s a simple concept, every fighter in the game is impacted. The X-Factor also cancels any attack, including hyper combos, and allows for added creativity in combos and tactics.
On the surface, the game appears to be a classic hit the buttons until your fingers fall off-type game. However, a skilled player who knows the right combos and strengths of certain characters, will easily take down any and all newbies (especially because of the fast-paced nature of the game).
But, for those who feel like they are getting their head bashed in, they can check out simple mode, which re-maps the three primary attack buttons to focus on special moves and abilities instead of strength-based punches or kicks. Despite the ease of play in this mode, it does put players at a disadvantage because most characters will lose access to several of their moves.
The MvC3 gameplay foundation will be familiar to previous version owners. There is an extensive training mode, as well as a “License” screen that collects statistics and allows you to “preset” three teams for quick use. There’s also online game play, including the ability to play ranked and unranked matches as well as create lobbies for you, your friends and random players.
Another cool aspect of online gameplay is that you can also allow impromptu challenges from online players while you play Arcade mode alone.
While the game is exciting and fun to play, it does leave you a bit short on extras. Other than online game play and training, there’s a mission mode that challenges players to execute various special moves and combos that helps “train” you as the player.
For this review, we had the “Special Edition” that came in special packaging, a metal case especially designed for the game as well as a mini comic book that included art work designed by selected fans and includes two free DLC characters.
Overall, MvC3 doesn’t disappoint. It’s graphically solid. Gameplay is fantastic, the character moves feel nearly limitless. The only shortcoming is that despite the endless hours you can spend learning the combos, character nuances, etc. it doesn’t go further than that. So, the game could use some extras to help with shelf-life, but overall, Marvel, Capcom, as well as fighting game fans in general will enjoy it thoroughly.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Mild Language, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes and Violence. This game can also be found on Xbox 360.