Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Review

by Tristan Belgrave. 0 Comments

Fans begged and pleaded to get their next crossover fix. Well, their prayers were answered...kinda. Tatsunoko vs. Capcom was released on the Wii this time last year and the reception was pretty decent. Yet, not too many people played it.

Nearly a year after the teaser trailer for Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was released, the game is now on store shelves just waiting for you to take it home.

MvC3 has been made from the ground up. No more seeing those older sprites (character models) that made their appearances on older Capcom games. No more hearing the recycled sounds from the older Capcom games as well. Capcom took their time, listened to fans, and delivered an excellent game worthy to be in your gaming consoles being played.

There are a variety of modes in the game:

Offline Mode: Contains the Arcade, Versus, Training and Mission Mode. Online Mode: Has Ranked Match variants, Leaderboards and Player Match variants.

Marvel vs. Capcom 3 features the 3 on 3 format like it's predecessor. The roster has dramatically changed since the previous installment in terms of size and characters. MvC2 had 56 characters evenly split between the Capcom side and the Marvel side. In Marvel vs. Capcom 3, you have almost 40 characters; also evenly split. The series mainstays return in this installment (Ryu, Morrigan, Wolverine, Iron Man, Hulk & Spider-Man to name a few) with some new tricks and variations in their moves. For example, Ryu’s Air Hurricane Kick no longer drops down; it travels forward. His Shinkuu Hadouken hyper combo can now aim in different directions instead of it going straight. Some of the new characters in the game are Deadpool, She-Hulk, Dante, and Viewtiful Joe. With more characters on the way through DLC, the roster seems pretty satisfying.

The visuals are absolutely stunning in Marvel vs. Capcom 3. The backgrounds in each stage are incredibly detailed. You have aircraft carriers zooming about, creatures flying everywhere; it helps make the game come alive. The characters models are no longer those 2D sprites you saw when playing X-Men vs. Street Fighter or Darkstalkers. Everything has been made from the ground up using the MT Framework graphics engine; which was used in Resident Evil 5. The characters are finely detailed to not only their moves and their costumes, but in their speech too. Pitting certain characters against other will initiate some interesting pre-fight dialogue. Take for instance Chris Redfield from the Resident Evil series. He is about to fight Super Skrull from the Fantastic Four universe. Before the match starts, Super Skrull tells Chris, “You should stick to fighting zombies!” as that's what you fight in the Resident Evil series: Zombies. Another example is Nathan Spencer from Bionic Commando delivering the final blow to beat Thor for the match. Spencer’s win quote is “You were my hero when I was a kid. I guess I was wrong.”  In addition, you have the choice of changing the Capcom character voices to either Japanese or English. The visual effects when delivering punishment to your opponent bare a striking resemblance to comic books effects in terms of you hitting your opponent. Yellow flashes appear as you assail your opponent and the messages that appear on the screen (2 Hit Combo, Advancing Guard, etc.) makes you feel like you are in a living comic. Capcom truly took their time to deliver a beautiful looking game and their hard work truly shows in Marvel vs. Capcom 3.

You can’t have a fighting without an online component can you? Well you could….and then the game is in the bargain bin 1 month after its release. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 has a great online component to it. You can choose to join either ranked matches or player matches. If you search for a player match, you will be paired up with another opponent (search criteria includes rank and region) and you two just go at each other. In addition, you can create a lobby with up to 7 other people online and it’s a “Winner stays on” format; standard amongst most fighting games. There is also an option to determine what type of players can come into the lobby whether it be for advanced players only, beginners only or intermediates only to name a few. When you search for a lobby, you can search by certain criteria to find lobbies that are more of your play style. Ranked matches will have you battle another opponent for rank. The more you win in ranked, the more titles you obtain that is related to your rank. For example, If I were to win 10 matches, my rank will not only go up, but my title may change from beginner to fighter or rookie. All of the matches that I have played have been smooth sailing. Only one match did I honestly lose due to lag. Fortunately, it was the only time that I had lag issues when playing online. Lastly on the subject, every player is a license card. The license card shows you how many wins and losses you have online, title, rank, your fighting style, number player points (obtained by just playing the game) character usage and your 3 sets of reserve units for quickly selecting them in a match. It’s a nifty little addition to keep track on your stats in the game.

Finally, we have the gameplay component of Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Elements from the second game of the series have made their way to the third. Here’s what came over:

·         3-on-3 play style – 3 players fighting 3 players.

·         Multiple Aassists – Select one of your reserve characters to come out and attack the opponent.

·         Delayed Hyper Combos – Characters performing Hyper Combos one after another.

·         Snapbacks – Forcing one of your opponent characters into the battle.

·         Crossover Counter – Performing a counter attack with one of your characters. Assist type determines the attack.

·         Crossover Combination – All 3 characters perform their Hyper Combos simultaneously, depending on their assist type.

·         Magic Series – Chain attacks done by order of strength, lowest to highest. I.E. Light to Medium to Hard attack.

There are new gameplay elements that can truly turn the tide of battle. X-Factor, somewhat similar to Baroque in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, will regain your red health (faster health gain), increases your damage output (dealing more damage to your opponent) and defense output (nullifies chip damage received from opponents except if your opponent is using X-Factor). This is done by pressing the light, medium, heavy and special buttons at the same time. There is a catch to this. If you have all 3 characters, your X-Factor won’t last very long whereas it can go as long as 20-30 seconds if you have only one character left on your team and this it can only be used once in a match. This leaves someone with a slim chance of winning the match despite being outnumbered. While this is a clutch shot in some regards, some players may be offset by being taken out by a single character. Another thing that X-Factor does is cancelling out attacks into Hyper Combos or even chaining another Hyper Combo as soon as X-Factor kicks in. This leaves many options for you handle your opponent accordingly.

There is another new element in the game and it’s called the Team Aerial Combo. In previous crossover installments, you could launch your opponent in the air and perform combo while airborne. That same element is in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 but you can now have your other teammates continue the combo as well. By pressing up, left, right or down combined with the special button, your opponent will either get wallbounced, launched up higher into the air for more damage or slammed back down to gain one stock of hyper meter. This can be countered by pressing the same button and moving in the same direction as your opponent when the character switch to continue the combo happens. It makes the game even more fun and can make good setups for on the ground combos.

There are now six buttons in the game: Light Attack, Medium Attack, Hard Attack, Special, Assist 1 and Assist 2. Using all 6 buttons doesn’t feel like a chore and it comes naturally when performed on-screen. For those who are very new to fighting games, there is a simple mode in which you press a button and chain attacks automatically come out, press another button and you have a hyper combo and another button is for special moves. I would only use this mode if I was learning the aesthetics of the game and to get familiar with it, as you cannot use advanced tactics effectively in simple mode.

As awesome as MvC3 is, there are some drawbacks.

You cannot spectate a match while playing online and finding a match online is difficult due to the number of people playing the game. Hopefully, Capcom will find a fix for this soon. Lastly, in mission mode, there is not a way to view the actual commands perform by the character you’re using; leaving players to figure out timing and spacing to execute the move.

Overall, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is 11 years in the making of pure awesomeness. I highly recommend it!

Rating: 9.0/10


Release Date: February 15, 2011 Publisher & Developer: Capcom Price: $59.99 for the Stanadard Edition, $69.99 for the Special Edition. Rating: Teen Players: 1-8 (online)

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