Review by creamon456

Reviewed: 03/03/11

Missing some modes, but is bloody good fun

10 years ago, when Marvel vs. Capcom 2 debuted, it was a bit of a mess. Sure it was fun, but it had a few issues here and there, such as an unbalanced roster. Some characters had crazy high damage compared to others, and there was something known as an infinite combo, which obviously spoilt the game. Still, it was good fun, and continued to prosper until, lo and behold, the announcement of Marvel vs. Capcom 3. At this point only 2 things could have happened; Capcom would just make an improved version of Marvel vs. Capcom 2, or revamp it to be something totally different. In the end Capcom did a little bit of the both, but rest assured, the game turned out great.

GAMEPLAY

The gameplay in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is what makes it stand out. It is AWESOME; the game has probably one of the best fighting game engines ever made. It is fun, addictive, simple to pick up, and most of all, the stuff you do look cool when you do it well. When I mean cool, it’s really cool. Like in Marvel vs. Capcom 2, the gameplay in Marvel Vs Capcom 3 is basically 2D fighting. You pick 3 characters out of the bulky 36 character roster and start fighting. Out of these 3 characters, only 1 can be out fighting at a time, the other 2 are for tagging and calling out to assist. With these 3 characters in your team, you can perform a bunch of cool stuff, such as calling them out between hypers, juggling the opponent in the air while tagging in your other team mates, or even call all of them out at once to dish out a death-defying 3 person hyper.

Unlike the MVC 2, MVC 3 only features 3 attack buttons, and a special button. As you can guess it, the 3 attack buttons are classified under light, medium and heavy. These are pretty self-explanatory. Light attacks come out fastest, while heavy ones come out the slowest. These can be mixed together with some directional input to do some moves, like hadokens and unibeams. The special button is pretty much a launch button, hitting it dishes out an attack that launches your opponent in the air for you to start air combos. It has other uses, such as for Dante and spencer, it performs certain special moves for them. The fighting, unlike in most fighters, is very easy to pick up. The game is very beginner friendly; combos are easy to perform for most of the characters. There are many beginner friendly characters such as Dante, wolverine, zero and many more. Dante has huge reach, and can practically hit twice or thrice as far as many characters can. Zero's range isn’t half bad either, and wolverine is pretty damn fast, so locking in combos with him is pretty easy. There are 32 characters available from start, and 4 unlockable ones, so there are quite a few team options to test out. Finding team synergy, such as discovering which assists work well with what combos, or which characters can complement well with which characters, is a pretty fun process. When you finally find a good team that works well with each other’s, you will definitely enjoy matches a lot more.

MVC 3 has a few new gameplay features that the 2nd game didn't have. For one, there are a lot of crossover stuff, such as using hypers one character after another in your team. Example, ryu fires off shinku hadoken, during the time of the hyper, before it finishes, Dante comes in and uses million dollars, hitting the helpless opponent, who was in the midst of being hit by shinku hadoken, he now has to eat dante's million dollars. It’s a cool system, and all your team mates can do it. That means, doing 3 hypers in a row, pretty sick huh? There are also crossover combos, where you can switch in one your team mates immediately and perform a designated move to cover for your other characters. We also have crossover aerial combos and crossover aerial counters, in which while air comboing an opponent in the air, you can tag in another of your characters mid-combo and continue it. You can do it up to two times, having your opponent eat up to 3 variations of air combos with different characters before finally being smack into the ground. That’s sounds a little too gay, so there’s crossover counter to prevent that. By inputting the direction the next character comes in from while eating a crossover aerial combo, you can send the opposing character flying, doing some damage as well. Another new feature is simple mode, which is stupid, literally. It allows users to basically play with simplified controls, such as using hypers with a press of a button, or performing high end combos with simple 2 to 3 button presses. It’s stupid; really, the game is simple enough to play on with normal controls, adding a simple mode is just ridiculous. To top it off, simple mode is allowed in online play, and that could really screw up the balance of things online. But fret not, it’s very safe to say that a player playing on normal and is good at it will beat a rookie playing on simple. Finally, there’s x-factor, which gives a character a significant speed and attack boost, plus regeneration of red health. It allows for tide turners, but at the same time, it can be really annoying for a losing opponent to turn on x-factor and spam beams on you until you die. It lasts 10/15/20 seconds depending on the condition of your team, the less characters you have left, the longer x-factor lasts.

The game has a good bulky roster consisting 36 characters, 18 from each side, both marvel and Capcom, followed by a last boss, galactus, from marvel. Overall I do not have many complaints against the roster, but missing Mega man is a little sad, hopefully they will add him as DLC. The roster does a good job in terms of variations, the characters fight pretty differently, like it or not. The only characters that play a little bit similar towards each other are perhaps akuma and ryu, but the rest of the roster is fine. Galactus as a last boss is pretty derpy, but he has a final boss "feel" so it’s pretty much not too bad. He is basically a run-of-the-mill overpowered last boss, with summoned minions which gang the crap out of you before he faces you himself.

The game is lacking in terms of modes. SERIOUSLY lacking. The gameplay is solid and all, but there is not much to do in the game. If you are picking this up to play for solely offline only, I seriously advise you not to pick it up. The game comes with an offline mode, an online mode and a gallery, as well as some options. The offline mode is pretty damn lacking, seriously. You get an arcade mode, a versus mode, training mode and mission mode. Arcade, versus and training are probably in every fighting game up to date so there’s really no need to explain them. Arcade mode spreads across 6 stages followed by 1 final fight with galactus. Beating galactus will unlock an ending for the character whom landed the final blow on galactus. The endings are lame and are just 2 images with text. No voice, animations, NOTHING. That’s just lazy. Story mode? Heh, get real, there is no story mode in this game. Mission mode is a mode where you play as any of the 36 characters in the roster, and follow a set amount of commands and perform them. Successfully performing these commands means you have just completed that mission. Each character has 10 missions, so there’s a total of 360 missions. Mission mode is a good place to learn some BnB combos, but other than that, it’s boring and there’s really nothing interesting to do here.

For online mode, you get the basic, ranked match, where your ranks are at stake. Player match, where you just fight other players for fun, nothing is at stake here. Creating and searching lobbies are there too. But in the lobbies, there’s something unforgivable. No spectator mode. That’s right, while waiting for fighters to finish up, you get to see their license cards banging against each other and a few health bars depleting, what is that supposed to be? If you land in an 8 player lobby, you will have to spend 20-30 minutes watching cards bang each other, now that’s just really boring. Seriously, no spectator mode is killing the online lobby system, Capcom says a patch will be released to add it in, but it better be soon. The online runs pretty smooth most of the times, so it’s a plus there, since online fights are play a huge part in the MVC 3 experience.

PRESENTATION

MVC 3 looks great; it has to be one of the best, if not the best, looking fighters this gen. The models are very well detailed, you can even look it up the 3D model viewer, and some of them are pretty damn impressive. During fighting as well, the moves the characters dish out, they are amazing, and certainly do look cool. The crossover combos, the hypers, EVERYTHING, the game looks absolutely amazing. Also, in the gallery, the opening cinematic videos are viewable, and they are some of the best stuff most players will have seen. The endings though leave much to be desired, since they are nothing more than mere 2D illustrations, it’s pretty sad. It feels like as though Capcom could have done a lot more in that section. That said, the character artworks are really great, so it’s nothing much to complain there.

As for the music, the game has no shortage of awesome soundtracks. Most of the soundtracks, ranging from the menu selection music to the character selection music are pretty damn good. During battle as well, the themes of certain characters will start to play, and as you expected, the character themes are great as well. And fret not! Take you for a ride is back, and it comes in 3 different remixes!

PLAY TIME/REPLAYABILITY

Being a fighting game, you can invest almost an infinite amount of time on MVC 3. The fighting engine is incredible, so spending a few hours every day playing through arcade or fighting online opponents rarely feels like a bore. If you get sick of your characters, just play new ones. It also takes a long time to master your team of characters, so daily practice is can also add into your huge pool of playtime.
Arcade mode as well, you can play through it as many times as you want, just to make sure you still got your modes. Basically, if you got the mood for it, MVC 3 can be played day after day, and you will keep playing it.

CONCLUSION

Closing off, I would like to say that MVC 3 is a great fighting game. It does seem a little bit incomplete, it’s missing some modes, but is bloody good fun. I would say for those hardcore marvel fans, getting this is almost a must. Also, if you’re a regular online player, this game is a good buy as well. However, if you are in to this just for the offline content, look somewhere else, the offline will not keep you occupied as long as most other fighters would.

(+)Incredible fighting engine, good varied cast of characters, amazing graphics and soundtrack, online is smooth most of the time.
(-)Mission mode is boring, incredibly lacking in terms of single player content, simple mode isn’t really necessary

Rating:   4.0 - Great

Product Release: Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (US, 02/15/11)

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