If you haven’t picked up the latest version of Marvel vs. Capcom or you’re on the fence in regards to picking it, check out a Nerdlocker Exclusive and in depth review of one Capcom’s flag ship titles. The review is has been written by one of our newest volunteers and HARD CORE Street Fighter tournaments player Luis.
The sequel to 2000’s Marvel Vs Capcom 2, MVC3 capitalizes on the post-2000 popularity of comics & the new post-Street Fighter IV popularity of fighting games. What new fan of the Iron Man films wouldn’t want to kick ass with him in a fighting game? One of the major reasons the sequel is far less intimidating than previous fighting games is the new simplified control scheme. While Marvel Vs Capcom 3 keeps the 3 Vs 3 gameplay of its predecessor, Capcom chose to go with a new Tatsunoku Vs Capcom inspired button layout.
Before Tatsunoku Vs Capcom, Capcom developed fighting games usually went with a more traditional layout of 3 Punches & 3 Kicks of ascending strength. To appeal to a more casual crowd, Capcom chose to go with a simpler layout of 4-Attacks (Light, Medium, Hard & Special) & 2 Assists for their tent pole fighting game of 2011. To block incoming attacks, all you need to do is walk away from your opponent. Blocking aside, the button layout differs from MVC2’s 2-Punch/2-Kick/2-Assist but it is much more accessible to first time players. The only big addition to the controls is the Special button. It may sound like it’s used for activating Hyper Combos (screen-filling special attacks) or character-specific special attacks, but it’s not. Attacking an opponent with ‘Special’ launches you’re them into the air so you can continue your combo off the ground. Following them into the air after a launch is as easy as pressing up. Special + No Direction can also be used to slam airborne opponents back to the ground at the end of a combo. Don’t feel like ending your air combo? Special + Any direction will tag in your next team member mid-combo so you can continue your attack in the air.
Controls still sound a little intimidating? Capcom has you covered. They introduced an even easier control scheme into the game. Designed for newcomers, the “Simple” controls scheme lets you throw out big combos at the press of a button. Blocking still works the same way, but the big trade-off with simple controls is that your character is reduced from have 3 Hyper Combos down to one. Even further, you will not have nearly as many special attacks. For example; Devil May Cry’s Dante, a character with around 40 special attacks (The most ever for a single character in a fighting game?) gets reduced to around 4 special attacks.
The only confusion I had with the controls is translating the special moves for Street Fighter IV’s C.Viper onto a different control scheme. In Street Fighter IV, C.Viper’s Burning Kick was done with a quarter-circle back + kick. Her Thunder Knuckle was also a quarter-circle back, but with punch instead. The simplified controls do not clarify what is a punch & what is a kick as it differs from character to character, so my first attempt to throw a Thunder Knuckle was halted when a Burning Kick came out instead. Thunder Knuckle is now mapped to quarter-circle forward + any attack button. This is nothing major, just a slight bump-in-the-road when it comes to trying out old combos/moves with a familiar character on a new control scheme.
When it comes to choosing between “Simple” & “Normal” controls, I highly suggest you stick with the Normal control scheme. It’s much more rewarding when you do huge combos & other flashy moves by yourself rather than having the game guide you.
-Graphics & Sound
Built on the MT Framework engine used in Tatsunoku Vs Capcom & all 4 versions of Street Fighter IV, Marvel vs Capcom 3 is a great looking game. Looking less like the hulking men & impossibly shaped women (Chun-Li!) of Street Fighter IV, the human characters seem far more proportionate & generally much cooler looking than most previous incarnations of themselves. Aside from having great character models the fighters seem to have stepped straight out of a comic book, something reinforced by comic-panel endings & nice little touches like the screen being torn & ripped like paper by massive Hyper Combos.
The voice work, music & overall sound in MVC3 are still fantastic. There are a few characters that sound very corny or exaggerated, but it was likely the intention. For example Deadpool, Iron Man & Super Skrull stand out for having some of the best voice acting in the game. On the other side of that coin, Captain America & Ryu’s English voice are quite bad. Only Capcom characters have the option of switching their voice to Japanese in case you hate Ryu’s english voice as much as I do.
The very famous “Take You For A Ride” MVC2 character select song makes a strong comeback in Marvel Vs Capcom 3. Numerous remixes are available in the game & with the addition of Gallery Mode you can check out any song or voice-clip whenever you want. If you’re like me & you want to hear Felicia from Darkstalkers yell “Later!” 10 times in a row, you can do so until you are content with life.
In fact, some of the best parts of the game come from the voice-clips found within the game. A lot of cool references, meta-jokes & extras are thrown in there. Beat Iron Man with Captain America & you’ll get a quick line about Civil War. Deadpool starts a match against Magneto with a joke about Magneto’s voice acting in Konami’s X-Men Arcade Game. Beat Magneto as Deadpool & you’ll get a joke about the famous viral video of community member Yipes narrating a Magneto/Sentinel match in MVC2. Before you ask, Yes – “Mango Sentinel” is in Marvel Vs Capcom 3. Small jokes like this only add presentation & fun gameplay of Marvel vs Capcom 3. This game has an incredible amount of jokes only hardcore fans will get & it shows that Capcom really pays attention to the community & fanbase they’ve created over the years.
A major problem in the previous Marvel Vs Capcom game was balancing. Out of the 56 characters in MVC2, only a handful we’re really viable in combat. Out of the 36 characters currently in Marvel Vs Capcom 3, all are more than capable of dealing out major damage in battle, just some differently & some easily than others. Arthur can be used to hang back & play keep-away to slowly chip away at the opposing team. It may take a while & some practice, but Arthur can be a threat. Pretty much the only negative point for the game is Sentinel. Sentinel is still a broken & immensely overpowered character. Get close to him & say goodbye. If professional players are claiming he needs to be nerfed, then chances are there is something really wrong with his damage output.
For hardcore fans of MVC2 looking for Marvel Vs Capcom 2.5, this is not it. This is Tatsunoku Vs Capcom HD, but with Marvel Characters in place of obscure anime characters. This is something almost entirely new.
Marvel Vs Capcom 3 is a bright, fun & beautiful looking game that will bring even more people into the fighting game community. Word is that Capcom has inked another gaming deal with Marvel behind the scenes so we may be seeing an updated version of Marvel vs Capcom 3 (a la Street Fighter IV’s upgraded brothers Super Street Fighter IV & SSFIV: Arcade Edition) sometime down the line. Will Marvel Vs Capcom 3 still be around in a decade like Marvel Vs Capcom 2? Who knows? Only time will tell. We may see Hyper Marvel Vs Capcom 3 take its place in a year or so. If people are still playing $15,000 money-matches in a decade old game like Marvel vs Capcom 2, I think any version of Marvel Vs Capcom 3 has just as good a chance of sticking around – Especially with Capcom developing DLC costumes & characters for the game, in addition to the new class of the fighting game community just now stepping into the fold.
4.5 Nerdskulls out of 5
|Louie Esquivel is a Las Vegas raised nerd with a love for Video Games, Comics, Cats & Movies. You can find him competing in local fighting-game tournaments across the valley or making silly jokes on Twitter (@Louie_E)|