Review by The_Dark_Wall
Gameplay is good but needs tweaking, everything else had no effort put in.
FIGHTING GAME BACKGROUND:
To start out, I am not new to fighters, but am new to the MVC series. I came in as a beginner but am now a very competent player among the online community, although that said the skill level of the online group is a bit lacking, so take it however you will. I feel this is important to include since fighters being a skill intensive genre often times have low level players make complaints about silly things and say the game is all out bad as a result. I don't claim to be high level in this by any means, but I'm probably somewhere in the middle of things.
FEATURES 3 / 10
This is by far the games weakest point, no doubt. I'll go into these problems individually, but its safe to say they put NO effort into this game outside of the actual gameplay. The story, modes, menus, and online interfaces are all extremely lacking in things that have been around in every fighter for years or even over a decade at times, they did a great job on the gameplay, but they really quite simply did not try on anything else. Their is very little else then the bare bones needed to play the game in this package.
Great songs with lots of variety. The closest thing to it in the current gen is blazblue. All very catchy, but unlike blazblue, it does have one problem. The songs are too short, so while it has a very high amount of catchy songs, and they do a fantastic job of giving the fight mood and rhythm, they loop far to often with no variety. This means little to the game, however unlike with many other games, this means that they really aren't worth listening too outside the game for the most part. Most people aren't into VGM music though, so this is truly not that big of a deal.
Effects are neither good or bad, they're just kind of there, nothing too epic but hey its a hard category to do that in, its very rare you see an epic sound effect in anything really.
English voice acting is top notch no doubt, I think it tops the japanese voice acting in this game actually. This is a very refreshing trend in recent fighters, their voice casts have been very good and this is no exception. All characters have fitting voice actors, some nice VA's from various anime's like Johnny Yong Bosch as zero. Great stuff overall, very passionate overall , no stale performances here.
I feel this is a very important feature in a modern fighter, the majority of people are NOT tournament players and do not travel to play the game. Fighters are not popular enough to have decent local competition, therefore online mode is the next best thing in most cases and is really just as important as offline mode to many casual fans of the game since its the primary mode many of them play.
In the realm of online fighters, this one falls a bit short of its competition however. But the big question, lag. Overall relatively tame, your typical input lag on occasion, timing is very slightly , but very tolerably, distorted in many matches. Bad lag is a bit more common than in most characters with screen chopping and massive input lag, but overall its not a big problem. Thats to good part. Now the bad.
Matchmaking.....complete trash. You essentially try to choose your room like most fighters via quick or custom or creation. None of these offer a quick solution. Create is usually a long, but again tolerable, wait. Quick and custom are complete trash for matchmaking. This is because theirs no way of knowing if you will successfully connect, and more often than not you will not. Failure results in you waiting for a good 15 seconds for it to tell you that you failed, then getting kicked to the main menu AFTER a short loading screen. Overall about a 30 second process, quite obnoxious.
Lobbies, bad, worst I have EVER seen in a fighter having played almost every online fighter ever. A million and one problems. But lets get the biggest one, no spectating on opponents playing. That means if you lose a match in a lobby of 3 people, you sit their and watch the other two people player cards bump up against each other until their match finishes instead of watching the match. You get to see the health bars as if its a good trade off or something, but this is one of the sections the rushing really shows. To make matters worse, say you get disconnected on by your opponent, well guess what, now you go the bottom of the list meaning you have to wait for every other person in the room to play before you get to again because somebody wanting to throw a hissy fit. Very bad system indeed.
Besides this their is no replay system at all. In a game as picturesque and fun as this one, it is an extreme disappointment especially considering how common this feature has become as of late in fighters.
Online gets the job done, but like much else in this game, just barely.
Great, just as nice as any other 3d fighter in the genre at this point, stage count is a bit poor but looks nice as well. It takes the styles used in all the character's series and blends them so that all the characters look how they should, yet also look like they fit with one another, a good job overall.
Simply put, its the worst fighting game story I have ever seen. Each character has a random ending that has no thought put into it, mainly just some crazy event that does not tie into anything happening to anyone else. Usually them finding some rival from the other brand. This is told via 2 pictures and text, not even voice acting. They really could have done better here, once again many modern fighters are. But the problem is they even claimed they had talented writers working on the story and that they were going to put some work into it. This could honestly be written in its entirety ( for every character ) within 45 minutes by one guy. As somebody who likes the games with better stories, again I am disappointed.
Ok now that we've got the bad out of the way, lets talk about the most important, and best part. The gameplay. Their is still a bit to be desired here, but it is a very fun unique experience that can satisfy hardcore and casual gamers alike.
It has been simplified allot from MVC2, each character has 3 attack buttons, a launcher, and 2 partner assist buttons, which call in one of the 3 characters you use at a time. Thats right, 3, incase you've never heard of this game, its a tag team of 3 on 3 type game. You guys can all tag in and out at will, chain supers together, do air combos together and just make a call for a bit of help. This adds allot of strategy as you can round your team out so that you have an answer to every type of character, and choose your assists the same way. The fighter is very super prone, everyone has 5 bars , each super costs 1. That said some characters have a level 3 super which takes, you guessed it, 3 bars. Overall the package works well, very fast paced and chaotic, but also very calculating trumping your opponent through the many mind games such a varied and customizable system allows.
Balance is something that is highly in debate since the game is still new, but overall is looking more balanced than MVC2 where essentially only 10 character mattered in high level play to any degree. Everyone is viable and can take you out, that said you can still feel high and low tier characters. Its not really settled and very match up based no doubt, but the match ups are not remotely even and some characters are just godly all around and some are too easy to use all around as well. Not too bad of a problem, but theirs room for improvement no doubt.
My only full out complain, which is a controversial one, is the X factor system. This I personally feel is garbage. It will essentially give the loser the advantage in many situations to the point where its pretty easy to come back. The X factor is a temporary power up that makes you stronger, faster, take less chip damage, heal and cancels your attacks at any point. It gets stronger the less characters are alive on your team, meaning if you get down to 1 character, you turn into a god. This was made to combat the fact that losing one character ( a 3rd your life in a typical fighter ) essentially disabled you partially since you no longer had access to a playstyle or assist, as such unlike other fighters, even though you were not dead you were in a significant disadvantage at many times ending the match essentially. The problem being they went way overboard. They essentially took a mode that was supposed to even out the disadvantage ( but not the match, which would essentially defeat the point of outplaying your opponent ) and turned it into a mode that let you wipe out your opponents team by getting oki mix up that can't be beat out as the team tags in. The damage boost makes most combos instant kills and like I said mix up become god tier in almost anyone's hands and the advantage on tag in is usually enough to kill the person in many cases.
Simply put, its too comeback friendly. They went so far to make sure that you always had a chance that they made it so you have a massive advantage over the opponent who was beating you, and actually earning their win. Its just too forgiving a system and does the game as a result. I mean who wants to outplay a guy and them have him go " lol xfactor " and make a godly comeback simply because he does too much damage , which was awarded to him because he played poorly. Most people agree its just overpowered at this point.
That said it does not ruin the game, but only certain matches. The game besides that is fantastic.
FINAL VERDICT 7/10
A very good, but poorly proportioned game. The gameplay, soundtrack and graphics are all top notch, but everything else feels like they put maybe a twentieth the time into it , being generous. Its a very enjoyable experience but that fact almost adds to the feeling off disappointment because at the same time their is very much to be desired. A good game, but one that could have been a perfect game if they just took their time more.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (US, 02/15/11)
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