Review by overcracker
Wild, fast paced and flashy. (Why does everybody complain about it?)
I'm going to preface this review by saying to all those who complain about the game being unbalanced, and hectic, and spam ridden clearly have no idea of the history of this franchise.
Three things one should know before actually entering the world of Capcom's vs series,more specifically the Marvel vs Capcom series.
1. Its about using your favorite Marvel and Capcom Characters to duke it out. Not about staging a planned fight with chess-like maneuvers. This is not a Tekken, or Street Fighter were you have to calculate your every move, this is meant to be wild, unpredictable and flashy, that's the nature if this franchise.
2. The lack of characters is not a detriment to this game. Its also understandable. They had to make most character models from scratch unlike MVC2 where they only added 4 new characters, and everybody else's sprites had been made for previous games in the course of 10 years. All of the Marvel side is brand new, and only a few characters were lifted from Tatsunoko vs Capcom on the Capcom side, and even then they had several modifications.
3. Balance. Everyone talks about balance as if its missing, or is so skewed it makes the game unplayable. No, balance is there in as far as you can grab any character and beat the game with it. Whether you can beat someone else with that same character is down to how good you are, and how good they are.
Complaining that the online is bad is not a problem with the game, its a problem with the players. Cheap players will use cheap tactics, it just happens to be easier in this game because of the way its built. Any game with online will have issues with cheap players.
So don't come into this game expecting a traditional fighter, its not. Its about the flashiness, speed, an over the top supers.
Now lets get into the review.
Marvel vs Capcom 3 is the 5th installment of the series, and the 7th game in this style of fighter. Back in 1992 Marvel Partnered with Capcom to produce a fighting game for their X-Men franchise. Capcom delivered X-Men: Children of the Atom. Contrary to most beliefs this is in fact the birth of the versus series. not because most of the X-Men character sprites that were used through the franchise (until now) originated in this game, but because it actually introduced a Street Fighter character into a Marvel game. The character was Akuma, and so the franchise began.
Almost 20 years later...
There really is no story, however, this franchise has never been about stories. The last time this franchise actually had a full fledged story was back in X-Men: Children of the Atom. There really is no need to have one. Its just a fan fighter pitting characters from several sources in a battle to see who would win. Its the Ultimate Fantasy Battle . Story is not needed nor expected. Whoever expects a story from a game like this clearly has no idea what a game like this is about.
I'm not one to look at a game and start analyzing its graphics. I think for what the game is conveying they are great. I dislike the comic book flashes with every hit , and the comic style fight ends, but its nothing that you can't overlook. Overall its a great evolution of the previous installments in the series.
The sound and music clearly got the most attention after game play. Every character gets a voice actor that works for them. The performances are well toned for the characters and breathe life into them. Every Voice sounds unique, and they even went so far as to add the option of having the Capcom characters speak in there Japanese voices. It can be set individually too by character, so you can customize who you want speaking Japanese during a fight, and in their taunts and winning quotes. Its a very cool addition that gives the game much more depth in character. There's really a myriad of sound bytes for each character that makes them feel realistic, in their grunts and screams of pain, and there in fight dialog.
Music is also well done. Its not Grammy worthy, but some of the music tracks are good enough to listen to on their own. They are a bit short but still good nonetheless. Each character gets there own soundtrack which is designed to fit them. Hight marks for Sound and Music.
GAMEPLAY (Offline) (8/10)
This is where most complaints for the game arise. Though some are rooted in the actual game play, other's are rooted on online interactions which of course fall distantly far outside the game's actual scope.
Anyway unlike the other games in the franchise, MVC3 simplified and streamlined the game play. Instead of the usual 6 button punch and kick layout, they went with a bare bones 3 button attack layout. I'm pretty sure this was done to accommodate the Xbox and PS3 controller face layout which only has 4 buttons. So instead of relegating a kick and a punch to the shoulder buttons which in my view seems very clunky, they made an easier to handle and to pick up button scheme. I find the new layout a bit more intuitive, and easier to master than previous versions, where a fight stick was almost a necessity.
In addition to the 3 attack buttons, you have a Special Button that allows you to perform pop-up moves to send your opponent into th air and set up an air combo. This is much easier than trying to set it up in MVC2 where each character had a different move, and weren't as easily combo-ed into. The Special button also offers specific attacks for certain characters. Regular Grabs are performed using the heavy attack button when up close to your opponent.
Character Movement can be done using either the analog stick, or the d-pad. I prefer the d-pad, but most hard core gamers will tell you the analog stick is the way to go, its up to you really which method is more comfortable to use.
Like MVC2 its a 3 on 3 tag team style fighter. To call in assists from your other 2 characters you use he shoulder buttons. Tab the shoulder button to bring in character to perform an attack and then leave. Hold down the shoulder button to have the backup character jump in and replace your current attacker.
The ability to switch characters on the fly makes MVC3 a very fast paced and hectic fighter. There's no time to be thinking about how to perform a move, or setting waiting for your opponent to do something, you need to attack and keep the pressure up.
From there, the mechanics are pretty much the same as in MVC2. Attack to build super meter, and then unleash powerful and devastating super combos.
There's one modification to the super-meter filling that has changed, and I think its for the better, though it can be slightly annoying. You can no longer fill your super meter simply by performing moves, you need to actually connect the move or power for it to add super meter. So no more double jumping and firing hadoken's or beams into the air to fill the super meter. You need to engage your opponent to actually fill the meter.
Most characters have 3 supers. 2 regulars that use up only 1 super meter, and a level 3 super that uses obviously enough 3 meters. Most level 3 supers are contact-cinematic supers That means they must connect to be performed, and once connected, the game goes into a sort of cinematic mode where the opponent can do nothing to prevent the punishment, and you really have no control over your character. You just watch the super unfold.
New Fighting techniques
For those familiar with Street Fighter in any permutation, you know certain attacks are kick based while others are punch based. Ryu's Hadoken is a punch based attack because it requires the use of a punch button to perform. By the same token his Whirlwind kick obviously enough requires a kick button to perform. With the removal of limb specific attacks, and only general strength attacks instead it would come as a surprise that most of the classic moves retain there input commands. Ryu now performs a whirlwind kick and a hadoken with the same button. The directional input is now what determines what attack is produced. While the attack button strength determines the length, number of hits, or strength of the attack.
For characters that had powers that were performed the same and only had the punch or kick buttons as difference, there have been changes. Captain America for instance that had his Shield Throw done QCB(quarter circle forward) + punch, and his Shield Charge done the same way only with kick button now has his Shield bash changed to a quarter circle back + attack to compensate. Its not as intuitive but it works.
With this in mind, combos are now easier to chain, as you don't need to precisely remember which kick chains with which punch. Its more fluid and intuitive in nature.
The changes made the game much easier to pick up, but there's still a great deal involved in mastering it.
This is where the game is a little lacking. Modes are limited to Arcade, training, and online. No Survival, no Special Battles etc...
It does offer a very comprehensive Gallery that includes sounds, voices, music, pictures, the 3D models of the characters, stages, opening movies, pictures endings, etc... Everything has to be unlocked though. As you beat arcade mode with different characters, you unlock their endings, pictures sounds etc.. You also gain Player Points used to unlock 4 additional characters.
A new feature that I find very interesting, is the Player License. It offers statistics on your play style, character favor, level of play, team usage, etc... Very interesting. It also offers a small degree of customization by offering several icons, and unlockable titles you can use in your License. When playing online, other players can view this license and learn how you play and which characters you use most.
At the end it offers some interesting features, but nothing that will get you coming back. A costume editor for the characters would have been a nice addition.
This is were the most disappointment comes from, and I agree with certain points. Lobbies are not very nice, the lack of Spectator mode is big negative. And the waiting scheme on certain modes is kind of annoying.
Now, while most people complain this is a bad game because they get mashed to a pulp in online that's not a fault of the game, but of the player. If you learn to play the game correctly an are able to find decent players online, is a great experience and one that will no doubt keep you coming back for more.
Facing spammy opponents that do nothing but turtle and shoot fireballs can get annoying, but its also very possible to overcome these player's tactics and get a more rewarding game. Online is more about how you approach the game, and handle your opponent, than about what your opponent is doing.
In the end, its not a problems with the game if online players tend to be cheap.
This is were my complaints start. At the time of this writing, DLC was a few costume packs, and 2 extra characters. Shuma Gorath and Jill. While they may be worth while additions, and offer interesting moves and play style, I just can't justify the 400 points each of them costs. That's just too damn expensive. Considering other games with extra character DLC offered 4 or 5 different characters for the same price in a pack, Capcom really needs to re-think those prices, or offer characters that are worth that. Jill and Shuma certainly do not qualify. I'd say about 150 points a character and maybe 400 for a four-pack would make more people want to buy them.
So far the DLC is not very good, but only time will tel if it gets any better.
Overall the game caters to a certain type of fighting game fan. They who have followed the franchise, and isn't put off by the reduction in available characters. (Which of course is understandable). Its a game where you go in to have fun, and pull off ridiculously flashy combos. And in that vein it succeeds. I'm happy with my purchase, and I truly recommend it to any fan of this franchise.
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (US, 02/15/11)
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