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Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 (Xbox 360) Review

Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a game that I thought would never exist, particularly after the complex legal wrangling caused the relationship to bottom out for awhile. Luckily for us, Capcom's want of money is greater than their hate of exceedingly long contracts and licensing fees. The latest entry looks to take the franchise to new heights while inviting new players to enter the fray against seasoned veterans.

Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (or the New, New Age of Heroes as I like to call it) takes some of the biggest names from the Marvel and Capcom franchises and smashes them together in 3 on 3 fights. The story isn’t exactly important, basically Doctor Doom and Wesker look to join the universes together. This happens to awaken Galactus and he tries to devour Earth; the only thing that can possibly stop him is your preferred team of 3 members.

MvC3 gathers 36 different heroes and villains together to create one of the most enjoyable fighting games released on this generation of consoles.  Every character has a personality infused into every bit of their design; Deadpool saunters around and Wesker stomps about. Don’t expect to see simple palette swaps in this game as every character handles differently, but all handle equally fluidly; this is a true testament to the game’s marvelous design.  

The game’s control system has drawn criticism for being too simple, which may be an adage adopted by professionals to avoid having to deal with a whole new game and physics system. There are two control types, simple and normal. In my experience, simple should be reserved for players who have little to no fighting game experience or “button mashers”. This type of control is missing a few of the advanced control features and a skill player will have no trouble dispatching an opponent who is using the simple control system.  The normal control system is a good place to start and help you to evolve your style of play much more effectively than the simple controls.

Attacks are divided into the standard light, medium, and heavy attacks. In addition to these standard attacks each character also has a special attack button that is used primarily as a launcher to help extend combos into the air. Hyper combos also make their triumphant return to fill the screen with incomprehensible nonsense. Glorious, glorious nonsense.

To say that this game looks fantastic is an understatement. The best way to describe the art style is if Street Fighter 4 smashed into a Marvel comic; the resulting shrapnel would be Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Everything is vibrant, and special attention is given to the character models and effects. Certain characters like She-Hulk will hit characters causing sounds like “thwack” and “pow” to emit from opposing characters in stylized lettering. Stages, while limited in number, are specific to certain locales in the universes. You’ll see everywhere from downtown New York to Tricell Research Facility complete with Tyrant and Lickers in the background. 

If you’re new to the series, don’t fret as the game comes complete with a Training Mode as well as a brand new Mission Mode. Mission Mode consists of 10 missions for each character totaling 360 in all. The missions look to familiarize players with the selected character and range from performing a simple projectile attack to performing a full-on 20 to 30 hit combo. You’ll find yourself coming back again and again trying to perfect a particularly tough scenario. Conquering the Mission Mode for even a single character will enhance your skills by such a large margin that it will become an integral part of your training experience. It is unfortunate that the missions are missing a preview feature, but eventually you’ll get the feel of when to cancel moves to complete combos correctly. The rather flat Training Mode has just got a personal trainer and its name is Mission Mode.

With such a sterling package you would expect the online to be robust, and you would be correct. During my entire time with the online component, I wasn’t disconnected from a single match. Whether this is due to Capcom’s brilliant idea of matching up quitters against quitters or simple dumb luck is still to be determined, but regardless that is an impressive stat for someone who has played at least 25 matches online. What the online appears to be missing is a way to view matches while waiting in a lobby. I don’t want to have to wait through 7 opponents anyway, but at least give me a reason to stick around and study some strategy instead of staring at the little stat screen. Capcom would have been better served using a revamped version of the SSIV online component, but the online component works well and is virtually lag free. Who knows, streaming video of the matches may have caused adverse effects on the connection. I’ll give up watching other people fight if my matches can be lag free.

The amount of negatives in this game is a bare minimum, and none of them are serious concerns. The game plays extremely well, characters seem balanced and react differently to each other, and certain characters even exchange interesting dialogue that really takes the presentation over the top. From what I can tell all of the characters are balanced and when evenly matched opponents meet you won’t hear nearly as much talk about how cheap a certain character is as you have in the past. Other than mission mode lacking a preview feature and lack of streaming matches online, this game is as perfect as perfect can be. It’s hard to complain about something that’s pure fan service, and I am most definitely a fan.

Rating
9.5

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