Ten years later, these super being collections find another challenge – this time against a large foe after Doctor Doom and Albert Wesker form an alliance. Original characters from Marvel vs. Capcom 2, such as Amingo and Ruby-Heart, do not appear, but look for quick cameos and other character references. The previous installment had more than 50 characters, but this new version the single player mode lets players flesh out individual storylines for every one of the 36 characters – each with their own unique special moves. Each character story string has a boss fight at the end, then the credits…the same ending credits each time.
Both sides have 16 characters plus two unlockable characters from each side – Taskmaster and Sentinel from Marvel and Akuma and Hsien-Ko from Capcom. Future downloadable content characters are Jill Valentine from Capcom and Shuma-Gorath from Marvel.
The remaining Marvel roster boasts Captain America, Spider-Man, Deadpool, Doctor Doom, Dormammu, Hulk, Iron Man Magneto, M.O.D.O.K., Phoenix, She-Hulk, Storm, Super-Skrull, Thor, Wolverine and X-23.
Capcom has Albert Wesker (Resident Evil), Amaterasu (Okami), Arthur (Ghosts ‘n Golbins), Chris Redfield (R.Evil), Chun-Li (Street Fighter), Crimson Viper (S.Fighter), Dante (Devil May Cry), Felicia (Darkstalkers), Mike Haggar (Final Fight), Morrigan Aensland (Darkstalkers), Nathan Spencer (Bionic Commando), Ryu (S.Fighter), Trish (D.M.Cry), Tron Bonne (Mega Man), Viewtiful Joe, and Zero (Darkstalkers). The deliberate movements are not particularly stylish while still moving within 2-D environments that give the 3-D characters a nice visual punch.
The characters appeal, but success depends on what these 3D characters do in the 2D environments. This “fight of your life” fisticuffs extravaganza has plenty of taunts and cleavage among bloodless violence among these two recognizable franchises. Game developers do a great job with customizing characters and leveling the playing field between veterans and novices with a simple and normal control format. Familiar clipping and fight mechanic errors remain. Put a hand through an opponent without some cover up gore and the escapist level goes down. Odd stances, quick shifts and stiff movements make a sharp contrast giving the game a limited feel echoing the previous 2D experiences. Players only have basic shield-like defensive moves. Extensive defensive moves and options do not compare to more prominent combo strings and vertical attacks.
The multiplayer mode sticks to a three-on-three format. The new “simple mode” reduces the button mashing a bit while leveling the playing field for novice players. Other game series also use this option to get younger, inexperienced players in the game. Playing online opponents is the best way to learn. AI opponents on low difficulties can provide some insight while harder CPU foes move too fast to pick up valuable intel. Fighting games have always had intuitive strategies that still apply in this game. Light attacks are quick and impressive. Heavy attacks are slow and risky. Headstrong tactics get the win…to a certain extent. For example, repeating a successfully repeated Wolverine works well until encountering an online opponent who can stop it. At that point, learning from failure becomes an advantage. Uppercutting attacks can always get opponents on their way down. Players can often button mash their way to victory. Timing and luck can often win over strategy and status. Players definitely benefit from the training focused “Mission Mode”, which require advancement through specific moves and attacks. Players can also get valuable research during online play from each player’s license card that has key strategies, tendencies, play style statistics, and the basic win-loss tally. Research can really yield those extra advantages, especially during online play.
The basic strategy involves watch opponent strengths and build-ups for special mode – a daunting task in a fast-moving game. The colored graphic bar displays on the top have enough contrast for clear viewing. Any build-ups and special moves can reach triple digit hits, depending on the character, which basically means defeat. Tag outs to other three team members can be performed at any time, but developers throw a curveball with the tag in. Players can perform a quick “assist” or a complete tag in. This action is easily done accidentally, matching the “simple mode”/even playing field theme, which can ruin a match. Extra movements include slams, throws, and longer range weapons like shooting beams. The gravity defying moves are fun, but hopefully the next edition concentrates on more fluid movements for the 3D characters. Since characters do not interact with the environment, the movements must be expanded. Not necessarily 3D rotation or motion capture, just better interaction at the point of attack.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (*** out of four stars) is also available are an XBox 360 version, downloadable content (DLC), and special editions (PS3 and Xbox 360) that include a DLC codes, a special steelbook case, an art book including a 12-page prologue comic written by Tieri, and a one-month subscription to Marvel Digital Comics. Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds is the eighth installment in the Vs. series and the fifth installment of the Marvel vs. Capcom franchise. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds also available on PS3, Xbox 360 and PlayStation Vita.
Copyright © Michael Siebenaler