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Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds Review

Review; Feb. 28, 2011; Channels: Video Games; By Kyle James Hovanec
I Wanna Take You for A Ride All Over Again

The hyper combos, the tag team assists, the mango-colored Sentinels. They’re back again. Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of two Worlds is finally here to show the fighting game world just how crazy and kinetic a 2-D fighter can be.

MvC3 plays similarly to MvC2 but only on a basic level. You take control of a three-person team and battle others as you utilize your character’s special attacks and team combos to fight your way to victory. Choosing the characters, the different assist attacks that your support characters can use, and the emphasis on combo-based game play all make it similar to other titles in the Capcom vs. series. However, pros that excelled at MvC2 will most likely have a hard time adjusting to the latest in the series. In fact, MvC3 plays more like TvC than anything else.

Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds Screenshots
Click the image to view game screenshots

You have four face buttons used to attack: one light, medium, and high attack button each, a huge difference between the two punches and two kick buttons of MvC2. The final button is your launcher, the one that, when used on an enemy, will launch it into the air for an air combo or, even better, a team air combo from all three of your combatants. There’s also an option for a simple mode in which different attacks are mapped to one button, which makes pulling them off easier to accomplish. 

Each of the characters is interesting to play, and while some are still unbalanced (Sentinel, I’m looking at you!), each has a variety of different moves and combos that are fun to pull off and combine with other characters. Most of the joy comes from combining characters to see how they perform with one another. Want to have a bunch of brawlers like Hulk, She-Hulk, and Haggar? Go for it. Prefer some fast hitters like X 23, Spider Man, and Felicia? The sky’s the limit, with 36 characters.

There’s no denying that it’s much easier to attack this time. Everything from aerial combos to canceling hyper combos is accomplished with only a few buttons. This doesn’t mean the game has been dumbed-down; it’s still as complicated and cerebral as ever. The ability to wave dash, set up traps and mind games are still there, and fighting pros will have plenty of options and strategies to utilize. This brings me to my next concern, though.

Because it’s been such a long hiatus since the previous title in the MvC series, this title would have offered the perfect time to teach newcomers how to play the game. While the instruction manual does a decent job explaining the basics, and there is an included training mode, this game is not very new-user friendly. Even if a new player were to learn the basics, these will do next to nothing against a seasoned veteran who will most likely destroy them in a matter of seconds. The mission mode should not only teach advance combos and cancel attacks, but also how and when to use them. Not so here; the mission mode is all but useless to even seasoned vets. It teaches you perform combos, but it never tells you anything beyond that. It’s intimidating and discouraging that a game won’t even teach you how to play it properly. 

Another issue is with the online portion. When played on the PS3, joining any online game is hit-or-miss. I’ve experienced more “Failure to join match” notices than actual successes. To top it off, once you fail to connect, you go back to another loading screen for a few annoying seconds. Why can’t one immediately try again? On the plus side, the actual matches online are smooth and don't have a hint of lag. Add to that the ranking system in which your title actually increases or decreases with each win or loss, and hundreds of titles and icons to unlock a la Super Street Fighter IV, and you have one addicting online experience for those who want to master the art of digital fighting.

The single player portion of the game is your standard fare of taking your team of heroes or villains through a series of A.I. fights until you reach the final, overpowered boss. Upon completing the single player mode, you can unlock endings for each of your characters. They really aren’t anything special, and the feature is still comic book-style illustrations rather than fully animated endings, but it provides a minor reward for trekking through the single player portion. I wish there were more options for those just interested in playing through single player, similar to what TvC and SSFIV offered.

Marvel vs. Capcom 3 offers a steep curve for those interested in learning the game from the beginning. Even the old pros will have a lot to learn again. The online play is flawed, and the single player is skimpy. Despite these flaws, I cannot help but deny this game a very high recommendation. The core game play is just that much fun, and while the learning curve may be rough, the amount of satisfaction one feels after mastering a hyper combo, performing a first aerial combo, or just winning a first match online is overwhelming. Once you get to this state, it begins to show its true beauty: a cell-shaded chess game moving at the speed of light, with dozens of different options and hundreds of strategies. Once you factor in the additional DLC (to be added in the future), this game could possibly have a series in its future and even more hours of mastering different characters and teams for the players. The amount of time you put in will definitely reward you in return. 

In an age of instant-gratification games, MvC3 provides a refreshing challenge to fighting fans, comic fans, and those who like colorful characters who beat the crap out of one another. The road to the top is long, but like any good martial arts film has shown, the eventual arrival is a sweet thing indeed.

Comments

rfludwick

rfludwick - Mar. 29, 2011 at 6:41:18pm

Now that I'm borrowing this from a friend, I'll be able to see if I agree.

rfludwick

rfludwick - Mar. 1, 2011 at 11:28:14pm

Sounds like I need to get it.

RGoodman4483

RGoodman4483 - Mar. 1, 2011 at 9:14:45pm

The change in controls took a bit to get used to for me, but otherwise, I;m loving this game! I do, however, have one major gripe....

WHERE THE HECK IS MEGAMAN?!?

How could Capcom leave their mascot out of this? Needless to say, I was very disappointed.

GizmoDuck

GizmoDuck - Feb. 28, 2011 at 4:42:18pm

Oh how i wish this game had just a few tweeks

1. Proper character endings
2. Nerfing Sentinel a little ...
3. Better matchmaking

I do really like the game though ... Felecia, Deadpool and Dormammu will see me to victory !!!

Review Score
9.1

Teen

Titles rated T (Teen) have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older. Titles in this category may contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling, and/or infrequent use of strong language.

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