Marvel vs Capcom 3 has finally hit store shelves throughout North America. With this new game brings in a new philosophy from Capcom. Fighting fans are used to the six button fighting format that has appeared in previous iterations of this series and the Street Fighter series itself. With Marvel vs Capcom 3 though, Capcom has decided to simplify matters by moving everything to three buttons.I’m not exactly sure why they did this except for the fact that they might be trying to lure in both hardcore and casual fans alike. If you have never played this type of game before than three buttons is certainly less daunting than the traditional six, however, does that take something away from the hardcore? It was kind of cool but also pretty weird that I could play as Ryu and perform a fireball and a hurricane kick with the same button. For those unfamiliar, punches and kicks used to be on different buttons. Now they are on the same one and what your character does is based on what you do. What I mean by that is I could make the forward motion with Ryu and he would do the fire ball maneuver which has always been mapped to a “punch” button. However, I could use the very same button and make a backwards motion to have Ryu perform a hurricane kick, which always used to be mapped to the “kick” button. For some of the people who go to tournaments and compete this has to seem like blasphemy. For me though I found that it does work pretty well and it makes it easier to pull off certain maneuvers.
Marvel vs Capcom 3 features your typical selection of modes. If you want to stay offline and sharpen your skills you have arcade mode, versus, training and mission. The arcade mode is essentially the campaign where you are fighting to save the Earth. By going through this mode and beating it with different characters you will unlock a variety of things such as new characters, endings, character models and more. Versus is what you use if you have some friends over and you want to play some local multiplayer. Training should be pretty self explanatory and mission mode will have you pulling off specific maneuvers. In mission mode you start out by picking the character you want to use as well as whether you want to use the Marvel or Capcom roster. Each character has a total of ten missions. The missions are essentially you pulling off the move they tell you. The first mission for Ryu is to attack using the Hadoken and they get progressively harder until you get to his last one which is to perform a special combo in the corner. In addition to those modes you also have your typical online modes with ranked and player matches. You can also create a lobby for yourself and friends or search the existing lobbies. This is one of the few areas where Capcom left out an important feature. Unbelievably, there is no spectator mode. This is a huge step backwards in an otherwise fine fighting game. While you are in the menus you can also check out your license at any time. This gives you all of the data that you want. It will give you your win/loss record, your history, what rank you are, how many times you have used each character, how many battles you have fought, etc. It is everything you need to keep up to date with your progress.
Of course none of this would really matter if the game doesn’t play well. Fortunately, I can happily state that the game runs really smoothly. The animations are smooth and there is absolutely no lag. Those two things are critical for fighting games that require quick reflexes and quicker thinking. There are even new things to experiment with such as the “X-Factor”. When you activate this your character will glow red and receive a boost in all of the areas. Red health will come back slowly, you’ll be able to do more damage and things of that nature. The catch here is that this only happens for a short amount of time so you need to take advantage of it. Spending my time online with this game gave me the same results as well. I was really happy with the fact that there was no lag at all during battle and that everything went perfectly. There were times when I had trouble connecting to an opponent, however, once I was connected, everything ran perfectly. The roster itself is pretty big with your standard Capcom and/or Marvel favorites in there along with some newer faces as well. As I said before, you’ll unlock even more people as you play which is always a good thing. If you are one of those people that is really into these titles it also has a gallery that you can visit at any time. This is where you can re-watch movies you have unlocked, character endings, artwork, listen to different sounds (both in English and Japanese) and much more. It is something that will keep the completionists out there busy for a little while.
Overall, Marvel vs Capcom 3 is a fantastic fighting title. It doesn’t do anything particularly innovative or ground breaking but it doesn’t need to. In fact, there is a certain segment of the hardcore fanbase that would probably get upset if Capcom were to make too many changes. In addition to the fighters that are on the disc, Capcom will also be periodically releasing new fighters via downloadable content. Marvel vs Capcom 3 is a game that should keep fighting fans busy for a very long time. The smooth gameplay, detail and fan service should insure that this game will continue to be played for many years to come.
Originally posted on Totally Gaming Network