Review | Marvel vs Capcom 3
Format: Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 | Genre: Fighting | Publisher: Capcom | Developer: Capcom | Release date: 18/02/2011 | Price: £49.99
Jennifer Allen dons the ridiculous blue dress-thing of Chun-Li and kicks some comic characters in the face until they cry. Then she plays MARVEL VS CAPCOM 3.
MARVEL VS. Capcom 3 is absolutely mental. It’s the completely insane sibling to the more refined Street Fighter IV. It’s technically simpler too, and lacks the depth of its older brother, but it’s impossible to not smile insanely as you unleash OTT combo after OTT combo without much practice at all. All this insanity forms the everyman’s beat em up – a game that’s instantly accessible compared to other games in the genre while also offering some strategic depth and staying power for more experienced hands. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 might not be the most well balanced fighter of all time, offering various cheap moments and cheap moves if you allow it, but the fun factor is ever present.
This frantic fun mostly comes from the 3-on-3 tag system that worked so well in Marvel vs. Capcom 2. Once you get into the groove of things, and certainly when up against ramped up AI characters or real players, you’ll find characters flying from seemingly everywhere at a ridiculously fast rate as you tag characters in and out quickly in order to disrupt your opponent. Being able to get one or both of your team mates to join in on the fray via simply tapping a button and watching them unleash the pre-designated move is a joy to behold at first. The added ability to form crossover combos provides moves that you’ll find yourself watching with your mouth agape at first. Many of these moves are rather special indeed, covering the screen with a vast array of flashing lights and explosions with hardly a graphical stutter to see. The actual buttons required to need such spectacular results are actually quite minimal though. Light, medium and heavy attacks are the bread and butter of this fighter along with a special button which helps in all manners of ways. It’s simple to get to grips with and it’s not long at all before you string together some decent combos, feeling suitably smug at your accomplishment.
Ha-you-can! (I’m so sorry…)
Indeed if you’ve played any Capcom beat em up in the past couple of decades, you’ll feel at home here with the likes of Ryu’s Fireball and Chun Li’s Lightening Kick still easily performed. Each basic attack gradually fills a gauge thus enabling you to unleash hyper combos with one character or the aforementioned crossover combos with the full tag team complement. X-Factor also appears, fortunately not the dire TV show, but an ability that boosts your attack power and speed. The extent of its power is determined by how few characters you have left on your side, making it the sort of move that can really turn a game around. If, for some bizarre reason, the regular control scheme is still too hard for you to learn, you can always switch to the Simple control method. Despite it restricting the different moves that you can complete, it’s still ridiculously easy. So easy in fact that it’s not very enjoyable. Maybe if you’re drunk, but when the normal control scheme is so simple to learn, there’s just no point in bothering with Simple.
The character line up is an impressive selection. While it’s not quite as grand as Marvel vs. Capcom 2, there’s still aplentiful supply of 36 characters in all, and of course the promise of more in the guise of DLC. The Capcom and Marvel favourites are there with their own quirks and individual personalities. Wolverine offers fast and furious action, overwhelming his foes with speedy slashes of his claws. Sentinel and The Hulk are lumbering and easy to dodge yet all consumingly powerful if they do manage to connect. Viewtiful Joe leaps about all the time, dodging blows all over the place, and Amaterasu might seem like a bizarre choice coming from the wondrous Okami series, but it works well. Admittedly, the characters aren’t as well balanced as they could be. The likes of M.O.D.O.K, for instance, can easily perform a few cheap combos and win. It doesn’t really matter though. You’re having too much fun to really notice the flaws in the system. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 isn’t a game that’s meant to be technically perfect, it’s just meant to be fantastic fun. This emanates perfectly through the dialogue and characterisation of each combatant. Deadpool demonstrates this perfectly, with his arrogant one liners perfectly vocalised by everyone’s favourite gaming voice, Nolan North. Shouting bang, bang, bang while performing a gun based combo is so very OTT that it’s hard to not grin wildly. Questions do have to be raised as to why Wolverine would ever say ‘cripes’ however, something that he bizarrely says during his ending sequence.
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