Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds ReviewGreg Knoll
A while back-in search of a decent fighting game-I was faced with a choice implemented by monetary strains: Super Street Fighter IV or Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: Fate Of Two Worlds. While Street Fighter seemed the safer route given its predecessor's success, Marvel Vs. Capcom had a certain allure and in the end won over.
I was initially intrigued by a roster that could only be described as overwhelming. Compared to previous titles, 3 boasts an undeniable variety for players. Few fighters from Street Fighter are present, freeing up crucial space and allowing other famous Capcom characters a chance to shine. Some sold the game entirely-Chris and Wesker from Resident Evil, Dante and Trish from Devil May Cry. And who could forget Felicia and Morrigan from Dark Stalkers? I know I never have. Spencer from Bionic Commando, Haggar, Zero. The list of favorites-at least mine-seemed unending. Some appear simply for comic relief like Arthur and Tron, but that doesn't detour the game from being the most varied title to date.
The Marvel side is just as strong, Spider-man, Hulk, Thor, Wolverine, Deadpool, Phoenix and countless others-most long-time favorites but again the obscure angle is taken, however minimal, and rare side-characters like X-23 and M.O.D.O.K also make an appearance. Not simply scratching the surface as other titles have, but completely immersing and educating a gamer on characters both famous and shadowed, ensuring that almost every fan of either side will find something they enjoy.
Such a huge list can sometimes create problems, that of which the series has already suffered. The most common the absence of defined moves. Previous Marvel Vs. Capcom games made use of a generic foundation where they simply rendered different animations for each character. This time, each and every one is unique and specific. Chris hurls grenades and stuns enemies with shotgun blasts, Storm slings tornadoes with ease, commands lightning to do her bidding. Even the classics like Wolverine's Berserker Barrage and Hulk's Gamma Charge have received fine-tuning with improved style and rendering. The moves range from devastating to absolutely comical, but each is original, further supplementing my reason for buying the game.
And echoing the long-term value this game has.
The three-on-three tag system from MvC 2 has returned, again without limitations, allowing players to mix Capcom and Marvel characters and granting them countless options in terms of building teams. Switching is a matter of one button, as is calling in support. Once the fighter is chosen, you're given the option to pick a back-up move. If you find yourself in trouble, R1 or L1 will initiate a crossover assist-which entails one of your team members executing a long-range attack and returning to safety-the crossover attack which brings the backup character into battle in your place, or the crossover counter-integral when you're overwhelmed with attacks and left with no other option while blocking.
Use of these doesn't subtract from your Super meter, which means you can use them even if it's totally empty. The cooldown required is less than five seconds. This means the straight-forward one-on-one battles present in almost every other fighter is a thing of the past. Battles in Marvel/Capcom 3--if done right-become fevered, almost chaotic melees abundant in variety. Slamming enemies with super moves that require very simple controller inputs-which means they can be strung together in order to juggle the victim-then switching characters either to end with one final flurry via a crossover assist or continuing the combo with a crossover attack and implementing completely different moves. With such a massive roster, there's virtually no end to what you can create and learn. It could take years before developing a flawless team and system, but the opportunity is there-no matter who you choose.
The one blaring problem with that: more room saved for fighters and animations means less room for other things. The most annoying is the endings. Like Mortal Kombat: Armageddon , they are simply text and bland images in a non cut-scene fashion. This may not be an issue for some, but when you take into the account the annoying, ultimately unfair Galactus battle at the end you want something a little worthwhile.
Strange when you consider that Marvel/Capcom has only a few more fighters than Super Street Fighter IV and purchasing the game when it first came out I made the same complaint. The space was obviously intended for add-on content, which they've established a fair share of-and quickly, but by establishing endings that one can gloss over it doesn't seem like an acceptable sacrifice.
Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 is huge. And by establishing endings that many can just gloss over, it lacks the ability to tie together the two worlds, dozens of characters and hundreds of stories. It just sort of ends...for everyone.
It's an incredible effort, don't get me wrong. And Capcom did nearly everything right. They provided us with a huge roster, took the time to give each and everyone unique moves and fine-tuned an already wonderful system so gamers could rush right in. They only made one mistake-for some that may not be detrimental, but for me widely disappointing. It's like The 1812 Overture without cannons, The Dark Knight without Heath Ledger. Everything else was perfect; they just needed that one thing to push it over the edge.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.
May I have the strength to lead with compassion. May I have a resolve strong enough to inspire it in others. May my heart be true, my motives virtuous, my spirit valiant. And whether I fail or succeed, may I at least be brave in the attempt.
About the Author: Greg Knoll
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