Developed by:Capcom Published by:Capcom Genre(s):
  • Fighting
  • Platform:
  • Microsoft
  • Sony
  • Cost:$59.99 ESRB Rating:TEEN Players:1-2 (1-8 Online) Release date:February 15, 2011 Reviewed on:XBox 360

    Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds

    Capcom, one of the largest pioneers of the fighting game genre, has given us some great titles over the years and are responsible one of the longest running fighting series of all time, Street Fighter! They are also responsible for starting the VS titles, where the casts of two different fighting games are encorporated into a brand new fighting game where their respective characters battle each other. This concept was genius; alowing gamers to fulfill their gaming fantasies of seeing their favorite characters from multiple games fight one another. One could argue that SNK’s King of Fighters was the first true VS title as it had fighters from multiple SNK games battle it out. However, Capcom even integrated charcaters from non-fighting games just for fan service. In the Marvel Vs Capcom series, Capcom went through their catalog of games and pulled some of the coolest characters to be included. Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds is no exception. Gamers have been waiting a long time (eleven years) to get their hands on a new Marvel vs. Capcom title. Was it worth the wait? Yes… and no!

    Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (MVC3) was one of the most anticipated fighting titles to be release this year, and for good reason. For those of you who are new to this series, I’ll give a brief run down of its staples. This series is all about gamers picking a team of three characters and using them to battle again opposing teams in one round matches. The matches are one round due to the fact that you have three characters (that you can tag in and out) each with their own life bars. Each character has their own set of moves, special moves (like Ryu’s fireball), and Hyper Combos (powered up versions of their specials). They all have their own life bars but they all share one special gauge that is used to perform Hyper Combos. Each character has his/her own normal combos (a series of attacks chained together in quick succession) and air combos. Mixing and matching characters and using them in conjunction with one another usually leads to awesome displays of might and skill. MVC3 follows in the same footsteps as previous entries of this series, giving gamers more of what they like while changing up the gameplay here and there.

    Now that that is out of the way, we can dive into what makes MVC3 such an awesome yet, flawed title. Capcom has done it’s best to make MVC3 both familiar and foreign at the same time. Classic characters from the past make their return. Wolverine, Ryu, Iron Man, Captain America, and Spider-Man are some of the returning characters. They are joined by new comers like Chris Redfield (Resident Evil), Dante (Devil May Cry), and Arthur (Ghosts ‘n Goblins). Of course there are new Marvel Characters like Thor, TaskMaster, and Super-Skrull. While there are a decent amount of people to choose from, they’re aren’t as many characters as MVC2. This could be attributed to the graphic overall which resulted in less memory (more on that later). Then again, Capcom promised DLC in the form of new characters so this might not be the case.

    The fights follow the same old/new approach. You’ll still pick three characters and battle it out using various combos and flashy super moves. One of the new elements presented is in how everything is controled. They have been drastically simplified, so much so, that it may take a seasoned player a while to become accustomed to the changes. Modeled after Tatsunoko vs. Capcom’s controls, players are given a light, medium, and hard attack. There are no “kick” or “punch” buttons, just different strengths. The moves themselves change depending on how you’re controlling your character when pressing each button. For instance, pressing the light attack button may make a character perform a straight forward kick. Quickly pressing it twice may make them do a summersault like move. Pressing forward and then pressing the light attack button may give you a different result.

    This is can be a good thing as certain moves that required complicated button combinations can be done much easier. This also, allows more moves to be added to a character by mapping multiple moves to a single attack button. On the other hand, it is really easy to do the wrong move at the wrong time. Even though this problem can be alleviated with practice, I still find myself performing the wrong maneuver in a tough situation because of how closely related the button imputs are. There is also the “exchange” button. This is used to launch a character into the air for air combos as well as other special maneuvers given the right situation and imput. All and all the controls work they way they should most of the time and the learning curve isn’t too steep for returning or new players.

    Another change came in the form of the combos themselves. Characters now can be bounced into the air after receiving multiple hits, only to be juggled back into another combo. While you can only do this one time per combo string, it can get pretty annoying really quick. This is due to the fact that there isn’t a defensive roll or combo breaker to interrupt this if you get caught. So we have this good vs. bad gameplay going on. When you’re able to pull off these types of combos, you feel good. You’ll knock your opponent around knowing that they can’t do anything about it until you either mess up or the combo is done. On the other hand, you’ll feel bad if you’re caught in one of these combos for the same reason; you have no way of escaping the onslaught of hits generated by a good player. It can be very frustrating. On top of that, you have the classic off-the-ground-moves or OTG for short. These are moves that will connect with a player even if he/she is lying on the ground after receiving an attack. These moves are usually a way to finish someone who’s been smacked down to the ground. They can also be used to juggle someone back into a combo though, which again leads to more frustration.

    One of my worst experiences playing this game was against a good player using Wolverine. I felt like I would never hit the ground “safely”. There are mechanisms put into place to help you out in these types of seemingly helpless situations. Like “damage scaling” that kicks in after a few hits resulting in the later hits of a combo to be much weaker than the starting ones. There is also “X Factor”. When triggered, this gives your characters a boost in attack damage, speed, and recovery times. The effects of X Factor last longer and are strengthened when you have fewer characters alive on your team. I’ve been able to win matches using this technique even though I am down to one character facing three others. This also allows you to cancel any move in the game to start another. For example, I could activate a Hyper Combo of Dante shooting at someone, cancel it before the last bullet hits his opponent, then start another Hyper Combo that connects at the same time the last bullet from the first HC does. A normal 32-hit combo turns into 64! You can only activate this move once per match, minimizing the chance of exploiting such a technique. This can help you win a battle that has been one sided due to the use of long lasting combos. Then again, your opponent has access to these maneuvers as well.

    Recently, when it comes to playing against people, it’s all about the online experience. Again, I have a love/hate relationship with MVC3 because it seems that for everything done right, there is something done wrong. Capcom has given us a lobby system so that up to eight players can compete in one room. When someone loses as match, they are kicked to the bottom of the list while the winner battles the next challenger. Normal stuff. They even added a feature where you can chose to be “ready” or not, allowing someone to take your turn if you say, have to go to the bathroom. One thing that bothers me is the fact that there isn’t a way to be a spectator during the matches. Only the two people who are fighting can see what’s going on. The other six players only get to see their name tags bounce around to indicate a match is going on. Street Fighter 4 and MVC2, both pervious Capcom titles, allowed spectators. I don’t understand why this was omitted. It is incredibly boring to watch bouncing cards while waiting for six other people to rotate in.

    Most people who lose in an 8-player lobby leave the room in hopes of finding a game with less players. At first, I thought that Capcom went this route in order to make sure that the matches weren’t laggy. If that is so, they didn’t do a good job as some matches are downright unplayable. What’s worse is that there is no way of knowing why this is happening. In other titles, if a person had a bad connection, it was obvious why your game lagged. With MVC3 that’s not the case. All the players could have good connections and have played a bunch of matches together flawlessly without any trouble. Then all of a sudden players will start being dropped from matches. If they do get to start one, the characters move so slow that most people just quit mid-match. The only time I was able to play a very long time without this happening was when I played the arcade mode (normal single player option in most fighting games) and allowed people to challenge me. For some reason there was never any lag in those matches. All of this can and needs to be addressed with a patch. Hopefully Capcom is on the job!

    Whether you’re getting a flaming uppercut to the face or having a car land on top of you (yes that can actually happen), you’ll always like the way it looks. The graphics have been revamped up to look like they came straight out of a comic book. This makes sense seeing as how Marvel is a comic book company. The characters are fully 3D but fight on a 2D plane (similar to Street Fighter 4). Special moves will rip and tare at the backgrounds as if you were battling your way out of a comic book. Capcom did a great job incorporating classic levels into backgrounds for gamers to fight in. You’ll battle in New York on top of the Daily Bugle or on a raft going down a river that passes through one of Arthur’s Ghosts ‘n Goblins levels. Everything really pops out at you, making MVC3 one of the coolest looking fighting games around.

    When it comes down to it, MVC3 is a good fighting game. It can be a frantic and fun filled fighter with classic characters battling each other in familiar yet awe inspiring locales. The new fighting mechanics help to change up the formula that was getting a little stale over the years. Capcom even included old mechanics from past titles. “Simple Mode”, first found in games like Darkstalkers, is a feature that allows players to perform certain moves easily at the expense of not being able to perform the stronger moves available for each character. The new “Shadow Mode” allows gamers to fight against AI controlled opponents that use the same techniques as some of Capcom’s development team and famous players within the fighting game community. All of these things contribute to a great game. However, there are some things that take it down a notch. The additions to the combo system can make for some frustrating matches, the online lobby system needs to include a spectator option, and serious work needs to be done to fix the lag issues. Until these things are addressed, MVC3 will never be the great fighting game it could be. Hopefully Capcom won’t just settle for good!



    While it’s fun to play and technically is better than MVC2, the few flaws that it has go a long way to hurt this title.



    The comic book vibe works so well in this title. Everything looks great, even down to the menus themselves.



    Really, all Capcom had to do was get rid of that song that played when players chose their characters in MVC2 and they would have won me over. I am glad they did, as all the other sounds effects are awesome!

    What's New:


    There are new mechanics at work in MVC3. Whether or not they help the series as a whole is based on your perspective. What frustrates some might elate others!

    Replay Value:


    The replay value is again based on your perspective. The online issues tend to hurt this score!

    Final Score:


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