Ten years we waited for this day, but does Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 live up to its hype its predecessor did? Lets find out.
Now in 2011, Capcom has given us the chance to relive those glory days with Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: Fate Of Two Worlds. It's been a long wait, but it is finally available for us to play.
Capcom toned the 56 character roster and made it to 36 with DLC characters coming. Your old favorites, Spiderman, Ryu, Captain America, and others return to the stage for more ridiculous action, along with newcomers to the series Super Skrull, Phoenix, Haggar from Final Fight and even Arthur from Ghost N' Goblins.
Getting down to it, the gameplay is almost similar to that of MVC2. Of the full roster, you have 3 characters that you can choose to use in battles. Your first character is your "on-point" character while the other two will be used as assist characters for additional mixups and combos. Eventually you will need to switch out your characters to continue fighting, but the main goal here is to eliminate your opponent's 3 characters.
The control scheme is no longer that of the standard 6 buttons. Capcom decided to take route of using Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom's button scheme, to make the characters more simplified, but much easier to pull off strings and hyper combos. You have your light, medium, and heavy attacks, along with special attack. Your special attack when you combo is the launcher button, in which you can send your opponent into the air, and follow up with another combo. Two of your buttons are also your assist/partners. When you tap one of the assist buttons, your partner will come out and deal a special attack. However, when you hold down that same button, you'll tag out your character and replace him with that character instead. It is a basic scheme, sometimes too basic, but it suffices for the most part. Also new to the game's engine is the X-Factor system. You can activate this system in game to power up your speed and damage output, but you can only use it once and the timing allowed depends on how many characters you have left on your team. If your team is full, you only have a good 10 seconds to use it, but if you only have one character left, you're given 20 seconds instead. While in this mode, you know longer take chip damage, and if you do get hit, your health bar will recover any red area you have. Simply put, this is the "Ultra" combo comeback you get in case of an emergency.
The game features a few things. The first noticeable thing is your license/card system. When you view it, you can see your win/loss ratio, which characters you use the most, your rank, and even set up to 3 teams that you have for a stable; that way you do not have to manually pick all of them at the character select screen. This system also helps give you an idea of online play, as you can view everyone's data to see what team they use, and their win/loss ratio, as well as player points. The card system also has the same type of icon/title feature from another well-known game Capcom has, so you can customize those as well.
You have your offline and online modes too. In Offline mode, you can choose to play friendly matches offline with a friend, or go through the arcade mode. In this mode, you fight several teams until you reach the final boss, Galactus, who can be a pain sometimes, but in reality, he isn't too difficult. Each character has an ending, so you will have to beat the game every time with a new character to get their ending. What you get out of this mode are the points you can acquire to unlock new characters, artwork, and other memorabilia. There is also a mission mode where you can learn some of the basic bread and butter combos, and more advance tricks with a character you want to learn. In short, it's not bad, but you'll be having to go pause the game and look at the mission objectives to see what combo you fully need to do, because during in game, when you get to the harder combos, you only can see part of what needs to be done first. After each movement is entered, the list will get smaller. Tedious, but that's how it is.
Lastly, there's online mode. You have your usual ranked matches where you play for points and try to get to the top of the leaderboards, player matches where you play casually, but for fun, and a lobby set up where you can have several players in a lobby and make it feel like the arcades again, The netcode for MVC3 is actually very good, almost better than Super Street Fighter IV. You don't really have a lot of issues where the game lags tremendously, and the inputs are still pretty clean overall. There are still problems though when connecting as of late. Searching for matches is still an issue, and right now, you will be frequently getting an error that you couldn't connect, or you can't find an opponent. Sometimes you get a dropped connection before even fighting. Another issue about the online mode is, even though there is a ranking system, there is no replay channel to see how other players play, and the lobby system doesn't allow you to view the matches similar to how Super Street Fighter IV does in their game. You'll just have to wait until its your turn to play.
So overall, this game isn't bad, but there unfortunately are a few issues that the community have already addressed and what the online mode feels like as well.
One of the biggest issues about this game is the damage output overall. Granted in MVC2, matches could go a long way, even through time over, and in the same sense, could end in a heartbeat. In this game however, you rarely get time overs, if any. The matches end way too quick to enjoy, and it's partly because of the damage output in this game for a variety of characters, but a few characters are more well-known than others. Many players are in agreement that Sentinel, one of the unlockable characters is too overpowered to be used in-game. He has the highest stamina ranking and his damage output is insane, even for a six hit combo. When you play online, a lot of members will have two characters, and then Sentinel as a third for assist and also for damage. He also has one of the best assists in the game with his drones for to keep you at bay.
Another consistent issue is the X-Factor system. Earlier, I had mentioned that this system increases your strength and speed, and while in this mode, you don't take chip damage from projectiles. The real kicker here though is that in this mode, is again damage, and the amount of time you have to use it. X-Factor can sometimes cheapen the play-value because if you're playing an opponent who is very good in this game, and knows when to use this mode, it's clearly a victory for him. This coupled with the simple button scheme makes for a lot of problems with players who aren't familiar with the game, or just want to play online for fun. It's even worse if you have a character like Sentinel or Phoenix and have a Level 3 X-Factor. In short, if you ever come across someone like that, you're pretty much beaten if you don't know how to play the game.
One of the last issues many also have complained about is the balancing of this game. Now you figure, MVC was never made to be a balanced game, but this time around it is an issue. The biggest concern is that this game can reward players who sit back and be very defensive all day, where as the previous incarnations, if you even remotely use a turtle defense style, you would get punished for it. Many of the characters have various projectiles and assist that keep you a full screen's distance, so getting in becomes hard because the screen is filled with lasers and fireballs from your opponents teams. In the end, it could make for a lot of frustrated players who are just trying to have fun and make an exciting game out of this.
There are also glitches that have been found in this game when it comes to character models and character freezes, but they seem to be specific and can only happen when certain conditions are met.
As I stated earlier, this game isn't bad, but it isn't as technical as other fighters are. MVC2, even though crazy, had a lot of technical aspects to it, and while 3 does have some of those same aspects, it gets thrown out the window when you're playing online most times. As it stands many well-known players in the fighting community are not as pleased as to how simplify and cheap this game has become in the final build, and while it will have a limelight in tournament play, it may take another 10 years, and few dozen patches to make MVC3 a very formidable successor and have the same hype Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 has. Balance issues, X-Factors, Character patches will probably come out after awhile to fine-tune this game. As of now, in order for MVC3 to succeed, it's going to need these changes, and the community behind it's back.