Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Review

Posted: February 19, 2011 by Tim Utley in Reviews
Tags: , ,

The highly anticipated Marvel vs. Capcom 3 has arrived for both the PS3 and Xbox 360.  Was it worth waiting over ten years for a new MVC?  Yes and No and I’ll tell you why.  I have had ample time to dig my teeth into MVC 3 and explore what it has to offer so here is my impression of the game thus far.

Does it still take you for a ride?

Presentation:

The presentation in MVC 3 is very weak.  The menu design tries to capture that “comic book” feel, but in the end it just looks rushed and poorly implemented.  I know it is just a fighting game, but what other kind of game will you spend more time on a menu screen?  I think they could have worked up something more intuitive and more creative.  Aside from the menu system, the only cutscenes in the game are the opening videos (that you must unlock).  When you beat arcade with a particular character they give some beat looking comic strip.  I understand going with the comic book motif because part of the game’s origin, but really Capcom?  You couldn’t have whipped up some arcade finales for us to enjoy after destroying Galactus?  Lastly, the lack of stages really begins to dull the experience after awhile (I think they really could have implemented dynamic stages like Tekken/Mortal Kombat really well).  All this stuff is really minor, but the game’s presentation doesn’t live up to the expectations fans had for the new entry.

Graphics:

This is where MVC 3 shines (no pun intended).  The game utilizes an advanced version of the MT Framework (RE5 and LP2) and with a celshaded flair really makes the ensemble of MVC characters really come to life on screen.  The animations in the game are not terrible, but only seem exciting when characters are performing hyper combos.  And it even seems that some of the new characters (X 23) have the same animation sets as others.  The animation sets of characters returning to the franchise could have used some polish too (wolverine has been moving the same since the original MVC).  The recycling of assets for animations from previous games might provide fan service to some, but those of us who were looking for something slightly different might be disappointed.  Overall the game is a beauty to look at, it just could have used a little more polish.

Gameplay:

The good old phrase “easy to play, but hard to master” applies to MVC3 very much so.  The game has implemented a “simple” control set for those who just love to button mash and perform simplified hyper combos (button mashing works on default controls too, trust me).  The game has a variety of combos players can choose to learn from the very mundane to the completely ridiculous and everywhere in between.  Combos will take time to master and also learn when they are appropriate to perform (Enter Mission Mode), but the real deal players also learn a different kind of combo.  That being your lineup of fighters.  Carefully selecting three fighters to brawl with can make or break your chance of winning drastically.  There are many powerful combos that have already been discovered and people don’t shy away from using them online (I like to play online, but I just get tooled on).  The character balancing could have used some work as well.  Phoenix is supposed to be a deity and can be obliterated in seconds.  The character balancing will bother some and some won’t care but just be aware that certain characters have an extra does of ass kick embedded in their programming DNA.  The last thing I want to mention in regards to gameplay is how you choose to play the game and by that I mean what accessory are you using to play MVC3 with?  I have the Xbox 360 version and the game does handle differently between accessories (standard controller, fight pad, fight stick).  Surprisingly the 360 controller offers serviceable controls, but the super rigid d-pad can sometimes make you perform combos that you didn’t intend to.  Fight sticks offer that arcade experience, but will really make it difficult for newcomers to pick up and play because of how fast paced the battling is.  Fight pads fill that void between the fight stick and standard controller and probably offer up the best experience possible.

Sound:

MVC3 doesn’t have terrible music or other audio features, they just don’t seem as refined as other fighting games in this generation.  The ability to change character voices from English to Japanese is a welcomed addition and the “Take you for a Ride” remix offers up some nostalgia, but other than that the music is pretty forgettable.  Dead Pool is far and away the character that was given the most attention when it came to audio and I think they captured the nuances of Dead Pool pretty accurately.  If you go into this game expecting to be blown away from the soundtrack or character voices you might be disappointed, but who really gives a shit, it is a fighting game.

Down the Road:

MVC3 is a blast to play and is something you can play piecemeal (as most fighting games are).  Will this version last you another 10 years probably not (unless they add some serious DLC).  The online community is pretty solid already and the offline modes will keep you busy for quite awhile (try pulling off some of those 5 star combos in mission mode, I DARE YOU!!!).  I enjoy playing fighting games with my friends first and foremost, so MVC3 will keep me entertained for years to come.  If you don’t play online and only enjoy playing arcade mode, wait for a price drop.

Final Comments:

Marvel vs. Capcom 3 might not go down as a legendary fighter likes its predecessor, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a quality fighter.  I would have liked to have seen some more modes and like I said earlier more dynamic environments.  The roster for MVC3 fills out at 38 (after you unlock everybody) and already has two DLC characters (Jill Valentine and Shuma Gorath) in the pipeline.  So I don’t think that MVC3 will fall flat and if it is continually supported with DLC I think it has a chance to possibly redeem itself and enter the pantheon of truly great fighting games.

Overall Score : 8.0/10


Recommended Buy Price:

Fanboy – Full price $60 or $70 (for SE)

Moderate fan of fighting games – $30-$40

Like Marvel or Capcom properties, but blow ass at fighting games – $10-$20

Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds was purchased by me for $69.99 (special edition) and I have invested about 8 hours into the game.

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