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Denny Markovic
07 Mar, 2011

Marvel vs Capcom 3 Review

PS3 Review | This is MAAHHHVELLLLL baby!
Marvel vs Capcom 2 has got to be one of the most popular fighting games ever released. Featuring a slew of popular characters from the both the Marvel and Capcom universe, a tightly designed and mostly balanced combat system and an enormous competitive scene that still rages on today, it’s really a surprise when a fighting fan hasn’t heard of the mammoth title. So it’s a no-brainer then that there was a lot of pressure on Capcom to make one stellar follow up with Marvel vs Capcom 3. Not only do they need to make it feel fresh again, but they need to re-balance, re-tweak and most of all make it a blast to play. Whether or not they’ve achieved all of those things is up to the hardcore community behind it to decide, but one thing’s for certain; the game is a whole lot of fun whether casual or competitive about it.

To actually add some sense to the merger of two worlds, Capcom have implemented a story albeit virtually non-existent directly after the introduction of the game. Villains from both the Capcom and Marvel world have banded together to conquer both worlds, but in turn have awakened a greater evil that threatens to eat everything. This puts the heroes into overdrive to go ahead and save the day. That’s about it. The arcade mode when completed with characters give off comic style illustrations of continued journeys of each character (and also unlocks biographies, 3D model viewers and sounds), but in all honesty they’re not exactly well done nor worth caring over. While for hardcore fans it might be a small treat, most of it feels disjointed and somewhat non-sensical in application, so most people will simply forget about it entirely and continue fighting.

And that’s what the game is all about; fighting. MvC3’s combat system works much like that of the second games, where you control not one but three characters, and tag each of them in at opportune moments to dish damage and duke it out. The four main buttons are the low, medium, heavy and special buttons, with each dealing different types of attacks dependent on character, although the special is a universal move in that it acts as a launcher to initiate air combos. Then there are the assist buttons which allow one of your team mates to jump in and pull off a special ability of their own, which can be a big help if you’re being rushed down or want to initiate more complex combos in your ongoing combo of fire breathing fists.

I WILL MAKE YOU LOVE MEEEE.

I WILL MAKE YOU LOVE MEEEE.
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It’s fast, frantic and an absolute riot to play, especially with friends. Combos can be launched into the hundreds and be combined from a multitude of different openings, and considering every character is so utterly unique in their design and move list you can expect some fairly dynamic mixes which add in a rather insane amount of depth to a game that on its basic form is deeper than a good portion of other games. Other additions to finish combos or prolong them include super moves and your super meter, and the new X-factor ability. Activated by pressing all four main buttons at once, X-factor essentially doubles the damage and speed of your character temporarily and eliminates all chip damage when blocking, so it can aid in turning the tide of a battle extremely quickly. It has 3 levels which are dictated by the amount of characters you have left alive on your team, with all 3 alive having the shortest duration and least damage, and one character left having a very long duration and exponentially higher levels of damage, etc. It honestly feels borderline broken when you only have one character left however, as not only does it last a long time but it does an obscenely high level of damage, but whether or not it’s widely considered broken remains to be seen. From our experience it’s a little silly as much of the time it comes down to who activates X-factor last that wins the game, but nonetheless it rarely hinders a game that is an awesome amount of fun to begin with.

The issue with MvC3 however is that it’s fairly unfriendly when it comes to newcomers. While it has the option of a ‘simple’ mode (simplified controls to make combos MUCH easier to pull off), this is not ideal as when it comes to online play which is a large portion of the games lasting appeal, simple mode is non existent so it’s literally going off memorising combos of your characters and hopefully having knowledge of more advanced manoeuvres such as advancing guard. There is no tutorial to learn any of the more advanced kind of tactics so players are thrown into the deep end of things instantly. While this is fine for the veteran MvC players, it’s somewhat alienating towards newcomers as the game can be extraordinarily punishing, especially in the online realms. Thankfully Mission Mode provides a list of combos you must pull off with each character through stages so you can learn them, but it’s a bit of a shame there’s hardly any explanation available for other more advanced tactics that some online players might inflict upon you, and you’re scratching your head in bewilderment about how they did it.

When you go Akuma, you end up on fire.

When you go Akuma, you end up on fire.
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Speaking of online play, for the most part it’s quite good, with netcode being fairly strong on both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 ends, and filters to allow you to find people in your region and skill level so you don’t explode in frustration from lag or simply being outclassed. That being said however, online play feels incredibly unpolished in its features and presentation, with joining online matches feeling slow and clunky much of the time. Not only that, but there is no replay mode to watch memorable matches, so the game is somewhat of a slap to the face after the incredible amount of features and polish Capcom gave us with Super Street Fighter IV. For the most part it works, but it’s disappointing to see such a hyped game receive such a bare bones online mode.

Capcom however have done an excellent job on the visual and audio side of things, with a superb cel-shaded engine that runs silky smooth on both platforms and is full of fancy lighting effects and shaders. Combos, super moves and general combat is incredibly satisfying due to its visual flair, with onomatopoeic expressions being thrown around randomly and particle effects flying about everywhere; it’s almost overwhelming, but just manages to not cross that border. Animation has taken a bit of a hit in the game with a bit of a stiff side to it, but this is likely a worthy sacrifice to keep up with the frantic pace of the game. Model work is excellent with very well done texture work, giving everything an authentic comic book feel. Add in individual tunes for every single character in the game and proper voice overs (with optional Japanese or English voice overs per character), and you have a pretty fleshed out title when it comes to its presentational values that is full of personality. An awesome job overall from Capcom that certainly does not disappoint.

..Boobs.

..Boobs.
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Whether or not Marvel vs Capcom 3 has lived up to the second games legacy is up to the hardcore competitive community to decide over the next few years, but for what we’ve received now, the game is magnificent in its fun factor and presentation, choosing to be relentless in its visual flair and frantically paced combat and offering something very different to most fighting games out there. While it’s a disappointment to see it being somewhat featureless when it comes down to the bigger picture, the gameplay itself is superb in its execution and has the flair to back it up as well. For veterans of the series this game is an absolute no brainer, but for the newcomers be warned; there’s a lot to learn and prepare to learn it the hard way. Recommended.
The Score
While severely lacking in some features that really should've been there and being a little unfriendly to newcomers, Marvel vs Capcom 3 is a fun, deep and unique fighter full of visual flair and satisfying combat. 8
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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12 Comments
3 years ago
yea ok, I'll buy this! icon_razz.gif
3 years ago
I personally do not think its unfriendly to new comers. I believe its quite the opposite. Most fighting games are more difficult if you ask me. 2d fighters that is
3 years ago
nope, unfriendly is the opposite of this game, i say its easier than tatsunoko vs capcom and that game was already meant to be friendly
3 years ago
meh, call me old school but I like to have separate kick and punch buttons.

The thing I love the most about MvC3 is the $7 per character DLC they have planned!
3 years ago
Quote
(with optional Japanese or English voice overs per character)
Isn't it just for capcom characters? Marvel ones only have English.

Honestly I think Capcom are going to have to step up there game. This game lacks features something hardcore (Not even a standard versus computer mode? You have to set it up in training to get that? That's just stupid) The online system is straight up retarded. Being kicked out to the title screen when someone disconnects during character select is unforgivable, when you get out of a game with training or arcade interrupt and you have to choose your character team again just seems stupid.

With what other companies are putting out in fighting games (Blazblue's story modes, Tekkens Tekken force and character customization, Challenge mode in MK 9, etc etc) Capcoms offerings are seeming more and more anemic.

The fighting system is solid enough, but it really needs some sort of burst mechanic (And no the one to get out of an aerial combo change doesn't count) Getting stuck in a 45 hit combo and not being able to do anything about it is not fun.
3 years ago
No, marvel characters have Japanese too, I'm sure.
3 years ago
really? Could of sworn it only lists the capcom characters when you change voices?
3 years ago
Benza wrote
Getting stuck in a 45 hit combo and not being able to do anything about it is not fun.
I agree. I asked someone about it at the tournament the other week and was told that some moves have multiple parts to them, so you need to block multiple times instead of just holding the back direction. I have no idea about the timing though.
3 years ago
No, Marvel is english only.
3 years ago
Benza wrote
The fighting system is solid enough, but it really needs some sort of burst mechanic (And no the one to get out of an aerial combo change doesn't count) Getting stuck in a 45 hit combo and not being able to do anything about it is not fun.
MvC3 doesn't need any type of burst mechanic, why? Because it's marvel, it's flashy, it's over-the-top and its damaging, nothing will change that. All MvC3 really needs gameplay-wise is to tone the damage down on LVL3 X-factor, everything else is fine. If you wanna burst to your hearts content, then go play BB. icon_razz.gif

admeister wrote
I agree. I asked someone about it at the tournament the other week and was told that some moves have multiple parts to them, so you need to block multiple times instead of just holding the back direction. I have no idea about the timing though.
What? If a move has 3 hits, you just need to hold back to block all of them, or just use advancing guard to push the opponent away whilst blocking.


P.S-Only Capcom characters have a option for Japanese.
3 years ago
see I'd prefer to have a burst mechanic and keep x-factor as it is. I love me some level 3 x-factor hulk, it's hilariously one sided.
3 years ago
Le sigh, i bought this game when it came out hoping to be impressed.

I was sorely disappointed. This game is only really good for people who are new to fighters or who like to button bash and watch awesome random sheit. Extremely strict timeing is the same as no timing at all (Like Morrigans bs kick thing which you can only advanced guard out of).

The game is one big cluster fk with flashy moves.

Although in my disappointment, i was mildly happy to know that i finally owned a PS3 party casual game that i could play with friends.

Now i needs friends to play with... fml...
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