This review is of a game that many people have waited a long time for. Finally it has been released on the home consoles after a tour of the arcades and it brings two of the largest brands in geekdom together. The game in question is none other than Marvel vs. Capcom 3 which has landed on both the 360 and PS3. So is it a star fighter? or a first round knockout?
Marvel vs. Capcom 3 sees both worlds thrown together. Doctor Doom has assembled the greatest villains from his universe to join forces with Albert Wesker in order to unite both of the universes to their own evil ways. But this awakens a dark force which quickly throws both universes into peril, leaving it up to the heroes of both universes to sort it out. The story mode is mainly told through the arcade mode, which sees you fight your way through seven stages before having to face the greatest evil of all, to save both worlds from being destroyed.
Marvel have stated the game is “all about fan service”. The story of the game has been written by comic author Frank Tieri who also writes most of the dialogue between fights as well as the endings for most of the characters. As each of the 36 fighters have their very own ending, you will be there for some time if you want to see all of them. Also, when you finish the arcade mode keep an eye out for a few cameos from other characters from both universes like Ghost Rider, Man-Thing and Fantastic Four to name just a few. These cameos are of unplayable characters, but this may be linked to future DLC.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a fighter in the same vein as last year’s smash hits Streetfighter 4 and Super Streetfighter 4, but the biggest change to gameplay is the tag-based team mechanic which lets you pick a team of 3 fighters to fight with. If you have played a Vs game in the past, like Marvel vs. Capcom 2 or Tatsunoko Vs Capcom, you’ll know the gameplay style.
On top of this the control style has been made more accessible for newcomers to the game. There is a normal setting which is set for skilled players and sees you having to use button combos to pull off super and ultras. But there is also a new simple control system which does what it says on the tin in that most of these powerful moves are mapped to just one button or, in most cases, all you have to do is hold LB and push a face button to pull a move. This is a great feature for the game. It lets people who may not have the time to learn the combos, or are just looking for a quick fight with friends from time to time, jump right into the action.
So what fighters will be available to pick from? Well, the roster is 36 strong and features fan favourites like Ryu, Morrigan, Captain America and Wolverine, but also characters you may have not have expected to see in a fighting game like Spencer from Bionic Commando and Mike Hagar from the final fight games. The roster also adds an endless choice of combos for teams in that every fighter has their own style. Half the fun is finding which characters make the strongest team.
The game is built using the Lost Planet 2 engine oddly. With the games’ links to Streetfighter 4, you would have thought that engine would have been first choice. But having said that, the Lost Planet 2 engine does an outstanding job in bringing the larger than life universes to life in all the colour and sparkle you would find in a comic.
Sound wise the game features both English and Japanese voice overs for all of the roster. On top of this is a really cool feature. When a fighter is about to fight the game plays a sample of the music from their game, like Chun-Li’s or Dante’s, which is a great little feature as fans will hear their favourite fighter’s tunes right away.
The game also features a split screen mode as well as an on-line mode, which allows you to fight people from around the world. When fighting online you can view your opponent’s license card which tracks their history in the game offline and online, as well as a host of stats and figures on your style and records.
Having played a few games online it is clear that there are two main types of fighters. There are the people who are looking to fight, have fun and play fair. The others are a bunch of move spamming, cheap shot, pains in the ass. Having played my fair share of fighting games online, I have yet to find one where these sorts of people are not found lurking about. As such, this may put some people off taking the game online, but if you stick with it you will find good players at some stage.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a great return to power for a much loved series and is not only great fun to play alone or online, but also is great for those split screen fights when friends are round. A must for all comic fans, fighting fans and new comers to the genre.
So this is what happens when world collide
Fight Club Event
Before the game hit shop shelves Capcom took it on tour around the UK in what was called Fight Club and saw Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, ten pods and two arcade cabinets on the road around the shopping centers across the country, from Birmingham to London. There were a total of 5 dates on the tour which would let the public get an early taste of what the final game would be like and how it was shaping up.
We caught up with the tour when it landed in Glasgow at the St. Enoch Centre on the 12th of February from 9am to 6pm, giving the Glasgow public plenty of time to get to grips with the game.
The game that was on show was the 360 version and was almost finished code at the time, although there were some missing characters from the rosters such as Phoenix, Sentinel, Hsien-Ko, Akuma, Taskmaster and Haggar. But what was on show was great and it was great to get some hands on time with the game.
On a downside I was not impressed with the way Capcom handled the event as there was one tech support guy present and no one from Capcom. With the game having been only a week away at the time, would it have been too big an ask for there to be at least one spokesperson or promoter to have been present.