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'Marvel Vs. Capcom 3' kicks butt

March 4, 2011

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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Marvel Vs. Capcom 3How do you get the attention of someone like me who would normally pass on the latest button-mashing combat fighting game? How about pitting an eclectic roster of Marvel superheroes and villains against a menagerie of video game superstars?

Now, yer talkin', bub.

'Marvel Vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds' takes all of the fuss out of the fighting game genre and for someone like me who doesn't have the time or inclination to learn a million different button combinations 'Simple' mode is a real blessing. At last, I can get my ass handed to me but still get one or two moves in so that my dignity doesn't get as bruised and battered as it usually does.

Marvel Vs. Capcom 3If you are a badass brawler though, 'MVC3' will put your abilities to the test even though the combat system has been simplified. Producer Ryota Niitsuma and his team have ported over the three button control system (light, medium and hard attacks) used in 'Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars' to 'MVC3' and it works like a charm because what was lost in the change is balanced by some new abilities and attacks.

With some characters you will now be able to bodyslam an opponent to the ground like The Undertaker, tag out during a combo and throw opponents into the air so you can pummel them senselessly as they flail around helplessly and pathetically. The backgrounds of the various arenas which include The Daily Bugle, Asgard and even an Umbrella Corporation test lab from Resident Evil, are also interactive at times.

Marvel Vs. Capcom 3The one thing you will notice is no matter which character you are, you move a little bit slower and the arenas are longer than before. These alterations make the battle themselves more intimidating in the sense that if you are not right up in somebody's face, there is a tense cat and mouse game going on that plays with your head and your strategy. All of the battles are between teams of three and now with more room to maneuver than previous installments, the confrontations are better and more brutal than they ever were before.

'MVC3' also introduces the 'X Factor' gameplay mechanic which when activated, increases the speed and strength of your chosen character. 'X Factor' can also be used to negate a foe's attack, thus granting you a reprieve to dodge or counter in the heat of battle. 'X Factor' is not a game changer, just another curious weapon in your arsenal.

Marvel Vs. Capcom 3The comic book look sets the flamboyantly fun exaggerated tone and the rich detail in every character is a proof of how much the developers really appreciate the source material. From Deadpool's hilarious moonwalk to the abject ferocity of the Incredible Hulk, to the way final boss Galactus swats at your party like a bunch of annoying insects, each character has their own identity and feel to them. The only drawback to this grand attention to detail is compared to other releases in the series, 'MVC3' is minus about 20 or so characters. It is a matter of quality versus quantity, it would seem. Myself, I would rather have a group of really strong, specialized characters than a bunch of clones who only differ in their appearance and finishing moves.

Online multiplayer mode and the game's storyline is where 'MVC3' takes a header just like Stilt-Man every time he faces Spider-Man or Daredevil. And, an awful header it is. Although there is little or no lag to put a damper on things, partying up in online multiplayer is about as interesting as listening to another Gorilla Grodd tirade against humanity. When not fighting, you will snore and snore some more as you watch the health bars of other players rise and fall. This is not anyone's idea of fun.

Marvel Vs. Capcom 3The game's plot sounds promising enough with iconic baddies Dr. Doom and Albert Wesker joining forces. Once into the game though, you quickly realize this is a cake with no frosting. There is just fight after fight, battle after battle, with no cut-scenes or context to tie them together. Depending upon which character you beat Galactus with in Arcade mode, an ending will play out in comic book panels. Some of the endings have some cool guest appearances such as Daredevil and Ghost Rider nevertheless we wish the developers had really taken the time to stitch together an appealing plot so things didn't play out like one round of boxing after another with no explanation as to why each victory mattered.

Although the package could have been a little tighter and more extras could have been offered, 'Marvel Vs Capcom 3' gives fans exactly what they want: big battles, big moves and big fun. Plus, where else can you pound the living crap out of that infuriating bobblehead M.O.D.O.K? To me, that's worth the price of admission alone.


Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 'Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: The Fate of Two Worlds'
Format: Xbox 360
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
Official Site:
Rating: 8 / 10


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