“Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds” is a solid choice for gamers looking for a quick burst of superhero-inspired energy. Although many players, this reviewer included, have grown to appreciate the increasingly ambitious storytelling efforts made by the people behind such franchises as Fallout and Red Dead Redemption, Capcom’s latest offering is a refreshing reminder that video games are still games.
The new game’s premise could not be simpler: A lot of people like fighting games, and a lot of people like Marvel Comics. Progressing through the game’s arcade mode eventually takes players to a battle to save the earth from Galactus, Marvel’s planet-consuming threat with a big purple helmet. How you get there doesn’t really make sense in terms of any of comic book continuity – assuming such a thing exists – considering that players can choose among sworn enemies for their three-character teams. But who cares? The point in MvC 3 isn’t to tell a story, but to be a wacky fighting game.
MvC 3 succeeds as a game that’s easy for just about any player to pick up and almost immediately execute ridiculous combos. I have not yet tried the simple mode, which makes special moves as simple as a single button push, but the basics are not difficult to learn. As far as control schemes go, there is little difference between the game’s 36 characters. If you can make Street Fighter’s Ryu perform his signature hadouken move, you can make Marvel’s Deadpool unleash a duel-pistol attack.
I’ve only played the game for a few days so far, but easy to learn does
not mean easy to win. Just because it’s relatively easy to make
characters like Thor or Spencer from Capcom’s Bionic Commando games
unleash lightning attacks or a multi-hit combo, doesn’t mean it’s going
to be easy to win. The sheer speed of the game will put new players at a
disadvantage against any veterans who are adept at timing combos and
character switches. Button mashing can be fun to do – and watch – but
even single-player mode can be a challenge on normal difficulty in later
rounds for players who are not fighting game fanatics.
Capcom has never been afraid to be over-the-top when making fighting
games, and I found the hyper announcer’s voice and character taunts in
Street Fighter IV to be alternately annoying or enjoyably cheesy. MvC 3
takes that same approach to a new level of ADHD-inspired gameplay. The
hyperactive wordplay is matched with comic-book inspired pop-ups like
“Wonderful” or “Awesome” whenever a player unleashes a combo. The
visuals are bright and shiny, and again, the gameplay is really fast.
The character selection in a game like this will never meet everybody’s
satisfaction. It would be impossible for Capcom not to miss players’
favorites. Personally, I think Marvel got a better representation that
Marvel’s iconic heroes and villains like Captain America, Spider-Man,
Hulk, Iron Man, Wolverine, Magneto and Dr. Doom are there. The weird and
malevolent floating cybernetic head that is MODOK is among the game’s
most unique characters and Phoenix and Deadpool have emerged as personal
I probably wouldn’t have picked X-23, a female Wolverine clone, but I
haven’t bought a comic in years. I can live with the choice. That said, I
sure wouldn’t mind seeing Silver Surfer, Black Widow or Nightcrawler as
DLC, wink wink.
On the Capcom side, the game features Street Fighter icons like Ryu
(duh) and Chun Li, Arthur from “Ghosts and Goblins,” Amaterasu from
Okami (one of the game’s best) and characters from franchises like
Darkstalkers, Devil May Cry, Resident Evil, and of course, Mega Man. But
this is where I’m going to have to quibble. I don’t mind playing as
Zero or Tron Bonne, but I’d really like to see the original Mega Man and
Mega Man X.
I’m sure one or both Mega Man characters will appear in a future DLC
pack. I likewise won’t be surprised to see characters like Strider Hiryu
in a future release. I understand Capcom wants to make money, but it’s
kind of frustrating to see Capcom leave out some of its most iconic
When Capcom released Street Fighter IV in 2009, players didn’t have to
wait until the “Super” version came out to play as popular characters
like Guile or Blanka.
MvC 3 is not the most groundbreaking game players will ever see, but it
can be a lot of fun to play for quick gaming sessions. I recommend it to
families with a lot of kids, college students looking for an electronic
icebreaker in their dorms or anyone who appreciates the jolt of
nostalgia that comes with seeing classic Marvel or Capcom characters in
an arcade-style fighting game.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds
PS3, XBox 360 (Reviewed on XBox 360)
Rated T for Teen