The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
Like the X-Men’s Jean Gray, the fighting genre has risen from the
ashes. Capcom is leading the fiery rebirth, finding success with Street
Fighter IV by distilling the 2D fighting experience to its essentials,
making it pretty, and hosting terrific online play. Since its
announcement last April, hungry fighting fans have waited impatiently
for Marvel vs. Capcom 3, hoping the company can hit it out of the park
again. You can stop worrying. The long-awaited sequel will keep d-pads
warm and arcade sticks clacking for months to come.
continues the tradition of pitting stacks of memorable characters
against one another. Capcom shaved the amount of Street Fighters down in
favor of newcomers like Arthur from Ghosts ‘n Goblins and Amaterasu
from Okami. The Marvel crew is the best assortment yet, with
fan-favorite Phoenix entering the fray and oddballs like M.O.D.O.K.
adding color. Fans upset that Marvel vs. Capcom 3 features only 36
characters (20 less than MvC 2) should relax. Every character has
unique, robust move sets, a far cry from the previous game’s glorified
palette swaps. The game features a cornucopia of over-the-top mayhem –
Nathan Spencer grabs foes from across the stage with his bionic arm
while yelling “get over here,” Deadpool yells “bang bang” as he
unleashes a torrent of blazing gunfire, and Arthur is hilariously
stripped to his boxer shorts.
The basic three-on-three tag team
format from Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is intact, but the developers gave it
much-needed renovation. Capcom trimmed MvC 2’s ultra-narrow input
windows down to more enjoyable SF IV levels, and the resulting gameplay
is smooth as butter whether you pick up a controller or an arcade stick.
I had no problem transposing skills I learned in Super Street Fighter
IV into MvC 3, removing the steep learning curve that accompanies some
new fighters. All aerial launches and character exchanges are now
executed with a single button, and the change makes learning the ropes
of aerial combat a quick and satisfying process. Even if you’re new to
the series, this game offers rewarding training and simple mode, a
convenient, streamlined control scheme that maps key combos and special
moves to single buttons. Accidentally wrecking your friends by button
mashing is fun, but like training wheels, simple mode must eventually be
ditched in order to contend with the big boys using traditional
Despite being riotously entertaining, a few elements
hold MvC 3 back. Character endings consist of art stills with text
overlays, a huge disappointment considering Super Street Fighter IV had
fully voiced and animated conclusions (and only one less character).
Fans expecting the suite of online features accompanying Super Street
Fighter IV should regulate their excitement, because MvC 3’s virtual
arcade only has the basics like ranked and player matches, plus custom
lobbies to recreate the “winner stays” arcade experience. SSF IV’s
successful tournament mode and multiplayer team battles are inexplicably
absent. Why Capcom didn’t simply borrow everything from its fighting
cousin is a mystery.
Small gripes aside, you shouldn’t miss
Marvel vs. Capcom 3 if you have even a passing interest in Capcom,
Marvel, the fighting genre, or good games. This pugilistic prize mimics
the polished, accessible reinvention of Street Fighter IV, forming
another strong leg for the resurrected fighting genre to stand on.
Email the author Tim Turi, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.