The lights are on
Never did the advisory for photosensitive people encapsulate the experience of a video game so perfectly. Fate of Two Worlds is a nonstop assault of color and frenzied light shows filled with explosions, tag team moves, and well, incredible backgrounds. With a scaled-down roster, some fans might feel the game is a big display of pyrotechnics, with little substance behind the polished veneer. However, MvC3 more than compensates and will please all fans of the fighting genre, even the most diehard of purists.
Borrowing a little bit of the simplicity of Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, MvC3 has dialed down the complexity of the last iteration by making ultra and super combos universally accessible with similar command inputs. However, the fighting system remains polished and as frenetic as ever, with a wealth of different fighting styles and techniques to take advantage of. Air juggling your opponents figures prominently into getting an advantage against the enemy, and every character has such combos, initiated merely at the press of a button. Teams can perform special coordinated attacks that rank as super combos in their own right, with allies briefly joining you in the fray for an explosive and damaging assault. However, the simplicity is overshadowed by the depth of gameplay for those craving a deeper experience. It also belies the hardest boss battle in the series thus far.
Players can string together combos involving their respective partners for some creative action, and MvC3 has a special set of assist moves you can choose from to spring you out of danger when the opponent's hammering down. This makes an understanding of character dynamics even more important when constructing your teams (I'm currently experimenting with a Wolverine/Dormammu/Phoenix matchup) so that you are well-balanced. To help with this, MvC3 has a special training mode for you to practice against a computer or with a friend, and even a Missions mode that helps you master the combos of each character.
Formally, MvC3 doesn't take itself too seriously. Many of the special moves and dialogue of the game's characters are hilarious - take Deadpool's campy ultra move, for instance - and the tasteful absurdity of the game's action never ends. It would, after all, be preposterous to even try to synthesize a coherent story involving characters as diverse as Wesker and Dante. Each character has an ending that consists entirely of comic layouts, and as the token boss that best epitomizes a universal threat, we have Galactus, who is very challenging, to say the least, and yet, will soon be conquerable once you learn his strategy. All this with an impressive score and tons of unlockable extras like art galleries- the online match-ups aren't too shabby either- make this game one worth experiencing repeatedly.
To some, MvC3's bold direction might be a sign of danger for the franchise, given its receptiveness to beginners. That doesn't include the "lean" approach to other aspects of the game - no animated endings? - which suggest that even more could have been added to perfect this game, including a more creative online matching system. However lacking it might feel to some, the game more than makes up for it with consistently fresh and exciting gameplay. Never once do you feel like you "know" the game if you truly are sampling all the gaming possibilities it has to offer. Fate of Two Worlds continues to reignite the appeal of the fighting genre.
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