Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Review

The Plot

Universes are colliding and the characters from Marvel Comics & Capcom video games have found themselves in the same pickle (again). It’s pretty standard cross-over material.

Plot doesn’t really matter, what does is that you can pick from an assortment of classic characters and battle it out in three on three matches, just like Marvel vs. Capcom 2.

The Good

Gameplay

If you played MvC2, you pretty much know how to play the third installment. The largest change is that the controls have been simplified. The simplification makes the game fairly easy to get good at quickly. After a few days I think I’m better at MvC3 than I ever was at two, even though I played two for over ten years.

The moves flow from one another, and I never encounter those “oh crap!” moments of MvC2 where moves would miss when they obviously should have hit.

Graphics

The art direction is comic booky, and it works quite well. The four cinematic sequences that you can unlock over the course of the game look hot. I wish there were more of them. Here’s one of them:

Sounds

My biggest complaint with MvC2 was that the sounds were incredibly grating. In MvC3 the sounds don’t piss me off, and I actually enjoy the music. Ryu’s theme is my personal favorite.

Characters

With a roster of 36 characters and at least two more coming in downloadable content, there are plenty of characters to keep the game entertaining.

None of them are clones of others, and there isn’t a single character who is outright unusable. The characters seem well-balanced as well.

The Not-So-Good

Over-simplified

While I’m happy with the simplified controllers, I have a feeling that competitive players might not be. This doesn’t impact me one bit, but it might encourage the more hardcore players to stick with Super Street Fighter 4.

Missing Characters

Yes the character selection is good, but there are also a ton of missing character on both sides. I remember when MvC2 came out talking with friends about all the cool characters they should include in the third: Mega Man X, Dr. Strange, Silver Surfer, and many more.

It would have been nice for a massive character selection, as that was one of MvC2’s claims to fame.

The Ugly

Story

The story is barely there, and consists of poorly written endings for each character. Most of them are downright dumb.

I actually think the game would have been better without them. Skip the lazy writing, and add more characters like MvC2.

Missing Modes

There are only two gameplay modes. Arcade and two-player. It’s anemic and disrespectful to gamers.

If the game industry doesn’t want players to sell their games back to Game Stop, they need to include enough player content to keep them interested for a long time. This was just plain old lazy.

The Bottom-line

MvC3 has to measure up against childhood and adolescent fantasies of what the game would be like. It succeeds on almost every level.

It’s a great game that I will happily play against my friends for years, but I can’t help but feel like Capcom stalled-out instead of going the extra mile for gamers.

There’s a reason why American game makers have been consistently beating the old guard of Japanese companies. It’s the details. Japan has gotten lazy and it shows in the story, game mode options, and character roster.

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