I immediately became a fan of Capcom’s ‘Versus’ series when I first played Marvel vs Capcom 2 in an arcade cabinet a few years back. Sure, I was a little late to the party, but that isn’t to say that I didn’t understand what an amazing game it was. When it was re-released on the PlayStation Network, I made sure to download it, and enjoyed it even more in crisp HD. When Capcom later announced the long awaited sequel to the game, I couldn’t help but get worked up and excited. I even squeezed in the lines a fan always tends to use with such a beloved franchise – Capcom won’t disappoint their fans. The game was released in February of 2011, and it is now that I decided to pick it up and thoroughly play through it. I didn’t hold back from this game for any weakness – I held off because it disappointed me without even needing to play it. However, to bring a thorough review, I decided to finally pick up and play one of the most disappointing game released this year so far. What exactly is it that upsets me about Marvel vs Capcom 3?
How Can I Play This Game By Myself?
Capcom brought in a lot of familiar game modes that are standard to your everyday fighter. Like most fighting games, Marvel vs Capcom 3 has your arcade ladders, your mission modes and your training modes. The arcade ladder works like it should, giving players their choice of a three character team to face off against six other teams, and ultimately the final boss. The character delivering the final blow to the boss determines the ending we get to see. For the most part, the endings are very generic, boring and at times feel utterly wasted and pointless. Some of the endings don’t feel like an ending for the said character. Aside from that note, the artwork of the endings are also lazily done. The endings are done in a comic book style, which does suit the style of the game. Scroll three three or four pages of text and drawings of the characters in a cinematic scene. There are no cutscenes, voice acting or any of the such in these character endings. This proves to be a lazy attempt at something worthwhile, especially when compared to the endings of Capcom’s other successful fighting series – Street Fighter. The only ending I truly enjoyed was Deadpool’s, which is quite sad being that there are 36 characters in the game.
Mission mode is practically combo trials, which we’ve seen in many fighting games before. For the most part, it is pretty generic and doesn’t feel very rewarding. The non-rewarding experience is only further dragged down by the fact that you only need to complete one mission from each character to actually unlock something. It isn’t exactly a worthwhile experience and doesn’t add much for the newcomers to enjoy. This mode was built with the idea of mastering the game in mind. One thing Marvel vs Capcom 3 lacks is the promised, deep story line. When the game was announced, Capcom promised a deep story line unlike any other seen in the series. The closest players get to a “deep” story is the intro cutscene when you first put in the game. Sure, the game’s manual does explain the synopsis of the game, but what good is that if players can’t see the story unfold in-game. While most players either don’t expect a worthwhile story or don’t care for one, it has been proven that a deep story can be done in a fighting game with games like BlazBlue and Mortal Kombat. It is a huge mistake on Capcom’s part to deliver such a barebones experience for the game’s single player experience.
You Said 36 Characters. They any good?
Marvel vs Capcom 3 drops the whopping 56 character roster for a size 36. The drop is understandable, likely for financial purposes, but one would expect Capcom to include an incredibly superb roster with the little space they have. Unfortunately, that is not the case. For the most part, Capcom’s side of the roster is pretty impressive. Newcomers such as Dante and Wesker are much appreciated, and returns of fan favorites are even more appreciated. However, one important character is greatly missing, one of Capcom’s famed mascots – Megaman. This isn’t a flaw on its own, but it is pretty upsetting. We did get the badass Zero as a character, but Megaman is still greatly missed. The scarier part about this is that it has been a couple of months since the game’s release, and we haven’t even received word on him being available as DLC.
Marvel’s side of the roster is the biggest issue with the roster in its entirety. Marvel’s side does bring returning fan favorites and icons, such as Wolverine and Spider-Man, but the newcomers aren’t exactly welcome. Characters like Dormammu and M.O.D.O.K. are both non-iconic and just don’t feel like they belong in a game that was meant to bring the icons of both sides in one game. For the most part, there is nothing wrong with the way they play. The issue with these characters is that they could have easily been replaced with a much better choice of character. M.O.D.O.K. could have easily been replaced by the iconic Doc Ock or Green Goblin, while the Dormammu space could have been filled with at least one of the Fantastic 4 or even the Silver Surfer. Another issue with the Marvel roster is the inclusion of X23 or She-Hulk. These characters are essentially female counterparts of Wolverine and Hulk, and could have easily been replaced with unique characters that fans remember from the comics. The set of new characters isn’t all bad, as the inclusion of Deadpool and Thor were both much needed. However, the majority is rather disappointing and feels more like filler characters to take up space.
How’s the Multiplayer experience?
Capcom didn’t try hard to make the single player experience worthwhile, but they at least bumped up the multiplayer, right? Wrong. Unfortunately, Marvel vs Capcom 3 doesn’t bring anything worthwhile into the Multiplayer portion either. There are no Spectator Modes or Tournament Modes in the game, and the servers can prove to be a pain at times. When put in a match, of course it is enjoyable to play. However, the fun factor doesn’t last to long, as the leveling system is anything but rewarding. Customizing your fighter profile isn’t something worth getting excited about. However, being able to check out one’s stats in the player profile is a pretty neat addition.
In the chat room lobbies, players aren’t allowed to do much when not in a match. There are no spectator modes or any way of creating some sort of tourney tree. This leads to practically nothing exciting to do online, except watching two virtual licenses hump each other while waiting for a fight. Marvel vs Capcom 3 can also be played local online, which is pretty basic and enjoyable when gathered around with a group of friends who want to fight with a not-so-All Star All Star cast.
So what DID you have fun with?
If Capcom succeeded in anything, it was making this disappointing game fun to play. For starters, the fast paced action adds a great level of fun factor into the game. It’s a blast throwing various combo hits to an opponent and then easily switching to a character midcombo to further deliver some devastation blows. This entire formula proves to be a blast, and is done even easier with the newly revamped control system. The controls have been greatly improved since Marvel vs Capcom 2, allowing for easier combo tricks and aerial juggles. The controls feel smooth and are much easier for a newcomer to pick up and play. If a newcomer still doesn’t feel comfortable with these improved controls, they can pick the much welcome Simple Mode at the beginning of a match or arcade ladder. This creates an even easier experience for players and, at times, can make the game even more enjoyable.
Marvel vs Capcom 3 also looks beautiful. The character renders look astounding the arenas are both lively and beautiful. Most, even the characters with an already set 3D design, have been completely re-imagined using a comic book style of art, full of shaders and darker lines. Most, if not, all of the characters look amazing with these designs. Even the comic book styled Chris Redfield looks great when compared to the realistic style Capcom featured in Resident Evil 5. The arenas are all so very lively, full of several events that suit the world in which that arena takes place in. One of my favorite examples is at The Daily Bugle, in which J Jonah Jameson screams out for Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man, to grab shots of the fight that is going down. This is only one of the many events you will encounter when fighting on the various fighting arenas seen in Marvel vs Capcom 3.
All in all, I had a lot of fun with Marvel vs Capcom 3. It is definitely the most fun I’ve ever had with such a disappointing game. With beautiful designs, revamped control system and neat gameplay changes, it is such a shame to see that this game feels half-finished. It seems as though Capcom gave us the barebones of the game that should have and could have been much more. Where is the promised deep story line? Where are the iconic characters fans know and love? Where are all the extra content? This game is among the list of disappointing games released this year, alongisde Duke Nukem Forever.
- Fast paced fighting is incredibly fun
- The revamped controls is a huge improvement, and Simple Mode is perfect for newcomers
- Neat, new gameplay additions
- Amazing character designs and lively fighting arenas
- No story line or story mode, as promised
- Barebones single player experience
- Weak character selection
- Barebones Multiplayer experience
- Lack of content delivery