If it's crap ... We'll tell you
I’m not a die-hard fighting fan. Should I buy Marvel vs. Capcom 3?
Edit: Check out this guide. It's pretty comprehensive: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSSvTkyCLz0&feature=player_embed...
Without a demo to try this was the dilemma facing me when I first saw some gameplay footage and was intrigued by the fast-paced action, but – as someone who only occasionally dabbles in the genre - hesitant about putting down a full £40 for something that I might not even like. So here’s a sort of quasi-review for someone who likes the look of the car, but isn’t sure how it’ll drive.
Before I delve into the gameplay specifics it’s worth thinking about what type of fighters – if any – you normally like to play. This is fastest and most frantic of its kind I’ve seen, so if you’re a fan of say Tekken, but hate the likes of Dead or Alive or Soul Calibur, I’d advise caution. On the other hand, if it’s not the speed of the latter two that bothers you, but the gameplay, read on, as Marvel vs. Capcom is a very different breed of fighter.
The gameplay works something like this:
Basic attacks are executed using SQUARE for light attack, TRIANGLE for medium, CIRCLE for heavy and X for ‘special’ (which usually means blasting your opponent into the air).
Combos are executed by simply pressing light, then medium, then heavy attack in that order. And that’s it. You can shorten your combo or combine the attack buttons with a direction to specify a low, middle or aerial move.
Notice the control system is actually very simple and – unlike most games of its kind - commands are not separated into ‘kick’ and ‘punch’.
Perhaps a little too simple then? Well, the real skill comes in utilizing your teammates. In every fight you pick a team of three. You control one player at a time (duh), but can order a teammate of your choosing to enter the fray and either launch one attack before retreating, or take over. Teammates on the bench will slowly regain health. When you launch your opponent into the air with a ‘special’ attack [X], you’ll want to perform a jungle move (that’s fighting jargon for “pounding the shit out of them in mid-air where they can’t do anything about it), which is normal enough for fighting games, but in Marvel vs. Capcom, once you’ve completed a standard combo [SQUARE, TRIANGLE, CIRCLE] on your aerial opponent, you can switch out your player before they hit ground, jungle them some more and then switch out your final teammate for one last juggle. Successfully pulling off this triple-team aerial assault is immensely satisfying and deals a great deal of damage.
There are other moves you can pull off that I won’t go into here such as special moves, hyper-combos and team-hyper combos, but take my word for it these are all very easy to pull off. All characters have very short command lists and their unique moves (special moves) tend involve the same button presses for each of them, meaning you don’t have to remember reams of complicated sequences for all the different characters.
If this has given you the impression that this is a shallow fighter, with little skill or depth, you can rest assured this is not the case. Skill and depth in this game come from mastery of these very simple mechanics and the ability to string them together quickly for maximum punishment while not giving your opponent a chance to strike. There is also a good bit of strategy involved with other aspects of the gameplay, which I won’t bore you with here. Suffice it say the gameplay is deep but accessible and very attack-orientated.
Now for the bad news.
The game sucks big time…If you don’t intend to make use of the multiplayer. The single player consists of arcade mode and…well, that’s it. There’s also a training mode and a mission mode where the game takes you through pretty much all the attacks of each different character in painfully bland fashion. Now, I’m not a game designer, but I’m pretty sure programming a basic survival or time trial mode wouldn’t be that difficult.
The single player really is insultingly pathetic and not worth half of what it’s retailing for. But for me, that doesn’t really matter, as I think you’d be crazy to buy a fighting game for its single player anyway.
If I was to give it a Spill rating, I’d say: Full Price