Bargain Gaming – Marvel vs. Capcom 3 – New Release Special Review

Posted on Feb 24 2011

Marvel vs. Capcom 2 was one of my favorite fighting games as a kid.  It and the Soul Calibur made up the bulk of my fighting game experience back then, and I loved them for it.  Sure, games like Mortal Kombat and Tekken would be played on occasion as well, but it was these two games that first taught me the joy of fighting games and, sadly, the painful realization that I wasn’t any good at them.  Sure, I enjoyed playing them and I tried to use strategy where it was appropriate, but I guess I am just a button masher by nature.  As such I was naturally drawn towards Marvel vs. Capcom 2 due to the wide selection of interesting characters and game play that was still enjoyable for button mashing fools like me.  So when I heard that Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was being released, I was ecstatic!  Sure, some of the character choices for the game were questionable to me (why no Megaman Capcom?  Why?), the confirmed characters were enough to keep me interested and in the end solidified my decision to purchase the game at its release.  So, taking off the nostalgia glasses for a moment, does this game stand on its own merits, or is its diverse character roster the only thing it has going for it?

Looking at Marvel vs. Capcom 3 from a visual perspective alone, it certainly deserves its place as a next gen fighting game.  The cel-shaded graphics are gorgeous to look at and make the battles a thrill to watch, as the colorful characters and rich backgrounds really cause the battles to come to life.  Adding the fact that the character models were all made from the ground up for this title and the whole game has a really consistent feel.  It feels as though the two worlds have actually intermingled rather than it just being a random assortment of characters from different games, which is a nice touch.  Combine this with the amazing looking special moves and hyper combos and you have a game that really leaves a solid visual impression on the player, making you want to keep playing in order to see even more.

And as always the game’s audio quality goes hand in hand with its visuals when it comes to its sensory impact, and fortunately the game does not disappoint in this regard either.  And while the themes are not quite as impressive as the visuals, the awesome opening theme and the individual character themes serve to add an extra layer of depth to the game.  These themes even help in adding more personality to the characters, if that makes any sense, as they add a bit of flair to their entrances and provide the player with an added sense of tension as the themes for the characters flip back and forth.  And while these themes may not be truly memorable, they do succeed in adding to the game and as such are worthy of praise.

As for one of the most important aspects of any game, the story, it’s…. Well, it’s nonexistent.  The only mention of any reason for the events in game is in the manual and the endings when you clear the arcade mode make little to no sense.  But hey, what did you expect from a fighting game?  If you really need a story as to why Zero, Amaterasu, and X-23 have teamed up to save the world then you’re just going to have to use your imagination.

Moving on to the actual meat of any fighting game, the game play and controls, all in all I think these aspects were very well handled.  The game play is a fun mix of fast and frenetic action while still being lengthy enough to be interesting thanks to the three character party system.  The controls are responsive and have a good mix of regular and special attacks to keep the fight going, and really serve to highlight the character’s individual play styles.  Many have praised the game as being more balanced than its predecessor, and this is to a large extent true, as all of the characters are certainly playable enough to not be seen as useless in a fight.  And while it’s true that some of the characters have different control setups (I’m looking at you MODOK!), once you get a handle on them they are still playable in game and can even be used to great effect by some players.

This is not to say the game is perfect though, as despite the improved balance between most of the characters there are still some characters that have been revealed to be a bit overpowered.  For instance, Sentinel is widely regarded to be overpowered due to his high damage output, range, and health.  Phoenix is also regarded to be overpowered, not because of her stats, but because of her hyper ability to recharge to full health with buffed stats when she’s on the verge of death, making her one of the deadliest comeback characters in the game.  Factors like these serve to make the game less appealing in a competitive light, as everyone focuses solely on the characters regarded as overpowered, taking the fun out of it for players who just want to play as their favorite characters.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s still fun to play recreationally and against friends, but some character need a little more tweaking before this game can be considered truly balanced.

The final thing I’d like to touch on for this game is the obvious issue of DLC, as there has been rampant speculation regarding anything from who will be in the additional character packs to whether or not things like costume packs will be released for the game.  These bother me for two reasons.  One, I’ve never really liked the concept of adding content that I feel should’ve been available in the first place for an additional fee.  It feels like I’m being cheated by the game designers, who rather than put the additional effort into the original product decided that it would be more economical to charge us for this “extra content”.  It really bothers me, and makes me distrust the company who issues it as I’d rather wait for a later release with all the content than purchase it piece meal.  And two, despite everything I just said I don’t know if my will power is enough to keep me from purchasing a DLC pack with Megaman in it…

In any case, despite these small character flaws and DLC issues I’m still going to recommend this game to anyone who’s looking for a fun fighter on a next gen system.  Sure, it’s not great in a competitive game setting, but in terms of sheer button mashing, crazy character match up fun its unmatched!  And hey, with a few tweaks this game might even be good at that!  In any case, if you own a PS3 or an Xbox 360 and are looking for a fighting game to add to your library, pick this one up.

This is Maverick Hunter BG, returning to base.

You Might Also Like...

  • Rhetorical Gamer February 24, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    From one gamer to another its true I will not be strong enough to not buy the Mega Man DLC 🙁

  • EagleEyes February 24, 2011 at 2:06 PM

    I would love to play this game but the character selection just doesnt appeal to me. I can just see myseld only using Storm.

    And knowing my luck she will be horribly underpowered >.<

  • Jubilee February 24, 2011 at 2:16 PM

    Storm <3
    Phoenix <3

  • nerdwerld February 24, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    Suprised that Elk has commented yet

  • Bargain Gamer February 24, 2011 at 10:02 PM

    @RG: I know, I want to play as megaman so bad… v.v

    @EE: Storm’s actually a fairly solid character imo, so no worries there. I’d suggest renting it if you’re not sure, as you can burn through quite a bit of the single player content in a few days if you try.

    @Nerd: I am also surprised at this. I <3 comments. ^w^

  • Kate February 24, 2011 at 11:54 PM

    Eww… Overpowered characters. Probably mostly seen and spammed online, just like certain Star Wars characters in another game.I’ Am I right, Gamer?

    I’m planning on getting this sooner or later. When, though, I have no idea.

    • Bargain Gamer February 25, 2011 at 12:01 AM

      Let’s just say that I doubt the reason so many people are using Sentinel online is because he’s such a popular character. XD

      • Kate February 25, 2011 at 12:06 AM

        Nah! Sentinel is just awesomely popular! What are you talking about??

  • NitemareZero February 24, 2011 at 11:57 PM

    Good Review, agree to most of it
    Sentinal = Too cheap

  • AnarchoElk February 25, 2011 at 4:34 AM

    as I’ve been watching some streamed tournaments, I’m going to have to disagree on the competitive comment. Sentinel overpowered? Yes. but he’s really the only one, all the other powerful characters are fairly balanced. And Sent’s a pretty big target, and AS he’s over powered people are in the lab against him the most learning the secrets to beating out his keepaway tactics. Phoenix is definitely an extreme comeback character, but you have to be very good with her to a) Get Dark Phoenix, and b) not get put into a combo, because one combo is enough to kill her, then the trouble of saving up 5 bars before she dies is useless. The truest glass cannon in any fighter.
    For perspective:
    Sentinel: 1.3 Million hp
    Phoenix (both forms) 420k hp (and Dark Phoenix constantly loses HP unless she is in X Factor or has her regen hyper active near an enemy)

    • Bargain Gamer February 25, 2011 at 12:21 PM

      I agree that most of the characters are pretty well balanced, I’m just annoyed by how much people are using the characters regarded as OP. It takes the fun out of competitive play for me, but that’s just my personal opinion. ^ ^

  • Snapplemonkey February 27, 2011 at 5:35 AM

    I wouldn’t mind the DLC if it was for pure cosmetic stuff like the costume packs and such. But for additional characters and and maybe some game modes, it should have been implemented from the starts. Not doing so is either greedy or lazy… maybe even both.

    As for competitive play, for next gen games they can actually update the game and add balance changes. So that issue will eventually be fixed, back in the day they had to be more careful with things like that.

    Also, being a fighting game is no excuse to having no story. Games liked Street Fighter 4 and Soul Calibur were good at storytelling.

    From what I get of this and various other reviews, it seems like the gamed was rushed and released with the bare minimum that is expected of a fighting game of this caliber. I will eventually pick this up, but I’m in no rush for now.

    Anyway, nice review. Keep up the good work!

  • You must be logged in to comment. Log in