Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of two worlds review

Capcom has made their way back onto the fighting game scene in a big way over the last 2 years with their releases of Street Fighter IV and Super Street Fighter IV respectively, however after playing what is essentially the same game for the last couple years I know I’m not the only person that was in need of something new to kick some ass on.
After a decade of waiting since the release of Marvel vs Capcom 2, fighting fans can rejoice over the release of Capcom’s latest masterpiece, Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of two worlds.Not being much of a fighting fan until recently, I missed out on the original MvC games and so the thing that caught my interest for this title was simply all of the awesome characters included such as Dante from Devil May Cry 3. After months of character reveals and awesome CGI trailers hyping the game’s release I was too excited to even use my plastic unwrapping ability on my game when it arrived after an eternal wait one morning.

Starting up the game presented me with an opening movie that was officially viewable months ago thanks to the wonders of the internet, nonetheless I found myself watching the whole thing again because of the great visuals and action contained within. When you pick up the game it’s definitely worth actually watching all of the movies available in it as they truly are awesome.
Even the menus in MvC3 look great as they have been decorated with illustrations of various characters fighting from the trailers, my personal favourite is the image of Dante vs Deadpool that is displayed on the “Offline mode” menu – it’s just too much awesome for one place to handle!

I decided to head straight into training mode to begin with as I’d never actually played a MvC game before. I’ll say this now, whilst both the Street Fighter and Marvel vs Capcom series are 2d fighters made by Capcom, do not expect the games to play similarly despite featuring many of the same characters. Marvel vs Capcom is much faster paced and feels extremely different to Street Fighter, there’s a lot more happening on-screen due to support characters. It therefore took me a while to adjust to MvC3, but the training mode has a ton of options to help including setting up a vs match with my dummy opponents and even allowing me to simulate every level of online lag possible. Personally I wouldn’t touch a lobby with a red bar connection with a 10ft arcade stick, but it’s a nice included feature anyway. It’s nifty little things like this and being able to preset your team before a fight so that you needn’t manually pick them each time which show that Capcom have thought a lot about ways in which they can optimize the MvC series for the modern day gamer.

When I felt confident enough to leave training mode I decided to have a few vs matches against the computer to further hone my skills, and that’s when I discovered something shocking – there is no option to fight against the AI in vs mode. I’ve tried repeatedly to think of a reason why this may not have been included and I just can’t find one, it simply makes no sense. The thing that annoys me the most about the exclusion of computer vs mode is the fact that it was in both of Capcom’s most recent fighting game releases, both of which run on the same engine as MvC3. As someone that loves to fight against the computer quite often I was extremely disappointed with this discovery. It is possible to set up fights against the computer in training mode, but this is tedious as you need to fiddle around with the options to set it up and then change them all back again if you just simply want to train against a stationary dummy. Currently only human vs human is possible in vs mode.

I decided not to dwell on a negative and went for arcade mode instead to begin unlocking characters (four are locked when you start the game.) I picked my team of Dante, Ryu and Viewtiful Joe and opted for the medium difficulty as a good starting point, this was a good choice as I found the game challenging but not unbeatable. Arcade mode consists of a measly 6 fights which is noticeably shorter than that of other fighting games (with the average being 8 fights), and is followed by a boss fight with Galactus – The gigantic cosmic, planet devouring being from the Marvel Universe. Galactus differs from a lot of fighting game bosses simply due to his massive size, the largest arcade mode boss from contemporary fighters is Azazel from Tekken 6, but even he wouldn’t be half the size of Galactus’ head (the freaking guy eats planets!) This fight then truly does feel like a boss fight should – epic, and after getting destroyed by gigantic fists and laser beams repeatedly I finally managed to work out a pattern and defeat him to which I was told that I had “saved the world” and was presented with the ending for the character that had landed the final blow.

The character endings are all illustrations drawn by Marvel and look fantastic, many of the endings feature a crossover from the opposite universe and make for an entertaining read. I’d be lying if I said that I wouldn’t have rather seen cutscenes to the same awesome standard as the trailers, but the comics aren’t bad either. I think that the character roster is lacking slightly for this game, however with the promise of DLC from Capcom and the obvious fan service that they are giving, that will all have changed within a few months. The characters available are all very different from eachother though so you won’t be getting bored with them any time soon if you want to play seriously.

Online mode was next on the list of modes for me to kick ass in, unfortunately though I ended up making another disappointing discovery here. I was shocked to find out that despite 8 player lobbies being included in the game, spectating other people’s fights isn’t. Instead I was forced to sit and watch an animation of the 2 battler’s licenses (you can choose a custom emblem and title for yourself which is visible on your license) “fight” eachother whilst their lifebars were shown. I’m extremely disappointed with this as spectating should be a staple for every online fighting game release nowadays, the fact that Capcom has yet again previously included spectator lobbies in their previous fighter, Super Street Fighter IV, and that SSFIV and MvC3 both run on the same engine just makes me even more annoyed. Currently a patch is “in the works”, but as for when it’s released, your guess is as good as mine… Online was pretty lagless, even against players from the US and Canada which is great as I’m usually forced to avoid fighting players from other regions. I encountered some challenging opponents online, but the most annoying players are the ones that pick Arthur and then run to the other side of the screen and spam his projectile attacks – believe me, you will encounter many of these and they are extremely frustrating.

The thing that made me really made appreciate the effort that Capcom has put into the game is all of the attention to detail on the characters. Each character has attacks and animations taken directly from their game/comic and the voices are spot on too. It’s a joy to watch so many of my favourite heroes and villains on screen fighting together.
The gameplay itself is also pretty unique whilst being extremely fun and frenzied. Different levels of Hyper combos, Support characters and a powered up mode known as “X Factor” can be used together to create devastating combos which leads to an interesting layer of strategy not seen in most fighting games today. Unfortunately Cheryl Cole doesn’t make an appearance when you activate X Factor either. A feature from SFIV and SSFIV that was thankfully included in this is fight requesting, basically this means that you can be actively searching for an opponent online whilst in any of the other modes, if you do find an opponent in the middle of a match you will hear the announcer say “here comes a new challenger!” – just like at the arcade!

After playing the game for a whole day, and then another day, and now another day I have fallen in love with it. The game is just crazy fast paced action with all of your favourite fighters, and whilst it is easy for newcomers to pick up there is also a lot of depth there to be explored. The attention to detail is great all around and the game simply makes itself a joy to play AND watch. Marvel vs Capcom 3 is however lacking at the moment due to the exclusion of vs computer and online spectating modes, but in a few months time I daresay the game will be absolutely perfect for any fighting fan.

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