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3/30/2011

REVIEW: Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (PS3)


Capcom has always been famous for creating great and famous fighting games, and sometimes they make mixes between their series and other franchises like “X-men vs. Street Fighter”, “Capcom vs. SNK”, among others. But the most successful of all is definitely “Marvel vs. Capcom” which crosses some of the greatest super heroes and villains from the huge comic maker and the most famous characters from several Capcom-made videogames.

After ten long years of waiting, fans of the first two entries in the series are finally able to get their hands on Marvel vs. Capcom 3 which is simply amazing in every way. With 19 characters on every side (for now), it has a great cast with tons of play styles that will surely fit the tastes of every fighting game player.

One of the most important aspects to notice in this game is that instead of just using one character, you will have to use teams of three different ones. This makes the player the option to create good teams based on the character’s abilities so they nullify the other one’s weaknesses.  The characters’ play styles go from quick rushdown fighters like Felicia (Darkstalkers) and X-23 (X-men) to heavy and strong but slower characters like Hulk and Mike Haggar (Final Fight). Some of them even focus a little more on projectiles and other ranged attacks like M.O.D.O.K. (Iron Man’s comics) and Chris (Resident Evil).

The graphics are very good; using cel-shaded textures in every character gives unique looks to all of them. It makes use of great lighting effects on the characters and running at a stable 60 fps, the fighters have excellent animations and movements that make them come to life in an excellent way. Every stage is a 2D platform with invisible walls in the corners but they all have unique backgrounds filled with tons of things happening at the same time which can even be a little distracting to the players. Each stage features a location related to a character, for example you can fight in a Spiderman parade, in a world from Resident Evil and a level from Ghost n’ Goblins, etc.

Gameplay-wise the game is very fast and intense. It is probably one of the fastest fighting games out there. The commands in the game are quite simple: You have a light, medium and heavy attack and a fourth “special” attack that is almost always an uppercut used to send the opponent to the air and continue the huge number of impressive combos available. Each character has several moves you can use by combining those buttons with directional commands like the ones used for almost every other fighting game, requiring the player to memorize the command list of a character before starting to master his or her abilities.

While in battle, you will only control one of the characters of your team at a time, but you can press the L1 or R1 buttons to call one of your team members to do an assist move you chose on him/her. If you hold the button, you will completely switch to another character, giving you a lot of options to choose from when trying to attack or defend from your opponent’s movements. Besides that, every character has a few “Hyper Combos” which are very impressive moves they have and normally result in combos of double and triple digits if they successfully connect.  To use them you have to fill up the bars in the lower corners of the screen by attacking your opponent or receiving hits from them. Using your hyper combos wisely is the key to victory in this game.

The game offers the common “Arcade” mode where you chose a team and fight along several stages until you have to beat a final boss. There’s also a training mode with tons of options to work out and practice your abilities and a very cool “Mission” mode where every character has about ten insane combos you have to complete to unlock cool stuff like artwork, titles to show off in online multiplayer and videos.

Then there’s the multiplayer which can be both offline or online. When playing against other people online, you will have the option to choose between ranked matches to work your way up the leaderboards (which can be accessed as well) or casual matches just for fun. The online matches run very smoothly and lag is almost never present which is great given that this is a very fast game.

The soundtrack is great as well; it is filled with several themes, one for each character (besides one for the menus, option screen, etc). Capcom fans will surely notice several remixes of songs used in franchises some of the characters come from. Like Chun-Li’s theme from Street Fighter II, Zero’s theme from Megaman X, among others. The fighters are fully voiced in an excellent way and you can even switch from Japanese voices to English one for some of the Capcom characters like Ryu, Morrigan and Felicia. 

For closing comments, I can say that Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is an excellent game and definitely one of the best fighting titles Capcom has ever made. The game modes it offers are sure to guarantee several hundred hours to pretty much any kind of gamer. The graphics are great, it plays and sounds great and the character roster is incredible. It is 100% sure everyone will find a team of characters they like and with some practice, build up enough abilities to take out the strong opponents already waiting in the online ranked matches. Totally recommended.


Pros:

-          Fast and intense battle system
-          Great roster of characters from both names
-          Smooth and easy-to-use online system and leaderboards

Cons:
    
-          Story mode is very archaic
-          It can be confusing to understand what to do in Mission mode


Graphics and Visual Effects……..….8
Music and Sound Effects…………...8
Gameplay……………………..……8
Replay Value………………….……9

OVERALL SCORE…………….…8.25/10

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