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‘MvC3’ exchanges the cast size for balance

February 18, 2011

With “Marvel vs. Capcom 2” being such a success, it is no surprise that Capcom recently released “Marvel vs. Capcom 3.” The third entry is the series is addicting and fun to play.

Similar its predecessor, “MvC3” has players fight with teams of three characters that can be switched in and out at any time. In addition to switching characters, players can also call in partners for quick attacks.

Fighting well will increase a special meter that can trigger special power attacks. When the special meter fills up enough, players can trigger a truly epic scene where all three partners unleash their special attacks at once, causing massive damage to the opponent.

All these elements were in previous game; however, this game also introduces a new mechanic called the X-Factor that, when activated, boosts the character’s speed and strength. In addition, activating X-Factor cancels an attack, even special attacks. The catch is that a player can only activate X-Factor once per match.

This game has a total of 36 characters, which is 20 less than the previous game. However, Capcom makes up for the lack of characters by having the cast be extremely balanced and unique. Every character has a different style and feel, while “MvC2” had many clone characters and was dominated by a select few characters. Essentially, the cast in “MvC3” may be smaller, but is more balanced.

This game also makes it easier it is to figure out attacks for different characters because inputs for moves and combos often carry over to different characters. For example, rolling your thumb down to the right and pressing a button generally unleashes a projector attack for the majority of the characters. However, the characters remain diverse because they each offer different variations of the attacks.

All of these elements come together to make a very complex and diverse style of fighting because there are so many factors to consider. Some characters work better together. For instance, I triggered my special meter so all three of my characters attacked together, but one of them carried my opponent in the air while attacking, causing my other two characters to miss with their projectile attacks. Needless to say, experimentation is important when trying to find that dream team.

People inexperienced in fighting games will see this as a simple button masher, but veterans will realize there is a lot of thought and planning that goes into these battles. Players will perform a favorite combo, ending with an attack that sends the opponent in the air where players can continue attacking. While in the air, players must decide to either end the combo safely or test their luck by throwing their opponent in one of four directors and switching partners to continue the combo. The reason the latter is risky is because the opponent can counter attack if he presses the same director that he was thrown.

The biggest disappoint in this game is the lack of extra features or game modes. There is the arcade, versus, training and sets of challenges for each character that don’t offer any real benefit for completing them. There is also a gallery mode, which features character models and bios, sounds, videos, etc.

Fighting games usually have additional features, such as survival mode, spectator mode, etc. The purpose of these features are to extend game life for those who become bored with the core battle experience.

These complaints aside, “Marvel vs. Capcom 3” is great game that anyone interested in fighting games or comic books will appreciate.

Features Editor

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