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February 15, 2011



- Hugely colorful
- Big roster of characters to mix-and-match
- Great fun with real life people
- Cool backgrounds
- Functional online play...



-... but comes attached to some inexplicable design choices
- Hamfisted Tutorial and "Challenge" mode



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Review: Savage She-Hulk 15" Statue

Review: The Incredible Hulk Legendary Bust



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Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds

Score: 8.0 / 10


marvel vs capcom 3          marvel vs capcom 3


Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is like a water park. There's an area for the kids with plenty of slides, spraying water, waves, and brightly colored equipment on which to climb. Maybe even a diving board. There's no technique involved in just having fun in this part of the water park. Nearby there are a series of swimming pool lanes set aside for people that practice their form, shave milliseconds off their best lap times, and attempt to drown anyone that gets the way.

This division between pro and mere fun seekers definitely exists with Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Being able to form trios of over-powered superheroes, villains, and




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fighting game stalwarts, is 85% of the fun. Crunching an opponent into the ground as the Hulk then blasting the opponent with Iron Man's uni-beam and following it up with an attack from Morrigan is a lot of fun. There's a real feeling of power that's deftly conveyed by way of some of really good animation and incredible Team Hyper Combo options, even when those team attacks are being doled out by the opposition.


Everything seems to have been hand-crafted somehow. Besides the fact 3D models are being used, there's an incredible amount of texture on display in the background. As a spectator there's always something see; little details happening in the background that are interesting to watch.


marvel vs capcom 3          marvel vs capcom 3


As a player, the focus is obviously on the foreground where the action happens extremely quick. In fact, so quick this gamer found some matches lost almost before they started simply because everything happens so fast and with so much flash that it can be difficult for one that likes to play in the water to keep up or even anticipate what the opponent is about to do.

Capcom seems to have gone out of their way to create an online experience that only the hardcore swimmers will be able to appreciate. While the actual online performance of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is great, there's a list of problems with the front end that make online play a chore and, honestly, boring. If the game can't find a lobby, it drops to the main menu requiring a bunch of button presses to try hopping online again. There's a much better success rate setting up a lobby for others to join, but because there's no spectator mode players get an awesome animation of two cards bumping into each other and health bars decreasing until the match it over. And when a trio is being assembled for a match, the opponent's choices are never indicated, which makes for a bit of mystery but it's also frustrating because there's no chance to effectively plot out a trio that might result in a better outcome (i.e. a win). It's not a rock-paper-scissors kind of thing, but there are definite pros and cons to take into account when figuring out the characters that will be taken into a match. After a couple of matches on the receiving end of complete evisceration, it was obvious that the Training and "Mission" mode might offer a better chance of learning technique over button-mashing and profanity.



marvel vs capcom 3          marvel vs capcom 3


At best, the Training and Mission modes are ham-fisted. Mission mode offers the most glaring example of this. Onscreen is a line indicating what move is required to complete the "mission." But it doesn't offer the information of how to perform the move. The move list in the pause menu needs to be accessed. More helpful would have been that information displayed onscreen and even a demonstration clip of what the move looks like would have helped. Both modes had the opportunity to be useful but instead they descend into punching bag simulators.

For the diving board and fire hose audience, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 drains down to two modes: Arcade and "Story." Plenty of fun there with a live human opponent!

- Aaron Simmer

(February 25, 2011)


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