Your names zero, hope you don’t fight like one
I should probably start this with a little background on myself as regards fighting games, I would call myself a fan of fighting games but defiantly a player in the casual bracket of players and my only experience with versus games is a few matches of the MVC2 demo on xbla. I was drawn to MVC3 due to its roster as I am a big fan of marvel and Capcom and the game didn’t look quite as ridiculously crazy hard to play as MVC2. I have two brothers and a few friends who in the past I have played fighting games frequently with and none of them really played the versus series either so if nothing else I would have equally skilled players to match up with, which is usually a big part of if you will enjoy a fighting game.
Right of the bat I can defiantly say that I am digging the art style of the game, it really looks fantastic and some of the full screen hyper’s and combo's just look amazing. The music in the game is actually pretty good, some big fan service is on show here for sure. Voice acting in the game is something that really has had a lot of time and love invested into it and it really helps bring the characters to life, a few of the catchphrases that come out at the start of a match gave me a good chuckle. The stages in this game are really good, the only problem is that there really isn’t that many to choose from and I would have liked at least a few more to choose from. One of the bigger let downs is the menu’s in the game, they just don’t really look that good and are at times a bit of a pain to navigate.
As far as the roster goes I would defiantly say that I pretty happy with it and most of the characters you would want to play as are there. Marvel has got there big guns in with the likes of Wolverine, Spiderman, Ironman, Cap and I was happy to see a few slightly less well known characters like Deadpool and M.O.D.O.K make the grade. In was surprised that there was no Cyclops or daredevil in the game and personally would have liked to see the Punisher make an appearance I feel like she-hulk is almost a waste of a character slot and a completely uninteresting character to me. Capcom has a strong roster of characters and pretty skilfully incorporated some of the more unusual characters like Arthur, Amaratsu, Tronne, Viewtiful Joe to the point that after a few games you are totally used to them being in the game. If I could add anyone to the Capcom roster I would defiantly like to see Frank West and Megaman in the game but other than that the only other complaint on the Capcom side is the announcer pronouncing Chris as “kiss”… I'm serious, I hope that’s not just me hearing that.
There are basically four modes on offer for players; arcade, missions/training, local versus and online play. I’ll start of with arcade mode. This is just about as basic as it comes, you fight 6 random teams and then Galactus appears he summons two random characters for you to fight and then you have to take on Galactus. I don’t mind the arcade mode being short as you will have to play it a lot for all the endings but the final battle is actually kind of a mess, the two on one battle doesn’t work because when fighting two characters you can’t target correctly and the Galactus fight is a little lackluster. The endings are just two images accompanied by some text and though the completionist in me totally wants to see them all this defiantly is disappointed considering the crazy endings they possibly could have crafted.
The training mode is basically exactly what you would expect if you have played any other Capcom games with this feature and is a necessary inclusion. The mission mode is basically the challenge mode from street fighter and starts off with a few basic moves and combos and builds into combos that are (at least for me) a true challenge to master. It’s a nice mode and helps you get familiar with what moves you can chain together easily but again the presentation is a little messy, instead of showing button inputs for your special and hyper moves on screen it just gives you the name of the move. This is defiantly a big annoyance as it means you are constantly pausing to know bring up the moves you have to pull off in the chain, this means only the truly dedicated will ever bother to see this mode through.
The multiplayer is great fun locally, the frame rate is solid and the madcap action is awesome in a room full of friends. I have to say that the “simple mode” feature is maybe one of the most useless things in a game ever… this is not a game that requires a simple mode and frankly I don’t know why you would ever pick this. The major plus is that even the people watching when you play don’t get bored because this game is even fun to watch, which leads me on to one of the massive failings of the online, there is no spectator mode. Literally when you are in a lobby online you just watch health bars battle it out, in this day and age that defiantly seems to be a big shortcoming. The online generally runs well, a little lag here and there but I defiantly had some trouble finding match’s whenever I was using the quick search for ranked matches instead of custom match. Frequently “could not connect to opponent” messages would pop up and then it would kick you all the way back to the main menu, this isn’t that bad the first time but is very frustrating after multiple occurrences I can only recommend always using the custom match feature.
Well I guess I will finish with the most important feature of this game and most games in general, the gameplay. The game is certainly friendlier to newcomers than MVC2, it operates with a light, medium, heavy attack buttons and another to launch your opponent up into the air. There is no charge moves to be seen and even hyper’s are easy to pull off as they are just special moves but with two buttons. The fast paced and sometimes overwhelming gameplay can be difficult to follow at first but you get used to it very quickly. You will be pulling off basic combos in no time and even air juggling is easy to do and when you pull off something really cool it just feels awesome. The gameplay is easy enough for you to pick up and have fun matches just mashing and throwing a few special moves but if you really want to get crazy with it the depth is defiantly there for players looking to get competitive on the next level. My verdict is that this is a game that is fun for beginners but only if you have some similarly skilled friends to play with, deep enough to satisfy veteran fighting game players and the only real let down is in some strange choices Capcom made in what is otherwise a well polished, eccentric, love letter to the fans.