Hands On with Marvel vs. Capcom 3

Marvel vs. Capcom 2 fans — you should be right at home with Marvel vs. Capcom 3. And your less fighting game-literate friend won’t hate playing with you as much, either.

I got a chance to spend an hour playing Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds last week, as well as to speak with Capcom’s Seth Killian and Rey Jimenez. They were really excited to talk about their game — as the makers of games usually are — but they stressed that you don’t have to be a fighting game master (like they are) to have a good time with MvC3.

A lot like the simplification options that have gone into Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition for the Nintendo 3DS, MvC3 packs a lot of features that will make it so you don’t have to memorize the game manual to do cool things. A Simple mode setting at the outset of every match gives players access to one-button specials and combos, which won’t necessarily make you a better player, but does make the game a whole lot more entertaining.

Despite the graphical facelift, MvC3 plays almost exactly like the MvC2 update on Xbox Live, but with a lot of tweaks and improvements to make it a more satisfying and user-friendly experience. All the special moves are based around the “hadouken” button combination — rolling the analog stick from down to forward and hitting a punch button. The combinations can be slightly different depending on the character, but they’re always reliably just like that.

Most of the changes to the game after a decade are either aesthetic, peripheral, or aimed at getting new players in and making MvC3 easy for newbs to pick up and play, without winding up so frustrated they throw a controller at the TV. We’ve talked about Simple mode, which will make it a whole lot easier to bring friends over to play the game.

The aesthetic changes are a lot in the way of having cool things to look at or listen to. The story mode is a big addition to MvC3 (as the last game more or less had nothing in the way of a plot), and each character has a specific ending that brings in a lot of other characters from both the Marvel and Capcom universes, including some that didn’t make it into the game.

There’s a ton to look at, actually. Being a spectator in the room for MvC3 is about as visually interesting as actually playing it, given the highly active backgrounds and the somewhat insane amount of callouts and references to both the games’ major universes. The whole game features a lot more from Marvel and feels a lot more influenced by the comic book half of the equation.

The Capcom team has also dedicated a ton more time to stat-tracking in MvC3, with a whole section that keeps your information fresh and piles it all on to a Gamercard-like entry. In addition to logging your wins and losses, character preferences and similar information, the game pays attention to the way you play — from whether you stay back or get in close to how many of each kind of blow you throw. If you’re looking analyze your game, MvC3 will have a whole lot of tools to help you out.

Everything is meant to go a little easier in this new iteration of the fighter. You can save a couple of three-character teams to your profile to quickly access them, cutting down on your time spent in the selection screen when you’re online. There are a lot of these little customizations that can streamline the experience, and all of them lend themselves to a faster-moving game.

But in essence, like I said above, MvC3 feels just like MvC2. That’s a good thing: it seems Capcom has gone out of its way to avoid fixing anything that wasn’t broken. They’ve spent a lot of time listening to fans as far as game features are concerned, and that showed through with my time with the game. And playing it, despite being generally terrible at fight games, I still had a good time. Switching was fluid, combos weren’t obtrusive, and I could usually pull off a cool move or two. I beat another novice journalist (one who wasn’t much of a gamer, I think), but even with both of us stupidly hammering our controllers, the fight was dramatic and fun to watch.

Jimenez walloped me pretty badly, but I was able to at least put up a fight with my childhood hadouken muscle-memory. That’s the part about MvC3 that has me most excited — it’s designed to be the kind of fighting game that doesn’t require 15 years of genre experience to be fun. Although, it definitely seems like hardcore players are getting what they want, too.

GameFront is your one-stop Marvel vs. Capcom 3 shop! First and foremost, we’ve got pages for all the unlockable characters. Looking for additional Marvel vs. Capcom 3 information? Check out our lists of trophies and achievements, along with our cheats page, a collection of all sorts of useful material.

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