It’s been 10 long years, but it’s finally happened:
Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 has finally become a reality.
While the overly dramatic statement above may speak to the contrary, let it be known; the Azn Badger has never felt any sort of excitement regarding the release of MVC3.
You see, I used to be a hardcore fighting game fan.
While I still bear a great deal of love for the characters of fighting games past, as I find them to be some of the most versatile and long-lived icons in all of gaming; when it comes to my actual skills as a player of fighting games, I’ve never been anything more than average.
That didn’t stop me from playing fighting games like a mad man… Up until the release of Marvel vs. Capcom 2.
You see, I have this friend; a Korean from Up The Street, (henceforth referred to as KUTS) who sort of ruined fighting games for me.
Like many Koreans tend to do, he became enamored with the mechanics of the game, to the point in which dedicated himself to becoming an utter beast at the game.
Seriously, the guy’s been competitive with Top 10 Evo players.
Fielding his Storm-Magneto-Sentinel team, KUTS would go on to repeatedly thrash me in MVC2, and virtually any other fighting game; in such emphatic fashion, as to utterly crush my desire to play fighting games with any degree of seriousness from that point forward.
That being said, KUTS has been consistently playing MVC2 for the past decade.
Or at least until today, when it’s long awaited (or in KUTS’ case, dreaded) sequel was finally released.
Friend that he is, KUTS was kind enough to invite me over to play a few rounds of MVC3 with him.
Introductory reminiscences aside, here are my thoughts, as well as some thoughts from my buddy KUTS, regarding our impression of MVC3 thus far:
MVC2 is regarded as one of the most hardcore of fighting games.
It’s gameplay is some of the fastest around, and the precision required in it’s button inputs are tuned to near perfection in the eyes of many gamers.
It’s this frenetic, yet exacting gameplay that makes MVC2 one of the least accessible, but most rewarding fighting games to date.
That being said, when you take the pinnacle of fighting game precision, and “dumb” it’s mechanics down in favor of creating a simpler, and more accessible game; the end result is a game that will appeal to fighting game novices, and likely infuriate experienced players weened on more nuanced games.
Needless to say, both KUTS and I were largely unhappy with the mechanics of MVC3.
While I’m certainly no expert player at any fighting game, I noted a great deal of frustration coming off of my buddy KUTS as we played; largely due to the slower gameplay and questionable control accuracy.
If I were to compare the experience of playing MVC3 to any other fighting game, it’d have to be the crap-fest known as Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, and the bore-fest that is Street Fighter IV.
Like both of the aforementioned games, MVC3′s control feel as if they “help” you a little too much.
What I mean to say is, in all 3 of these games; it often feels like the system gives you the benefit of the doubt for technically flawed or incomplete button inputs.
While Street Fighter IV requires a very precise sense of timing to execute effective combos, I can’t tell you how many times I found mysel pulling off special attacks, or complex chains in these games; seemingly by accident.
Make no mistake, even if I’m not an expert, I know how to play most fighting games; and few things frustrate me more than playing a fighting game seems to want to play itself.
Seriously, KUTS and I were joking that you could probably pull off a hadoken in these games simply by holding forward and mashing the punch button.
In addition to the stupid-ification of the gameplay mechanics, MVC3 also takes things a step farther by changing up the control scheme a little bit.
Assists are now assigned their own buttons, with the depressing of either of which for a second or so resulting in the tag command.
To my knowledge, there is only 1 kick button now, a button which I found myself rarely using for whatever reason.
Finally, launch attacks, formerly a command executed by pressing down-forward and fierce punch; have been given they’re own button as well.
While I found the launch and kick button situation to be odd, and difficult to wrap my head around, I’m guessing the changes were made to appeal to fighting game novices.
Of these changes, the one that I found to be somewhat intuitive was the merging of the tag and assist buttons.
Maybe it’s my tiny Japanese hands, but the simultaneous button presses required for the tag function in previous Vs. games was always something I had trouble with; making this simplification a welcome one in my opinion.
One last note:
The game seems slower, and super jumps are harder to direct in a Castlevania, momentum-based sort of way…
The roster of MVC3 is a decent mix of the classic and the eclectic.
Seriously, count me in as one of the people that thought we’d never see the likes of Dormannu in a videogame.
Oh yeah, and SUPER MAD PROPS to whoever got Capcom to put Taskmaster in the game.
There are around 20 fewer combatants this time around, with more variation between each entrants play styles serving to balance things out in some capacity.
While I can’t speak to the effectiveness of any of the characters as of yet, it’s worth noting that many of the character’s attributes seem a little unbalanced.
For instance, Phoenix is easily one of, if not the fastest character in the game; however she also happens to be fragile as tissue paper.
Seriously, one time I managed to take her down to half health with only 6 weak punches, using Viewtiful Joe no less.
Not only that, Magneto has been nerfed in every way imaginable, and Thor seems overpowered, despite his godly-status.
All that aside, I’m decently satisfied with the roster at this point.
Capcom did a good job of varying the play styles of the characters, and many are represented well via their movesets and animations.
I will say this though, Chris Redfield’s voice clips are hysterical.
Seriously, with phrases like “Eat it!”, “Taste it!”, and “Suck it!”; the man is a poster boy for the UFC generation.
Move over Brock, there’s a new meathead in town…
KUTS’ Team Thus Far:
Storm, Sentinel, and MODOK or Storm, Sentinel and She-Hulk.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a game for fighting game/Marvel fans, not the hardcore.
While it has yet to be seen what strategies or nuances can be uncovered in the gameplay for MVC3, if you ask me; or my buddy KUTS, whatever’s there isn’t going to measure up to MVC2.
That’s not to say MVC3 isn’t a worthy effort, as it is; it’s just not the same Marvel.
I will give it this though, MVC3 does have it’s predecessor beat in the presentation department.
10 years makes a world of difference in the world of videogames, and while I was fully prepared to hate the aesthetic of MVC3 based on it’s preview footage, I found I warmed up to it after awhile.
The character models aren’t as detailed as most contemporary fighting games, but the menus are designed well, the voicework is largely acceptable, and the damage effects and splashiness of the special attacks are actually quite stunning at times.
Consider that the one compliment I pay to MVC3.
Anyway, these were just my thoughts, feel free to disagree, ’cause they’re my thoughts and frankly I don’t give a shit what you think.
Thanks for reading!