Preview: Marvel vs. Capcom 3

While normal folk spent their childhood learning how to play sport or chat up girls, I used my time much more productively, learning the art of how to make a 2o-cent coin last an whole afternoon in my local arcade. This was an easy system to master until late 1998 when a game hit that would change my opinion of CPU opponents forever. Marvel vs. Capcom instantly made me its bitch, and it would be about six months before I could once again enter an arcade without bringing my weekly pocket money in tow.

From this six months a love spawned for the insane pace and blister-inducing controls that only Capcom’s vs. series can provide and that love still resonates today. So when an email hit my inbox saying I was invited to a hands-on session with Marvel vs. Capcom 3, I instantly pulled dusted off Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and got to work montaging my game (80’s style) for a whole week before heading out to see if Capcom and Marvel could pull off that magic for a third time.

The first thing that warmed my heart about the game is that 3D has not dulled that classic feel and presentation. Just as Streetfighter IV, there is no love lost for the menus or general aesthetic (cheesy fast-paced music still intact); and though it was unfinished code, I still felt instantly at home. The characters available were a good mix, some new (Dante and Trish from Devil May Cry, Super Skrull of Fantastic 4, Chris Redfield from Resident Evil and Marvel classic, Deadpool) and some old school favourites (Ryu, Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk and Morgan from Darkstalkers). Utilising the staple 3-on-3 system from all previous Marvel vs. Capcom games, it was easy enough to jump in, so after a quick browse of the characters I was pitted against some of Sydney’s greatest journalists (I’m looking at you, Jung) and PR in single round, sixty second slugfests.

The game handles much like fans will remember–same controls, super moves and general gameplay mechanics–so it will still suffer a bit from inaccessibility for newcomers to the world of “down to forward, punch” fighters, but button-mashing will doubtlessly be as effective as ever. These concerns aside, it is still blisteringly fast to play and maintains the ability to be a very tactical game, even though you can preform fireballs that will fill the entire screen. The look is pulled off perfectly with a great blending of Capcom’s new Streetfighter IV-esque visual style combined with the older Marvel games’ brilliant over-the-top specials and 100-move combos, with every moment presented in glorious HD goodness.

The characters feel well balanced, with the exception of Dante who has both an insane reach and almost unmatched speed, leading to more than one angry word shouted at players using him. It is still early days though, so hopefully his character will be toned down before the game’s release.

All in all it is exactly what you would expect from the masters of the 2D fighter: clean and crisp graphics, fast and fun gameplay and, although it is still early days, I’m predicting that this will definitely be going to the top of my ‘most played’ list for longer than I can spare it the time.

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  • Stubby28182

    Venom or GTFO!!!!!