Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds Xbox 360
Published by Capcom
Developed by Capcom
Given that Capcom make the best fighting game out there at the moment: Super Street Fighter IV, and that Marvel vs. Capcom 2 was superb, there are plenty of reasons for fans of the fighting game genre to be excited about the release of Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds. Without wanting to beat around the bush it's fair to say that this sequel is another great fighting game from Capcom that fans of the series will love.
If you're a fan of the characters from either the Marvel universe or Capcom's games you will certainly take a shine to Marvel vs. Capcom 3. There are over thirty characters in total including the likes of Doctor Doom, Amaterasu, Viewtiful Joe, Magneto, Wolverine, Dante, Captain America and Spider-man. Each character has their own special moves and hyper combos too. There are plenty of interesting twists here such as hyper combs, crossover combos, aerial combos (and team aerial combos) and aerial counters and much more besides to make this a fighting game that feels both original and frantic.
MvC 3 doesn't have specific buttons for kicks and punches. Instead you'll find that there's a light attack, medium attack, heavy attack and special attack button. There's even a stripped down control system which replaces the three attack buttons with just one, called Simple Play. I daresay this has been included with the idea of allowing the game to appeal to those who normally wouldn't pick up a fighting game. Whilst this is certainly a nice idea, it does reduce the experience to simple button bashing for the most part. You could argue that a simple mode isn't even required as the game isn't exactly a complex fighting game.
In MvC 3 you'll pick a team of three fighters from the thirty plus on offer and each of them has up to four colour variations to choose from. Each character has various assist types which determine what attack they will perform when you call them in for a quick assist (where they will come in for an attack and disappear again) during a fight. The basic idea is that when your fighter takes damage during a battle you can swap them out with another of your fighters to allow a different fighter to come in and this gives the injured fighter time to recover. In essence then you'll want to swap between fighters fairly frequently in an effort to preserve the health of your fighters by giving them ample opportunity to heal.
The single-player game, dubbed the Offline Mode, is where you can get to grips with the game and the various moves for each character; it's not something you'll want to persevere with. The modes on offer include Arcade, Versus (where you can play offline multiplayer games), Training and Mission. As a single-player game Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is enjoyable but isn't anything special. It certainly could have done with more modes. Disappointingly, it doesn't do a good job of introducing newcomers to the series. The Mission mode has ten missions for each character which are expected to serve as a tutorial for each character but they aren't really sufficient to take you from being a button-bashing newbie to someone who is ready to face the many online opponents who will have considerable experience.
That's disappointing because the online play is where the game really shines and offers long term value. Online play for the inexperienced is daunting unless you're prepared to suffer a lot of defeats whilst you're getting to grips with how everything comes together. Some parts of the game are just plain clumsy. For instance the missions in Mission mode ask you to carry out various moves and combos. No instructions are shown for these moves. Sure you can press the start button and access the move list from there, or flick open the game manual, but it's all very clumsy and takes you out of the action unnecessarily.
Once you've got to grips with everything you're going to want to head online and sample the best of what the game has to offer. Online play is smooth and very enjoyable, if you're in the right company of course. Online play is not exempt from criticism however. It's not as fully featured as it could have been. It's a real shame that there is no way of viewing a replay after a match. It's also a shame that you can't watch a fight you're not participating in as it's rather boring just hanging around for your turn to come up. These niggles aside however, online play is where this game's long term value lies and it's what will keep you coming back for more.
Visually the game is rather impressive. The character models look great, as do the animated backdrops for all of violence. The animations and effects are completely over the top and completely in tune with what you'd expect from the Marvel vs. Capcom series. The frame rate remains smooth throughout, even when the action is at its most frantic.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is OK but could have been much better for deaf gamers. There is speech in some of the game's cut scenes which isn't subtitled which is unfortunate. Announcer comments made on the menus and during the fights are not subtitled. Comments by the fighters before, during and after the fights are also not subtitled. In the Arcade mode you do have some comments between fights and these comments are shown in text in a comic book fashion. Despite these omissions however, there's nothing here that makes the game inaccessible, it's just a shame that the developers didn't see fit to fully subtitle the game.
There can be no denying that Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds is an enjoyable fighting game and fans of the series and fighting games in general will really enjoy the game. A recommendation for newcomers to the genre is perhaps a little more difficult to give. Whilst it's great that the Simple Play controls are an indication that newcomers have been considered, I would personally have preferred some more comprehensive tutorials that help you to fully get to grips with the game. Still, if you're after a fighting game and already have the Street Fighter IV titles, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a game that should definitely be on your wish list.