Capcom released the third installment in its popular fighting series on February 15th for both the xBox 360 and PS3. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is the first of the series to feature full 3D models instead of sprities and is also the first to be exclusive to consoles.
The story involves Dr. Doom of Marvel teaming up with Albert Wesker from Capcom’s Resident Evil series in an evil plot to merge their two universes and somehow conquer them both. Naturally this scheme awakens something worse than either of them, and now the heroes and villains have to team up to stop them and this new threat.
The gameplay is very much like the two previous games. Two three man teams go head to head with various powers, combos and hyper combos. The difference is in the control scheme. While the previous games had four basic attacks, two punches and two kicks, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 has only three attacks defined as light, medium, and hard and an exchange button. This exchange button is used to switch out characters duing combos as well as executing special attacks. For those of us not quite as adept at fighting games as our peers there is also a simplified control scheme available in which entire combos are mapped to each of the three main buttons.
The most interesting part of the game in my opinion is the characters they decided to include in the game. On both sides most of the core players are still around, others have been replaced with analogous characters such as Zero for Megaman or Chris Redfield for Jill Valentine, even though she will be available as downloadable content in March. Still other holes are filled with fan favorites like Deadpool (who has the greatest hyper combo ever), Dante (who possibly has the most special attacks in the entire game), and of course Albert Wesker. Then there are the obscure characters that Capcom for some reason or another decided to fill in the rest of the roster with. These include Marvel’s gigantic evil floating head M.O.D.O.K, Spencer from the terrible Bionic Commando remake, Arthur from the old Ghosts ‘N Goblins games, and Amaterasu from Okami. Of the four, I found Amaterasu and and Arthur to be the most useful; mostly because of their small stature. The Hulk never stood a chance.
All told, its a solid game. Its not overly spectacular but it is definitely a refreshing Capcom title after they fell very short with both Bionic Commando and Street Fighter 4 last year. Hopefully they’ll continue this trend with their future projects, Super Street Fighter 4 for the Nintendo 3DS and the upcoming Steel Battalion for Kinect.