Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is the fifth game in the franchise where the Street Fighter characters and other Capcom mascots fight against Spider-Man, Hulk and countless other Marvel comic book heroes and villains. This time they’re also fighting together against Galactus, a greater evil with silly headgear that wants to feed on the Earth.
If you’ve played any beat ‘em up before you’ll know what to expect. P1 vs P2 as you fight until you wear your opponent’s health bar down to zero or the timer runs out. The difference here is that you always fight in teams of three and can call in other characters to help you mid-fight or swap them in or out to give ones that have just been pummelled a chance to recover.
There’s a roster of 36 characters (18 from each world) and favourites of mine include Danté from Devil May Cry, Wolverine and of course Ryu. Whatever your fighting style you should find a combination you like and you can assign these to quick select buttons in the menu along with the type of attack you’d like your tag-team to launch in with when you tap one of the bumpers. When your power gauge is full you can also tap LT to perform a super combo with all your characters which dishes out a tonne of damage if it connects and of course this looks very pleasing on the eye. In fact, the whole game looks great with its pseudo-cel-shaded graphics which, although the action is 2D with 3D models, gives it a happy medium between the two.
The action may look confusing when you’re watching but when you take control, it’s actually only occasionally a problem keeping track of who’s who. Beginners will also be able to get straight into the action with a simple control method that does some of the special moves for you at the touch of a button. You can of course play the game in normal mode and learn all the combos and moves in the training mode but even button mashers will be able to pull off moves mid-game even if they’re not exactly sure how they did it.
New things to the table are a couple of extra abilities. You can now perform a team aerial combo in mid-air to keep your opponent off their feet and get some extra hits in and if you’re quick on the draw you can even counter mid-air and prevent a few virtual bruises.
Although the arcade mode is short it does encourage replaying as you unlock new characters, artwork, sounds and 3d models depending on who you KO Galactus with. Speaking of which, the last fight isn’t really much fun as Galactus is huge, stays on the right side of the screen and his attacks are almost impossible to avoid.
The game also keeps track of your stats on the licence screen and even lets you see how your friends are doing. But we all know that most of the time you’ll give this game a spin when you’ve got friends over and of course this is where the game really shines. You can also play it online but make sure you’re very good before you attempt it, otherwise you’ll get your ass kicked.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a fantastic fighting game and if you like either of the two worlds or both, it’s an essential buy. Gamers into storyline and exploration may find it only a distraction for a day or so at best. It gets a planet munching 8 out of 10.
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