2.21.2011

Marvel vs Capcom 3!

Marvel vs Capcom 3 (PS3 2011)

Fans of Marvel vs. Capcom 2 rejoice! After an entire decade, the sequel has arrived and it doesn't disappoint at all for me. It's only been one weekend, but I think I've put about 20 hours into it already. The gameplay remains largely the same - fast and furious - although some of the combo mechanics have been simplified making it very welcoming for noobies to jump in and have some good fun. Ground bounces are my new favorite thing.

The presentation is similar to Street Fighter 4, but I like the additional features to the player card: some cumulative player stats indicating what kind of player you are - Marvel power diagram style, most used character percentages, and most importantly, the ability to save team setups - colors and assists included. Like Street Fighter 4, there's a mission mode that asks you to pull combos off for each character, although I wish there was a 'play' mode to actually watch the combo in action if you get stuck.

Online play is great. I've played with my friend, who is in Arizona, and there is no perceivable latency at all. Voice chat over bluetooth works too. It activates upon arrival in the lobby and throughout the matches. This is great because the first night I was using the PSN messaging system which was not very convenient, but voice capability makes talking trash is as easy as breathing again!

A lot of the fun still comes from combining different skill sets to build amazing teams, and the character variety is pretty good overall, so there should be no shortage of building blocks anytime soon. Magneto, Storm, and Sentinel are all still pretty good, but they are old news despite the fact that I anticipate heavy play for all three of them. The new characters are great and do a decent job of filling in for the 20 or so characters that got dropped from part 2, but there's no replacement for the cheapness of Cable, although Dante's 60-100% combos seem pretty close.

I've spent the weekend learning the basics of a lot of the new characters and have come up with a few favorites. Zero, Wesker, and Amaterasu seem pretty damn good to me already, but Haggar, Super Skrull, Phoenix, and Taskmaster are the interesting ones that I'd like to experiment more with. Dante is a cheap bastard that I also expect to see heavy play against because he's really easy to use. Sigh. Dante is the new cable? I don't know, but I better get good at him too, haha?

Finally, my wishlist for existing characters I wish they'd put in the game: Sagat, Spiral, and Cyclops.

Rating: 8.0, has easily become one of my favorite fighting games of all time.

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