Marvel vs. Capcom 3

February 21, 2011

It only took eleven years, but Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is finally out. The core mechanics have remained as solid as ever, despite some major changes. Here you’ll find some of the craziest combo-heavy three on three fights you’ll ever see, featuring some of the best characters both Capcom and Marvel have to offer.  

If you’re at all familiar with the Wii-exclusive fighter Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, you’ll feel right at home here. MvC3 is a more refined version of TvC, with a lot of tweaks and improvements that put it a step above most versus fighters. Even new players will be able to jump into MvC3 pretty quickly, making this the most user-friendly versus game to date.

Visually, MvC3 is quite the looker. All of the character models look just right. While some of the characters feel a bit out of place, it really never deters from the slick presentation. The animations are brilliant, and even when the screen is filled with absolute chaos there isn’t a hint of slowdown. 

The controls are pretty simple to pick up. You have three attack buttons (light, medium, and heavy), which can create a basic combo and lead into the multitude of other combo-heavy attacks. And then there are your partner buttons, allowing you to call them out to attack or switch characters on the fly. Finally, you have one button that is dedicated to your launch attack, allowing you start pulling off an air combo, something most MvC fans should be familiar with. MvC3 has simplified it a bit, but it still requires some precise timing. 

And that’s what MvC3 is all about: timing. Being able to pull off the right combos at the right time can lead to success, as well as being able to defend or counter just when your opponent is trying to do the same. MvC3 has several modes that allow you to brush up on your skills, including your basic training mode. There is also a “mission mode” which allows you to practice and perform certain attacks for every character. This mode can be tricky to get the hang of, but it allows you to learn the basics or practice some more advanced techniques.

And then there’s the online, which is both the strongest and weakest part of the game. You have ranked and player matches, plus lobbies, all of which work splendidly without the least bit of lag. You can set it up easily to battle your friends, or fight random opponents based on many different factors, including your rank/skill level. There are plenty of ways to tweak the online to suit your needs.

The major problem I encountered was not being able to search for matches and actually connect. Out of ten matches I searched for, I was lucky if I was able to play in one. If you play Arcade mode, you can enable online so you’ll be challenged by random opponents, which never has any problems. But actually finding a match seemed practically impossible for me. 

Another big problem is the lack of a spectator mode. If you’re in a full lobby of eight players, you can’t actually view the current match going on, meaning you’ll have to stare at the lobby screen until it’s your turn to fight. These are major problems that hold MvC3 back and will hopefully be fixed in the future. 

Multiplayer issues aside, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is one of Capcom’s best fighters to date, offering something for both fans and newcomers alike. It may look intimidating at first, but give it some time and soon enough you’ll be pulling off air combos with the best of them. 

Pros: Intense and incredibly fast-paced fighting; easy to learn controls; diverse cast of fighters; great visual style and animations

Cons: Multiplayer lacking some key features, such as a spectator mode for online lobbies, and also having problems connecting to games


Score: 4/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.