Marvel Vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds
As far as three-way fighters go, they don’t come much stranger or more hectic than the acclaimed Marvel Vs Capcom series. One moment Spider-man will be webbing his way across the screen to kick the Hulk in the face, only to be faced with a fiery special move from the Phoenix the next. Throw in a few more combatants into the fray and what you get is the recipe for a truly spectacular throw-down. Retaining that hallmark (and rather Japanese) flair from previous games, MVC3 will be welcomed with open arms by the battle-ready community, but with some bizarre roster omissions and a distinct lack of single-player content, have Iron Man and co missed out on a return to greatness?
Marvel Vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds is a fantastic example of intricate chaos. On one hand, the combo system is so chock-full of complexity that it may seem overwhelming for the uninitiated. Going up against a seasoned veteran who understands the differences in combat moves and, more importantly, has the level of skill to pull them off on the fly, will usually result in a swift demise for the baffled newcomer. Any developer worth its salt will attempt to strike that fine balance between complexity and accessibility, and the team behind MVC3 is no different – in which case it’s both good and bad news.
The Simple Mode does a fine job of lending casual players a helping hand. If your sole intention going into the game is to tap a few buttons and fight a brightly-coloured path to the end then you can, indeed the arcade mode will welcome it, even presenting a very easy setting should you wish to start out small. The downside to all this is that the move-set becomes extremely limited; true enough, you’ll gain access to some flashy manoeuvres that might otherwise take a long time to get the hang of, but you’ll also experience a mere taster of what each character has on offer. In this way, the simplicity actually makes the game feel stale earlier than it should, significantly detracting from each character’s unique list of moves.
For everyone else, there’s the normal way to play. Here you’ll find a deep system that patient players can lose many hours attempting to master. The lack of a decent tutorial presents a challenge in itself, and this extends to the questionably named ‘Mission Mode’. It’s really nothing too interesting, serving as more of a distraction from the arcade mode than anything special. What it does do is challenge you to learn the intricacies of the gameplay, but unless you’re one of those gamers aiming for one hundred per cent mastery, there’s little reason to spend much time here. Unfortunately, this mentality of ‘why’ extends to the single-player in general, where unlockable sounds, storyboard endings and character models stand in as supposed reasons to continue playing. To be clear, we weren’t expecting character creation or an involving story, but we also didn’t expect such laziness either. Proficiency must serve as its own reward here.
And reward you it will, as a seasoned pro will have a tremendous advantage over a less experienced competitor. Versus mode is where the game truly shines then, with all the trash-talking and unwarranted machismo associated with it. This is not a game such as Dead or Alive, where knowing how to use an overpowered counter can tear down a skilled player – here it’s a case of knowing your stuff or suffering the consequences.
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