Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Marvel vs Capcom 3, February 2011 edition

So, Capcom's new fighting game Marvel vs Capcom 3 has been out for a week or so, and I forgot to mention about the last two characters that were included in the game. Hsien-Ko is a character from the Darkstalkers series, and you may remember Sentinel from Marvel vs. Capcom 2.

Sentinel seems just as in-your-face as ever, even for being a rather large, slow character. He has a wide variety of beam attacks and long-range punches to make up for his slow movement speed, and one of his super moves is a large ball of electricity easily as big as Chun-Li's 'Kioushou' move and pushes opponents into the corner from mid-screen. In the X-Men comics, the Sentinels were sent out to crush all the mutants, whether they were X-Men or not. In Marvel vs Capcom 3, Sentinel is out to crush everybody like he did in MvC2.

Hsien-Ko is a nice change, since she is unlike the majority of Capcom fighting game characters in that she has a move that reflects projectile-type special moves. My older son reminded me that Karas in Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom can reflect projectiles also. It is a little odd, with her being a jiāngshī, or "Hopping Corpse" and with her sister taking the form of a piece of paper on her hat. Her inclusion in the game has less to do with zombies being the 'in' thing right now and more to do with her being a popular and unusual fighting game character.

The final boss of the game is Galactus, world-eating enemy of the Fantastic Four, but no members of the FF are directly in the game for reasons unknown to me. Super Skrull has all the moves of the Fantastic Four, but that's about all you get. Capcom apparently tried to build a Silver Surfer character, as he is a friend of the FF and usually warns people about Galactus eating their planet for lunch, but they weren't able to make it work with the surfboard and didn't want him to look like Iceman.  Maybe we'll see them in the endings.

So, I have already seen a great deal of complaining posted on the internet regarding this game.

Couldn't they have come up with something better since Marvel vs Capcom 2?
No. This game wasn't even in the works until after other developer licensing agreements expired in 2008, and Capcom got them back again so it could republish MvC2 as a downloadable game. Capcom wasn't even ready to officially announce MvC3's existence until 2010. Just because fans had been whining about it for years, didn't mean anybody with any authority had been working on it.

Why doesn't this have more game modes? Can't they change it up more like Smash Bros., Mortal Kombat, or Tekken and have more game modes?

Let's take this one in three parts. Believe it or not, despite the great number of game modes available, any group of Smash Bros. Brawl players that I've come across tend to have items turned off if they're playing "seriously", because they don't want random item drops to ruin their skill. Correspondingly, they will likely have a favorite stage that they tend to play on to nullify any perceived undue advantage some character might have. So, despite the numerous modes available, I've seen very few of them used.

Mortal Kombat has had an adventure mode crammed into several of the versions (although the first one in Mortal Kombat:Deadly Alliance was just an overgrown training mode), and a simple Kart racer, and a rudimentary puzzle game. Come to think of it, they even managed to make a battle chess game in Mortal Kombat:Deception. Compared to Mortal Kombat:Shaolin Monks, where the adventure mode was the entire game, you might think that the Mortal Kombat fighting games suffered from having some of the staff work on the extra modes.

Tekken's extra game modes have been the best ones, but still aren't quite as good as the fighting game itself. Tekken Force Mode in Tekken 3 was mandatory to unlock one of the characters. I have no explanation for Tekken 3's Tekken Ball mode other than to say that it's volleyball for crazy people. Tekken Bowl, a bowling game on the Tekken Tag Team disc was fun, and it was too rudimentary a game to be sold on its own disc so I find it better that it was included with Tag instead of being a bargain bin title. I almost think that it was some sort of a tech demo for their developers working on the PlayStation 2 for the first time. Tekken Tag Team also included a training mode with enough hand-holding for new players, which seemed like a good choice with new people coming on board for the PlayStation 2. Tekken 4's Tekken Force mode made a lot of improvements from Tekken 3, and still managed to use the characters in mostly the same way as they do in the regular part of the game. However, for all of the improvements with Tekken 4's Tekken Force mode, they abandoned all of that for a Jin-only side quest for Tekken 5. Thank goodness that they included the arcade versions of Tekken 1, 2, and 3, and StarBlade in Tekken 5 - well, I'm not really that excited. Tekken 3 is adequate, but Tekken 1 and 2's visuals don't hold up well against the modern games. StarBlade's visuals are even lower fidelity than Tekken 1, but since it's a space shooter, it suits it well and so the gameplay isn't dragged down by old-school visuals.

So, with all that being said - it does still beg the question of why they couldn't have at least included the same modes that were available in Super Street Fighter 4. I don't know if a bevy of complaints will get them to release a patch, but I seriously doubt it.

Why is there a simplified control scheme? I want my six buttons back!
I think I covered this before, but Marvel vs Capcom 2 already had a simplified control scheme. (Medium attacks were removed to make room for two Partner buttons.) The new one allows for three attack strengths more easily to accommodate fireball traps and attack range variability. It worked well in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, and once you got used to it, it was more reliable than Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (for me, anyway).

I have been pleasantly surprised to see that now that the game is out, people are not complaining about the graphical style. I would be surprised at a $5 costume pack that comes out March 1st and only covers six of the characters, but since it's Capcom I'm not so surprised. That does seem to be the way they handle DLC. My sincere hope is that the game sells well enough that they decide to make a Wii version and decide to include the DLC characters. What? It could happen.

Marvel vs Capcom 3 was released February 15, 2011 for Playstation 3 and XBox 360 by Capcom and is ESRB rated "T".

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