E3 2010: Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Hands On Preview - Hulk Smaaaassshhh
Written Thursday, June 24, 2010 By Dan WebbView author's profile
I think it’s safe to say that Capcom is the king of the fighting genre. If the fast-paced and methodical action of Street Fighter isn’t enough, then surely the frenetic, over-the-top action of Marvel vs. Capcom is. Making a comeback on consoles next year, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is returning to kick the ass of its opposition and put tag-team fighting back on the map…. And boy does it! After getting our ass handed to us by Capcom’s UK PR Manager, Leo Tan, it’s clear from this early stage that MvC3 is shaping up to be everything you’d ever want from the game’s sequel…. And this is coming from someone who barely managed to chalk up a win. Fast action, a fluent tag-team system, crazy combos and some stunning visuals... What more can you ask for?
Admittedly, stepping up to play Marvel vs. Capcom 3 at this year’s E3, I was a little rusty to say the least. It’s been quite a few years since I’d gone hands on with the franchise - yes, I opted not to play the recent XBLA version - but after a few minutes I’d got more than a good enough feel for the mechanics which are fairly simple to grasp. It’s the whole mantra of, easy to pick up and play, years to master.
With three normal attack buttons, one throw button which was being referred to as the “magic” button throughout the show and a couple of buttons assigned to the tag-team elements, the controls don’t really get as complex as that. Oh, and of course, back is block, and it’s probably the most important control - as it is with any fighting game. The two tag-team buttons refer to one button which is used to call in another of your team members to continue the combo and the other to swap them out of the action. If you’ve played Tatsunoko vs. Capcom recently, then you’ll be more than at home with the controls.
Those unfamiliar with the series, before the action commences you must choose your tag dream team, consisting of 3 characters from either universe - or a combination of the two universes.
The characters on show consisted of the 10 already announced characters: The Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, Deadpool and Wolverine from the Marvel universe; as well as Dante from Devil May Cry; Morrigan and Felicia from Darkstalkers; Chris Redfield from Resident Evil; and Ryu from Street Fighter.
There was a good sample of characters on offer that managed to cover all the various fighting styles, whether you wanted the powerful but slow Hulk, Dante with his large sword and guns for more ranged combat, the quick brawler that is Wolverine or the agile Felicia. Each character comes with their subset of franchise relevant special moves, whether it’s Dante using his guitar from DMC3 to shower his opponent with electricity, Felicia who calls in a smaller Felicia assistance to make things twice as hectic, Chris Redfield with his massive bazookas – no, this is not an innuendo – or The Hulk with his Hulk Smash. All the bases are covered here.
The combo system will take a little getting used to - that could be said with every fighting game though - and it could be a while before you’re pulling off those 100+ hit combos - it is possible though, as I was the unfortunate recipient on the odd occasion. Using the tag system is where the game excels though, whether it’s a quick tag in and out, or a proper character change. Combining these changes with the combo system is where the franchise - as it always has been - excels. There wasn’t really anything more satisfying at this year’s show than pulling off the perfect tag-in to keep that combo going and the damage ticking up.
I obviously didn’t really have enough hands on to get to use the Street Fighter-esque flashy background super moves, although, again, I was a victim of them and I can safely report that they are as outrageous and dazzling as they ever have been in any series. From what I can tell as well, the character balance seemed pretty decent at the moment too, although it’s clear from my relatively short hands-on that Dante is one of the upper tier characters with an amazing amount of diverse and powerful attacks. Throw in that long reach of his and he’s one character that I can see being a massive favourite when the game ships next year.
From a control standpoint and a balance standpoint, even at this early stage Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is shaping up to be challenging its cousin for supremacy of the fighting genre. As it always is in games of this ilk though - more so than Street Fighter - the cast of characters will be what makes or breaks the game - well, I‘m not sure it‘ll break it in all honesty as whoever they choose will be a worthy addition no doubt. With the likes of Dante, Deadpool, Morrigan, Chris Redfield and co signed up already, the cast is shaping up to be a fine one indeed and we can’t wait to see who else comes out the shadows in the coming months. Frank West, Gambit and Viewtiful Joe please Capcom.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is currently scheduled for an spring 2011 release.