The long awaited sequel to one of the most over-the-top fighting games ever returns with a bang.
The worlds of Marvel and Capcom clash once again and a new threat is on the rise. With two entire universes on the brink of destruction it is time for the heroes of the universes to step up and fight, for the fate of two worlds rely on them.
Each hero has, of course, their own story and motifs as to why they take part in this battle – some fight to save the world while others want to conquer it.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds is the 2011 year’s installment in the long running fighting game franchise Marvel Vs. Capcom. This is however not a direct sequel to a previous release as the story arc is brand new and fresh. As such, it’s a great starting point for newcomers to the series and a fresh experience for people already familiar with the other games in the franchise.
This is a so called 2.5D fighting game with a focus on crazy combos, character cross overs and fast paced action.
The meat of the game is that you form teams of three characters and fight other teams. There are 36 playable characters in total where 32 of them are available from the get-go. The four unlockable characters are Taskmaster, Akuma, Hsien-Ko and Sentinel. The character roster is featuring famous fighters, superheroes, villains and champions from both the Capcom video game universe and the Marvel comic book universe. Most of the fan favorites are in this game such as Ryu, Spider-Man, Chun-Li, Captain America and so forth.
When you select character you are also prompted to select an Assist Type associated with it, which is basically the way you want your character to behave when called upon during fights. In Marvel Vs. Capcom games you can call in support from your other team members on the fly at almost any time during a fight. You can also switch out characters, much like in a tag team fight.
Also when selecting hero teams, there is a feature that allows you to create preset custom teams for quick selection which is amazingly useful once you’ve found your favorite characters.
There are several game modes that are available to you both offline and online. The offline modes are as follows:
- Arcade – Has you fighting six teams before finally taking on the final boss. All characters have their own illustrated endings, so there’s quite a lot to explore. The ending that you get to see is determined by whoever got the finishing blow on the final boss.
- Versus – Fights between players locally.
- Training – Great training tool with a lot of versatile options to suit all situations. You can manipulate the dummy in multiple ways, as well as assigning it to another controller for two player training. You can even record up to ten seconds for the dummy to playback and this is ideal for studying the game mechanics in detail.
- Mission – Learn special moves and combos, as well as game mechanics required to perform some of the more difficult combos. Ten missions per character makes this a must for all players who are serious about learning the game. Mission mode is great workout and a great addition to the game.
All game modes (except Mission mode) have their own settings (difficulty, timer etc) that you can change and tweak. Playing any mode grants you Player Points which the game uses for a couple of things, like there’s a couple of achievements that require a certain amount accumulated Player Points and it unlocks bonus items as you gather enough points.
There’s also a great system called License which allows you to see a wide range of statistics for your account such as the number of wins and losses. It tracks character usage and allows you to set your own titles and icons as well. Titles and icons are used to customize your online profile as you unlock different titles and icons by doing certain things such as selecting a character over 100 times.
There’s a lot to unlock in this game. The more interesting unlocks are additional characters but you can unlock everything from character ending pictures to special promotional art and you can also unlock models that can be viewed in the model viewer. You can even unlock alternative opening movies, which are quite entertaining to watch.
The 47 achievements are easily obtainable as you can get most of them by just playing the game without actually hunting for them but they require a great deal of patience though.
The game controls like a standard fighting game with the exceptions of the special Partner buttons. You have your basic Light, Medium, Heavy and Special attack buttons as well as the above mentioned Partner one and two buttons. The Special attack button is unique to each character and is used in different special moves such as Akuma’s teleport ability, and it is also every character’s Launch button which is used to launch your opponent into the air.
Once per match you can also activate a special ability called the X-Factor by pressing all attack buttons. This will momentarily pause the game and cancel any ongoing attack meaning that you could cancel a Hyper combo into another Hyper combo. Other than that, X-Factor momentarily increases your damage output and speed. Using it while your partners are KO’ed will further increase its duration length and power.
The game lets you string together simple combos by hitting the four attack buttons in succession with little precise timing required. All characters have their respective special moves performed with simple motions combined with button presses, so anyone can easily learn and pick up the basics. The game has a complete Command list with all the special moves and their associated input commands for all characters and it’s available in all game modes (excluding online modes of course). Most characters can dash by either pressing two attack buttons or by tapping backwards or forwards. Same goes for the Hyper jump, which is performed by quickly pressing down before pressing up. This will make your character jump a lot higher than normal, and during launch attacks you can simply press up to follow your opponent into the air and score an air combo from there. As mentioned above, air combos play a central part in this game.
It is worth mentioning that playing with standard controller is a different experience compared to playing on an arcade stick due to the six-button layout. The game plays well on both options however, so it becomes a matter of preference rather than anything else.
Unlike most fighting games your team members are actively participating in the fight by assisting you in different ways. You can call on them for a brief support attack, switch out characters altogether, perform a devastating team Hyper combo or unleash the power that is Team aerial combos. Team aerial combos are done by pressing the Special button together with either left or right direction; this controls from which direction your partner will attack and continue the ongoing combo that you’ve started. You can combo in all three characters this way. This can be countered however if your opponent correctly guesses and anticipates the direction of the attack.
Switching characters in and out is risky as it leaves an opening in your offense, but it also allows your switched out character to regain some lost life and fight at a later time. You can force your opponent to switch out their character by hitting them with a Snap Back attack, so there is a constant threat that your resting character has to step up sooner than expected.
The online portion of the game allows you to play either Ranked or Player matches. Ranked matches are where you put your skills to the ultimate test as you fight for points and compete with the rest on the global leaderboard. Player matches are casual matches between players with no real win or lose mechanics. Think of it as a friendly match – a perfect way to get started for novice players who are still learning the game but still want to compete with others.
Creating lobbies is easy and it’s possible to have up to eight players in a lobby. As the host of a lobby you can customize some game rules and reserve private slots so that your buddies can join your game with priority. You can even change which language and area you want your lobby to be, as well as choosing a preset name for the lobby such as “New players only”, “Anyone is welcome” or even “Looking for a mentor”.
All is not well with the multiplayer portion though as it’s plagued by a few things that really drag it into the dirt. First of all, it’s difficult to find a game due to connections being dropped or the game failing in the match making process. On top of that, the game constantly sends you to the main menu screen instead of the multiplayer screen so searching for a game takes twice as long because of the excess screen swapping.
The most foul part of the multiplayer has to be the Ranked matches, because you don’t even get to see the connection stability of your opponent – the game simply skips directly to the character selection screen. The game makes it a habit to skip screens when it shouldn’t and vice versa.
And as mentioned there’s the online leaderboards where you can track player statistics and rankings along with what characters they use. Sadly though, there is no Replay mode in this game, so you can’t watch other player’s previous battles. This seems like an unnecessary step backwards for fighting games.
The graphics are stunning and absolutely right for this game. The cartoon style shaded characters mixed with the incredibly vivid colors creates a perfect visual impression. The animations are smooth and the backgrounds are packed with details making the fights look interesting and alive. The whole graphical presentation is heavily inspired from the world of comics, with huge splashy texts and an overall loud tone – and it all comes naturally. Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds offers some of the most spectacular and explosive fights to date.
Some of the areas that you will be fighting in include iconic environments from numerous Capcom franchises such as the Metro City stage from Final Fight and The Great Demon Village from Super Ghosts and Goblins. Make no mistake, this game is heavy on the fan service which is as charming and uplifting as ever.
The sound work is equally brilliant. They have recorded both English and Japanese voices for all characters and you can individually choose which characters should use what language and for once they both sound great. The soundtrack is of top quality, featuring remixed character themes that you may or may not recognize from previous games, along with unique stage specific themes. The nostalgic feel that some of the songs invoke is simply outstanding – it is sure to capture any gamer’s heart right away. It all fits the theme and pace of the action, so it is definitely another strong point for this game.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds is full of improvements when compared to Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes. The characters are unique and interesting and they all feel like complete and robust player choices. With the solid game modes and plentiful replay value this game does what a fighting is supposed to do. The novelty of it does best in short bursts though, so for the typical gamer, it’s not a game that lasts for several hours at a time.
The multiplayer is botched – this is the biggest and quite possibly the only flaw of the game, but at least the Player matches work fine and as long as you play with friends the game runs as smooth as possible. The accessibility is fantastic and surely welcomed by many aspiring gaming fighters, making this an excellent starting point for novice players.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds is enjoyable by anyone and has a lot to offer, but it needs some patches before it can reach its true potential.