- Publisher: Capcom
- Developer: Capcom
- ESRB Rating: “T" for Teen
- Genre: 2D Fighting
- Pros: Very accessible for all skill levels; fast gameplay; nice visuals; decent roster; solid online play
- Cons: Online lobbies need work; only 36 characters; lacking unlockables; simple mode
The Marvel vs. Capcom series is mostly an excuse to pit Marvel comic book heroes and villains against Capcom characters. There is a story in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 somewhere, but it is awfully shallow and forgettable. It does carry the subtitle of "Fate of Two Worlds", but we're going to forget that exists. Basically, after fighting through 6 rounds of other teams, you end up fighting the world eater Galactus to stop him from destroying Earth. The end.
When you beat the game, you get a brief comic book ending for the character that delivered the final blow (which means you have to beat the game at least 36 times to see everything) along with some artwork, sounds, and character models. There are only 4 hidden characters, and you'll unlock them all after your first few trips through arcade mode, which is a bit of a letdown. I kind of like having to unlock stuff in fighting games, so having almost everything laid out from the start takes a lot of the fun out of the experience.
The character roster also deserves some scrutiny as well. It is kind of a bummer to go from 56 characters in MvC2 to 36 here (although more are likely coming as DLC ...) with a lot of fan favorites getting cut and replaced with new characters. It is hard not to feel let down initially. I will say, however, that once you actually use all of the characters you'll find that there are some real gems that are fun to use that you probably didn't expect. Everyone will surely find some duds in the roster (and they'll be different from everyone else's depending on play style), but for the most part the character lineup is surprisingly good and well balanced.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3 offers a decent handful of modes. There is an arcade mode, training mode, local versus mode, and mission mode. Mission mode has you performing specific moves and combos with each character. Single-player offers plenty to do, and the A.I. hits a sweet spot where it isn't too hard on easy, or too easy on hard. The achievement list is also remarkably scrub-friendly compared to other fighting games on Xbox 360, which is a nice change compared to some other fighting games.
As you fight you build up hyper combo bars that let you unleash massive screen-filling attacks that do a ton of damage. You can do one at a time, link all of your characters hyper combos together successively, do one massive combo with one character (requires three hyper bars), or combine all three of your characters at once. Hyper combos are the absolute key to victory in MvC, and knowing how and when and where to use each type is vitally important.
Other techniques include the X-Factor, which you can use once per match to power up your team. It isn't really an offensive weapon, though, as the more damage your team has taken, the stronger the X-Factor will be, so it is best used as a last resort to try to make a comeback.
The snap back technique lets you use a hyper bar to physically knock an opponent off of the screen and force a tag. This lets you dispose of a particular nasty opponent in favor of someone that is hopefully easier.