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Superhero face-off

This third iteration of Marvel Vs Capcom is enthralling and addictive. Fights are downright explosive, but learning the ranks is easy. The roster of characters is exhaustive too.

india Updated: Mar 21, 2011 18:54 IST
Sriram Gurunathan

Marvel Vs Capcom 2 was one of the most important fighting games to ever come out. Its depth in 3-vs-3 gameplay provided solid entertainment for countless hours — proof of which is the fact that it’s still going strong in the competitive scene, eleven years after release. Since then, fans of the franchise, and fighting games in general, have been clamouring for a sequel. And hype hit the roof when Marvel Vs Capcom 3 was announced for the PS3 and Xbox 360.

The first thing you notice when you load the game is the graphic novel-style presentation. Everything from the text used in the menus to the post-battle screens is rendered in the trademark Marvel Comics design. The levels and the characters themselves look very appealing and detailed, and stay true to the authentic designs in the source material. Controls include individual buttons for light, medium, heavy and special attacks. There’s even a simple mode that will let newcomers learn the ropes for a bit, thanks to the ability to activate combos with a single button.

The combo system is ridiculously fluid. The developers have taken a much freer approach, allowing players to chain as many hits as they can imagine and execute. Damage has been increased, which gives MvC 3 a real on-the-edge feel.

When you know that one devastating combo could wipe out your entire health bar, you’ve got to stay focused. Augment-ing that is the X-Factor. Each player starts off with the ability to use one X-Factor at any point in the battle, which gives them boosts in all areas. These boosts increase according to the level of threat, so activating your X-factor when all three of your characters are around isn’t very smart.

Capcom has made MvC 3 tread the fine line between accessible and hardcore. The game is certainly more accessible than before, but it stops just short of being too easy. Where MvC 3 really shines is in its character roster. While the number of characters has been reduced from MvC 2 — previously 56 to 32 plus 4 unlockable one and more via downloads, there is plenty of variety on offer.

Mode-wise, there’s the simple versus mode and the arcade mode — a series of battles leading to the final boss. The MvC3 training mode is one of the best we’ve seen, and we spent hours in there trying to learn the nuances of the game. The Mission Mode will lead you through a bunch of missions that change according to the character you’ve selected. You’ll have them perform certain moves and combos to move to the next level, and while the vertical commands on the left side of your screen can get a bit hard to follow, it still teaches you a lot about the various facets of your character.

Marvel Vs Capcom 3 is insanely fun and addictive, with excellent combos, damage and re-playability. It will have gamers addicted to it for ages, and while the question of whether it’ll go on to become a major force in the competitive scene remains unanswered, the sheer amount of fun it brings to the table makes it a must-buy for those even slightly interested in the fighting genre.

Rating ****1/2

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