Well, after a long ten years, it’s finally happening. Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds is finally getting a European release on the 15th January next year, and a Japanese release on February the 19th . Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is quite possibly, one of the biggest fighting games of the generation, alongside with Marvel vs. Capcom and its sequel going down as cult classics in the genre. The character roster is bigger than ever, with a nice mix of the obscure Capcom icons, with the familiar Marvel faces. However, very much like Capcom’s very own Street Fighter IV, Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds takes the philosophy of “it isn’t broke, don’t break it” to heart. What I mean by that is, the game still feels like the first two, by keeping the insane, fast-paced tag-team based gameplay the first two games are known for. Although, the game still has enough new ideas here to truly give it the feeling of a next-generational makeover.
This time around, the chief creative director for this hotly-anticipated fighter is Ryota Niitsumma. He was responsible for the strange but awesome Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars built exclusively for the Wii. From judging the gameplay in action, his influence is clear right from the get-go. Much like Tatsunoko, Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds has a strikingly beautiful painterly visual design. Every stage unveiled so far is filled with colour, and the stages are still busy and frenetic, very much like in the originals, with tons of background detail giving Marvel vs. Capcom 3 its own stark sense of vitality and life. However, the core gameplay of the game still have not changed.
At its heart, Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds is still the same game you remember. The player can choose up to a maximum of three playable characters, either from the Capcom lore or Marvel lore. Depending on which three characters you have chosen, the player can swap to any character at any time during the fight. Each character has a unique finishing attack, which in true Capcom tradition will change the tide of battle. The game will use a modified version of the SNK Vs. Capcom engine, and uses an order selection called: Evolved vs. Fighting System. This system will allow the player to swap with any character at any time they wish, with a quick, efficient level of responsiveness.
The character roster alone for Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds will make Capcom and Marvel fanatics (like myself), squeal with delight, and drool dreamily. The game really has gone all out with the character roster here, with characters such as Arthur from the classic Ghost ‘n Goblins who are completely unexpected, and, in a way, oddly amusing, to more recent characters such as Amaterasu from the mind-blowing masterpiece that was Okami. Marvel characters are as equally as intriguing, with little known spin-off fan favourites such as She-Hulk to of course, characters that are instantly recognizable such as Captain America. It’s a nice mix of obscurity and familiarity, which will definitely increase this games’ appeal. Perhaps, the main appeal of Marvel vs. Capcom anyway is its’ gleeful combination of characters we all are familiar with, and characters that we grew up with from the old SNES days of Street Fighter II, to comics from the early 60’s with The Amazing Spider-Man. Clearly, Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds is taking its cake, eating it, and enjoying all the little touches that please the fans.
Perhaps, the most surprising thing about Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds is its focus on player accessibility. Capcom aims to “knock down the wall of complicated controls and open up the field of strategic fighting to new players”. So far, the game is making good of that promise. There will be a set of new of attack styles for the game, and they include: light, medium and hard, which was used in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, and making the controls easier for players to master. It’s admirable a company like Capcom are considering casual players with such a big title like this. If they pull it off, then Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds will be introducing a whole new spectrum of players. However, Capcom is a company renowned for their challenging bite to their games; this game will certainly be no exception. There is still a level of depth to this fighter that hardcore gamers can sink their teeth into.
To conclude, Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds is truly shaping up to be the ultimate crossover fighting game this generation. The quirkiness, the new ideas mixing with the established and the wide-ranging fan service are making it look like a quality title. Whether the game’s aim of introducing new players will actually work or not still needs to be proven, but, so far, Capcom and Marvel lovers everywhere should be having their fingers at the ready to join the fight.