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Marvel Vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds review

Our Rating :
£24.99 from
Price when reviewed : £33
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It's far from subtle, and loses out to sibling Street Fighter IV for long-term tactical appeal

Capcom’s Versus series was once very popular in arcades, so it came as no surprise following the major success of Street Fighter IV when the company announced a new version. Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds is the sequel fans have been desperate to see for the last ten years, but can it possibly live up to their expectations.

First things first; the frantic action and screen-filling ultra moves we’ve come to expect from the Versus series are all present and correct, as is the large roster of characters. Although there aren’t as many as the previous game, there’s still a very respectable 32 playable characters, plus several others to unlock.

Fan favourites from Street Fighter, Darkstalkers, X-men and Avengers make an appearance, as do some new characters that have never been playable before. Resident Evil star Chris Redfield, Arthur the Knight from Ghouls N Ghosts and Mega Man sidekick Zero are just a few of the highlights. The roster looks set to grow in the future, as Capcom has already announced two additional characters that will be available to download as downloadable content in March. A vote on the game’s forum is also in full swing, with the winning characters to be added at a later date.

Marvel Vs Capcom 3 Arthur gameplay

Every character has their own distinct set of moves that are easy to pick up but devilishly difficult to master. As well as regular and special moves, immensely powerful ultra-moves fill the screen with projectiles and have the power to instantly reverse the flow of a match. Our favourite comes from Marvel’s tongue-in-cheek Deadpool, who tears the health bar from the top of screen and batters his opponent with it.

Matches still take the form of three-vs-three bouts, with fast-hitting special moves and gravity-defying air combos, but there have been some major gameplay changes and tweaks from the previous game. Combos are much easier to pull off and timing is nowhere near as strict, which should make the game far more accessible for anyone unfamiliar with the series. “X-factor” is another new introduction; usable once per match, it temporarily boosts both attack and defence, lasting longer when you’re down to your last character. In the right hands, it can turn a battle around from the verge of defeat.

Marvel Vs Capcom 3 Magneto gameplay

With super-fast action and screen-filling special effects, MVC3 might look impenetrable for anyone not familiar with fighting games, but the training missions and one-button mode ensure that players new to the franchise aren’t overwhelmed. However, even with these assists turned on, the speed and sheer number of projectiles on-screen at once requires quick reflexes.

Even with all the on-screen action, everything looks stunning; the visuals have been designed to emulate the appearance of a comic book, with vibrant colours and sharp outlines. Much like the latest edition of Street Fighter, Capcom rejected classic 2D sprites in favour of full 3D character models, although gameplay remains strictly two dimensional. Each stage is based on a location from either the Marvel universe or a previous Capcom game and the background is filled with incidental details that will appeal to fans. Highlights include the Demon village from Ghouls N Ghosts and the roof of the Daily Bugle, workplace of Spider-man’s alter ego Peter Parker.

Marvel Vs Capcom 3 Spencer gameplay

There is a story-based arcade mode, loosely revolving around the collision of the Marvel and Capcom worlds, but it’s mostly an excuse for a series of progressively harder fights, culminating in a final showdown. It comes as no surprise that the final boss is none other than Marvel enemy Galactus, a demi-god with the power to devour planets.

Each character has their own unique ending, but MVC3 truly comes alive when you take it online to play against other players on Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network. Capcom has even added an option to the training mode that allows for internet lag, so you can practice your combos ready to take them online. If you really want to improve your game, a fight pad or arcade stick such as the official Mad Catz Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 stick is definitely the way to go, but the controls are easily remapped to any button combination to make it easier to play on a regular controller.

Purists and competitive players will more than likely stick to the more tactical Street Fighter IV, but Marvel Vs Capcom 3 is an absolute riot to play whether you take the time to understand the combo system or simply mash the buttons. The game is fan-service at its best, with plenty of content and an addictive multiplayer that will have players constantly coming back for one more fight.


Price £33
Rating ****