Thanks to the resurgence in the popularity of Beat-‘Em-Ups on the current-generation, Capcom have rolled-out one of the early big name releases of 2011 as Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds. Surely a game that few would’ve believed could demand a full retail price until the success of Street Fighter IV and Super Street Fighter IV in 2009 and 2010 respectively, Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds is almost certain to shoot straight to the top of the multi-format charts, and as a fairly comprehensive fighting game package, is almost certainly deserved of such success.
The premise of Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds if fairly obvious from the title alone: a clutch of the most popular characters from both Marvel’s comic book inventory and Capcom’s videogame stable meet for a big scrap, three-on-three style. More than thirty characters are playable from-the-off with a handful more to be unlocked (and plenty of room for more to be made available as downloadable content) by collecting Player Points, which are awarded for playing through the single-player Arcade mode, completing the character-specific missions and playing online.
The Arcade mode plays as would be expected, with the player taking their team of three combatants through a series of fights against other teams, culminating in a boss fight that mixes-up the rule set considerably. The Arcade mode is benefit to a considerable amount of customisation, from the usual Difficulty and Time Limit settings, to selecting how much damage landed attacks will inflict, as well as activating or deactivating Fight Requests. Fight Requests are similar to that which was introduced in Street Fighter IV, wherein online players can interrupt your progress for a competitive game, either Ranked or Player Match in a similar fashion to the original Arcade experience. As the addition divided players in Street Fighter IV, here in Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds the default setting is ‘off’.
Online matches, either the Ranked or Player Matches mentioned above, are met with a great deal of complimentary options, with the multiplayer gameplay mode obviously considered to be the biggest draw for many. Each player has a License Card (which also includes single-player progress) which features the details of their Rank. The Rank is intended to represent your skill level determined by your win/loss record in online matches. Contrary to the earned Player Points, your Rank will fluctuate, and the Rank Name given will act as an immediate depiction of your ability for new meetings online. Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds also features the Title and Image options for your License Card that became standard with Street Fighter IV, as well as detailed fight statistics and the option to create reserve teams for quick selection prior to matches beginning.
The fighting system of Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds may not be as deep as Street Fighter IV or Soul Calibur IV, or even Tekken 6 or Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe for that matter, but it does lend itself to multiplayer combat well. The crux of the system, as with many good Beat-‘Em-Ups, is the timing of attacks and counter attacks. A familiar blocking system can provide breaks in an enemy’s combos for quick retaliation, but correctly choosing an attack to fit in that window is essential. Players can switch between characters in-game at any free moment, allowing those in reserve to rebuild a small amount of health, and also call-in their teammates for a brief assist manoeuvre. Basic attacks are really only in place to act as a link between combo manoeuvres and to build for the more devastating array of Hypers and Crossover attacks. Hyper Combos demand the use of one level of your Hyper Combo Gauge, but further to this are the Team Hyper Combos and Crossover Combinations. These will require the player to have built a number of complete Hyper Combo Gauges (up to five can be stored at any one time) and can be devastating when used correctly. Of course, for beginners, Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds features the quickly becoming commonplace ‘Simple’ control set-up, allowing anyone to look competitive without necessarily understanding the substance of each character’s moves.
Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds is a visually striking game, never more so than during the use of the Hyper Combos and Crossover Combinations. Elegantly presented characters move with grace across backdrops that belie their cartoon aesthetic with staggering attention to detail. Between the selection of fighters on offer and the personalities featured in the locations, it’s unlikely that anyone game player in the western world won’t find someone or someone they’re familiar with, at least in terms of a motion-picture or television production. And this, of course, is the essence of Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds: it’s fan service taken to the extreme, and in that regard it’s a very accomplished production.
With the once again rising profile of the Beat-‘Em-Up genre, Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds has earned the right to be considered one of the biggest releases of early 2011. Offering a huge selection of two industries’ most popular personalities in an almost entirely impressive current-generation presentation, Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds stands-out as a very unique videogame, even with the likes of Street Fighter Vs. Tekken on the horizon. Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds is undeniably cheap in it’s fighting system compared to the likes of Street Fighter IV and Virtua Fighter 5, but there’s no denying it has a charm all of it’s own.