Marvel Vs Capcom 3: Fate Of Two Worlds – Review

Title   Marvel Vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds
Developer  Capcom
Publisher  Capcom
Platform  PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Genre  Fighting
Release Date  18th February 2011

Games should be fun. Games should be something you boot up, sit down and chill out with. Fun is challenging, enjoyable, entertaining and (arguably) addictive. Too many games these days are maggot-ridden with gimmicks, failed fan-service and badly-constructed, ramshackle multiplayer add-ons. Developers and producers too often sacrifice the end-users’ experience because of fears that they are short-changing the consumer; they think that the average user would rather have more perks per package. It’s becoming an equation of quality vs. quantity.

This is why Marvel Vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds is a refreshing and invigorating shift to the established paradigm: at first glance, there isn’t a trove of data on the disk; there are the standard beat-‘em-up staples – arcade, versus, practice, online ranked, online player and gallery/theatre. There is another option – Missions – which basically acts as an extension of the practice mode, albeit with specific objectives to complete. There is nothing new on offer, really. There is nothing that hasn’t already been done.

But therein the beauty of MvC3 lies; it’s under no illusion that it’s doing something new. It isn’t pretentious, it isn’t ground-breaking and it isn’t conceited; it is a good old-fashioned fighter and it’s happy with it. The roster is comfortably extensive without becoming ridiculous, the characters themselves are well-balanced and individual while the move list is diverse and exciting. Each character has a different set of crouching, ground and aerial moves which can be augmented with super moves (or hyper combos), and each of these can be merged (or ‘cancelled’) into the combos of other characters.

It all sounds a bit daunting at first, especially to a casual gamer, but that’s another fantastic upside to MvC3 – it can be as deep or as shallow as you want it to be. Play magazine made the mistake of naming it a ‘button-masher’, angering fanboys and fangirls in their hundreds. They had a point, though. I am a Fighter, through and through; I achieved #7 in the World Leaderboards in Soul Calibur IV a few years back, have entered into Tekken tournaments and spent many more hours than I am prepared to admit getting to grips with the BlazBlue system. My dad plays occasional games of Fifa and had diabetes… yet he beat me on his first attempt on MvC so to say I was angry would be a filthy and aggravating understatement. The fact that he could pick up the controller and just bash his way to victory did raise a slight smile; it was my first indication that the game is very well-balanced and just, generally, fun. There’s also a mode that changes the controls to automatic inputs, for an easier controlling experience – the face buttons on the controller will automatically perform aerial combos, hyper moves and special moves. It’s small and thoughtful mechanics like this that make this game so user-friendly and accessible.

Please note: screenshots include some DLC costumes but are still representative of actual gameplay

There is a heap of fan-service within the body of the game, too. Just seeing the likes of Deadpool, Wolverine and Iron Man facing off against Dante, Chris Redfield and the Bionic Commando should be an appetiser to any gamer/comic nerd. Deadpool lives up to his character well, constantly breaking the fourth wall (even using the health bar as a weapon at one point) and mouthing off at every possible opportunity while Dante is as charming and badass as ever. All of them are bought out in cel-shaded splendour, too, and every nuance of their specific character is captured well; styles are typically kept from respective appearances – Tron Bonne is smoother and more cartoony whereas Wesker (of Resident Evil fame) is shaded darker and with heavier textures.

The stage backgrounds (though sparse in number) are vibrant and exciting, and there are many little references to the mythologies of the Marvel and Capcom universes. The most notable is probably Tron Bonne’s home stage where a plethora of Servbots flit around in the background doing all manner of mischievous nonsense. The stages themselves are enhanced with fantastic audio – a pleasant mix of nostalgic 16-bit effects and modern well-produced layers of remastered themes. The voice acting is also well-realised; She-Hulk retains her strong, masculine timbre, Wolverine seems angry at everything and Trish keeps the same half-seductive, half-deadly hypnotic vocals she had in the Devil May Cry games.

MvC3 defies logical restrictions in terms of longevity and replayability; you can get as much or as little as you want out of it. For beat-‘em-up fans, there is a deep and complex system to get to grips with – the Mission mode alone will have you screaming at the screen with addictive frustration. For more casual users, or for those whom Fighters don’t hold much appeal, there is a whole heap of fun to be had with experimenting with different combinations of characters, different hyper moves and even just toying with the controls. There are also decent rewards given out at regular intervals, mostly via a points system so every now and then you’ll unlock a new character to toy with, a new bit of artwork to peruse, a new series of vocal clippings to listen to or a new 3D-model to admire.

Overall, the whole system is designed to be a fighter. It is a successor to the hugely popular second instalment of the series in every way. Though a few fan favourites have been omitted, everything you need to have a decent beat-‘em-up session can be found on the disk and, with new DLC promised (Jill Valentine and Shuma-Gorath have thus far been confirmed, with Doc Oc and Frank West hidden in data caches on the disk), there promises to be plenty more to keep all players entertained. The graphics might not be as polished or detailed as you’d expect from this generation, but the charm is in the simplicity. If you value a game at £1 per hour (my personal way of making dampening impulse buys) then, for me, this game is great value for money; I’ve had it for two days and I have found the time to put in twelve hours in on both single and multi player.

…And there are still characters I haven’t even touched.

  • Entertaining and solid gameplay
  • Quirky environments, score and character design
  • Promised DLC will add continue to expand shelf-life of the game
  • Difficulty curve not too steep and not too easy
  • Reduced character roster from sequel
  • Online lag can plague games from time to time

If you're not a fighting game fan, this is one of those brilliant games you can keep on your shelf and bang out whenever you have people round. The mechanics and the speed of the matches suit the "Winner-Stays-On" mentality perfectly. There'll be characters from both sides of the roster you'll recognise and want to fight with, and the ability to master different combos and different movesets proves addictive and entertaining.

If you are a fighting game fan, then I can whole-heartedly say that this will be the best, most frenetic and busy fighter you'll have played for the last year. If you know what a "half-circle-hyper-cancel" is, then you need to buy this game. Value oozes from every pore, despite the initial impressions of the contrary.

Last five articles by Dom



  1. Edward Edward says:

    A great review, Dom! :D Glad to see you writing more after your competition winning entry :)
    I got the chance to play a bit of this over the weekend, so I can get where you’re coming from in a lot of ways. I found it simple enough to get into with enough chance for me to stand my own with people who’d been beat-em-up experts for a while and enough characters that I was familiar with to enjoy fighting with them. Some weird absences though, like Mega Man. Also, I have to admit button mashing did come in once or twice because I was pulling off moves I honestly couldn’t understand how I was pulling them off or why, but that’s just me.

  2. Samuel Samuel says:

    Good review. I concur with your assessment. It is the best fighting game I’ve played since Super Street Fighter IV, better even than the last BlazBlue (which was a considerable improvement over the first with its flaws). It’s just a hell of a lot of fun.

    In the first two days I’d been playing it I somehow managed to rack up 160 matches, all of them with Iron Man in my roster. I didn’t even notice the time passing, and I never got bored.

    This one will be around for a long time to come.

  3. Leon says:

    Great review – but I do have one small issue; half of the images used in the review are shots of currently unreleased DLC costumes? (Dante’s Sparda, Captain America wih no mask and different shield, SF1 Ryu). Just doesn’t represent what you can expect to see in the base game is all.

    I’m loving the game so far – although I keep losing on Very Hard and online modes!

  4. Ste says:

    NIce review, I’ve not played it and I was planning on giving it a miss due to the fact that I’ve hardly played SSFIV since buying it but I may change my mind if I can pick it up cheap enough.

  5. Adam Adam says:

    Wooo the 2nd Album from Dom!

    Awesome review dude. I have this thing about fighting games, I really love the look and challenge of the core fighters like this. There’s a real sense of ‘If I buy this game, I’m going to spend the first few hours getting destroyed’ and I like that. I love the notion that at some point, given enough effort, I’d actually become good at it and start winning :)

    That the game can cater for people not wanting to put up with that torment is even better

  6. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Adam Freeman, Dom Rowan Peppiatt. Dom Rowan Peppiatt said: My review of Marvel Vs Capcom 3 is up on @GamingLives – My 1st review; I'm very proud of myself. [...]

  7. Mark R MarkuzR says:

    @Leon – Fixed!

  8. Leon says:

    @MarkuzR There we go :)

  9. Adam Adam says:

    @MarkuzR @Leon

    Lulz :D

  10. Lee says:

    I know you say it’s nice and easy for the numptys (me) but oh man did I suck and street fighter 4! I was gonna give this a miss but you may have swayed me Dom. :)

  11. Kat says:

    I had this on the PSone. Or stole my flatmate’s, I’m unsure, and it confused the flip out of me but was very fun. Saw this latest release being played over the weekend and adore the mentalness factor. It would always be a button basher for me but I’m tempted to pick it up once the price drops, for a social game when friends are round.

  12. Mark R MarkuzR says:

    I don’t do fighters. I bought Street Fighter IV when it came out for two reasons… the first being that we were having friends over who DO enjoy playing fighters so we thought it’d be cool to get some “screaming at the screen” time in with SF4 and the second is that I thought it’d look awesome on the HD projector. I was right on both counts, but as soon as the weekend was over it never got played again.

    I think the game LOOKS lovely, pretty stunning actually, but it doesn’t matter how kick ass they make it… it’s just not my genre I’m afraid. Shame though, as I could do with some button mashing games to chill out to.

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