Marvel vs. Capcom returns

Published 5:00 pm Saturday, February 19, 2011

The eagerly awaited Marvel vs. Capcom 3

One of the classic crossover fighting games is back, this time more shiny, slightly easier and still packing a ton of depth.

“Marvel vs. Capcom 3” is a crazed fighter with tons of pyrotechnics and graphics. It takes basic elements from the “Street Fighter” series while at the same time placing a ton of emphasis on style and flash. While that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a great game, it’s enjoyable for anyone who’s ever played a fighting game at the arcade or in their home.

Featuring 36 characters from the Capcom and Marvel universes, MvC 3 isn’t as big as previous entries, but it’s full of depth.

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Instead of the normal “Street Fighter” button configuration, players now have one light, medium and heavy attack button, along with a special attack button (serving as a combo set-up) and a slew of options to tag in a partner, as the game makes players fight with three-person teams. New gamers can choose a simple button configuration, which assigns special moves and super combos to a single button, so they won’t have to perform complicated move patterns.

Each character feels distinct from one another, including similar characters like Ryu and Akuma. The game feels much more balanced than previous iterations and the combat feels smooth against the computer and against other players. Even the online modes work well, with minimal wait times for online matches.

Where the game fails is its lack of options aside from the basics, like arcade and versus mode.

Although players can enjoy online matches and an extensive training mode, there aren’t extra perks like time trials or survival modes.

For all its simplicity, the game is actually quite deep, almost too chaotic for younger players and somewhat complicated for casual gamers.

Players won’t be able to access all of a character’s moves if they play on simple mode, making the game sacrifice creativity for the ability to do some cool flashy moves.

That sacrifice sums up MvC 3, where the awesome gameplay means sacrificing replayability. It doesn’t take away from how well-balanced and fun the game is, but it does mean a tough learning curve for new players and boring single player options.