Whenever I start a fighting game for the first time, I’m hesitant. As per my review of Street Fighter IV a couple of years ago, fighting games aren’t exactly my forte. Initially, I mash buttons desperately, trying to land something – anything – on my opponent. Special abilities would appear for absolutely no reason at all, usually with little or no effect. (And trust me, there’s nothing quite so concerning, or confusing, as not knowing how you did something correctly.)
Nevertheless, I persevered, and I think I’ve got a pretty good impression of what I’ve just experienced.
MvC3 brings together popular characters from both respective universes – those who are well-versed in either franchise will immediately find characters they can identify. Although sizeable, the roster is smaller in comparison to MvC2 (naturally to make room for some profitable DLC content). There’s a healthy mix of glass cannons, tanks and rushdown characters, and the personalities of each character really shine through. In-game rivals may exchange some unique banter if they’re facing each other.
MvC3 has the same 3 character tag-team and assist mechanics as per the previous iteration in the series – on the Xbox 360, swapping out characters and calling upon their special abilities is as easy as tapping or holding the bumpers. The controls have been simplified, which made it a lot easier for me (the ham-fisted gamer that I am) to pull off combos more consistently and effectively. Simply removing that extra layer of buttons to determine what limb I wanted to use certainly made the whole thing more accessible for me, at least – hard-core joystick jockeys and MvC2 fans might find this change a bit too much to stomach.
Comparatively speaking, MvC3 was a different kind of fighting game to me. After the careful, measured pace of Street Fighter IV, MvC3 is positively chaotic in comparison. (6 super moves being pulled off at the same time on the one screen speaks for itself.) For me, there was a paradigm shift from countering and guard breaking to player juggling and combo chaining. It’s intense and adrenaline-inducing and over the top, and I’m enjoying it.
Given the variation in characters, the plentiful unlocks, the “Missions” to complete, and of course competing with other players online and locally, there’s plenty here if you’re even remotely interested in the fighting game genre.