Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds review

  • Anyone can play it and have fun
  • Astonishing comic book visuals
  • Peerless fan-service throughout
  • Too chaotic for its own good
  • Challenge rooms lack instruction
  • Defensive play is near pointless

Marvel vs Capcom 3 is a celebration of everything that makes videogames great. It's a celebration of Capcom's heritage. Of comic books and super heroes. Of laser beams, celestial brush strokes and grenade launchers. A celebration of button mashing and obscene complexity of control. Of combos, juggling and finishing moves. But most of all, it's a celebration of everything that makes the very word 'videogame' excite our minds. And it's time you joined the party.

Like all the best games, the premise is simple. It's a tag-team fighting game where Marvel superheroes are teaming up with Capcom's finest in three vs three… gigafights. Yes, I'm coining that phrase now. At heart, it's like Street Fighter IV – same 3D characters/2D gameplay, same online/offline play and the same level of sublime presentation. But if the gameplay dial was already on 10, it's now so far past '11', it's broken off and now even a whisper is delivered like a scream.

Above: Sorry, didn't quite catch that. Can you say it again, please?

I know a few months back I wrote an article bemoaning the fact the art style is different in comparison to Marvel vs Capcom 2. I admit, I still wish there was a little less black and a bit more neon. But having now spent hours with it in action, I understand the very good reason for the change.

In 2000, Capcom had perfected the art of making 2D fighting games, and the Marvel license at the time allowed them to make the most explosive Capcom fighting game we'd ever seen (or indeed would see for the next decade). But it was just a case of drawing Hulk-shaped sprites – it was, at heart, just a reskin for any other Capcom fighter. Amplified 100-fold, sure, but still clearly a Capcom fighting game. This time, things are different. This is a Marvel game.


How Marvel-ous!

I don't mean Marvel made it. Underneath the comic book stylings, the Capcom gameplay remains perfectly intact. What I'm talking about is the way everything is like a Marvel Comic. Sure, there's the inevitable cel-shading and speech bubbles in the post-fight screens, but it's more than that. The Capcom characters have been given a Marvel makeover so convincing, I'm sure any of them could be given their own graphic novel using nothing but stills from the game:

Above: Should've gone Shoryuken. Bubbles aside, these are all in-game screenshots I took just now

It's honestly like comic books have come to life and their inhabitants are stamping around inside the TV. I just thank Jeebus that they haven't worked out how to get out of the screen. For now, they're still trapped in there, puppets to Capcom's MT Framework engine.

But while the biggest pull is undoubtedly the superb visual overload, it would soon wear thin if there was a bad game underneath it. So, I'll apologise for spending an entire page gushing over how incredible it looks, and get into the meat of the most OTT combat system the gaming world has ever seen.

More Info

Available Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360
Genre: Fighting
Published by: Capcom
ESRB Rating:
PEGI Rating:
Justin Towell

The longest-serving GR+ staffer, I was here when all this was just fields. I'm currently in charge of reviews but still find time to make daft Photoshop stories and try to explain why there need to be more arcade racing games.

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  • cronomonkey - February 25, 2011 4:17 a.m.

    Saying that the game is "so easy for buginners to get into" and "that its funner without knowing the controls or what your doing" Is like saying that camping in FPS games is justified, its not, its douchey and not fun for either player Just saying
  • humpiedumpie - February 23, 2011 9:10 p.m.

    Great review, picked it up today thanks to the podcast and your review, and i am really liking it! :)
  • humpiedumpie - February 23, 2011 11:21 a.m.

    Going to pick it up today :D
  • TheGingaPrince - February 19, 2011 1:19 a.m.

    Still not decided on this one. Might hang on for Mortal Kombat...
  • Mar27w - February 16, 2011 1:40 p.m.

    How can this possibly be better than MvC2?,answer=it isnt,the graphics although smooth still lack the style and appeal of the old 2D hand drawn sprites and i dont like the character models,the gameplay mechanics have also been watered down significantly from MvC2 and obviously features a smaller roster but the biggest disappointment has to be the fact that you cant watch other people play in the winner stays on mode,instead your forced to watch players energy bars drop which is about as exciting as watching grass grow rendering this mode pretty pointless,very strange omission to have,dont get me wrong this is still a great fighting game and you will enjoy every minute playing but is inferior to MvC2 in everyway
  • Crimmy - February 16, 2011 12:04 a.m.

    Oh yeah, picking this up in a couple of hours, the CE.
  • philipshaw - February 15, 2011 5:44 p.m.

    This game looks great but I think I will put off getting it until I finish Mass Effect 2
  • Ilyere - February 14, 2011 11:18 p.m.

    I've got this preordered. Even as a fighting newbie, I'm totally psyched for this. And ready to get my ass kicked online a lot...
  • VigotheCarpathian - February 14, 2011 11:16 p.m.

    Nice review. I can see how all of the on-screen action may be a bit confusing at first, but after a few weeks my brain catches up and I don't have any problems navigating through the fireworks.The same thing happened to me with Bayonetta. Also, despite the character roster being excellent, I think charging for extra fighters is taking the piss and I'm becoming increasingly annoyed at paying £40.00 for a game and then another £20.00+ for all the best bits they left out of the original.
  • EnigmaSpirit - February 14, 2011 10:58 p.m.

    Why compare it to Calamity Trigger, when Continuum Shift is the more recent edition. Personally I think I prefer the anime styled sprites of BB, more original, but this seems phenomenal as well.
  • Lionzest7 - February 14, 2011 10:29 p.m.

    no, D0CCON that doesn't make sense. Only in easy mode would the commands be of that nature. Command normals might use the directionals, but they're likely unique to that character. Specials in manual mode are likely to be executed in quarter and half circle motions. Supers likewise to specials but utilizing 2 buttons like an EX move. If srks are coming out, depending on game and buffering. Think relative to a keypad. with 1 on the bottom left and 9 on the top right. To execute an shoryuken in SSFIV you can either do 623 (z motion) + punch OR 33 P. So if shoryukens are coming out you're likely doing too much on your part or buffering strangely.
  • Fuzunga - February 14, 2011 10:25 p.m.

    Why not compare this to Tatsunoko vs Capcom? Or am I missing something?
  • D0CCON - February 14, 2011 10:08 p.m.

    Anyone can play it and have fun? Does that mean that special moves don't involve anything along the lines of ◄▼►+Punch? If you do have to move the control stick around to start special moves, then I can't play it. I've tried everything to get specials to work in SF and I can only get Shoryukens to work half the time. Nothing else ever works for me. I much prefer the likes of Soulcalibur where you press two buttons at the same time to start a grab or SSB where you use the control stick, but you tilt it in a single, obvious direction (left + B, not Up left right down (hold) + B)
  • NightCrawler_358 - February 14, 2011 9:51 p.m.

    You didn't mention too much about the roster. I thought the roster was way better than MvC2, especially on Capcom's side. Although I miss the likes of Strider, I'm sure he'llbe back in DLC. Great review.
  • GameManiac - February 14, 2011 9:42 p.m.

    "But some people will prefer MvC3 because it's just so fun. Heck, get both." My thoughts exactly. Although I'll get SSFIV for the 3DS. My brother has the Xbox 360.
  • Robusken - February 14, 2011 9:33 p.m.

    sfjkhsf....I need to somehow scrap up the money for this now. You do bring up a good point Justin, It takes a long while of playing matches like crazy until you get to the point where you can tell whats going on, what you should do, etc.
  • Gahmah - February 14, 2011 9:30 p.m.

  • batmanboy11 - February 14, 2011 9:18 p.m.

    Really want to get my hands on this.
  • Cyberninja - February 14, 2011 8:53 p.m.

    in the is it better than you used the first blazblue which is not the best, the second one is 10x better seeing as i have played both to death but i am still geting MvC3 this week. P.S. i dont see what all the hype about SSF4 is about i play the games but i dont see why they are so good for some people is it primaryly nostigia for SSF2?
  • Defguru7777 - February 14, 2011 8:44 p.m.

    I want to be excited about this game, but considering how much I sucked at MvC2 when I downloaded it on XBLA, I just can't. I want to, but I can't. But the visuals do look gorgeous. Additionally, I'm also pissed about the DLC in this game, if just because I have a bone to pick with poorly done DLC.