We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Playstation games software Reviews
15,508 Reviews PC Advisor Recommended

Marvel vs. Capcom 3 review

£49.99

Manufacturer: capcom

Our Rating: We rate this 4.5 out of 5

Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is the fast and furious follow-up to one of Capcom's most popular brawlers. But is it a case of style over substance?

Marvel vs. Capcom 2 was a beautiful accident of a game - the result of designers at Capcom flagrantly throwing every character sprite in the database into a game engine and hoping that the result would be playable. The end product was an unbalanced and broken mess, and yet, inevitably, the fans loved it. Rather than playing MvC2 the way its designers hoped, the community built a competitive tournament monster from the original game's scorched remnants, crafting it into the sort of unique fighting experience nobody expected it to become.

I bring this up because Marvel vs. Capcom 3 isn't the sequel to what its predecessor evolved into; it's more the sequel to what MvC2 was supposed to be. Capcom certainly hasn't ignored its fanbase, though, and many aspects of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 are the direct result of paying attention to what the players have enjoyed in previous games. The result is an incredibly fast, fun fighter that oozes pizzazz and personality.

The fundamental mechanics are instantly familiar: players select a team of three separate characters and duke it out with the standard array of normal attacks, combos, aerial rave combos, special moves, and super attacks. Partners can be called in to take the place of the fighting character, and can also be temporarily summoned to execute assist skills and augment combos.

Deciding when and how to swap and call in your teammates, as well as what assist skills to assign them, is a key part of strategy. Longtime MvC2 players will have a good understanding of these aspects, though their implementation now feels more like Tatsunoko vs. Capcom than previous games in the series.

However, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 does more than just tweak existing ideas. You can now swap between characters during aerial combos, which is a far safer option in most cases than the usual on-the-ground call-in. Snap-backs - attacks that force an opponent's reserve character onto the field if it hits - are now available to all characters rather than a select few.

Marvel vs. Capcom 3 super move

But the biggest and most interesting addition is the "X-Factor," a special skill that can be activated once per match and grants incredible benefits like hyper-speed, boosted damage, the reduction of damage scaling in combos, chip damage elimination, and even healing. Perversely, the X-Factor becomes more effective as your characters become weaker - sure, you can do some nice damage early on, but if you're down to a single character you'll be thankful to have the potential to utterly annihilate the competition.

Marvel vs. Capcom 3’s character selection is smaller than its predecessor, but I don't see that as a bad thing. More attention has been lavished on individual characters to make them unique and potentially competitive, rather than tossing them in and hoping for the best. There's a wide variety in the way characters play, and it's going to make for some creative and fun team arrays in competition.

The actual characters chosen for the core cast of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 will no doubt please and anger fans in equal amounts. Personally, I'm glad to see characters like Amaterasu, Hsien-Ko, Thor, Phoenix, and She-Hulk in the mix; others, like Spencer from the ill-received 2009 Bionic Commando, are hard to apologise for. The omission of several beloved past characters like Strider and Captain Commando is also lamentable. The good thing is that even if your old favourite is gone, you're likely to find a new character here that plays similarly to them.

Marvel vs. Capcom 3 she-hulk

For all of its merits, there are a few things that Marvel vs. Capcom 3 could have been done better. There's little in-game assistance to help genre newcomers. It's important for competitive games to get a consistent stream of new blood, but fighting games rarely provide help to bridge the long gap between "button masher" and "skilled player." Sure, you've got the Mission Mode to help teach useful combos, but it's not that helpful when you have people out there who don't even know the basics of how chaining combos together works.

There's also the online play, which, in my tests, was uneven. At times I was able to get beat down with no connection hiccups at all, while at others the lag rendered the game nearly unplayable. Spectator mode and replay saving - features put to excellent use in Super Street Fighter IV - are also absent, but the most surprisingly disappointing is the lack of fan-service. All you get out of running through the game in single-player mode is a short, still-image ending for each character. For all the hype of bringing famed comics scribe Frank Tieri onboard, the result is underwhelming.

Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is undeniably a fine product. Competitive players of its predecessor may be disappointed, but if you take Marvel vs. Capcom 3 for the game it is you'll find a fighter packed with fun gameplay elements, a great variety of characters, and the potential to remain a favourite for a long time to come.

Next page: Our expert verdict

See Also:

Street Fighter IV review

More Game Reviews 

Games Advisor

Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Expert Verdict »
Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is available for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
  • Overall: We give this item 9 of 10 overall

Fast, fun and peppered with iconic characters.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
  • Super Street Fighter IV 3D review

    Super Street Fighter IV 3D

    The biggest fighting franchise of all time hits the 3DS with a hadouken. How does Super Street Fighter IV stack up in 3D? Find out right here.

  • Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition review

    Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition

    A budget price and a comprehensive list of updates probably won't impress casual gamers, but Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition still has plenty for hardcore fans.

  • The King of Fighters XIII review

    The King of Fighters XIII

    Gorgeous visuals and deep competitive combat make The King of Fighters XIII a stellar alternative to this year's other big-name brawlers.

  • Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix review

    Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix

    There's no doubt about it - Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix is the best version of Street Fighter II that fighting game fans are ever going to get.

  • Street Fighter IV review

    Street Fighter IV

    Street Fighter IV represents a welcome return to form for the famous fighting game.


IDG UK Sites

LG G Watch review: Android Wear smartwatch is the best around, so far

IDG UK Sites

How to join Apple's OS X Beta Seed Program: Get OS X Yosemite on your Mac before public release

IDG UK Sites

Why the BBC iPlayer outage was caused by a DDoS attack: Topsy and Tim isn't *that* popular

IDG UK Sites

See Glasgow 2014 in UHD as history is made