On Thursday, February 3, 2011, hardcore fans and the media were invited to join forces at Club 740 in Downtown, Los Angeles to play "Marvel VS. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds" before it is officially released to the public on February 15, and those who braved the long wait, many dressed as their favorite character from the game, were rewarded by a game that delivers on all levels.
An enthusiastic line of fans extended outside the club for a full city block, with some Capcom cosplaying devotees reporting that they had been waiting in line for more than fifteen hours in order to get their hands on the game. While a wait of that length might sound crazy to the uninitiated, it is minuscule when you consider that fans of the popular fighting game franchise have been (not so) patiently waiting for this installment to reach game consoles for ten years.
Judging from the game build that was playable at Thursday's event, the decade long wait for "Marvel VS. Capcom 3" has been worth it.
The graphics are a sensory overload feast for the eyes. The majestic fluttering of Thor's voluminous red cape is hypnotic, and it is nearly impossible to keep up with the frenetic gunplay antics of characters like Deadpool and Dante from "Devil May Cry."
In fact, that might be the most difficult aspect of picking up the controller for the first time: how to stay focused on the fight when there is so much happening onscreen at one time.
Bullets, ice shards, laser beams, robotic minions: the sheer variety of projectile attacks coming from above and below may be disorienting at first, but the end result is sheer, giddy fun.
Powered by an advanced version of MT Framework, the same game engine used in "Resident Evil 5," the controls move at the speed of light. The 3-on-3 Tag Team fighting is also customizable, allowing players to construct over-the-top team combos according to their own personal style. For newcomers to the franchise or fighting games in general, there is a "Simple Mode," a button mashing option that allows beginners to play against more experienced gamers without completely embarrassing themselves. But as any fan of this particular series knows, it is hard to trump both strategy and experience at the end of the day.
The character roster in "Marvel VS. Capcom 3" is more streamlined than that of the previous game. There are only 38 characters this time around, with two fighters, Jill Valentine and Shuma Gorath, being exclusive to the Special Edition or available as DLC content thirty days after the game has launched.
Sadly, fans of "Street Fighter" favorite, Ken, may be disappointed. John Diamonon, Product Marketing Manager for Capcom, confirmed that the character was left off the roster this time around in order to open up slots for new combatants like: Thor, Viewtiful Joe, Dante, M.O.D.O.K., X-23, Super-Skrull and Deadpool.
The "...VS. Capcom" franchise has a reputation of consistently balancinga variety of very different universes seamlessly with clever game play and an infectious sense of humor, and as the latest installment in the series, "Marvel VS. Capcom" is no exception.
"Marvel VS. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds" will be released February 15 for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. For trailers from the game, visit CBR's video collection here!