Last week, fans of Capcom's cadre of fighting games were treated to a special Fight Club event held in Los Angeles on September 22 in support of the gaming giant's upcoming "Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3." The title is the latest in the company's line of games pitting Marvel Comics heroes against Capcom's arsenal of characters. CBR News was there as fans faced off against each other and professional players duked it out using some of the newest faces to appear in the game.
First announced at Comic-Con International in San Diego this past July, the game is an updated version of "Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds" with additional characters and game tweaks, including a new character selection screen and an adjustment to "X-Factor" mechanic. The new Marvel characters include Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, Hawkeye, Iron Fist, Nova and Rocket Raccoon. On the Capcom side, Vergil from "Devil May Cry," Strider Hiryu of "Strider" fame and the hulking "Resident Evil" creature Nemesis T-Type are now available, along with "Ghost 'n Goblins" ghoul Firebrand, "Dead Rising's" Frank West and "Ace Attorney" Phoenix Wright.
Even for those among us with an inherent inability to play fighting games, the action presented in UMvC3 is fun to observe, featuring combos that are both inventive and exciting. Watching veteran players unleash super-attacks on a woefully under-prepared opponent, one cannot help but understand that victory is pretty sweet when accompanied by the special animation of a killer combo.
"LA has always been so good to us," said Capcom Community manager Seth Killian shortly after the event began. "That's why we keep coming back here." Directing the attention of the fans toward the stage and large projector screen above him, Killian promised a showdown between various professional gamers using some of the new characters found in "Ultimate Marvel 3."
A gamer going by the handle Dios X chose a roster that included Doctor Doom, a Sentinel and Strider Hiryu. His opponent, Clockw0rk, chose Firebrand, Doom and Strider. After a close fight, Clockw0rk won the first match, but it would be the last defeat of the night for Dios X as his team finished off Clockw0rk efficiently, including a round where his Doom struck an 80-hit combo. He continued to dominate the session, even when new players joined in with teams that included Vergil, the Nemesis T-Type or the interesting grouping of Doctor Strange, Iron Fist and Ghost Rider.
During a confrontation with Nemesis, Killian mentioned how the character's greater size actually put him at a speed disadvantage versus Dios's quick and nimble Doom. While the character dominated the screen's real estate, he was paralyzed when confronted with Doom's various super-attacks and hidden missiles. At one point, Dios showed off his X-Factor attack in mid-air, a new feature in the game. It was certainly an exciting display, but, as Killian explained, it comes at the cost of some of the power the maneuver exhibited in previous games.
Projected on the large screen, the game was nearly as entertaining to watch as to play. The crowd was certainly thrilled, cheering on Dios' final opponent, Justin Wong, when it looked like Wong's use of Doctor Strange's super-attack might change the course of the fight.
Of course, they cheered just as loudly when Dios X won.
In watching the pros duke it out, it quickly becomes obvious how exciting a fighting game can be when two seasoned opponents face off, using tactics and strategy at a speed that takes an impressive deal of time and effort to master. A skill set we wished we had time to master, several guests were instead treated to easy wins versus an opponent more adept at a keyboard than special six-button stick controller that mimics the old arcade cabinets.
Following the match, fans were given the chance to get their hands on the game and other titles like "Street Fighter X Tekken," "Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition" and the "Street Fighter IV" Nintendo 3DS edition. Spending a few minutes with the hand-held version, we were struck by how surprisingly quick and fun the game is, with a few obvious combos making it feel like more than just a random button-mash and the 3D appearing very sharp and clear.
Keeping with the Fight Club theme, A_Rival and DJ R-Rated played various tracks throughout the evening, infused with sounds from the "Fight Club" score and including a special remix of the Pixies "Where is My Mind?" made famous in the film's trailer and closing moments.
As the night wore on, various models dressed as Chun-Li and other characters from "Ultimate Marvel Versus Capcom 3" wandered the game room, playing rounds with fans. As one guest remarked, "One of the Capcom guys whooped my ass, but I managed to win against She-Hulk!"
"Ultimate Marvel Versus Capcom 3" is slated for release as a "discount title" in November. "Street Fighter X Tekken" is expected to arrive in March of 2012.