Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Marvel vs Capcom 3 - Gonna Take You For A Ride (Of Awesome)

I know I usually review comics on this blog. I know the readers who stumble across this tiny speck on the net expect to see me rant and bitch about comics. And that's not going to change. There are still plenty of comics for me to go on a Hulk-like rampage over. However, every so often a video game comes out that I simply can't ignore. Now I'm not a big time gamer. There are only so many hours in the day and my brain can only form so many connections, most of which are already taken up by comics. I still enjoy a good game though. I also enjoy games about comics (at least I try). The problem is there aren't too many comic book games that come out that aren't from movies and as every gamer knows, games from movies usually suck worse than a Brazilian transvestite in heroin withdrawal (Goldeneye being the exception). When a game does come around it's like seeing a celebrity's tits pop-out on network TV. It's rare, beautiful, and gets people up and arms. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is like Carmen Electra's boobs popping out on an HD screen with full 3D affects.

Now this game has been generating quite a bit of buzz. It's been over a decade since the last Marvel vs Capcom game. George W. Bush hadn't unilaterally invaded a country yet when the last version came out. It was believed that another crossover was no longer possible because lawyers and game developers couldn't coexists short of a fight to the death atop an active volcano. Well they finally got their act together or someone just got bribed enough. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is here and it feels so good.

I picked up the game the day it was released. I simply couldn't call myself a comic book fan if I waited more than a day after the release. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 continues the tradition of the previous games. It takes a handful of characters from Marvel and a handful of characters from Capcom and pits them together in a three-on-three battle that's the most awesome spectacle you'll see out of big budget lesbian porn. On Capcom you have characters like Ryu, Chung-Li, Dante, Chris Redfield, Morrigan, Haggar, Viewtiful Joe, and Zero from Mega Man. On Marvel you have Wolverine, Deadpool, Magneto, Jean Grey (or Hope Summers if you want), X-23, and Dr. Doom. There's a little something for everyone with so many characters. They all have their skill sets and moves along with special moves. It's a big package, that's for sure. But does it deliver? Here's my assessment.

Presentation: Marvel vs. Capcom 3 doesn't try to be too realistic. It's based off comics and video games. It shouldn't be realistic. The over-the-top, spectacle fighting style is a gorgeous sight and one that inundates the senses with sheer awesome. Everything from the character designs to the voice-overs are wonderfully choreographed and the intro movie alone is enough to give an impotent Parkinson's patient a ten-foot boner. It's a simple and to-the-point interface that's easy to follow. Some may feel it's too simplistic, but it's a fighting game. Overly complicated fighting games are like an overly fancy burger from McDonald's. It doesn't work that way. It refines what was done in the previous games, but doesn't take a quantum leap. If nothing else, it raises the bar just enough to set it apart.

Graphics: Like I said above, this game is based on video games and comic characters. So you don't want to have them look hyper real like in Heavy Rain. Marvel vs. Capcom 3's graphics are truly unique. It takes a cel-shaded approach to the characters, but doesn't make it look like flat pieces of paper running around on a canvas. It really feels like a comic book mixed with CG. It's a perfect blend. It's like a comic book made sweet love to a computer and they had a baby. Then a high tech gaming system like the PS3 or the X-box 360 hooked up with an animator and had a baby. Then by some miracle those babies got together and made sweet love (after being of legal age), thus producing the ultimate baby that blends style and animation. That's right. This game is the product of sweet baby making.

Gameplay: Now no matter how good a game looks, that only goes so far if it isn't fun to play. That's like having a hot chick who can't fuck worth a damn (ie: Paris Hilton). Now the Marvel vs Capcom franchise is known for having some difficult control schemes. It isn't an easy game to master and every character's move sets are different. Not only that, characters have a different balance of stats. Some like Thor and Albert Wesker have high health, but are slow and don't hit with the same impact. Others like Phoenix (or Hope) and Viewtiful Joe don't have good health, but they hit really hard and if you're nimble with a controller you're damn near unbeatable. It means you can't do the same tactics with every character and that's a good thing. You want the characters to feel unique and it adds some reply value. Because if you don't master every character, then you're dedication and manhood is in question. Some may still feel overwhelmed by the gameplay, but that's how most fighting games are structured these days. Unless you play Super Smash Brothers, the learning curve is going to be pretty damn steep. If you expected otherwise then you haven't kept up with gaming.

The single-player mode of the game is pretty straightforward. You choose a team, do seven battles with other random characters, and then face a big boss in Galactus at the end. It's a little simplistic, but the big drag is that there's no story involved. You don't find out how Marvel and Capcom come together. You don't even see any animatics or cut scenes describing the conflict. It's nice that the focus is on the gameplay, but without a story it feels like just an upgrade from the previous games. You don't get the same cinematic feeling as in games like Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. It's all just a platform.

The multi-player mode is where most of the action will take place. This is where you can ditch the dumb-ass computer and actually play other people all over the world. This is by far the game's biggest arena and where it shines most. There's always someone to play. You can play ranked matches to show how awesome you are. Or you can play unranked matches if you suck and want to save face (like me). It took me eight matches to win my first battle, but it's great practice and will always offer new challenges.

Final Verdict: I'm not going to throw too many cute dick jokes around this time. This game is awesome. Marvel vs Capcom 3 is a fanboy's fantasy minus George Lucas filming you while you bang Megan Fox. You have a wonderfully polished product for comic fans and gamers alike. There are mediums for beginners, amateurs, and experts who only eat, sleep, and game. You'll lose plenty of hours off your life playing this game and enjoy every minute of it until the Alzheimers kicks in. The lack of story is a drag. Seeing as how this game had over ten years of development time, it's not like the developers didn't have time for shit like that. But the crisp presentation, amazing gameplay, and solid interface makes it a winner!

So if you're a comic fan and you have a PS3 or X-box 360, you'll get this game or be banned from being within the same zip code of your fellow gamers. If I had to grade this game like a comic, I would give it a 4.5 out of 5. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 took a long time to get here, but it is here and the wait was worth it! Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go use Wolverine, Phoenix, and Storm and pretend they're beating up Brett Ratner. Nuff said!

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