Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds
|Marvel vs. Capcom 3:
Fate of Two Worlds
North American and European cover art of Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds. Art by Adi Granov.
|Series||Marvel vs. Capcom|
|Distribution||DVD-ROM (Xbox 360), Blu-ray Disc (PS3)|
Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (Japanese: マーヴル VS. カプコン 3 フェイト オブ トゥー ワールド Hepburn: Māvuru bāsasu Kapukon Surī: Feito obu Tū Wārudo?) is a crossover fighting game developed by Capcom. It features Capcom's own characters and characters from American comic book company Marvel Comics. It is the fifth installment of the Marvel vs. Capcom franchise, the eighth installment in the Vs. series, the first to be initially exclusive to consoles, and the second in the Vs. series to use three-dimensional graphics on a two-dimensional battle area.
The game was produced and directed by Ryota Niitsuma, who had previously worked on Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, and features the same fast-paced fighting mechanics as earlier games in the series, along with new methods of play designed to make the game more accessible to new players. Capcom promised three-on-three tag team fighting gameplay and a robust plot. The game was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles on February 15, 2011 in North America, February 17, 2011 in Japan and February 18, 2011 in Europe. As of September 2013, the game has sold 2.2 million units worldwide. On July 20, 2011, Capcom announced Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, which was released in November 2011 and features additional characters, stages, gameplay tweaks and modes for a discount retail price.
Doctor Doom has assembled the greatest villains of the Marvel Universe and has joined forces with Albert Wesker in order to unite their respective universes in an effort to conquer both. However, this course of action awakens Galactus who could potentially destroy both worlds. It is up to the heroes of the Marvel and Capcom universes to put a stop to Galactus before it is too late.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a fighting game where up to two players compete in battle using characters with their own unique fighting styles and special attacks. The game features the same tag-based team feature as previous installments of the series, where each player chooses three characters that can be swapped at any point during a match, and utilizes an order selection called "Evolved Vs. Fighting System", a modified version of earlier systems seen in other Marvel vs. Capcom and SNK vs. Capcom games. The aim of the game is to use various attacks to drain your opponent's health bars and defeat all of their characters or have the most cumulative health when time runs out. It is the first game in the franchise to feature three-dimensional character models as opposed to two-dimensional sprites, though gameplay remains restricted to two-dimensions, allowing characters to move only backward, forward, or straight up into the air.
Unlike Marvel vs. Capcom 2, which featured four attack buttons separated as two pairs of low and high-strength punches and kicks, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 uses a simplified, three-button control scheme of undefined light, medium, and hard attacks modeled after Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, which Capcom believes will "knock down the wall of complicated controls and open up the field of strategic fighting to all comers", as well as a new "Exchange" button used to launch opponents into the air, switch characters while performing a combo, and slam the opponent into the ground when used by certain characters. Additionally, a new technique known as "X-Factor" can be activated once during a match. X-Factor offers increased damage, speed, and regenerating health for a short time. It can also be used to extend combos. The duration and intensity of X-Factor boosts are dependent on the number of active characters on a player's team; as a player loses fighters, X-Factor will last longer and give a higher damage boost.
Players can use each button to string together combination attacks, as well as perform special moves using a combination of button presses and joystick movement. As characters attack, their Special Gauge fills with energy which can be expended by the player to execute powerful Hyper Combos and Team Combos that involve multiple characters. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 features a "Simple Mode" that allows players to perform combos and special moves easily at the expense of limiting a character's available moveset. The game also includes Mission Mode, which features character-specific challenges geared towards helping players explore the normal control scheme and preparing them to play against other people, and Shadow Mode, a series of downloadable packs which allows the player to fight against a team of AI opponents programmed after the techniques and preferences of Capcom's development staff and, according to Capcom, famous players from the fighting game scene.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3 features a single-player arcade mode that is more robust than its predecessors. Players will use their team of three characters to defeat a series of AI-controlled opponents before battling the game's final boss, Galactus, a supervillain in Marvel Comic's Fantastic Four; each character has their own unique ending sequence, which they earn upon completion of Arcade Mode. Marvel stated that Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is "all about fan service", and worked with Capcom to include dialogue quips and mid-match events between the company's characters that reference past Marvel Comics storylines. Comic author Frank Tieri wrote the storyline, dialogue, and endings for the game. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 includes an online play mode using Microsoft's Xbox Live and Sony's PlayStation Network services. When an online match begins, both players can view their opponent's License Card. License Cards keep track of player tendencies based on fighting style, record player points and total number of wins and losses, and allow players to see the positive and negative points of their play styles.
The game features new and returning characters to the Marvel vs. Capcom series, with accompanying promotional artwork by Capcom artist Shinkiro. The full retail roster features 36 characters. Two additional characters are also available as downloadable content. Returning characters have distinct changes: Hulk can now perform steady air combos, Captain America's shield hits back on the return after being thrown, Ryu is able to aim his Shinku Hadouken, Iron Man can fire his Proton Cannon at a 45° angle, and Jill Valentine has a new set of moves based on her appearance in Resident Evil 5.
Characters absent from Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds include the monsters Tyrant and Nemesis of the Resident Evil series, who were excluded from concerns that their inclusion would change the game's content rating, as well as the primary members of Marvel's Fantastic Four, who were excluded at the company's suggestion. Dead Rising protagonist Frank West, who appeared as a playable character in the previous Capcom Vs. title, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, was slated to return in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, but was removed late during development because of the extra work required due to the nature of his moves. Niitsuma also planned to include the Silver Surfer, but his team could not find a way to incorporate his signature surfboard into the fighting engine; they considered adding him without it, but decided that he would look too similar to Iceman. Mega Man was also ruled out in favor of Zero to represent the franchise as Niitsuma felt Zero had more variation in his moves. Niitsuma stated that original characters would not appear in the game. Marvel allowed writer Frank Tieri full use of their library of characters for storyline purposes; several non-playable characters, such as the Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider, and Man-Thing would later make cameo appearances in the stages and endings. Despite their initial exclusions, Nemesis, Frank West, and Ghost Rider would later become playable characters in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was first announced at Capcom's Captivate press show in Hawaii in April 2010, with the game's public reveal following one week later after the company's imposed information embargo. The game was revealed to have been in development since the summer of 2008 when Capcom re-acquired the Marvel license after a period of legal issues that placed the series on hiatus for nearly a decade. Ryota Niitsuma, who had previously headed production on Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, signed on as director and producer of the new project, which was green-lit after "years and years of unrelenting fan demand". Niitsuma stated that they built the game from the ground up using the same MT Framework game engine seen in Resident Evil 5 and Lost Planet 2, which he describes as "the biggest engine that a fighting game has ever had under the hood".
Capcom's design philosophy for Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was to make a game that would reach out to those who have been long-time fans of the series, but at the same time expand their user base to those who may be familiar with the characters represented but not with fighting games in general. In particular, former company president Keiji Inafune expressed a desire to appeal to a worldwide audience. Unlike previous titles in the series, Capcom currently has no plans for an arcade release, and will initially focus only on console versions for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and has expected to sell 2 millions units of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 worldwide across both platforms. Niitsuma has been asked if he plans on releasing the game on other consoles besides the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, in which he responded that if the game sells well, there is a possibility that it might be released on the Wii as well. Furthermore, Niitsuma stated that if the console version is successful, an arcade version will be considered.
In addition to the complete transition to 3D models, several characters also sport updated designs. Iron Man now sports his Extremis Armor as opposed to the Modular Armor he wore in the previous titles, Thor is seen in his Reborn attire, and Wolverine now wears his John Cassaday-designed costume from the more recent Astonishing X-Men rather than his 1990s era costume. Employees from Marvel worked closely with Capcom's art design team to ensure that each character from their company was properly represented. Both Marvel and Capcom have discussed the possibility of a comic book adaptation of the game by UDON, which project manager Jim Zubkavich stated would most likely be in the form of a four to twelve issue mini-series.
A special edition of the game includes a steelbook case, an art book including a 12-page prologue comic written by Frank Tieri, a 1-month subscription to Marvel Digital Comics, and codes redeemable for free downloads of the Jill Valentine and Shuma-Gorath downloadable content, which were made available on March 15, 2011. Ryota Niitsuma stated that fan demand might affect future DLC. However, DLC will not be limited to just characters.
DLC costumes for characters were later announced by Capcom, and were released on March 1, 2011 for $5 USD on the PlayStation Network or 400 Microsoft Points on the Xbox Live Marketplace. The first costume pack contained new outfits for Ryu, Thor, Dante, Iron Man, Chris Redfield, and Captain America. The release of the first costume pack coincided with the release of Shadow Mode. The packs released after the first Shadow Mode pack cost 80 Microsoft Points or $1 on the PlayStation Network. Each pack unlocks three new AI opponents. A downloadable Event Mode was also made available on March 25, 2011.
On July 20, 2011, Capcom announced an updated version of the game, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, released in November 2011 at a discounted retail price. The game adds 12 new playable characters, eight stages, and new gameplay modes, as well as improvements to the game's balance and online functionality.
At E3 2010, Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds was a winner in the Game Critics Awards in the category Best Fighting Game. It also earned the Best Fighting Game award from IGN, 1UP.com, and X-Play and G4.
Reviews have been generally positive, with Metacritic scores of 85 and 84 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions respectively, GameRankings aggregrate scores of 85% for both versions.
IGN gave the game a score of 8.5 and an Editor's Choice award, praising the game's balance and depth, but criticising the lack of extras compared to recent Capcom fighting games. GamesMaster gave the game a score of 90%, calling it "the most explosive, OTT, fan-pleasing 2D fighting game the world's ever seen." GamesRadar gave the game 9/10, calling it a worthy successor to Marvel vs. Capcom 2. 1UP.com gave the game an A- rank, calling it "sometimes cheap and overpowered, but way more fun than Super Street Fighter IV." PSM3 gave the game a score of 7.9 out of 10, criticizing that the game's chaotic style makes it difficult for casual players to pick up and play. Edge gave the game 7/10, saying "the lack of meaningful rewards suggest Capcom may be banking on the ever-alluring money pit of DLC to bolster sales." Game Informer gave the game a 9.25 and named it their "Game of the Month" and praised the game for its enjoyable and renovated gameplay, more diverse cast of characters and its training and simple mode for new players, but criticizing it for its endings and lack of online modes.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3's first and only international representation (due to the release of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3) as a main tournament fighting game at the renowned e-sports event, the Evo Championship Series, was in July 2011, held in the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada. Seeding points for the game's tournament (as well as Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition and Tekken 6) could be earned during an official tournament series which spanned 11 events from January to June. Professional Japanese Street Fighter player Daigo Umehara announced he would compete in a Marvel vs. Capcom game for the first time and debuted on June 18 at the North California Regionals. However at EVO, Umehara failed to make the top 32 bracket. American Jay "Viscant" Snyder defeated Puerto Rico's Eduardo "PR Balrog" Perez in the Grand Final, utilizing Wesker and Haggar, along with the infamous combination of Phoenix's Dark Phoenix Transformation with X-factor. Six-time Marvel vs. Capcom 2 champion Justin Wong took 3rd place. An 8 year-old boy named Noah Solis also made headlines in gaming journalism for reaching the top 48 out of the 1,500 entrants. The game would not return the next year following the release of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is an update to Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds released in November 2011. The game includes all 36 characters from the original game, as well as 12 new playable fighters. Shuma-Gorath and Jill Valentine, the two characters released as downloadable content in March 2011, also return as downloadable fighters. Of the 12 new characters, one is a returning character from previous games in the franchise: Strider Hiryu. The other eleven characters are Doctor Strange, Firebrand, Frank West, Ghost Rider, Iron Fist, Hawkeye, Nemesis, Nova, Phoenix Wright, Rocket Raccoon, and Vergil.
Since the release of Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, Capcom has released one further major update to the game. On October 17, 2011, Marvel announced the unveiling of a new game mode called Heroes and Heralds.  The new mode allowed players to customize their character by using unlock-able cards that could be unlocked by playing the mode. Each card would give the character being used new abilities, such as: super armor, air dashing, invincibility, unlimited x factor, and many more. The mode was released on December 19, 2011 and was available for free digital download to anyone who owned a copy of Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3.
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