Marvel vs. Capcom 3 E3 2010 Preview

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QUICKTAKE: Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds is the highly anticipated follow-up to 2000's Marvel vs. Capcom 2. The project is being directed by Ryota Niitsuma, who last worked on the Wii fighter Tatsunoko vs. Capcom.

Like Capcom's Street Fighter IV, the game utilizes full 3D character models and backgrounds, but is played upon a 2D plane for old-school gameplay. MvC3 is slower paced than MvC2, but the combos are just as impressive. A simplified control scheme adds some accessibility, but doesn't remove the depth. Fans should expect this one to live up to the hype.

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I was able to get a few fights in with Capcom special advisor Seth Killian and check out the eight playable characters: Ryu, Captain America, Chris Redfield, Deadpool, Dante, Hulk, Morrigan, Iron Man, Wolverine, and Felicia. What I quickly noticed is that none of the characters seemed like filler, that is, I was able to execute damaging combos and find success with any character. This is definitely not going to mimic MvC2's unfortunate lack of balance (10 good characters in a sea of over 50). MvC3 should have over 30 characters by launch, however.

Special moves can be initiated with any of the three attack buttons (light, medium, heavy) and the required set of directional inputs. An Air Combo button can be used to launch opponents into the air to allow players of all skill levels to crank out air combos. Once in the air, players can hit the Air Combo button and a direction two more times to tag in his or her next character and continue the combo. The players being attacked can attempt to counter this by matching the direction and hitting the Air Combo button at the same time. Doing so will begin an air combo for the countering player. Messing up the timing could leave the player open for a reset leading to even more damage.

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Additionally, Seth tells me that super meter cannot be built by whiffing attacks or special moves, which should eliminate the MvC2 practice of playing keep-away, spamming air attacks and building meter until super moves become available. The only way to gain super meter is to deal or take damage. This change should help Marvel vs. Capcom 3 be a much more offensively focused game, rewarding players that properly rush down enemies.

As for the look of the game, the game is heavily influenced by Marvel, with comic book style lettering and artwork dominating the presentation. The models themselves look great, halfway between a hand-drawn sprite and full 3D model. The effect is great and merges well with the colorful special and hyper attacks.

Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds is due out in spring 2011 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

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