Marvel vs. Capcom 3 First Look Preview

By the time Marvel vs. Capcom 3 hits PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in the spring of 201

By the time Marvel vs. Capcom 3 hits PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in the spring of 2011, it will have been over decade since the last game in the series, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, debuted.

If anything, the wait has only served as an extended period for fans to percolate on the prospects for a new version. Only a teaser trailer for the game revealing Ryu, Morrigan, and Chris Redfield for Capcom and Wolverine, Iron Man, and Hulk for Marvel (with hints at a couple others) was shown as an introduction, but that and the first few tidbits of information are sure to spark many debates.

Capcom tapped Tatsunoko vs. Capcom producer Ryota Niitsuma to produce the game. Besides the obvious connection of that having been a "versus" game as well, it sounds like a couple of design elements will carry over. For starters, Capcom has released a number of new games in the intervening years and the character roster will reflect that. The video reveals Chris Redfield and that's just the start of the new fighters. Niitsuma said that they want to surprise people with who's in the game.

A similar approach goes for the Marvel side. Capcom does the actual selection, with advice from Marvel. Keeping in mind that the comics serve as inspiration they want to find a mix of standbys combined with new faces that will offer the potential for cool fighting moves. For both sides Niitsume hopes to have some characters in there that he says, "people look at and go, who the heck is this guy? What's he doing here?" Though the final count has not been settled, he said that they currently have 30 or so total characters in the game but they don't anticipate having quite as many as were in Marvel vs. Capcom 2.

Similarities will also be seen in the basic fighting system. "Accessibility" kept coming up throughout the presentation in tandem with the idea of minimizing complexity while maximizing depth. While the depth part remains hard to see without playing the game, minimizing complexity translates directly to making the controls easier. Niitsume said that people want to see the signature moves so the controls must be simple enough to execute for everyone.

Looking deeper, to the nature of the controls, while Tatsunoko vs. Capcom provides an indication where they're going philosophically, the system for Marvel vs. Capcom 3 will be built specifically for this game. Niitsuma put it like this:

When all is said and done once the game comes out we might be able to say, "Oh, we used this in Tatsunoko and now it made its way into Marvel vs. Capcom 3," just because that's the nature of development but the basics of this game are being developed independently of that and we're just trying out different things to see how they work. In the end it might just be "oh, this worked in Tatsunoko and it also works in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, so let's use it," but it's not like we used Tatsunoko as a testing ground for this. That was its own thing and Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is its own thing.
As further reinforcement of its independence, Marvel vs. Capcom is not being developed on an existing Capcom fighting game. Instead, it uses their MT Framework platform, the same engine behind Resident Evil 5 and, in its latest updated 2.0 version, Lost Planet 2. The engine doesn't seem to pose any performance issues, though, as Niitsume said, "the main problem we've had is slowing it down because if it comes off too fast the new players which we want to reach won't be able to find it accessible." With the new engine, online also gets a fresh start making neither GGPO nor the Street Fighter 4 system a shoe in.

The real proof will come from seeing the game in action and a Capcom spokesperson indicated that will happen at E3 either as video or possibly a demo. Until then the trailer will have to serve.

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