With Street Fighter 4, Capcom revived the 2D fighting game as a viable form. Upon its release, and quickly gained popularity, it wasn’t long before gamers started asking questions about Capcom’s other dormant fighters. People wanted to know if there would be another Darkstalkers, Rival Schools, Capcom vs. SNK, and the list continues. But among all these games, arguably the most anticipated was Marvel vs. Capcom 3. The series, which pits some of Capcom’s most popular characters against the comic book heroes and villains of the Marvel universe, has been a favorite amongst fighting game enthusiasts for years. The series was discontinued shortly after the release of Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (2000), when Capcom lost their rights to Marvel.

However, over ten years later, Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds is finally a reality. After all this time, is MVC3 everything the gamers dreamed it could be? Probably not. However, the game shouldn’t be dismissed. It is a class A fighter which can be enjoyed by hardcore and casual gamers alike. A lot has changed since MVC2 was released. Graphics have obviously gotten better, and like they did with SF4, Capcom decided to render the characters in 3D. The Marvel characters have never looked quite so nice in video game form. But, along with the third dimension, the characters have been given a more realistic representation, which somewhat goes against the comic book quality of the previous vs. installments. In fact, the game looks more like Tatsunoko vs. Capcomthan it does MVC2.

There aren’t many differences between MVC3 and TVC, save the characters portrayed in each game, which leaves something to be desired to really set MVC3 apart. The main button system has been reduced from 4 specific attack buttons (weak punch/strong punch, weak kick/strong kick) to 3 non-specific attacks (weak, medium, strong), another major change borrowed from TVC. This isn’t the first time Capcom has reworked the Marvel crossovers to make the series less complicated for new gamers. They did a similar thing to the controls in MVC2, switching from a 6 to 4 button attack configuration. However, the change here is more noticeable and slightly confusing for those used to the older games in the series.

But even with its arguably negative differences from MVC2, there is still plenty to be excited about in MVC3. Casual gamers will be able to mash buttons and admire the dazzling graphics, and veterans will spend hours perfecting chain combos for fiercely competitive battles. The series is known for its combos and MVC3 doesn’t disappoint. Many favorite characters have returned and there are plenty of new characters to test out. The cast of characters isn’t as large as MVC2, but with the introduction of downloadable characters, there is the possibility of more in the future. Though not new to downloadable content, this is the first time Capcom has experimented with downloadable characters on a fighter, so it isn’t clear how far they will go with this. But even without more characters, arcade mode, versus mode, and online play will keep most busy for a while. For any fan of fighting games, especially Capcom crossovers, MVC3 is definitely worth the money.