Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds
In lesser hands, the additional layer of complexity would resign MvC3 to the traditional niche of 2D fighters: the preserve of the dexterously-blessed otaku. But Capcom – perhaps anticipating the wider appeal of the Marvel characters – has worked hard to repeat the intricate level of accessibility that made SFIV so successful.
By mapping combos, specials and hypers onto single buttons, the Simple mode places some seriously damaging moves within the grasp of mere gaming mortals – although they come at the expense of a much reduced move-set. Even on Normal, with its more familiar low, medium and high strikes, those same moves can be pulled off with single arcs and strikes rather than SFIV's exacting double arcs.
For all its early accessibility, however, the traditional chasm between casual and serious play eventually emerges. Regular players might pull off a couple of the more flamboyant combo chains against the static dummies of the game's Mission mode, but only elite players would attempt them against on-line opponents armed with easily executable specials and hypers.
Most players will just accept the mayhem of specials and hypers and dismiss their screen-filling pyrotechnics as pure bombast, focusing instead on the less ostentatious, but far more important skills of blocking and tagging to swing the fight in their favour.
Fireworks with Flash content..?
That's not to say the pyrotechnics don't impress. MvC3 is the new poster boy of a genre famed for sensory overload. Rockets, lasers and fireballs flash across backdrops filled with flying Viking ships and alien armadas, while hyper combos hijack the screen with dizzying camera shifts and eye-bleeding neons.