XBox 360, PS3
Beat 'em up
“the kind of chess you’d play while high on sugar, wearing an eye-patch and having water-balloons filled with custard dashed against your skull at regular intervals”
Be warned: If the prospect of unleashing a tag-team, hyper-combo, amounting to a grand total of roughly 235,496 hits by simply squeezing the left trigger is a bit too unrefined for your strategic tastes, you’d best stick to SFIV.
Otherwise, MVC3 is completely brilliant.
And the primary reason for this is the exhaustive cast of colourful, zany, wildly varied characters: Do you fancy smashing the Mighty Thor’s proud jaw-line with a thundering Dragon Punch? Or how about teaming up rivals Dr Doom and Iron Man to cascade the screen with a symphony of neon blue and gold as they spectacularly decimate Res Evil’s Albert Wesker?
Admit it, the idea of getting the wisecracking, gun-totting Deadpool (voiced with pitch perfect insanity by Uncharted’s Nolan North) to literally beat an opponent into submission with his own Health Bar is too much to resist.
You must try this game! And who could blame you?
Even those severely deficient in the opposable thumb department can partake in the nonsense via the ‘Simple’ control scheme. Here, Simple is to Understatement, as Hulk is to Miffed.
With a push of any face key, button-mashers will be delighted to find their incompetent thrashing provokes repulsor blasts, unleashes earthquakes, calls in a missile strike, or simply whips out your purple guitar and quite literally electrifies the environment with a face-melting solo.
MVC3 revels in its off-kilter, hyper-sensory presentation, but to its credit, it makes the effort to appeal even to those who’d reckon “quarter-circle punch” is a trendy spot in Temple Bar.
Stress not those eager for a finely honed, tactic based clash of wits and reflexes; like any fighter worth its chops/blocks/hurricane kicks, MVC3 is still a game of chess…
the kind of chess you’d play while high on sugar, wearing an eye-patch and having water-balloons filled with custard dashed against your skull at regular intervals.
THAT kind of chess.
Although individual techniques rarely exceed rolling a half circle and thumbing down two face buttons in complexity, intricate combinations and counters are certainly available to the strategists out there. Plus with dedicated inputs for tagging fellow scrappers and juggling foes, MVC3 offers gameplay elements unseen since the days of… well, MVC2!
Sadly, the Story, at best, consists of Dr Doom hatching plots, Wesker striking camp poses and Galactus looking like a fool in a pointy, pink hat.
Admittedly, weak narratives are a deficiency of the genre, but knowing you can save the planet with the lupine Sun God Amaterasu, the poser with the giant head from Viewtiful Joe and an enthusiastic young girl in a green Mech battle suit that shoots smaller kamikaze Mechs is a feeling entirely unique to this absurdly addictive fighter.
If SFIV woke up this sleeping genre and fed it rejuvinating coffee, MVC3 slaps it on the ass, pinches its nose and force feeds it Wasabi and Tabasco.