Home Editorial Don’t get taken for a ride: Why I haven’t bought MvC3 yet

This is a self-referential metaphor for Marvel vs Capcom 3 hype.

With a decade of hype and nostalgia between Marvel vs Capcom 2 and its successor, Marvel vs Capcom 3, it’s understandable that the droves of enthusiasts lined up, money ready, pre-orders in place. How could anyone not love the game that brought us Mango Sentinel, curly mustaches, and smooth jazz? Anyone born in the last 30 years is also bound to have a great affinity for both franchises, whether raised on Saturday morning cartoons or Saturday afternoon Megaman marathons.

A lot of series have dealt with the pressure of a decade-in-the-making sequel: Team Fortress, Starcraft, Duke Nukem (to say the least). And when the fanbase has waited half their existing life for a game, it means two things: the developer has a lot to live up to, but they also have a guaranteed hit.

As far as shareholders go, a guaranteed hit is a great thing. As far as gamers go, it’s usually not. Developers will more than likely fall short of expectations, especially when they know they can cut corners, squeeze in profit-generating schemes, and rely on happy memories to whitewash the kinks in the experience. Of course, it all depends on the developer.

Luckily, we all know Capcom would never exploit nostalgia

Oh, wait.

Let’s not spend a lot of time reviewing Capcom’s previous trespasses into bullshit DLC-based milking schemes. They are far too many and far too egregious to name; suffice it to say, Capcom’s PR people aren’t the only employees tasked with trolling the company’s legions of fans. Instead, let’s look at some troubling signs of a game that, while no doubt fun, has been designed from the ground up to exploit its customers’ enthusiasm for the latest iteration.

DLC characters on disc at launch

When Capcom released Street Fighter 4 and Super Street Fighter 4, it also commented on how DLC characters can negatively affect a game’s balance and split its player base. Whether this was a cheap shot at Namco and Arc Systems (probably), the case is now moot. Capcom launched Marvel vs Capcom 3 with two DLC characters, Shuma Gorath and Jill Valentine. Wait, no, they announced said characters, but also said they wouldn’t be available until a month after release.

Too bad that was a lie, since both characters are already on the disc, complete.

Why not just include them in the game, if they’re already finished? It doesn’t take a financial analyst someone actually useful to figure it out: money. Lots of money, namely $5 per character on Xbox Live or PSN. We’ve seen companies do this before, but it’s no surprise Capcom, of all developers, was chewing at the bit to bilk its followers.

Frank West and Doc Ock also lingering

Capcom recently held a poll, asking players which Marvel or Capcom character they’d want to see released as the next DLC character. Unfortunately, the voices of the people may not matter, because the hackers have also determined that Frank West and Doc Ock will be the next DLC, democracy be damned.

A concession must be made: it’s possible these characters aren’t coming up, but were instead scrapped from a previous version of the game. But even that scenario begs the question: would Capcom rather paste in existing characters they’ve already created, or code and balance Dr. Wily into the game because everyone on Reddit votes for him?

No voyeurism of any kind

In a move that baffled billions, Capcom chose not to include neither Spectator Mode nor Replay Mode into Marvel vs Capcom 3. If you’re thinking, “WiNG, I don’t know what spectator mode is, but it sounds utterly retarded,” you’re wrong. Spectator Mode is the mechanism that allows players in a more-than-two-person lobby to watch the match that’s going on when they’re not playing. In Super Street Fighter 4, it’s what makes Endless Mode fun: even when you’ve been beaten to a pulp, you can watch the next duo battle it out and either trash talk or shut up and learn something.

Got eight friends playing Marvel 3 together? Six of them will be staring at a blank lobby screen 75% of the time.

This omission, when paired with the omission of Replay Mode, is even more absurd when you consider all Capcom had to do was copy and past these modes into Marvel from their existing games. Sure, there would be tweaking, but they had about ten fucking years to tweak this game. While Capcom has said it is considering releasing these modes as optional DLC, that’s basically tantamount to Top Tier Tactics saying it is considering releasing software that will revert the hard drive damage caused by the trojans hosted on this site as optional DLC. Whether this happens or not is almost irrelevant; it’s simply more evidence Capcom shortchanged consumers because they knew they could.

Who needs balance? We’ve got memes!

Gamers everywhere are delighting in the fact that many characters, especially Deadpool, are full of allusions to Marvel-based memes and self-referential continuity jokes. Meanwhile, in the part of reality where the actual gameplay matters, things are broken. Many characters have infinite combos, 100% combos, game-stuttering bugs and X-Factor setups that make blocking as useless as wearing a condom to a planet where it rains AIDS all day.

Obviously, a game’s long term balance can’t really be determined until… the long term, but it usually takes more than three days for most fighting games to reveal that some characters’ only weakness is that you can’t pick them three times on the same team.

Summary

Marvel vs Capcom 3 is a fun game, sure. But is it everything series fans had hoped for? Not really. It’s obvious that Capcom has placed profit over perfection on many levels, leaving consumers with a sub-standard game. Personally, I’m holding out on purchasing this game for a month or so. By then, perhaps this mythical spectator DLC will exist, and maybe enough people will have given up on the title to cause pre-owned prices to drop into the $40 range.

Of course, after salivating over the potential for a sequel for nearly a decade, most players were all-too-ready to throw down their money and leave scrutiny at the door, playing the precise role Capcom was hoping for. Meanwhile, the game may prove just as unbalanced as its predecessor, leaving competitive players and casuals alike to wonder….

Have we been taken for a ride?

20 replies to this post
  1. After I played a demo of this game, I felt hyped up about it. Luckily, I became incredibly ill soon after and wasn’t able to pre-order it. As soon as I found out what the online lobbies are like I was incredibly turned off but DLC on disc already? This bullshit again? Fuck that; it wasn’t cool when shooters did it and it isn’t cool now (like giving your pets crystal meth. It’s not cool, don’t do it).

    Oh, and the guy at the demo told me that the ‘I wanna take you for a ride’ music was re-recorded for MvC3. It’s worth noting that the info didn’t come from the guy there but someone he phoned who’s on the inside. According to another friend of mine who’s played the full game, it’s nowhere in it. At all. Hyping shit up is fine, it happens all the time but lying to my face is another. Luckily, I told him in a very loud voice about T3 so he hopefully feels rather foolish right now.

    • I found it in game, and much like all the other songs, it’s a remix. It only plays during the character select from the training menu though.

      It’s ok, but then again I was never a die-hard fan of “IWANNATAKUFORARIDE!” too much.

  2. Oh yeah, the imbalance is there: Sentinel laser spam, Chris shooting spam, Dormammu Dark Hole spam, EVERYFUCKINGTHINGDANTEDOES…Yet the only thing that can help me is a healthy dose of lead pipe into their cheap fucking faces, and the fact that Lariat > Everything coming towards Haggar. Also, I now picture that dude from the Powerthirst video screaming AIDS RAIN.

  3. I played the demo and found the game to be button mashing and little more.. ergo i didnt buy it, but this summary has killed any hope of it eating away at my wallet…

  4. The game is still great in my opinion.

    Last I checked, the DLC characters (Shuma and Jill) aren’t complete, it’s mostly just voice works, theme music, and the barebones of the character. Apparently, one of the hackers was able to play as Jill, but they were unfinished as far as moves went. So I think they still did have some work to do on these two.

    I’m not sure Capcom would go to the trouble of organizing a poll on which characters fans want as DLC if they were going to have Doc Ock and West on the lineup already. After all, the last time Capcom had a poll for character inclusion was for SF4 two years back, and every one of the winners of the poll were included in the game. Why wouldn’t they now?

    The nickel and diming for DLC I agree with – this is a trend that Capcom has been dangerously steering into – leaving out essential content and pawning it off for fifty spacedollars. They need to seriously rethink their decisions in this area, as it’s leaving a lot of their playerbase discontent.

    100% combos aren’t really an issue – Marvel has always been about BIG DAMAGE and this just comes with the game. Plus, unless you’re using Lv.3 X-Factor Sentinel, then most 100% combos are as difficult and technical as an infinite. So you don’t see them often if at all.

    All of this aside, I still enjoy the game for what it’s worth. With most fighting games, and indeed ALL games there’s some crap to deal with. (Sentinel) but all in all I think this is still worth the purchase. Plus, I’d love to take some of you on with my Taskmaster. >:)

  5. It’s sad to see the balance go out the wayside. I noted in one of my earlier articles that Tatsunoko vs. Capcom was an incredibly fun game, and one BIG reason for that was because it was really well balanced. Most teams were really effective, and while there were certainly characters who were superior, it doesn’t mean that others were completely useless.

    But, of course, TvC was a labor of love made for Arcades originally, while MvC3 was riding on a train made of hype and Pringles since it was first announced.

  6. X-Factor setups that make blocking as useless as wearing a condom to a planet where it rains AIDS all day.

    Infinite Combo-ed that analogy. Wing is there anything safe?

    Microsoft has also become a DLC whore as are many other companies of late. Nothing else is recieve now, and get more later. (Well mostly nothing upon retrospect. There are GPS units, Smart Phones, Windows, but normally the most important stuff is free.)

    Here mister Shade is your new baby, and in a month it will have digits! It will be able to wrap them around your thumb then, but not now.

    God: Here humans is your world.
    Humans: Hmmm arrrrr gurgle (clawing at their throats and turning blue)
    God: Oh, there’s just some things I have to iron out with the atmosphere. Won’t be long.

    These shoes come with . . . laces?

  7. Sounds like article writer is a spiteful hateful being.

    Oh noes two characters for DLC that are already on the disc, why Capcom why would you do that? Is it because you know that something that continues to bring in money is better than something that just lump sums and vanishes? God forbid!

    DLC/Microtransactions have already proven to be the best business model type for games; shit look at MapleStory, kids spends hundreds of dollars a day on that FREE GAME. Nexon is rolling in the cash. 90% of that game requires nothing to be purchased, but people do anyway; shit son, choices are a killer.

    As for gameplay, I’ve gone up against over 100 people, in nearly 200 matches, and never had I been completely shut down by a single character. i don’t think it’s even possible in this game to pull that off. Sentinel spam? JUMP OVER IT, almost every character in the game has an air dash, and clearing the whole screen with a single super jump is very easy. While mid-air use an assist, so you hit from two directions at once! GASPPPPPP.

    I’ve played against a Dormammu spamming tard, it took him 7 tries to beat me once, playing Dormammu like that, and he bailed as soon as he did (lil prick won’t let me get some back).

    People griping about this game, seriously need to shut the hell up. If it’s not your bag, play it a friends, if you’re into it, buy it. THE END.

    People making this shit into a soap opera.

    YOU DON’T LIKE TIERS?! WHY U MAD? U MAD BRO?

    Yeah, he mad.

    • If it’s not someone’s bag, they’re not going to buy it. Treyarch games aren’t my bag so I don’t buy them, simple.

      There are people who like fighting games in general or have even played MvC2 who would have gone out to buy MvC3 who are left disappointed. If a friend doesn’t own the game and there aren’t any rental places near you, you don’t have a choice but to buy the game. I loved MvC2 and got a hands-on play of the game a little over a week before release and I was planning on pre-ordering it. If I had bought the game and found out that I could be stuck looking at a waiting screen whilst other people are fighting then I’d be pissed off.

      I really don’t see why you’re talking about “Ugh, quit whining about spammers” when talking about the article when the article doesn’t bring that up at all, it was something mentioned in a comment.

      If you like the game, that’s just dandy. In fact, congratulations and applause for you to posting your opinion on the internet. It’s worth noting, however, that venting out your die hard fanaticism to the game by calling someone ‘a spiteful hateful being’ for them putting their opinion on the internet makes you look like an S-Tier dick who can’t handle people talking badly about something they like.

      Looks like you’re mad, bro.

  8. I’d read pretty much everywhere else that Jill was incomplete, so the fact that some of her is on the disk isn’t so bad. The 5 dollar pricing for 1 character in a game with 36 is a bit crazy though.
    There are not any infinite combo’s in the game, factually, so I wonder how accurate your opinion on other points can really be taken to be.

  9. I’v played over 300 matches facing off against akuma probably 80% of the time and not once has anyone used that infinite. Also thoes are in training mode, no one is going to pull that off in an actual fight, if they could, every akumaist online would be spamming that junk. Yea some characters are over powered (sentinel”as always”, dante and akuma) but beating their asses and getting around it is part of the game, if you can’t deal with it quit and sell the game back. Who cares if they have 2 other characters for sale, they arent forcing you to buy them, its not like add these characters or be shut down. Today it’s all about the profit not the customer, if you think otherwise, your a dumbass. Every business on earth is going to milk their product dry and consumers are going to like it. Im no die hard fan either, i just enjoy the game and the challenge. However i would be much happier if theyd add a spectator mode….but thats not too much of a problem, because i dont lose too often.

    P.S. The useless condom in a rain of AIDS is awesome lol

  10. I’m sorry this article is ridiculous. Ten years? Thats how long its been since MVC2 came out but capcom hasn’t been working on the game for ten years. It doesn’t mean that its an excuse for spectator mode and the reply feature not being in the game but If you are going to make an arguement about the game get your facts straight. Also it has been confirmed that the dlc characters on disc are not finished. There were videos of it before it got pulled down that showed jill, with almost no dialogue. Once again get your facts straight.

  11. Two ideas…

    1) Your emotional attachment to the idea of “putting someone on his/her place” is usually inversely proportional to the usefulness of your comments. I mean I know *it’s the internet* and all but come on…

    2) Infinite(s) on a fighting game indicate a design problem, a flaw, an overlooked by-product of someone(s) messing up (unless they’re there on purpose… O_o) This is bad. Whether they end up soiling the experience of play or not, however, depend on a number of variables, difficulty of their execution being one of the easier to point out.

    Bonus Track
    @WiNGSPANTT – I liked the humour =P

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