Photography by Mark Hagan
I came to Vegas having played Marvel vs. Capcom 3 a few times prior, so for the most part I knew what to expect. Capcom's set up in a posh suite high atop the swanky Aria hotel left nothing to be desired. Four stations housing the Fate of Two Worlds; three with fightsticks, and one with a gamepad for those who prefer less protrusion. One of the stations was even streaming its matches live on Capcom-Unity. Good stuff, all around.
Coupled with the the pimp setting, Capcom broke out the newest build of the game. Well, what I thought was the newest. The CES whirlwind had put me out of touch with the week's news, so word that Mike Haggar and Phoenix had been confirmed as the latest challengers almost slipped past me, until Capcom PR and all around awesome dude Jason Allen enlightened me. Before the announcement of the two newest fighters, the build we played had everyone who was previously announced. MODOK, Zero, Storm, She Hulk, Arthur, Magneto, X-23, Wesker, Tron Bonne, Dormammu, C. Viper. Did I miss anyone? Of course I did, but you get the jist. 30 playable characters thus far, and I'd be happy with that. Bigger and badder though, the folks at Capcom and Marvel aim to please, so we can expect a ballpark of around 38, not including any DLC characters.
I played some X-23, who was fast as hell. She made moves around the screen real estate and dished it out close range in blazing bursts. My type of fighter, all the way. I also messed around with Zero, who didn't seem to play much at all like his Tatsunoko vs. Capcom counterpart, though I could just be rusty. His style of laser sabering and charged shots was fun, but will definitely take a lot of practice to master. Finally, MODOK was a great big 'what the fuck' moment for me. My rush n' pummel tactics were not well received by the lumbering, big-ass head. He seems like more of the thinking man's fighter, who methodically picks apart his enemies mentally before punishing them physically.
The ebb and flow of MvC3's play styles are encouraging. The game moves slower than Marvel vs. Capcom 2, and each character seems to have their own weight and pace, unlike the 2nd installment, where 75% of the combatants best strategy was rush rush rush.
Just for the hell of it, I asked when Galactus and Taskmaster would be revealed. No comment. I asked whether or not the holiday picture reveal of Haggar was intentional. No comment. You win this round, Capcom.
February 15th can't come soon enough.
Check back in the coming days for video behind Capcom's lines at CES!