The “special” button has often been referred to as the “launch” button in the pre-release builds of the game. This can be used as an attack button but it's primarily used to send your opponent(s) skywards where you can follow to continue your attack / barrage in an aerial fashion. Just like the attack buttons, it will be used for other maneuvers depending on the circumstance as well; if the button is pressed in the air along with a direction on the control pad, you can immediately tag in a partner to switch places on screen and continue the combo you had previously initiated. Not only is this extremely effective in the course of battle but it is also a very flashy thing to see. The partner buttons refer to each of your two, off-screen partners. Capcom has made a slight alteration to the game’s “tagging” mechanics in order to make better use of these buttons. Simply tapping one of the buttons will bring your partner(s) on screen to assist you in battle; they will then leave the screen immediately after they perform their attack, which is selected ahead of time from a list before the battle. In order to tag in one of your partners to switch to your playable character, you now have to press and hold one of the partner buttons. This takes a little getting used to when making the transition from previous versus games but I found it to be much more effective once I grew accustomed to it.
Most of the special moves and super combos in the game utilize standard “Street Fighter” inputs such as quarter circle and Dragon Punch motions on the joystick. Thankfully, the game has eliminated the use of any circular motions which were prevalent in larger characters in the previous games such as Zangief and T. Hawk. The entire movelist (special moves) feels more accessible and much easier to perform than ever before. The game also includes a “simple” control mode that is meant to make the game more accessible to players who may not be familiar with the complicated control patterns that most fighting games utilize. When playing in this mode, special moves can be executed with the press of a single button. The mode makes it possible for newcomers to experience and enjoy the flashy, over-the-top action that the MvC series, and this game in particular, has to offer. Part of the fun of the game is to see the insane action taking over the screen and know that you are responsible for it; not all of the special moves in the game are included in this mode though. The mode is only meant to introduce new players to the game and hopefully set them on the track to using the standard mode which opens up all of the games commands and maneuvers. If and when players move into the standard control setup, the game offers a detailed mission mode that will teach them the ins and outs of each character through a string of preset missions designed to teach you how to play. Throughout the course of these missions, players will learn many of the games advanced techniques including aerial combos, super move-cancels, and plenty more. If you can make your way through the entire list of challenges for a character (10 per character), you should be able to hold your own against the competition awaiting you online. The aforementioned list is just a brief description of the various maneuvers and combos available to players in the game; there is actually a ton more to discover but this is a review of the game and not a strategy guide. You will get exposure to all of the various concepts such as snap-backs, chain combos, air combos, team hyper combos, advancing guards, and a ton of others. Mastering them all is the secret to becoming a true competitor in the game. That is part of the charm of MvC3; the game is extremely accessible and a ton of fun to play for even a casual player with little to no fighting game experience. The game also has a depth that will keep the dedicated and die-hard fans coming back and digging deeper for years in the future.
I do not have any problem calling the character roster of MvC3 the greatest fighting game cast ever created. Capcom and Marvel have meticulously selected each and every character included in the game and designed them to stand out on their own. You won’t find any palette swaps in this game. Between the diversity of the roster in general, the amount of new faces to the series, and the personal interaction that occurs between many of the characters, things never get old. The personal interaction is an extremely nice touch and something that I am still discovering the longer that I play the game. Small things such as Hulk’s inability to remember anyone’s name aside from his cousin She-Hulk and the comedic stylings of Deadpool keep you paying attention to the small details long after your first play. The game will boot with 32 characters on the selection screen; you can unlock four more through repeated play-throughs of the game’s arcade mode. As I said, all of the characters have their own unique style and play almost completely different than one another; everyone is sure to find someone that the like.
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