Skip to main content

Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Chicago Fight Night Impressions [Hands-on Preview]

Something was amiss on the near Westside of Chicago last week. It was something so huge that people from all wakes of life congregated in an almost non-descript parking lot of a seemingly abandoned red industrial building.  Regular gamers were there, comic geeks were in attendance, a few guys who looked like they walked out of a Young Jeezy video were milling about and there were even folks dressed up in costumes. So what brought all these people, some of which were in line for 5 hours, together? It was one simple yet highly awesome thing: Marvel vs. Capcom 3.

In a surprising move, Capcom held their first public event for Marvel vs. Capcom 3 in Chicago of all places.  As a Chicago native I was happy that my gaming brethren finally were given a chance to get some gaming goodness as such a thing is usually reserved for those on the West or East coast.  Of course with this being the inaugural MvC3 event and Capcom’s first major event held in Chicago, the turnout was rather huge.  I mean so huge that by 4pm there were at least already 150 people in line for an event that didn’t start until 8pm. By the looks of things you would’ve thought people were standing in line for some sort of underground activity, nightclub opening or special shoe release party and not standing in line to play a video game.

Standing in line together for such a long stretch of time of course resulted in a level of camaraderie amongst some of the attendees.  With discussions ranging from designer shoes, comic books, porn sites and of course gaming, there was a genuine level of excitement amongst everyone despite standing in the sun for nearly 5 hours with no place to sit.  The anticipation everyone had was of course magnified as the minutes until 8pm grew closer, to the point where people were going to start fights over folks cutting in line along with a nearly uncontrollable mosh pit erupting when entrance bracelets were being handed out.  Have gamers stand outside for 5 hours and of course they’ll act like hyenas being teased with meat when bracelets are being handed out, even if it means giving a few swift blows or shoves to move up.  But such silliness and bodily anguish (cramped legs ftl) was definitely worth it as everyone was able to experience the fighting brilliance that is Marvel vs. Capcom 3.

As I made my way inside the venue, I was immediately basked by the glowing lights of 20 or so gorgeous flat screen TVs while the buttery beats spun by two DJs brought even more sensory overlord to the proceedings.  After walking around a bit and seeing a few folks show off their skills (dudes were performing 65-hit combos) I eventually got some hands-on time with the game.  Capcom weren’t merely giving gamers an old E3 build of the game as the one made available at the Chicago Fight Club was the TGS build in all its glory.  Sadly, just because it was the TGS build didn’t mean I got some hands-on time with Spider-Man, Wesker, X-23 or Tron Bonne as they all weren’t available. But I didn’t walk away and shuffle my feet in my disappointment as I still had a blast with the game.

The reason why Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is so fun, at least in this stage, is very simple: it plays like Marvel vs. Capcom 2 with a few added little goodies and visuals so damn good that it’s hard not to just leave the control idle wanting to examine everything.  Even as someone who isn’t a complete fighting game aficionado, I was still able to break out all the recognizable moves I know from MvC2 in MvC3 for characters like Iron Man (PROTON  CANNON FTW!) with the same level of ease.  In my time with the game I didn’t just stick with my old standbys (Iron Man, Wolverine) as I also ventured out and played as a few of the new characters in the game, mainly Dante and Viewtiful Joe.  For characters new to the MvC franchise, both Dante and Viewtiful Joe feel like perfect additions to the point where it felt like they were in previous installments, mostly because their move-sets were so extensive and fun to use. 

Viewtiful Joe may be short, but as always it’s henshin a go-go time and he’s ready to lay down with the best of them.  Joe’s moves felt really fluid and his special attacks (calling his girlfriend Sylvia to aid him in firing a massive cannon) were not only stylish but fun and powerful.  It’s hard to nail down what character Joe’s fighting style is most similar to as it’s pretty unique across the board. But I wouldn’t be surprised if those who favored playing as Strider in MvC2 take a liking to Joe once they try him out.

With Dante I don’t even know where to begin.  Dude is a bad-ass in the Devil May Cry games (at least the old ones) and the same can be said of his appearance in MvC3.  Dante’s moves are fast, powerful and are some of the most diverse ones I’ve seen so far.  With his trademark guns and sword, Dante can unleash a brutal beating on almost anyone and I shudder to think what more skilled players will do with him once they get some practice sessions in.  His special moves like performing a sword stinger repeatedly or unleashing a flurry of bullets are simply ridiculous and that’s even more apparent when he enters his Devil Trigger mode which thankfully mimics the design found in DMC3.  I think Dante is going to be a fan favorite not only amongst the MvC3 community but the DMC fans since a ton of his signature moves from the DMC games (mainly DMC3) are represented in his fighting style.

I also got to try out everyone’s favorite mercenary Deadpool in one of my sessions.  As you may’ve seen already from some of the gameplay vids, Deadpool is another character that just fits perfectly in MvC3.  Controlling the merc with a mouth felt good and I really enjoyed his signature moves, one of which involves him spinning in the air and shooting his guns repeatedly.  Sadly, I wasn’t able to pull off the already legendary move in which Deadpool uses an actual MvC3 health bar to beat up his opponent. In fact I don’t recall seeing anyone pull off that move so I guess none of us had the magic fingers that particular evening.

There were a few other characters new to the series that I didn’t try out merely they looked a bit lackluster.  I don’t know if it’ll be a major cause for disappointment or concern, but Thor, Chris Redfield and The Incredible Hulk were lacking a bit.  The moves Thor can pull off really didn’t look all that good and as a whole he seemed really slow. It’s a bit of a bummer that Thor didn’t have more of an impact as he could’ve been a legendary character if handled properly. But as of now he’s a nice addition to those who were wishing he would be in the game but he doesn’t look to be contributing much to the game like Dante, Joe and Deadpool are.

Chris Redfield on the other-hand seems to be executed well in some regards but he’s really, really slow. Like it almost seems like someone decided to replicate his movement speed in Resident Evil for MvC3.  It’s not completely brutal but in his current state Chris won’t be someone people will use as their primary character.  His moves, such as launching grenades, using a shotgun and a knife make him for a good support character and that’s about it.

With the Hulk, I don’t know what the core problem is. Maybe it’s because I was anticipating more but he seems like an almost carbon copy of his form in MvC2 and that’s about it. That’s either going to be a good thing for those who loved the old Hulk but I was kind of hoping for some crazy new moves.  He’s basically the Hulk 2.1 instead of being the 2.5 or even a 3.0 edition.

On the non-fighting specific side of things, all I really have to say is that the game is gorgeous and is smooth as hell.  Filled with tons of vibrant colors, MvC3 really is a striking game to see in motion and the game goes into overdrive with some of the special moves in which some really stunning effects are shown.  I really didn’t have any complaints, worries or notes when seeing the game in motion aside from wishing I could take it home with me.

As a whole the Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Chicago Fight Club event was a nice success. Props to Capcom for starting the event off in Chicago as we hardly get any video game goodness in Chicago.  For those interested in the event I suggest y’all stay peeled to the Capcom Unity Blog to find out if the event is headed to your city next.  I greatly enjoyed my time with Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and based on the vibe at the event from everyone it seems like Capcom has a huge hit on their hands. With a little fine-tuning on a few characters and good roster additions (Doctor Strange, Silver Surfer) Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is poised to become one of the biggest, if not the biggest, fighting games to be released this generation.