Top critical review
The quintessence of ambivalence...
on March 21, 2014
I really have very little good to say about this game accept that it's an altogether effective distraction when there's nothing else to do. It can, in fact, be downright addictive, due to a desire to improve one's game. The graphics are pretty nice, as are the music and sound effects; unfortunately, this is all I can say about the game's appeal.
There are several drawbacks to this game. First, as mentioned by several other purchasers, a new "Ultimate" edition was released just months after the release of this version. I understand that a tsunami hit Japan and interrupted development efforts; however, the game developers knew the game was incomplete when they released it, and were counting on downloadable content and patches to offset this. The arcade mode is trivial and easily beaten, with no real gratifying denouement upon completion -- only some comic book style shots. The only other playable modes besides online gameplay (which I'll get to in a moment) are mission and training. Mission is also fairly trivial, although the combos to learn can be pretty challenging, and training is pretty fun for expanding and perfecting technique. I actually spend a considerable amount of time in the training mode because it's about the only place where you can play the characters you like and see what they're actually capable of. Once you get to online gameplay -- ugh.
The online gameplay can truly be an unrewarding experience. I'm an old-school gamer, I suppose, and took a decade long hiatus from video games, so I'm used to fighting games that have at least some degree of balance. I know it's impossible to create a perfect balance within this game genre, but it seems the MvC series (or at least this instantiation of it) has neglected the issue altogether. The concept of "tiered" players, in my opinion, all but completely defeats the purpose of having any sort of roster aside from the top tier. Online, there are maybe 5 or so characters that you'll see all the time (and I mean, literally, all the time), and it's because selecting these players pretty much assures you a win if the opposing team is lacking them. Playing with a team that incorporates synergy but doesn't use any of these top tier players means you'll be fighting an extremely uphill battle (pun intended) to stay toe to toe with your Weskers and Sentinels. The flip-side of this is, if you're so inclined, and of a temperament that enjoys a challenge, you'll have plenty of punks to practice on while improving your hand eye coordination.
The Lobby mode is arguably the most insulting part of the game -- you cannot watch other competitors while waiting for your turn; only their ridiculous gamer card or whatever, bouncing around the screen. It's dizzying.