Monday, October 11, 2010

Tales of Comic Con: Vol. 2 - MvC3 Character Impressions

Throughout the weekend, there were two characters who were always on my team: Super Skrull and Hulk. For my third character, I tried Amaterasu and Morrigan, before finally settling on Dormammu. All the characters felt great and different from each other, but I had to try to nail down just a few I could use well within my limited time with the game.

I know I've said that the game feels different from TvC, but Morrigan feels a lot like TvC Morrigan. Her normals were all familiar, including a standing hard attack that gives several hits and plenty of time to land your launcher. She now has a much more versatile fireball, since it can be aimed at various angles from the ground or in the air. Her "Dark Force" super creates a duplicate image of herself behind the opponent. The image can attack and even throw real fireballs. When you cross over the opponent, the image and Morrigan criss-cross in the middle of the screen, making blocking their attacks extraordinarily confusing. She has great potential for rushing an opponent down, especially while the duplicate is present. This is, however, somewhat hindered by how easy it is to use Advancing Guard to send her completely to the opposite side of the screen. I would jump in to start pressuring an opponent, but my first light attack would be push-blocked, and I'd be right back where I started. I don't know if we'll see Advancing Guard's effectiveness tweaked, or if there are ways to combat it that I'm not aware of yet. Either way, Morrigan should be a threat when she takes the offensive.

Amaterasu is great! I usually write off extra-short characters, without giving them much of a chance. Amaterasu does not play like a tiny character; she is definitely not a Roll or a Servbot. This wolf plays like a full-fledged fighter. Though I barely knew any of her moves, including how to change her weapon, she felt good. With the ability to change her weapon to a whip that reaches full screen — and combos from across the screen — she can be incredibly dangerous. When people really learn how to use Amaterasu, she will be incredibly scary to fight against.

Super Skrull is the perfect combination of simple to use and tricky to fight against. Currently, people aren't familiar with his moves, so they get caught in his grab that leads to further combos and massive damage. His tenderizer move gets spammed constantly, and no one is properly punishing it. Though people will catch on to his shenanigans in short order, he's still a solid character with a lot of options from various distances. He's able to use his limbs to strike or grab from far away, but he can also get in close for damaging air combos and flame attacks. Super Skrull is a well-rounded, easy-to-use character that I suspect will be very popular when the game is released to the masses.

Hulk is my favorite character right now. He certainly isn't the best character, but I'm fine with that. In a past game (the fan-unfavorite Marvel Superheroes vs. Street Fighter), Hulk was on my main team. His normals in this game are basically the same as they always were, which made him simple for me to pick up and play. Despite getting an immediate feel for his normals, I'm embarrassed to admit that I didn't even figure out how to throw rocks or gamma charge in my time with him. I focused mainly on doing his insanely damaging air combos. While I had trouble performing them at the Clash of Communities event, I began starting air combos with a medium attack, and that made all the difference. Once you get the air combo finisher with the Exchange button, it's easy to OTG with the Gamma Wave super. From there, you can even DHC to your next character if you want. Just like in previous games, it felt really nice to land Hulk's standing hard attack, but now it leads to extremely damaging combos. Hulk may have found a permanent place on my MvC3 team.

Dormammu is a force to be reckoned with. He has so many attacks that can hit an opponent almost anywhere on the screen. He can keep his opponent at bay for the entire round. If the enemy does get anywhere near him, Advancing Guard completely resets the situation. His hand powers are incredible, and he can give himself the space to charge them up. His supers, both Chaotic Flame and the tracking fireball one, do a ton of damage on hit or when blocked. The drawback is that they both start very slowly. One way to get that fireball on screen without worrying about the start-up was to DHC into it. I tried to do so as often as possible, even if it wouldn't combo. Though that might not have been the most efficient way to do so, getting that tracking, chip-damaging fireball on screen was one of my main goals. He can OTG with his pillar-from-the-ground attacks, but I couldn't find anything to combo after them. As the game evolves, we'll see where Dormammu ends up, but he's bound to be useful due to his incredible ability to control space.

For characters I did not play as, I can share some things that I heard about them from other players. Chun Li looks very strong. Her air-dash travels at a slight downward angle, which lets her really stay on top of an opponent. She can chain into her sweep, jump-cancel the sweep, then immediately combo you from the air back to the ground, where she can then land a super, back into an air combo, et. cetera. She can do lightning legs, then dash, then combo back into lightning legs. She has a ton of potential to be one of the strongest characters in the game.

Trish looks like she is able to play two different games. She has the speed necessary to rush an opponent down, but she also has projectiles, traps, and movement that could allow her to play some mean keep-away. She has a boomerang-looking projectile super that tracks an opponent anywhere on the screen. It does a lot of block damage, but you can still Advancing Guard to keep Trish away in the meantime. I don't know much else about her, but with all of her various tools, she should be very good.

I barely saw any Felicia play, but she has some interesting stuff. She's got a super that calls out a randomly-attacking helper, like Yatterman-2 in TvC. She can charge up her super meter, ala S-Groove in Capcom vs. SNK 2. She also has an assist that boosts the super meter. I could see playing constant keep-away, while having Felicia hand you some meter, being a valid strategy. There's no more meter from whiffed normals (think Storm in MvC2), so you have to get meter somehow.

Doom plays like his MvC2 self, but he also has a nice new move called Hidden Missiles. A bunch of missiles launch from behind him, then come down on the opponent after a bit of a delay. It's almost like his rocks, but from above. He also has this move as an assist, which is great for trying to lock your opponent down. With Doom, a good character got even better.

Everyone says that Thor is terrible. On paper, he seems interesting: he's like Colossus with projectiles and a spinning pile driver. In the game, though, it just doesn't pan out. I tried to play as him only one time, and I was unable to make anything happen. His projectiles are high and slow, and his command grab is impossible to land. Advancing Guard obviously does him no favors, though it'd be interesting if push-back was less on bigger characters. If he does somehow get in, he can do huge damage, especially with his tornado super. Overall, though, it looks like Thor needs some help to be able to compete.

Other characters like Dante and Deadpool are basically known quantities already. There's not much I can tell you that you can't just see in the many videos of them. They're strong and they have guns. The end.

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