Video Game Review: 'Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds'

Filed under: Video Games

Rated ON for Ages 13 and Up

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know "Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds" is an over-the-top fighting game featuring provocatively clad female fighters. Gameplay focuses characters battling one another in a number of different ways and with various attacks, including punches, kicks, guns, throwing knives, explosions, lightning strikes, fireballs, and so forth. There isn't any blood, and the animated characters don't look real, but this game clearly glamorizes violence and depicts women as sex objects. Note, too, that online multiplayer supports open voice chat. Common Sense Media does not recommend non-moderated online communication for pre-teens.

The good stuff

  • Ease of play: The game's controls are scalable. Therefore if you're a novice gamer, you can opt for the streamlined controls for a simplified button layout, while advanced gamers can learn sophisticated moves and combos to tackle opponents.
  • Educational value: Meant to entertain, not educate.

What to watch out for

  • Online interaction: Up to eight players can battle it out online and talk freely with one another via an optional headset microphone. That means players can easily share personal information and may be exposed to unsuitable language and subjects of discussion.
  • Messages: The sole focus of this game is over-the-top fighting. Plus, players control male characters that punch and kick women (though the women in the game are equally capable fighters).
  • Role models: There is no main protagonist in this game, but rather a wide range of playable characters. The fighters' personalities aren't developed well enough to ascertain whether they're good people, though many players will have a pretty good idea as to whether they're good or evil based on their previous appearances in games, comics, and movies. Regardless, all they do in the game is fight, making all of them poor role models for kids.
  • Violence: "Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds" is a fighting game, therefore the game revolves around violence -- in this case, between Marvel and Capcom's characters. While there is no blood and environments are over-the-top (including in space), players will engage in hand-to-hand combat, use weapons (swords, pistols and throwing knives) as well as magical attacks (fireballs, lightning strikes, and so on).
  • Sex: The game's female fighters are dressed provocatively. Players see plenty of skin, including (almost) bare buttocks and deep cleavage. One woman's breasts are barely covered by thin strips of material.
  • Language: Some characters use mild language, including "hell," "damn," "ass" and "bitch."
  • Consumerism: This game features not just well-known video game characters, but also several popular personalities from the Marvel Comics universe, including Hulk, Ion Man, and Wolverine.
  • Drinking, drugs, & smoking: Not an issue.

What's the Story?

It's been an entire decade since we last saw a new Marvel vs. Capcom fighting game -- 2000's "Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes" for the Sega Dreamcast -- but the once-popular series is back after a long hiatus in "Marvel VS. Capcom 3: Fate Of Two Worlds." This fast-paced, colorful brawler includes classic fighters -- such as Hulk, Wolverine, and Iron Man from the Marvel universe and Ryu and Morrigan from Capcom's Street Fighter and Darkstalkers franchises, respectively -- as well as new characters like Resident Evil's Chris Redfield, Thor, and Viewtiful Joe. Some characters have undergone a makeover, such as the uber-muscular Hulk, while others have a more retro look, such as the classic design of Iron Man's shiny red and gold suit. Capcom says they've gone for "living comic book art style" powered by a tweaked version of the advanced graphics engine used for "Resident Evil 5."

Is It Any Good?

Whether you're partial to fighting games in general, a fan of this series specifically, or have a soft spot for characters from the Marvel and/or Capcom universes, this reimagined classic brawler will please. It features wild, over-the-top action, mid-air battles, terrific special effects, and multilayered combos designed to inflict as much damage on your opponents as possible. Gamers can also create their dream team of fighters for 3-on-3 tag team duels, which include "assist attacks" where one character helps out another. Online play is smooth and fast, and delivers five different modes from which to choose.

Capcom also spent a lot of time creating depth, offering many dozens of moves for hardcore players to master. Newbies, meanwhile, can use a simplified controls option to help them get into the swing of things. The story is shallow (hey, it's a fighting game) and we noticed some minor balancing issues, but there's very little to complain about in this thrilling fighter. Note: the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game are the same.

For PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

This review was written by Marc Saltzman.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.