E3 2010 Marvel vs Capcom 3 boothWhen talking with people of a mature age, the consensus of fighting games is that they are too hard and intimidating to play with in multiplayer, or at all. I disagree. Fighting games in multiplayer are like playing a game of chess by tapping a xylophone. The chess game of outwitting your opponent is up to you. I will teach you how to operate the xylophone. Please set aside a hour for study time. This is a strategy guide for learning how to get a couple wins in Marvel vs. Capcom 3.

Step 1: Go to training mode, adjust to the remapped special moves.
In every version of MvC, the controls have completely changed. Like Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, there are no longer punch and kick buttons. In many cases, this simplifies characters into “down-to-forward button does something and down-to-backward does something.” However a few moves you knew as quarter-circles have become dragon punch motions (forward,down,down-forward). This can also mean the attack button used to activate the special move can activate a totally different special move. Finally, many characters you know probably have a new attack or just a new spin on an old attack; like Ryu can aim and move his Kamehameha Hadouken around, and Iron Man has an an extra finishing move you can perform on his Repulsor Blast.

Basically, what I’m saying is go to your command list in the pause menu for every character you use. Oh, and holding an assist button down two seconds is the new way to switch fighters. ‘Should probably get used to that.

(Also, if you have not played a Marvel vs Capcom game before, learn about Team Hyper Combos. You can have all your players initiate a Hyper Combo at once by simply pressing RT and LT together, or you can perform a standard Hyper Combo [quarter circle + two attack buttons] and do it again that corresponds to the Hyper Combo move of the next teammate in line)

Step 2: Familiarize yourself with the ‘S’ button.
It stands for “Special” attack, but most players call it the launcher button. It looks like a fierce attack, but using S from the ground, it always launches people in the air. If you hit Up immediately after, you give chase. That is the foundation to the air combo. If you use S in the air not in a combo, some characters bounce the opponent on the ground where you have enough time to follow up with something else (like a new air combo). When you use S mid-air-combo while holding any direction, your assist will tag in and continue the air combo. You can do this twice per aerial combo. Players getting their ass kicked with an air combo can also hold any direction and mash the S button. If the receiving player chooses the same S direction as the player using S in the air combo, a C-C-C-Combo Breaker will occur. Air combos are nothing new. In MvC2, there was a special button combination to hold that would serve as a launcher, but the method would be different for every character. Performing a launcher and most special moves in MvC3 are the same for everybody, making the game closer to a Smash Bros crossed with Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3.

Step 3: Learn to activate XFactor (XFC) every match.
XFactor can be used once per match. Xfactor does a lot of things, including a one-time cancel of any ground move, speed increases, red health regeneration, and increased damage. It is like Street Fighter 4’s Revenge Meter paired with Street Fighter Alpha 3’s V-ism (/CvS2’s A-Groove & K-Groove). While some times are better than others when activating Xfactor, there is no wrong time to use it. It is better to be unpredictable when using Xfactor rather than always waiting for your last character standing to turn it on. ost players wait for two teammates to be killed before activating Xfactor because that makes the Xfactor effect last longer.

Just know that Xfactor exists and you are always, always a sucker if you forget to use it.

To activate XFactor, hit all 4 main attack buttons (L,M,H,S) on the ground. If you are a pad player, try to assign a RB or LB button for this. Joystick players shouldn’t have a problem. Many Joystick players seem to be liking the Gamma control configuration (six button configuration) with 3 attack buttons (L,M,H) on top, S launcher on bottom left, and LT (assist 1) bottom and RT (assist 2) bottom right.

Step 4: Do a Hyper Combo (that hits), use XFactor (mid-attack), then do the Hyper Combo again.
Yes, Xfactor is that important. The best thing about Xfactor is that one time, you can cancel absolutely any ground move you’re performing so you can initiate a new attack as fast as you can input the command. The easiest damaging example of demonstrating this is with 2 super bar levels available, perform your quarter-circle-forward projectile Hyper Combo, then hit Xfactor (L,M,H,S together), then do the quarter-circle-forward projectile Hyper Combo again. Depending on the character and your timing, both attacks will connect, and the second time will have almost double damage, kinda-sorta meaning you just hit a dude with three Hyper Combos in a row and there was nothing your opponent could do about it.

You gotta understand, Xfactor is the chance to break all the rules of your character for one instant. It is like a Roman Cancel in Guilty Gear or a Rapid Cancel in BlazBlue. When controlled, Xfactor can be used to save your ass when a missed attack leaves you wide open for punishment, or you can use it to impossibly continue a one-man combo that otherwise would have ended with a slow recoiling attack, leading to damage amounts up to 100%.

Step 5: Figure out your preferred subset of characters, then learn the double-button dash, flying, or double jump/dash abilities of your fighters.
Giant flashing lasers, instant dashes, gunfire, and spreading projectiles are in full force in this game. That leads to “turtling” strategies. Turtling is basically hanging out in a corner blocking, but now also shooting nothing but projectiles in a game of keep-away. You need to learn to cross the screen quickly not only to reach shooting players, but also to change-up your approach strategy in close combat as a turtler and any reasonable player usually has an attack plan when being approached. Most characters either have the double-button dash (hold a direction and hit any two regular attack buttons) or a method to double jump. Double-button dash is pretty much the same as a double-tap dash, just easier to do and in the air you can move eight directions with it. Double jump characters usually just enable a second jump (but some can still horizontal air dash). Double jump characters are usually better at extending an air combo, while double-button dash characters are more valuable for getting in position for attack.

Finally, several characters have a down-to-back+S free-flying move. Use it sparingly as you can’t block with it. If you can learn to control it, this can be good for situations like escaping your opponent who activated Xfactor or extending an air combo.

Step 6: Practice The Combo Blueprint
Get a standard well-rounded character out, go to training mode, repeat the following until satisfied.

Crouch L, Crouch M, Crouch H, S, Up (superjump chase), M,M,H,S (+any direction), …Button Mash…

If that looks too intimidating, start simple:

Button Mash 2~hits, S, Up, Button Mash 2~hits, S (+any direction), Button Mash 2~hits, S (any direction), Button Mash.

…and by ‘button mash’, I mean any of the three regular attack buttons (L,M,H). It doesn’t even have to be exactly two hits. It can be 1, 3, maybe 4 if the circumstances are right. This combo is the basis of many air combos in the game. Basically every character can use this or a slight variant of it. If you learn this combo, you will have the basics and muscle memory to complete most of mission mode and do more damage to players than most hyper combos. Advanced players who don’t want the combo breaker risk can use mission mode to discover more ways to extend an air combo without using the “S (+any direction)” part.

If you want videos or to study further, shoryuken.com always has this genre in the know.

Bonus: Vs. Galactus. (after metal clones)
The trick is using heavy (H) and launcher (S) attacks. You can use this boss fight as an opportunity to practice your basic launcher combo. You will learn that Hyper Combos are not particularly strong in MvC3 compared to a string of basic attacks. Refrain from using Hyper Combos during the boss fight until you’re familiar with his attacks.

-Watch his hands. The biggest thing to look out for early in the fight is if he goes into his one-two groundslap. He has no definite pattern and he can’t be stunned, so all you need to do is stick to basic strong attacks and don’t do anything that keeps you unblocked for a long time. Later in the fight, Galactus switches to primarly laser attacks. If you can survive the first half of the fight without being slammed (but flicked is ok), you should be able to survive the block damage of the second half of the fight…-provided you know to block.

-Early in the Galactus fight, if he moves into the background, he will likely try to grab you. If you can’t super jump to avoid, just mash buttons and you can break out of his hold.

-Late into the fight, Galactus may charge a purple spherical attack. This is a very long charge. Just remember for this particular attack, you can damage Galactus enough to stun him, forcing him to cancel this attack, and his head will hit the ground long enough to finish him.

-Remember to use your damn XFactor!

-The metal clones share the same life bar

And that’s how the lazy play the game. Good luck to you.

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3 Responses to SCIENCE!!! Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Dip-Toe-in-Pool Guide

  1. SimpleNate says:

    We should probably play this together real soon.

  2. SimpleNate says:

    Oh, and I don’t understand a goddamn word of what you just said. Except for ‘button mash’. I can do that one.

  3. Nice post, DJ! I think that a night of online ass kicking is needed for Robot Panic users. Someone should set that up, but not me. I am far too lazy.

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