Is Marvel vs. Capcom 3’s roster shaping to our expectations?

Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is quite possibly the biggest fighting game the market has seen since Street Fighter IV. After ten years of demand and request, fans will finally be able to get their hands on a high-definition game in the crossover fighting series. It’s no second guess that the game will succeed in sales. Indeed. As a fan of the series, and as a competitor in the fighting game genre, I can say that I’m well over excited to get my hands on the game when it launches in February.

Unfortunately, one question has been plaguing my brain for months. It has been following me around like a pestilence, or a swarm of locusts, and I just can’t shake it. Is the character roster really all that I expected it to be?

It’s no secret that for a fighting game to be enjoyable you need to have great characters that compliment it. After all, these fighters are our avatars in the online world. These teams of three represent us, as players, as we go head to head with each other online. However, looking at the character roster so far, I’m not all too thrilled about who might be representing me. I am a gamer at heart, so I honestly couldn’t say too much for the Marvel side. I don’t know much about the Marvel universe, except for what I’ve seen in superhero movies released over the past decade or so. I’d like to focus mainly in on the Capcom side of things.

So far the Capcom list of playable characters are as follows:

  • Albert Wesker (Resident Evil)
  • Amaterasu (Okami)
  • Arthur (Ghosts n’ Goblins)
  • Chris Redfield (Resident Evil)
  • Chun-Li (Street Fighter)
  • Crimson Viper (Street Fighter)
  • Dante (Devil May Cry)
  • Felicia (Darkstalkers)
  • Jill Valentine (Resident Evil)
  • Mike Haggar (Final Fight)
  • Morrigan Aensland (Darkstalkers)
  • Nathan Spencer (Bionic Commando)
  • Ryu (Street Fighter)
  • Trish (Devil May Cry)
  • Tron Bonne (Mega Man Legends)
  • Viewtiful Joe (Viewtiful Joe)
  • Zero (Megaman X)

For the successor of one of the greatest fighting games of all time — that boasted a huge character roster of 56 — this list isn’t exactly what I’d call “amazing.” Capcom has said that they didn’t have as much room this time around to create a roster that has more characters than the second game, which is not what’s disappointing. Quantity does not mean quality, but for the limited amount of spots they had to work with, I was expecting something a bit more diverse. Capcom is a game company with many franchises under it’s belt, and with the 17 characters revealed so far, only 11 of those franchises have been represented in the game. Not to mention that some of the characters from just a couple of these franchises lack the appeal to take the Marvel vs. Capcom universe in full throttle.

The specific characters I have in mind are Nathan Spencer, Trish, and Tron Bonne. With the limited character roster Capcom is working with, I felt like these three spots could have been better used. Nathan Spencer could have been a great fit for the new game. However, the 2009 release of Bionic Commando, which received mixed reviews, dropped a lot of fan support of the series. Nathan Spencer just does not seem up to supporting the Capcom drive of Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Had that game never released, I’m sure my view on Nathan would be different. Arthur, on the other hand, who is making an NES/SNES return to the current generation, was a great choice. Nathan would have been up there with Arthur, but in my opinion, the 2009 release of Bionic Commando game didn’t do Nathan much justice.

Trish, the next character on my list, is a supporting character in the Devil May Cry series. Dante was a surefire pick for the new game, and an obvious way to represent the franchise (he’s the main character, after all). Trish, on the other hand, was not. Dante would have been enough. Devil May Cry is already represented, and we can look forward to seeing another game in the series. I was surprised when Trish was revealed as a playable character. I don”t think the game needs her, both as a character to Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and as a character from Devil May Cry. If there was any character I was hoping to be on the roster, it would’ve been Virgil, or even Nero. I don’t think we needed another Devil May Cry character, and if Capcom felt otherwise, I don’t think Trish was the right choice. Either way, I think it was just another spot that could have gone to a character from a series not yet represented.

And last on the list is Tron Bonne. Tron Bonne appeared in the second game, and originally appeared as a villain in the Mega Man Legends series. It irks me that we have Zero, from Megaman X, and Tron Bonne, a villain from Legends, but we’ve still yet to see any form of Mega Man in the game. Mega Man has come in so many variations in the past 20 years that it just strikes me pretty odd that there’s no Mega Man, who’s been a staple of the Capcom company, but there’s two characters from the same universe. In a very personal taste, Tron Bonne just doesn’t even seem like she belonged in the second game, let alone this one. If we wanted to represent Legends, why not actually use Megaman Volnutt? If Capcom’s answer were to be: “he appeared in Tatsunoku vs. Capcom,” then my retort would be: “so did Zero”. This spot could have definitely went to someone else.

As for the other character’s on the list, I believe three characters from the Resident Evil series is overdoing it. Three characters from Street Fighter is expected, since this is a fighting game. The same applies for the two characters from Darkstalkers. Arthur, Amaterasu, Wesker, Chris Redfield, and Dante were beautiful additions to the series (though, I’m a Leon Kennedy man myself). But with all of the Capcom franchises, some of these spots could have better went to other characters. I would definitely love to see at least a few additional characters from franchises such as Killer 7, Onimusha, Mega Man Battle Network, Dino Crisis, Clocktower, Maximo, Mega Man Zero, and Monster Hunter just to name a few. Capcom’s oddly left these franchises/games untapped in their fighting crossovers.

To answer the question proposed at the beginning of this article:  no, I’m not really excited for the character roster Marvel vs. Capcom 3. I thought Capcom might have better used these limited spots for other characters from other franchises, but so far, it hasn’t happened. In the next month, we may see more character reveals before the game launches. Till then, I can only hope for more additions or future additions through downloadable content.

Megaman.EXE and a generic Monster Hunter character are my top two personal hopes for the game. What are your top picks for Marvel vs. Capcom 3? Does the current roster make you excited like nothing else? Or are you somewhat unsatisfied like I am? Let us know in the comments below.

Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds launches on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on February 15th, 2011.

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