Roster Woes: Marvel vs. Capcom 3

So the game that everyone, including me, has been waiting for for almost a decade has finally been announced!  Woo!  :D

I’m trés excited for Marvel vs. Capcom 3, as it is the only fighting series I can play without horrific temper tantrums and prolonged cursing.  I’m shaking an angry fist at you, Street Fighter IV. >:(

Eight characters are confirmed so far: Iron Man, Hulk, Ryu, Wolverine, Chris Redfield, Morrigan, Chun-Li, and Felicia.  Seven of these eight also appeared in Marvel vs. Capcom 2, but it’s okay–I’m not worried…

Okay, I’m worried.  The video game industry, particularly those that deal with super-hero games, has a tendency to give into mass appeal to sell their products.  That is: every X-Men game features Wolverine and Storm, every Street Fighter game features Ryu and Chun-Li.  I’m alright with that because I know they’re popular and that the public wants them.  I understand marketing and corporate business just fine.

But Capcom: please please please don’t re-hash the cast from your previous game and add in only three or four new characters!  The list of people who could be in this game is near infinite given the enormousness of the Marvel Universe.  And wouldn’t it be nice for this game to feel really fresh aside from the graphical aspects?

Here’s a hypothetical.  Ryu is a playable character.  What is the likelihood that Ken, Sakura, Akuma, and Dan will end up in the game?  I can bet you that three out of the four will, specifically because fans would be upset without their “favourite character”.  But remember, Capcom: this isn’t a Street Fighter game that you’re making here.  We don’t need five characters who all play the same.  Otherwise, fanboys (and fangirls–do they exist for the Street Fighter series?) might as well pop in their version of Street Fighter IV, or the new Super Street Fighter IV, and have a hay day.

Similarly, don’t load Marvel vs. Capcom 3 with the same roster of X-Men.  We’ve all seen Iceman, Psylocke, Wolverine, Storm, Colossus and the others.  Leave some on the sidelines, will ya?  Who haven’t we seen yet?  How about Nightcrawler or Havok?

Other possible characters might include Mr. Fantastic, who would be highly enjoyable to animate and watch on screen (the consequences of this, however, would be that Capcom would likely include all four Fantastic Four members, which is horribly predictable and dull).  Mr. Sinister would make a unique addition to the X-Men roster.  Thor and Loki would be great additions to the series, particularly in support of the upcoming Thor movie.  Let’s bring in Doc Ock or Black Cat to supplement the Spider-man cast (but we know the latter is out because Felicia is in the game).

On the Capcom side of things, there are a brevity of characters who could be fun to play and entertaining to watch.  Dante from Devil May Cry comes to mind as a solid choice, if only for obvious reasons.  Some new Darkstalkers such as Demitri or Q-Bee would add unique character designs to the game.  And how about Dr. Wily as a counterpoint to Mega Man?

Like most fanboys, I worry about roster choices when games such as these are announced, but the difference is that I don’t play favourites.  I enjoy using all the characters.  Fighting games are best when the cast is varied, the playstyles are different, and the visual designs are distinctive.  I hope that Capcom reflects on these issues during their development of the game.

And please, no more “Dark Ryu” or “Bone-Claw Wolverine”.  One is enough!  Gawd.

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