This is way more comprehensive than I thought it would be so it’s kind of a long read. I want to try to get this posted on the front page, so please nominate the as an article. Thanks for writing all of this, Mike.
The goal of this article is to explain what I learned of MvC3?s mechanics during E3. I am trying to keep personal bias out of the article as much as possible, and simply list comparisons between this game and MvC2. (I didn?t play TvC enough to know anything except the most basic gameplay, so I can?t compare MvC3 to both games, sorry.) I figure the community deserves a writeup by someone who doesn?t think calling assists during specials is a ?missing feature?, though. (^.^)
Disclaimer: All information below was verified by testing, but I only got to play by myself for 2.5 hours, so some may be inaccurate. And don?t forget, this game is in development so Capcom can always change it, and probably will. As much as you want to, do not judge the final product by the E3 demo. It could be better, it could be worse.
DHCs seem the same, so I am not describing them.
Level 3 supers like Final Justice or Get a Life* were disabled in the E3 build, I was told.
[* = my made up name for the Deadpool super that Capcom described.]
Basics: 4 attack buttons and 2 assist buttons.
A ? weak attack, equivalent to TvC?s A. Most characters can rapid-fire either standing A, crouching A, or both. Crouching A hits low, as far as I noticed.
B ? medium attack, equivalent to TvC?s B, combo filler.
C ? hard attack, equivalent to TvC?s C. Crouching C is a knockdown trip for most characters (for Iron Man, crouching B is a knockdown, similar to previous games).
E ? Capcom called this ?Exchange?, so it gets ?E?. A combination of MvC2 Fierce and RH. On the ground this is your only launcher, and there is no crouching version, so it is only one attack animation always. In the air it is your only knockdown strike, which causes MvC3?s version of Flying Screen. E attacks are not special or super cancelable, and the only thing you can do from standing E is superjump.
During an air combo, you can use it as a knockdown or, if you hold Fwd or Down and press it, you will midair tag (?Exchange?, I guess it should be called :^) to the next character in DHC order. Down+E tags the next character in from the same side you?re on, and Fwd+E tags them in from the opposite side so you can combo the other way. At least that?s how it seems to work, so that each has a different use.
You can only Exchange 2x per air combo, so like DHCs you can?t go back to your original point character. If you relaunch, though, maybe you can. Exchanging seems to reset damage scaling mostly, like DHCs do, so it is usually much better than just ending your aircombo, except for the combo breaker part discussed below.
If you go for an Exchange in an air combo, and your opponent holds the same direction you used and hits E during the small pause as you tag, they will escape from your combo with a counterattack Exchange of their own, and can continue a combo from it. There is no meter requirement for this. I am not sure if it is possible to tell visually which direction was used during the pause, so it may end up guessing/knowing which direction the opponent wants to combo you. There seems to be no penalty for guessing wrong / trying to escape if the opponent doesn?t Exchange.
** It appeared that if you were fast enough, you could press F+E, D+E during the pause and always guarantee an escape, but I may be wrong.**
Assist 1 and 2 ? pressing the button by itself calls the assist character. Back+button tags to that character, but Capcom already stated this is being changed/fixed to allow defensive assists. You are restricted from calling assists the same way as in MvC2 ? not during blockstun/hitstun, specials, supers, or superjump. However, you can call them during Flying Screen now.
Assists come in much slower than they do in MvC2, and they will still attack even if you are hit (possibly a bug). If you call one, then enter a state like superjump where you couldn?t call after you press the button but before they decide to come out, they will not come out. Life regain on assists is incredibly much faster than MvC2. Assist characters can be hit, but cannot be comboed very well?see the Infinite Prevention section.
QCT+Assist is snapback, and functions mostly the same. Double snaps (assist+point) leave the assist on the floor in front of you and do allow you to combo them, but combos on assists don?t work very well. I could not get double snap, E E E E (launch till death) to work, the assist always either left offscreen or the E would go through them.
Mechanics: (Tag, Baroque, jump, dash, blocking, OTGs, recovery, links, air combos and y-boost, flying screen, infinite prevention)
2P refers to any 2 of A/B/C together. E does not count as an attack in this regard.
Tag ? I don?t know where to put this, so?hitting with a regular tag acts like XvSF/MvC1, not MvC2; no free combo.
Baroque ? when you are down to 1 character, one time only you can press Assist?this may be the wrong command, heh, I just hit every button?and do a Baroque. (Basically a Guilty Gear Roman Cancel - for those unfamiliar with the term, it automatically resets you to neutral out of any move you were doing.) It raises your damage and defense by 20% each, and is timer based, so you can do more than 1 combo with it. The timer on it lasts until you are out of red bar. You can cancel out of supers with it, so you can effectively DHC to yourself once.
Jumping ? if you have both a doublejump and an airdash (like CapAm), using the double jump removes your ability to airdash, and vice versa. Manual superjump-cancels (s.A xx superjump) were not present, only the automatic superjump after an E. There are no normal launchers except s.E.
Jumping normals are not airdash cancelable, but are jump-cancellable?Felicia could do j.B xx doublejump, for example, but could not do j.B xx airdash.
Dashing ? Any 2P will dash, B+2P will backdash. Airdash seems standard-issue, only Hulk couldn?t?even CapAm and Felicia could do it. Iron Man had 8way dash, Morrigan had CvS2 ground dash (float up). Characters start falling as soon as you attack from a dash, even 8way, but they keep forward momentum ? think Sol Badguy, not MvC2 Magneto/Storm. Right after you start an airdash there is a short period of time where you cannot attack, again like Guilty Gear, so doing horizontal ad.A with MvC2 trijump timing will result in no attack coming out. This means that even though Iron Man can triangle jump extremely low to the ground, he can?t attack before landing, you will land and get a cr.Short instead…and Morrigan can?t instead overhead with a short dash like she could in CvS2, since she isn?t allowed to immediately attack after dashing.
8way dashing into the floor will land as soon as you touch the ground, whereas in MvC2 you would complete your dash animation before landing.
Blocking ? Any 2P will pushblock?ahem, I mean Advancing Guard. Pushblock animation lasts for somewhere between MvC2 and TvC length, you can?t TvC mash it by any means. Pushblock Guard Cancel is not present.
OTGs ? Only certain moves can OTG; the majority cannot. Deadpool?s air super, Hulk?s Gamma Wave and Quake (only the rocks, not his hand), and Dante?s Icicle are examples of moves that can OTG. I am guessing it is only projectiles. Using an OTG seems to speed up the Infinite Prevention effect. Upon being OTG?d you seem to go straight to air hitstun, no special OTG stun.
Instead of OTGs, many moves that would knock you down in MvC2 (Iron Man?s cr.B slide, Felicia?s roll->slide) now pop you up into the air a bit instead. Iron Man can do cr.B->E, and Felicia can do roll->slide, cr.A. As well, they added the floor bounce effect (common in other airdash games) to a lot of moves that were knockdowns in MvC2, and you are freely juggleable during a floor bounce.
Recovery ? To borrow BlazBlue terminology, there are bounce-techs. Hitting A/B/C just as you land on the floor will quick-rise, with A moving a small distance and C moving a large distance. You can also use F+A/B/C to roll toward/through your opponent, somewhat like MvC2. There are knockdown attacks where you can bounce-tech, like cr.C, and attacks where you can?t, like being hit by a tag.
If you don?t bounce tech, after lying on the ground for a while you can hold Fwd/Back to roll forward/backward before getting up, like Darkstalkers or BlazBlue. The rolls are invincible, and you cannot stop your opponent from being able to do one.
After being allowed to recover from a hit in the air, your character pops up a bit. This makes MvC2-style resets mostly impractical. Also, possibly due to Infinite Prevention, you will automatically recover at odd times ? if you are hit in the air by a Shinkuu Hadoken, you will pop out halfway through and can block, or in some cases punish Ryu.
Links ? I only want to mention that I couldn?t find any normal-to-normal links using regular hitstun. Moves have such long recovery that it appears chains, launchers, air jumpcancels, and special hitstuns like floorbounce or knockdown are the only way to extend your combos, even in the air. Blockstun seems longer to compensate for this.
Air combos and Y-boost ? There seems to be no y-boost, at all. All moves in the air seem to cause the same reaction (moving the opponent upward slightly), no matter what your character is doing, even moves that were knockdowns in previous games. CapAm?s j.D+C (MvC2 j.D+RH) does the same thing as his j.A. The only normal knockdowns are j.E?s.
Flying Screen ? Doing a j.E in an aircombo (even as just 1 hit after a launch) will cause the camera to focus on the enemy, as MvC2 flying screen did. If your character goes off the left or right side of the screen (not the top), they will come dashing back in on the ground. Setting Flying Screen does not restrict your actions at all, and most j.E?s cause some floor bounce, so comboing after Flying Screen is more common. Doing jumpin->ground series->air series->(Exchange combo)->j.E, ground series xx ground super, DHC, DHC seems to be the standard combo formula.
Infinite Prevention ? Rather than keeping undizzies as guaranteed escapes, MvC3 goes with the shortening-hitstun approach, like Guilty Gear/Blazblue. After the Infinite Prevention is triggered in a combo, moves cause nearly no hitstun, and the opponent can block out of your combo. This means that simple tall-character [j.A->A->B->B->C, land] will not work as an infinite, which is good. However, just like GG and BB it has the downside that the opponent tends to escape from regular non-infinite combos at strange times. If you start your combo with one extra wrong hit, the end of it will be blockable, or most supers and specials which are multiple hits won?t connect for the entire thing - allowing the opponent to punish you for getting hit by a Shinkuu Hadoken/Danke?s QCT+2P super/Chris? grenade launcher super at the wrong time in a combo.
1-Pixel Rage - There was an extra feature I missed mentioning; not sure what to call it, but basically if you are comboing someone and you bring them down to 1 pixel of life during a long combo, from that point it will take a few extra hits to kill them, no matter what hits they are, even though they should already be dead. If you drop the combo before you do those hits, they stay at one pixel but it still takes the extra hits to kill. I think this was done to add artificial suspense, since you get some more 1-pixel survival, but it felt odd.