Now as much as I like this game one of the big issues I have about playing this game competitively is that it just doesn’t make sense for it to be played in a 2/3 match format. Here are some general reasons…
1. There’s no rounds. Now there was no rounds in MVC2 but the difference was in that game stray hits did not convert to damage as easily as they do in MVC3. Just like in MVC2, a lot of teams in MVC3 are based on synergy that happens when all 3 members are available. Due to things like how high the damage is and the insane extra damage your asssist takes if your assist gets blown up by a stray hit or beam super, you can really easily lose tools you need to win the match. People are catching on with how to lame out non Dark Phoenix based XF3 characters. In general durping it out in XF3 is not a solid excuse for giving the opponent another chance to win. It doesn’t really revolve a lot around skill and more so like a last ditch attempt to run back the match. Which creates further randomness.
The game feels more like a 2 stock match of Smash Bros. being played 2/3 times to declare a winner than something of a normal fighting game with rounds. Momentum is too strong in MVC3 for having people go 2/3. You just don’t get enough time to adjust to your opponent especially considering your opponent has access to 3 different characters that you have to learn to adapt to their specific play style of with/without assists. Especially with XF there’s just no way to humanly adjust to this in a 2/3 match format without picking the absolute highest tier in the game and making sure you just shut out what everyone can do before they can get it started. Teams like Viscant’s Wesker/Assist/Phoenix team. A team where no matter what happens there’s always a way to win unless Phoenix dies to a snap in.
2. The damage in general is too high. I shouldn’t even have to explain the ways the damage ends up being too high in Vanilla MVC3.
Even with Ultimate MVC3 I just see it as a game where it’s too easy to kill people for getting one or 2 random reads during spacing. Things like ground bounces, hard knockdowns, lack of hit confirming required for combos and other general things that make it easy to combo and do a lot of damage to the point where all you need is one more reset/mix up and the character surely dies. There will most likely still be combos that can TOD most standard health characters since the game’s combo system is so open ended especially with assists any way. XF1 and 2 might not be able to kill 2 people off as easily as they used to but they surely will get rid of one without too much issue and leave time to doing big damage to the next off breaks as usual.
When you lose characters in this game you lose resources you need to win the match and are then forced to rely on mechanics that people agree don’t really revolve enough around skill like XF to amount comebacks. Without XF MVC3 would be the same game as MVC2 where when you lose one or 2 characters the chances of you winning go down extremely hard. The only difference is MVC3 put in a system that people agree is only strategic enough to help balance out the 1 vs. 3 character issue in a very quick, dirty way where neither the winner nor the loser of the outcome really feel satisfied about what happened. The mechanic at best helps people who aren’t that great at the game still do something worth talking about at the battle. At high level play XF1 and 2 are more important and somehow utilize more strategy than XF3 any way outside of Dark Phoenix.
With those things above I feel the best way to make the game more fair and interesting for people in tournaments is to make the game 3/5 matches. This will allow the game to retain it’s cheap, punishing nature and still allow all the easy confirms into big damage while enabling players more time to adjust to each other’s reactions, decisions and characters. Viscant even posted saying that he agrees Vanilla MVC3 isn’t an ideal game for a 2/3 match format and I don’t see much anything about UMVC3 that will make it more redeeming for a 2/3 match format. The game’s damage will still be plenty high enough where matches won’t take forever in a 3/5 match. It will give people more time to win and adjust over the things that can easily make the matches based more on momentum than back and forth battles of attacks and combos.
People before had brought up the changing the damage setting thing but I don’t think that’s such a great idea since the guys that do the most damage will still the most damage any way and they will still get really strong benefits off resets any way. Not to mention it forces a change of the game’s mechanics and the ways damage is distributed against things like the strategy guide.
What I’m ultimately trying to do is make a poll that will last for about 5 weeks to see the results I get. If enough are in favor of changing MVC3/UMVC3 to a game of 3/5 match format I’d like to see the results get passed along to anyone important who plays or runs MVC3 tournaments seriously or any Evo staff members that holds serious MVC3 tournaments.