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Why does Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 feel better than Marvel Infinite? Maximilian highlights one small mechanic that seems to make a big difference

And no, it's not just because it has X-Men

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • September 4, 2020 at 5 p.m. PDT • Comments: 33

We're just a few weeks away from the infamous Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite's third birthday and Maximilian recently took a brief look back at the 2017 title to point out just one small, but crucial design choice that made it feel less satisfying to play than its predecessor.

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was an absolute fan favorite for virtually all of its competitive lifespan, and while its general success (as well as Marvel Infinite's general failure) is most definitely multifaceted, something as simple as screen shake effects can actually go a very long way in fighting games.

So that's the big difference maker: screen shake. Max shows us some visuals of both games as he performs attacks of varying strengths and, with the use of some extreme close ups, we get to see how even light attacks that land successfully send slight vibrations through the background settings in UMvC3.

As you might expect at this point, the same cannot be said for MvCI as developers heavily toned down this particular feature for this particular title. The exception is the use of the activated Power Stone, which recreates something approximating a 7.0 earthquake on the Richter scale, but backgrounds remain unsatisfyingly static almost all of the rest of the time.

Indeed, this kind of feature is something that tends to register more with the subconscious more than in the forefront of our brains, but it's also an extremely prevalent tool that pops up (or doesn't) almost constantly. I recall years ago trying to articulate why God of War 2 was so incredibly fun to play, and ultimately decided that the sound, shake, and general animations that came from Kratos' most routine attacks simply felt consistently fun to execute.

I also recall the fact that Capcom reduced the amount of screen shake in Street Fighter 4 during the transition from the vanilla to Super versions of the game. My character, Gouken was one of the few who retained a shakey move or two, and that was one of the things that made him particularly satisfying to control.

There is, of course, so such thing as too much of a good thing. When it becomes at all harder to process what exactly is going on (especially in a game as chaotic as a Marvel vs. Capcom title) you can run into a situation where the pluses don't outweigh the minuses, but I think it's safe to say that MvCI could have used a bit more of this.

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