And all of a sudden there are more fighting games than we know what to do with. Street Fighter X Tekken, Tekken X Street Fighter, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Dead or Alive: Dimensions, King of Fighters, BlazBlue, and now, after a decade's hiatus, a new Marvel vs. Capcom game.
But what's it all about? It's been a long time since we played a Marvel vs. Capcom game. Our memory is a little hazy. Luckily producer Ryota Niitsuma is on hand to quarter circle forward our brain back into gear.
Eurogamer: For those who've never played a Marvel vs. Capcom game before, but have re-entered the fighting genre through Street Fighter IV, how does this differ?
Ryota Niitsuma: While Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is quite different from Street Fighter IV, any fighting genre fan should be able to enjoy it. It's quite accessible.
It will be accessible in the way that the control scheme is much easier than Street Fighter IV's. Street Fighter IV, the analogy Capcom producers often use is, it is a chess game. You have to see what your opponent is going to think and launch.
Marvel vs. Capcom is quite simple. Just by pressing the buttons you can launch aerial combos and so on. It's a different type of fighting game.
Eurogamer: For hardcore fans, what changes have you made to the fighting engine used in Marvel vs. Capcom 2?
Ryota Niitsuma: If you've played Marvel vs. Capcom 3 you'll know the balance of the game and direction is based on Marvel vs. Capcom 2. Therefore, they can play 3 quite easily.
Having said that we have inputted some new elements for the core fans to enjoy as well.
Eurogamer: What are the new elements?
Ryota Niitsuma: Long story short, you can launch an aerial combo by pressing one button. When you change the player mid-air, and also even with the same players, there are three selections you can go for. My analogy is the rock-paper-scissors game. The depth of the system under the fighting play is there for the core fan to enjoy.
Eurogamer: How do you go about balancing the superhero characters, many of whom are insanely powerful, so that they are not overpowered versus the Capcom characters?
Ryota Niitsuma: Yeah, it's a good question. When you think about it, when you're reading the character descriptions or if you know everything about the characters and their settings - even Ryu, he may be able to launch a hadoken, but he's only a mere mortal against the Marvel characters.
Having said that, we have to incorporate all the characters and balance them up. I started off thinking about deleting all the superheroes' natural powers to start with and picking up any powers I can incorporate into the game to balance it out.
Some of the characters are immortal. They can live forever. You have to take it as it is, you know what I mean? Otherwise the game wouldn't exist.
Eurogamer: Which character has proved to be the most difficult to balance?
Ryota Niitsuma: Hulk and Thor, they are huge in size. In comparison to those guys – we're just talking about the revealed characters at the moment – Amaterasu from Okami?, he's only about this height [lowers hand to the floor].
So against Hulk it's quite difficult to ensure the animation of the movement and effects are right. That was quite difficult to balance up.