The Argument For Marvel Vs. Capcom 3's Super-Simple Controls

Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 has an optional control scheme that might horrify hardcore fighting fans. But please, the company recently pleaded, give "simple" mode a chance.

For those of you (me!) who struggle to throw fireballs in fighting games and who fear they will never master the combos needed to perform the most dramatic finishing moves, Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 has "simple" mode. Capcom's fighting game expert Seth Killian recently showed me the mode and then, a day later, dared to play it at New York Comic-Con in front of a room of yelling, hardcore fighting game fans — the kind of fans who boo things like simple mode or suggestions that a Mega Man character from the Battle Network series should be added to the game.

Simple Mode reduces fighting game complexity to a few button presses. One button performs all basic punches and kicks, mixing them in as you tap away. Another button does special moves: one special without the control stick pressed; another with it pressed in any direction; and a pair more with and without the stick tilted while the character is in the air. One button for a super. Character assists from other heroes, as is standard in the series, are still triggered with individual button presses.

Here's Killian showing the mode off at Comic-Con, playing it oh-so-casually.

The Simple Mode is a reduced mode that removes many of the moves from a character's repertoire. For example, Killian said, Dante from Devil May Cry has 40 special moves in standard Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 and only four in simple mode. Dante has two supers in normal; one in simple mode.

Killian said the mode was added to Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 to allow players who are intimidated by fighting games to enjoy some of the cool spectacle of fighting games. Capcom included a similar mode in their Wii fighting game Tatsunoko vs. Capcom and hope this mode will expand the audience for players of their games.

Simple Mode gamers won't be able to see all the good stuff nor do all the best moves. Because of that, Killian believes, they get a taste, but they won't be able to claim the glory gained by hard study, practice and the dexterity of the best quarter-circle-turners.

Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is set for release next spring on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Update: As I reported this story, I wasn't sure if a Simple Mode player could compete against a normal mode player. A Capcom representative with whom I followed up after publishing this post said the two can face-off, online and offline. But the rep couldn't reveal how that system works, let alone what filtering options might be afforded to players who don't want to mix modes.