The thing about fan-service in games is that, over time, if you as a developer give in to the demands that any fan base makes, there's a likelihood that the game series will start to suck. It's because most gamers only have a general idea of what they enjoy in a title, only a small inkling of what actually makes the game fun. Most gamers in general, if asked, would demand the same characters over and over again only because they don't realize anything different is out there. When left unexposed to any new possibilities, gamers will happily demand 'more of the same but better', a staple demand that often times cannot realistically be met. So taking a look at MvC3, a game that has literally been in demand for somewhere close to a decade, you always have to wonder if Capcom and Marvel are making the right choices.
Naturally, there's always going to be the feeling for more. Even presented with a list of 30 over characters, it's hard not to beg for more knowing how much fun the general chaos of it all will be. But as far as for the characters that have been announced, it's hard to really complain. All of the core favorites made it, and a few unexpected, but welcome, challengers bring something that every single game, let alone a fighter, needs: change. Let's take a look at what each side of the ring has to offer, and what we could possibly expect in the near future.
Honestly, I didn't expect Capcom's cast to engage me in any way, but the more they kept announcing the more I was at least pleasantly surprised. Fan and company favorites Ryu, Morrigan and Akuma wormed their way into the game fairly quick, and the intro trailer already prepared us all for Chris Redfield. Lucky for us all, Capcom kept things fairly simple from there on in, revealing little, but at the same time showcasing how dynamic their cast could be. Characters have a pretty wide variety of not only moves, but size and range as well, and though Capcom only has a narrow selection of realistic 'fighters' they've taken it upon themselves to adapt more notable main characters from various franchises instead.
The result is a cast that almost stands up against Marvel's side of the roster, strange and colorful video game characters that work against the almost serious nature of the super hero side. Completely ignoring the Street Fighter entries that found their way into the game, characters like Zero, Amaterasu and Tron Bonne really lend that extra bit of silliness that made MvC2 so much fun. Additionally, a lot of Marvel's side of the playing field was really set in stone - Capcom had to directly work with whatever powers the hero already had - choosing characters for Capcom's roster became a task of 'fill in the blank'. It's pretty safe to assume that Dante, Spencer, or Wesker will all be filling very specific roles that the Marvel cast simply could not.
On the other hand we have Marvel's roster, which if left to the fans would probably consist of every single Marvel character from MvC2 minus perhaps Omega Red. Thankfully the developers made the right choice and only introduced a few of the more popular ones: Wolverine, Storm, Magneto, for example. leaving the rest of the roster wide open for the more dynamic members of the Marvel universe. While I can't like and say that every single choice was perfect (She-Hulk and X-23 felt like a waste), seeing Marvel tap into their cast of less-used villains and heroes really was a blast.
Naturally only time will tell how much fun M.O.D.O.K. will really be, but all things considered, comic book fans really have little to complain about. Thor, Task Master and Dormammu are absolutely fantastic additions, with Deadpool being the icing on the cake for many fans of the 4th wall breaking merc. Not to mention the characters chosen generally represent some very different styles, if not in their attacks than in style and visual appearance. Again, the important thing here is the combination of characters that we're extremely familiar with and the characters that the general player base don't really have any experience with at all. Forcing players to try new things, while still providing plenty of options for those more interested in sticking with familiarity, is what game design is all about; and though there will always be those few characters we wished would of made it in, that's what DLC is for, right?