When Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was announced, near 10 years after the second, I was cautiously optimistic. Street Fighter IV and then Super Street Fighter IV were spectacular - blowing away my expectations (even if I never got beyond an amateur ranking). As more and more reports starting coming out about how well balanced and less spammy the game was, I became more interested - but still a little skeptical. My roommate and her viking picked up MVC3 on PS3 just the other day, and I've had about 3 ~ 4 hours to play it... and it turns out, I'm pretty happy with it!
Since I've changed my career from game design to marketing & IT, I've become less and less an ardent gamer. I just don't have the time or the willingness to devote countless hours to perfecting gameplay technique. But I managed to get into MVC3 pretty easily, since it takes much of the basic principles of the latest refined fighting games and the arcade originals, while making sure to balance out the characters so no one character or team totally dominates the game. I've managed to play with roughly 2/3rd the roster in training mode, and I've gotten used to several teams in arcade mode. While it's sure to change, I seem to enjoy having one character I'm comfortable with do a lot of the work from medium to close range and build up the special bar (C. Viper and Felicia), one character that's decent up close and also fills up the bar quickly (Ryu, Dante & Morrigan), and one longer-range character with specials that land pretty easily that's also good at launching opponents (Iron Man, Cap and Taskmaster). I'll continue experimenting with teams and tag attacks, and I'm hoping to become better with at least one or two more characters (I'm warming up to X-23, Spidey, and Morrigan) and different styles of characters (I wanna try out Doom, Haggar, Tron Bonne, Super Skrull, and Amaterasu). One of the only consistent things I have noticed about my play style - I tag a LOT. Since I'm still not particularly good, this has been saving my butt, as my team members end up regenerating a lot of energy.
I have no real intention to become that good at MVC3, but it's cool that I'm enjoying it and that I at least stand a modest chance in a match. It seems Capcom probably spent most of their development time in balancing out the characters, which makes sense if they hope to capture more than just the arcade expert market. My impression of MVC2 started high, and steadily went downhill, because of how slanted it was (the hairy 70's porno music didn't help). With MVC3, it's been the opposite... My expectations started low-to-moderate, but my opinion of it keeps going up the more I play it. I'm glad I have another fighting game that I can enjoy, even if I don't devote my entire life to learning how to exploit it.