There are a whopping two arcade machine series on Earth that I can beat consistently on one purchase, regardless of sequel number or difficulty setting: Soul Caliber and Marvel vs. Capcom.
The key to Soul Caliber, you see, is Maxi and his awesome ability to start spinning his nunchuks, never pausing for a break as he beats the sweet bejeebus out of any and all opponents. Just mash the buttons, bimbo. Why didn’t you think of that?
And Marvel vs. Capcom 2? Iron Man, War Machine and Cable will destroy any and all challengers from their cozy little far corner of the screen, sending a constant and unfair barrage of projectile after projectile at those who dare to cross them.
Am I excited about the announcement of Marvel vs. Capcom 3? Damn straight. But instead of just cheesing my way to the top once it is released, I’d instead like to offer some sober, sane advice for potential new characters to add to the roster of the game to increase the fun. I’d like to, in short, give back to the game that has done so much for my self-esteem.
You’re welcome, Capcom.
Here are eight amazing characters that could turn Marvel vs. Capcom 3 into the most awesome fighting game of all time.
The Capcom Side of the House:
The Loop Master (1944: The Loop Master)
Ah, the loop. A move so devastating that it is banned in the Geneva Conventions as inhumane torture against pilots who cannot perfect it. To be good at the loop is to be able to defeat any and all airplanes, battleships, submarines, bigger airplanes that shoot wide arcs of bullets and blimps full of weapons upgrades. Who better to represent Capcom than one such person who is not just good at flying in loops but is, in fact, the master of such a deadly technique?
Can Wolverine do loops? Could he even reach an airplane shooting at him? No. The Loop Master and his awesome aircraft are a natural choice for Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
A Cadillac (Cadillacs and Dinosaurs)
Mega Man. Strider. Captain Commando. Marvel vs. Capcom games are a haven for lots of titular characters already, but sadly there is no Cadillac. Give the vehicular abuse caused by numerous Street Fighters in the past, the addition of A Cadillac would finally allow players to exact their vehicular manslaughter-based revenge upon those who would punch, electrify or try and fail to spinning piledriver a car. A Cadillac just makes sense, much more sense than dinosaurs. Sorry, dinosaurs.
Dozens of Barricades (Knights of the Round)
There are only two types of things in this world, my friend: Barrels left lying around full of delicious fruits and meats, and Dozens of Barricades that impede your forward progress and channel you into death traps. Armed with sharp ends and somewhat solid wood construction, Dozens of Barricades are naturally a better choice than Barrels Full of Deliciousness for a fighting game. No foe fought Arthur, Percival and Lancelot more bravely and no character better represents the long, tedious side-scrolling war to save Camelot than Dozens of Barricades.
Treasure Chest Wizard (Super Ghouls and Ghosts)
Everyone seems really stoked to have Arthur from Ghouls and Ghosts as a playable character in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, but the sad truth is that Arthur is and always has been a doomed pussy. Hit him once and he becomes a shameful and humble naked man. Hit him twice and he dies. Delay him for three minutes and he also dies. Even if you were to somehow win with Arthur you would find yourself having to go through it all again on an even harder difficulty to reach his actual ending. Or if Capcom is feeling super sadistic, sometimes you’ll have to beat the damned game three times to reach the ACTUAL REAL END.
The one true badass in Super Ghouls and Ghosts is the dreaded Treasure Chest Wizard. Oh, you were expecting some armor or maybe a lance? Screw you, hippy. You’re now a duck. Or an old man. Or a baby. Or a woman. Or a goddamned seal. Think about it: Turning the Incredible Hulk into a baby. You know you want to.
We may never get to play through Ghouls and Ghosts as the true powerhouse of that game, but if we are lucky we just might get to play through Marvel vs. Capcom 3 as him.
The Marvel Side of the House:
Rusty Collins (New Mutants)
Rusty Collins. Imagine playing as Rusty Collins. Few names strike terror into their enemy’s hearts as the name of the legendary powerhouse known only as Rusty Collins.
As part of Marvel’s most awesome and beloved team The New Mutants, Rusty Collins is a true asskicking machine whose lack of inclusion in the first two games of the series is a significant oversight on the part of both Marvel and Capcom. Rusty Collins currently cannot team up with Servbot. He cannot brawl with Doctor Doom. He cannot whoop the ass of Ryu. As a comic book nerd par excellence, I have no frickin’ idea what Rusty Collins does, but that doesn’t stop Rusty Collins from being awesome. Gifted mutant? Mixed drink of some sort? Republican Senator from Tennessee? Who cares, just add him to the game already, Marvel.
3-D Man (Somebody’s Awesome Imagination)
The case for 3-D Man is easy. One, he will confuse Capcom fanboys who don’t remember fighting against him in any Mega Man game that they can remember. Two, his superpower is being as strong, agile, tough and smart as THREE NORMAL HUMANS. In one body. Three, his cutscenes can involve his eternal battle against Triple-Evil which includes his forming a not-so-popular religion called Triune Understanding. See, it involves the fact that the Triple-Evil is formed by bad energy put out from his awesome powers of being AS COOL AS THREE PEOPLE AT ONCE and through this understanding perhaps people could defeat Triple-Evil once and for all.
Awesome has three dimension, three sides and three times the stamina of you or me.
Squirrel Girl (Great Lakes Avengers)
Yeah, so if you’re going to include Deadpool in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (and you are), you also have to throw in at least one member of the Great Lakes Avengers. And if it has to be one, it has to be Squirrel Girl.
Imbued with larger-than normal incisors, tiny claws and an empathic bond with squirrels, Squirrel Girl represents everything that is right in comic books. She and her fellow Great Lakes Avengers battle middling-to-semi-annoying evil throughout the heartland of America. And sometimes they even win.
Imagine the awesomeness of gnawing on the face of your foe, trying to crack his skull open like a delicious acorn. Or hiding your enemy in the trunk of a tree so that you might survive the winter. Or using your only somewhat prehensile tail to kind of do agile things.
Beta Ray Bill (Thor series)
Let’s face it: Thor, the Norse God of Thunder, who wields Mjolnir, a mythical hammer of total awesomeness, is too bad-assed to include in a fighting game. Nobody is going to win against that. But his second-rate horse-headed knockoff space alien cyborg sidekick? Now we’re talking.
Beta Ray Bill once traveled to Earth on a spaceship named Skuttlebutt. Seriously. The impending arrival of Skuttlebutt worried Colonel Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. so much that he sent Thor to investigate because the Norse God of Thunder has nothing better to do than to check out every spaceship that passes by. On that ship was a man. A Cyborg Horse-Man named Beta Ray Bill.
Beta Ray Bill has not only been to Asgard, land of the Norse Gods, but also to Asgard, Oklahoma. He once kicked Thor’s ass in a wrestling match that took place in a lake of fire and all he got was a second-rate knockoff hammer that isn’t as cool as Mjolnir. He oftentimes loses fights that would be too uncool for Thor to lose (nevermind that Thor lost to Beta Ray Bill, resident protector of Skuttlebutt). And he has a horse head because he was “built to resemble a terrifying monster.”
If the real thing is too much, go for the cheap second-rate version to maintain playability and fairness. Beta Ray Bill is no Thor, and in this case that is entirely the point. Any worries about having a cat-girl from some Capcom game ruining Thor’s swagger go right out the window. Thor still looks like an immortal badass who is above fighting the main character from Plasma Sword and Beta Ray Bill retains his meaning in the universe by losing fights that Marvel would never even make Thor participate in.
Marvel and Capcom have a real opportunity to make something special here, and I hope they heed my advice and add the characters listed to the game so that we all might get the opportunity to play as some of the most beloved and cherished members of the mutually amazing lexicon of both their combined universes. In the immortal words of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, “Make it so!”
(Also make me a Capcom vs. Star Trek fighting game. Borg Queen vs. Phoenix Wright? AWESOME.)