Deadpool’s cool and Zero’s a hero, but the reason for “Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds” appeal for me is simple — as in the “simple” setting.

Fighting games are a lot of fun, but I have to admit that I’m not very good at them. I’ve played so many that I can’t possibly remember any of the super combinations that provide the key to victory. As a result, I can do pretty well in solo modes but get creamed by 12-year-olds with twitchy fingers and good memories.

The “simple” setting allows you to activate special moves and hyper combo attacks with quick presses of a button or two. Such attacks normally require moving the joystick in a specific pattern and then pressing a button. Since there are dozens of characters, I’m lost before I can memorize the patterns for three or four. As a tradeoff, the number of special moves is limited in the “simple” setting — but there are enough for me to stand my ground.

The basic story behind Capcom’s T-rated game is that Albert Wesker — the evil behind the zombies in “Resident Evil” — has invited Dr. Doom, Magneto and other Marvel Comics baddies to join forces to conquer their worlds. Of course this story gets practically no exposition in the actual game. In the arcade mode, you select three characters for a team. You then face off against several sets of foes before battling the final, very difficult boss. Then the game ends. Not much story there.

However, you play these games to fight, not to experience great storytelling or character development. Because of that, “Fate of Two Worlds” delivers the goods — especially in head-to-head competition.

The game offers dozens of characters from Marvel comic books and from Capcom video games. Marvel characters include Spider-Man, Wolverine, Thor and Iron Man. Capcom characters are a little less famous, except to gamers. They include Chris Redfield from “Resident Evil,” Dante from “Devil May Cry” and Morrigan from “Darkstalkers.” Each has a unique set of attacks and special moves based on their comic or game abilities.

Before heading into battle, you select three members of your team. The matches are basically tag-team battles. You can switch fighters in and out during combat to take advantage of different attacks or to allow a character to heal a bit. When a fighter’s health is depleted, he’s eliminated. When all three fighters on one of the teams are eliminated, the match ends.

The competition is very lively and thoroughly enjoyable. The characters’ abilities are very well balanced so results depend more on player skill than on character selection. The controls are very smooth and responsive — even for those with terrible memories for combinations. And the resulting attacks can be quite spectacular, with plenty of entertaining maneuvers and an occasional explosion.

The graphics are good, though you really don’t have much time to enjoy them with all of the action exploding before your eyes.

In addition to the arcade mode and head-to-head fighting, the game offers a training mode and a series of brief missions, both of which are best used to prepare for head-to-head matches.

Bottom line: B-

“Fate of Two Worlds” is a pretty standard fighting game — fun but not spectacular. However, that “simple” setting makes it a big winner in my book.

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3


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