Marvel vs. Capcom 3 might have come out in 2011, but players are still finding impactful surprises. This is what happens when gamers keep pushing and poking at a fighting game they love. Suddenly a powerful character like Phoenix has had a new weakness exposed.
Mirroring her status as one of the most powerful mutants in the Marvel Comics universe, Phoenix has been a constant threat in the last six years of competition. Smart tactics have been devised over time to deal with her overwhelming abilities, but a newly-discovered glitch bypasses some of the most troubling aspects of her gameplay.
On Sunday, a YouTuber named Finisher of war posted his discovery of the glitch, which was subsequently reported about on Shoryuken (a site I used to work for). This bug works as a counter to Phoenix’s dangerous transformation into Dark Phoenix, a devastating change that triggers when she is killed and turns her into an absolute wrecking ball of speed and power.
The glitch involves capturing Phoenix with Firebrand’s unique Bon Voyage attack and damaging them both with Viewtiful Joe’s bomb assist. Although she still resurrects, killing Phoenix in this way negates her shift to Dark Phoenix. You can see it demoed in the clip atop this post.
Previously, most anti-Phoenix strategies have involved intricate setups that take advantage of her incredibly low health, Finisher of war’s findings are different in that it prevents her from turning into Dark Phoenix entirely.
But let’s be clear: this isn’t the end of Phoenix as we know her. The tactic displayed above is incredibly situational, relying on the use of a rather unorthodox team and precise timing. It’s yet to be put through the rigors of high-level competition and unlikely to change the competitive landscape quite like the DHC glitch and TAC infinites. What it does indicate, however, is that the six-year-old Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is still being unpacked.
The fighting game community tends to move on as soon as a new version of their favorite title is released. There are exceptions of course—Super Street Fighter II Turbo and Super Smash Bros. Melee immediately spring to mind—but it’s generally accepted that older games are phased out as soon as follow-ups become available. As such, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is expected to make room for the recently revealed Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite when it launches later this year.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3 has been a mainstay of the competitive scene since its release in 2011, and the quick launch of the Ultimate upgrade intensified player devotion. For many, the franchise’s breakneck pace and intense gameplay represent the pinnacle of the fighting genre, and it’s hard to imagine a major tournament moving forward without at least one of these Vs. titles in its lineup. But instead of letting Marvel vs. Capcom 3 go gentle into that good night, the community has rallied around it, aiming to give their game a well-deserved send-off in preparation for Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. In a weird way, this glitch is a love letter to a series that has been endearingly janky since its inception.
Six years later, the excitement surrounding Marvel vs. Capcom 3 competition is as high as it’s ever been. Advocates like Samantha “Persia” Hancock and Hayden “Kinderparty” Griswold have increased its profile with a weekly Marvel-centric talk show, and fighting game legend Michael “IFC Yipes” Mendoza has even expanded his popular Curleh Mustache invitational series into a year-long tournament circuit. Whether Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite proves to be a worthy successor is inconsequential; the series itself will continue to be the perfect representative for fighting game competition thanks the community’s passion to keep on grinding.
Ian Walker is a fighting game expert and freelance writer. You can find him on Twitter at @iantothemax.