Category Archives: In-Depth Review

Something about this comic/product caught my eye, for good or for worse, and a paragraph or two wasn’t enough to make my opinion clear on said item.

Savage Land Unlimited Highlights: Needs more Chtylok

Chtylok Love in Super Hero Squad!

I have a fever, and the only prescription is more Chytlok.  This week for my Marvel.com Unlimited Highlights we covered the Savage Land, which Skaar, the son of the Incredible Huk, will be conquering come April.

The Savage Land is a prehistoric paradise populated by creatures, flora, and fauna that have gone extinct on the surface world.  It exists as the missing link between the present and the past.  Did I mention that dinosaurs roam the wilds of this incredible ecosystem?

It’s true!  The place has dinosaurs, cave men, mastodons, you name it, it’s there.  However during this week’s Unlimited Highlights, which you can check out here, I was surprised to find that probably the most astounding creature of the Savage Land was left woefully out: Chytlok!  From the unholy union of Todd Dezago and Mike Wieringo’s meat preferences comes a creature most foul, a 25-foot tall half chicken half cow monstrosity that can go toe-to-toe with the Hulk!  Look at this thing, how can you not love it?

Chtylok!!!

A lot of my love for this freakish poultry/beef fusion dance conglomeration springs from pure nostalgia.  Before my sixteenth birthday I rarely got comics and the books that I did get my hands on I read cover to cover, over and over ’til they fell apart.  I owned the first appearance of the Chtylok in The Sensational Spider-Man #13 all the way back in 1997.  The plot isn’t important, though from what I remember it’s ridiculously awesome (If Stegron’s in it, what do you expect?), but just the sheer ridiculosity of Chtylok rings true in my memory.

It’s a 25-foot tall and half chicken, half cow, a great example of how much fun writers and artists can have with the Savage Land.  It’s a land of infinite possibilities, created by aliens, filled with extinct or unheard of creatures from Earth’s past, and ready to be exploited by creators everywhere.  I don’t know how much else I can say about this crazy chicken creature, it was only in two issues, except I hope that eventually someone brings back the Chtylok because honestly, it was so much fun to read!  Please Marvel writers, bring me some more Chtylok!

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MVC3 Character Analysis: Tron Bonne

Gustaff is a go go!

The devious diva and mechanical savant Tron  Bonne makes her second appearance in the MVC series with the release of MVC3.  However, unlike in the previous title where she was relegated to Assist Land and Chip Damage-ville, this time around she’s looking a lot more viable on point.

First impressions: Tron fanboys rejoice!  No longer will you need to drill non-stop, sending Tron careening around the screen like a kid in desperate need of Ritalin.  Nope, now she’s got an unblockable command grab, a great launcher, solid range on her normals, and heaps of other goodness!  Not only that but her mech Gustaff looks phenomenal.  Now let me take you for a ride!

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

Video 4 Seth Killian Mini Walkthrough

Normals
Tron looks like she has absolutely awesome normal moves.  She has a solid standing magic series with ridiculous range on her standing hard attack and jumping hard attack, which can cross-up (Video 4 – 2:04).  Her hard attacks do heaps of damage at the cost of disgusting recovery time, so either cancel them into the Drill for some added safety or prepare to get hurt.  Her aerial hard attack can be pushed twice and on the second hit it causes a downward wall bounce, which leads to TONS of new combo opportunities (Video 2 – :22). Also I love her low medium attack, the spiked wrecking ball type move, because it can be mixed into her standing strings, comes out fast, hits hard, and can be used to start some absolutely wicked combos (Video 2 – :21).

Loving this attack! "Ouchie my toes!"

The range on her aerial medium attack, the dumpster type move, is ridiculous too and for such a far-reaching attack it comes out fast (Video 2 – 1:25).  Then we have her launcher, which looks like a stationary projectile (Video 1 – 1:57).  As such it probably doesn’t have a punishable hitbox.  It has decent vertical range, decent horizontal range, and can be connected after her Drill special for even more crazy attacks.  Loathful recovery though.  I’m loving the way Tron’s normals are shaping up!

Specials
The Drill
This was the king, or queen, of annoying moves in MVC2.  Tron would
make a nuisance of herself by rocketing across the screen doing great chip damage and applying pressure but that was about it.  In MVC3 her Drill play is just as prominent but also serves to supplement her array of awesome normals and create mind games for landing her unblockable command grab.  Basically one of Gustaff’s arms transforms into a drill and she quickly charges across the screen doing damage.  It can be done on the ground (Video 2 – :18) as well as in the air (Video 1 – :28).

It can be comboed into from her standing medium (Video 4 – 1:29), and her standing hard (Video 2 – :21) which actually puts them in an aerial state, unlike the medium Drill cancel.  If the Drill connects on the ground you have the option of a launching your opponent and ending the aerial combo with yet another Drill (Video 4 – 3:06) OR using her normals to continue into meaty combo chains near the ground with the possibility of sick OTG setups, downward wall bounces for relaunching, or hyper combos (Video 2 – :23). The strength of the attack and the distance travelled depend on the button pressed, and it seems to be generally assumed that the short Drill is safe on block.  Whether or not that’s true remains to be seen.

I mentioned above the drill will be a key component in her pressure game, and that’s true, but what makes it really stupendous is its ultra fast startup and super quick recovery if you’re using the short Drill.  With the opponent in the corner you can apply disgusting amounts of pressure and when you’ve trained them to block the Drill, BOOM, unblockable command grab or Level 3 unblockable command grab for huge damage!  Tron is going to be very dangerous in the corner.  Believe it!

Burn baby burn, Gustaff inferno!

Boulder Toss
Tron picks up a massive boulder and throws it at the enemy (Video 1 – :27).  I haven’t seen this move utilized very often so I can’t comment on how it works, though I would assume that the button pressed determines the strength of the attack and the distance the boulder travels.  The boulder has a pretty dang big hitbox and it travels full screen-ish, but other than that?  Maybe it negates projectiles like hadoken’s or soul sparks?  Maybe it does damage as she picks the rock up, sort of like Thor’s Mighty Spark start-up?  We’ll just have to wait and see!

Servbot Air Raid
Tron launches one of her little robot buddies into the air at an upward 45 degree angle where they slowly propeller to the ground dealing damage to anyone who hits them during their descent (Video 1 – :39).  This move has a bunch of start-up, so while Servbots are shot upwards, you’re dreaming if you think you can use them as reliable anti-air projectiles.  It also appears that the button pushed affects the height of the Servbot shot (Video 1 – :39).  I’m guessing light pops the Servbot out at the launch point right in front of Tron, medium puts them a little higher about 2 character widths away, and hard launches the Servbot out of the screen about 3 characters away.

While it seems like Tron will be more of a rushdown/mind games character with her Drill special and unblockable command grab, this move adds a little diversity to her arsenal.  If she’s getting rushed and manages to make some space she can pepper the screen with her mini minions.  Like Amaterasu’s paper slash special, it forces attackers to rethink their method of closing the distance between them and Tron, putting her at an advantage.  It’s raining Servbots, Hallelujah!

Cap about to get pwnd after a Serbot Assault.

Servbot Assault
Tron fires a small targeting reticule horizontally or at an upwards 45 degree angle and if the opponent is hit Tron’s loyal minions gang up on the enemy, holding them helpless for a short amount of time.  It can be done on the ground (Video 4 – 1:08) and in the air (Video 1 – :43).  However,  it comes out slow, is remarkably obvious, and takes a while to hit, leaving Tron mad open for punishment, and probably whiffs on small characters due to the height of the shot (Video 3 – :47).  As you can see the shot goes totally over Spider-Man due to his shorter hitbox.  Other character’s it’ll likely whiff on: most crouching characters, Amaterasu, Viewtiful Joe, Arthur, and Spider-Man all the time.

It might be salvageable if this move is viable during combos, like after a wall bounce or mini launcher.  If that were the case I can imagine a lot more uses for this move.  Especially if you were attempting to fit it in a combo string that resembles the one at :20 in Video 2.  If you could pull it off after the first Drill at :22, which pops Wolverine up a little, or after the downward wall bounce hard attack at :24, I can see her inventing some really nasty combos, resets, and possibly even infinites.  Imagine, Drill into Servbot Assault into jumping hard attack x 2, downward wall bounce, Servbot Assault into jumping hard attack x 2, etc.  Unlikely?  Absolutely, but that would be awesome!

Tron looking a bit too excited

Command Grab
I am loving the sheer number of characters with unblockable command grabs in this game!  Tron grabs her foe, flips them upside down, and smashes their heads into the ground while spinning them around Gustaff (Video 1 – :31).  The grab does some great damage but the recovery on hit isn’t that great and Tron ends up tossing the enemy to the edge of the screen they were attacking from, which could be an entire screen away.  Tron wants them in the corner!

While grabbing in the Vs. series has never been a huge component of any character’s game, in MVC3 grabs open up a lot of new pressure and combo possibilities.  You’re not going to be throwing out grabs willy nilly, you’re going to need to hide them inside Tron’s awesome pressure strings, a.k.a. after light Drill pressure in the corner.  Train the enemy to expect a drill and then boom!  Unblockable command grab that can be assist OTG’ed ala Deadpool’s Katanarama, X-23, and Wesker.  LOVING THIS GRAB STUFF!

Hypers
King Servbot
Her cute little minion transforms and becomes a mechanical engine of adorable destruction, pounding Tron’s enemies with a gigantic inflatable hammer (Video 1 – 1:01).  You can combo this off of her aerial hard downward wall bounce attack in the corner (for sure) and it hits regardless if the King gets them with his hammer (Video 1 – 1:01) or they’re just trapped in his enormous hitbox (Video 2 – :24).  As you can see in Video 2 at :24, the King also hits on his growth upwards, which might be an interesting property.

I’m not quite sure how safe this attack is on block but I can’t imagine it’s totally unpunishable.  I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see, but I can see this move adding to her ludicrous ground pressure strings, chipping enemies to death, and other such shenanigans.

Blocking a shield with a shield. Talk about redundant.

Lunch Rush
This was the hyper everyone was waiting for when they announced Tron.  She fires her targeting reticule horizontally and if it hits the enemies it pops them up a bit and when they land they’re stampeded by Servbots (Video 1 – :35)!  It was a killer in MVC2 but it seems to have been toned down in this game, which I’m ok with.  It can be comboed off of the Drill (Video 2 – :39), and canceled out of her standing hard attack after a downward wall bounce (Video 2 – 1:32).  There are going to be plenty of ways to land this attack out of Tron’s bread and butters, so expect to stampede, or have your characters stampeded, often.  DO NOT use it on a whim, it leaves Tron wide open for tons of punishment.

Level 3 Command Grab
Let’s talk about juicy damage and unblockable command grabs.  Tron grabs her enemy and does an enhanced version of her normal command grab resulting in a big explosion and huge damage, around 30-40% life I think (Video 1 –  :47).  Honestly, the damage is ludicrous, but I love it!  Everything I said about the normal command grab applies her as well.  It should be utilized in the corner inside of her pressure strings.  Watch for people to make mistakes to avoid getting caught in the corner for fear of being grabbed and then punish accordingly.  This is why people will fear Tron.  ‘Nuff said.

Assists
Bandit Boulder
Tron hucks a boulder at the enemy (Video 2 – :55).  Not much to say here, good for pressure strings?

Gustaff Fire
Tron jumps in and blasts the enemy with her normal flamethrower move.

Bonne Strike
???  Possibly her Drill?

Miscellaneous
Her dashes don’t look very reliable (Video 4 – :54) but I love the way her mech Gustaff animates.  It looks brilliant.

Tron in all her feminine glory

Final Thoughts
I think Tron is going to be tons of fun to use and very dangerous.  She has wicked pressure strings, absolutely insane mind game and pressure possibilities once she gets you in the corner thanks to her wicked unblockable grabs and light Drill attack.  She can play keep away using her Servbots as cannon fodder and combo into all of her hypers off of her standard bread and butter combo strings.  She is looking very very solid and much more effective on point this time around.  Tron Bonne fanboys rejoice!

MVC3 Character Analysis: Wesker

Wesker. 'Nuff said.

Wesker
If you’ve played any of the Resident Evil games then you’ll know who this dapper gentlemen is.  Enter Albert Wesker, professional bad ass extraordinaire.  He’s hopped up on designer genes and ready to kill.  First impression: mean ass mother f*cker.

This guy seems like he might be the definition of a “counter” character.  He has an incredibly fast teleport that can be utilized in his combos, he can combo into his Level 3 super, and he’s got a great looking counter super.   Away we go!

Video 1

Video 2

Normals
From what I can see here Wesker’s normals look pretty quick and his double kick move (Video 1 – :27) can combo into his Level 3 super!  I’m not sure if that’s his medium attack or if it’s a command normal (akin to forward + medium attack) but it seems Wesker can cancel it into almost anything and it looks like a great move.  Also his low magic series seems to have some decent range.

Specials
Now while She-Hulk had some VERY obvious specials, Wesker is a little bit harder to analyze.  He’s a lot quicker than She-Hulk and his moves seem designed to counter and punish instead of rush down and crush.

Wesker's awesome double kick normal

Teleport
This is where Wesker really gets interesting.  He can teleport air to ground (Video 1 – :22), ground to air into his aerial rave finisher for some overhead combo starting action (Video 1 – :24), and ground to ground for some wicked mix-up games (Video 1 – :35).  It looks a lot more useful than Akuma’s Ashura Senkuu teleport, it’s not just a free escape, and I’m wondering if you’ll ever actually be seeing Wesker on-screen if he’s being used by a pro.

Counter Attack
At :40 of Video 1 we see Captain America attempt to smack Wesker with his shield only to have the devious antagonist teleport to his backside and launch him for a quick little aerial rave.  Now this may be his normal teleport special but looking at the distance travelled and the timing of the hit/teleport I’m thinking it’s a special move.

If it is indeed a counter special will it will have different properties depending on the button pushed?  I wouldn’t be surprised if there was at least a horizontal wall bounce option.  Does it counter projectiles?  Supers?

Wesker launching the Spider

Double Palm Strike
Wesker draws back both his arms and punches forward with some decent speed and force resulting in a horizontal wall bounce on hit (Video 1 – :55).  If Wesker lands this move in the corner it opens up a host of combo opportunities (Video 1 – :56) with the possibility of landing his Maximum Spider-esque aerial super (Capcom did a bit of editing here and you’ll notice that the super connects on Captain America, not on the previously launched Doctor Doom).

The Double Palm Strike can also be followed up with a teleport into aerial hard attack to continue a combo (Video 2 – 1:38) but is really unsafe on block (Video 2 – 1:47).  It can be cancelled into from his magic series to put some distance between Wesker and his opponent or in the corner for some serious damage.  Not too flashy but it gets the job done.

Pistol Shot
Seems pretty out-of-place when you look at the rest of Wesker’s move set.  Does he use a pistol in any of the Resident Evils?  That aside, it can be fired in the air at a downward angle and does decent chip damage (Video 1 – :46).  In Video 2 at 1:00 you can see Wesker jump in for a Pistol Shot assist that pops up the downed Tron Bonne.  This may mean that the Pistol Shot can be used on both the ground and in the air and at varying angles depending on the strength of the button pushed and possibly used to OTG.

POW right in the kisser!

Supers
The Maximum Wesker looks a lot like Spider-Man’s Maximum Spider or Cammy’s Killer Bee Assault.  It can be executed either in the air (Video 1 – 1:01) or on the ground (Video 2 – 1:43).  I’m not too sure of the safety/comboability of the aerial version but you can probably use it in an aerial rave or off of an aerial exchange.  The ground version is incredibly unsafe on block, returning Wesker to his original position where the opponent has ample time to serve him a nice steaming pile of punishment.

Re-affirming my suspicion that Wesker will be a serious counter character is his Counter Super (Video 1 – :49).   The counter hit comes out immediately after Wesker takes damage so any telegraphed Hyper Charging Star is sure to eat a juicy gut punch for about 15-20% life.  But does it counter everything: normals, specials, and supers?  What about projectiles (probably not)?  If so Wesker’s opponents are going to need to play it very safe.  No throwing out random Ultras around this ex-Umbrella monster.  Also, does it do damage relative to the move countered or just a fixed amount?  SO MANY QUESTIONS!!!

Albert’s Level 3 looks absolutely wicked and can be comboed off of his ground magic series after the double kick (Video 1 – :28).  If used in a substantial ground combo it can do around 65-70% damage to Doom.  That is monster!  ‘Nuff said.

How much do you want to bet he wears his sunglasses at night too?

Miscellaneous
His movement, walking forward/backward look remarkably slow compared to his teleports and dash, but aside from that Wesker looks awesome.  Capcom nailed his devil-may-care attitude and I’m really digging the black and purple color scheme for his attacks.  Very stylish indeed.

Final Thoughts
In the right hands I think Wesker is going to be a terror.  He may not look like much but when you take into account his teleport he becomes a whole ‘nother beast.  That being said it looks like he’ll rely, to a degree, on counters to punish but if a player gets that down… Complete global saturation!

***UPDATE***
Seth Killian has done a few walkthroughs for some of the characters that confirm some of the things I’ve said here.  Wesker’s walkthrough is below.  A few things to note:

  • His pistol is a command normal that links to his teleport (forward and hard attack)
  • He has an unblockable grab that you can combo into (Video 3 – 1:44)
  • He can combo off of his counter super (Video 4 – 1:12).  Thanks to Icytor for the info!

Video 3

Video 4

MVC3 Character Analysis: She-Hulk

The Gorgeous and Gamma-fied Jennifer Walters

She-Hulk
Alright so when a certain sultry siren, the sensational She-Hulk was revealed three weeks ago I was really excited.  Not only is she one of my favorite Marvel heroines, but now MVC3 sports another Hulk on the roster!  The more smashing the better.

Let’s start this off with my first impression: She-Hulk is a big, green, gamma-irradiated version of El Fuerte from SF4.  She’s got a ton more mobility than her cousin and Jen’s obviously been watching a ton of pro wrestling lately.  She’s got a dropkick, a butt slam, and a few other moves that would look right at home coming off a turnbuckle.  Let’s get into this shall we?

Video 1

Video 2

Normals
Her normals don’t look too amazing in these videos.  She’s got some range on her low magic series but everything else just looks pretty… normal.  Her launcher seems to come off at a strange angle, a sort of low donkey kick, and like her low magic series it has some range and can be comboed from her low string.

Shukie's launcher

Specials
This is where She-Hulk shines.  In an effort to differentiate Jen from her musclebound male counterpart, Capcom gave her a huge boost in the mobility department.  So much so she resembles Street Fighter 4’s El Fuerte and in the right hands she’s going to be incredibly difficult to get a bead on.

The Track Stance
The resemblances start with her track stance (most clearly seen in Video 1 at :57).  It allows her a ton of options for a quick, mobile, mix-up offense.  The first move out of the track stance is a dash.  You can differentiate between her normal and special because the stance dash is quicker and she’s covered in a green aura.  From there she can do a Blanka-esque sliding punch that OTGs and with enough meter, combos into super.  She can also do a clothesline that crumples on hit (Video 2 – 1:16) but it hits high so opponents might be able to crouch under it.

From the track stance she can also perform an incredibly fast backwards leap into a wall jump with two options: 1) a butt slam that may have overhead qualities and causes a downward wall bounce, 2) a dropkick that causes a horizontal wall bounce that can combo into She-Hulk’s anti-air super (maybe), and 3) a body slam that causes a downward wall bounce.  She also seems to have a flash kick type move with anti-air properties (Video 1 – :39).

Only Hulks looks good in green and purple!

Aside from her track stance, the most important thing I noticed in this video was an anti-air grab (Video 1 – :35), much like SF4 Abel’s Falling Sky, that instantly dizzies like Alex’s Stun Gun Headbutt super in Street Fighter Third Strike.  Now it’s unclear if Trish was stunned from the grab or because she’d taken a beating before hand but if it was an instant dizzy from the grab… well you better watch out!

It looks like a SUPER dangerous move with potentially devastating results especially if it means a free super after connection!  I’m wondering if the strength of the button pushed changes the angle of the grab…  Regardless, if this grab does what I think it does, She-Hulk is going to be a force to be reckoned with.

Supers
She-Hulk has a few interesting super options that all seem to be comboable with the exception of her Level 3 which looks to be a sort of grab super.  The first one we see at the beginning of the first video (:28) combos off her track stance OTG sliding punch.  She drop kicks her enemy,  jumps off the wall, body slams them, then jumps off the wall and butt slams them for decent damage.  This might also be comboable after her track stance wall jump drop kick move.

Shulkie's anti-air super. Spin cycle baby!

Shulkie also has an anti-air super that can be seen at the end of video 1 (:57).  Right after she drop kicks Trish (There seems to a be a bit of editing here to make it look like she combos out of the drop kick.  She doesn’t, though it may still be possible.)  you can see Trish above her head.  Ms. Walters then proceeds to grab Dante’s unlucky demon mother clone (thanks Dynames) and swing the living crap out of her before sending her flying into the far wall.

Her Level 3 super looks awesome.  Not comboable, but awesome nonetheless.  It appears to be a grab super and if it connects Shulkie pushes her opponent down and throws a speeding car on top of them causing a massive explosion and huge damage.  It does nearly half of Super Skrull’s life in Video 2 (1:53).  You might be able to combo this out of her anti-air dizzy grab.

She-Hulk doesn’t look like she’ll be much use in triple-team hyper combos but there may be some opportunities to use her in delayed hyper combos, especially if you can get the timing right on her drop kick super or if you can combo after the opponent hits the wall from her anti-air super.

This is the savage She-Hulk Lyra's temporary FF outfit.

 

Miscellaneous
Shulkie looks great, her voice actress sounds wonderful, and her banter is spot on.

Final Thoughts
If anything I’ve said is true, Shulkie will be a force to be reckoned with.  She’s powerful, has a ton of mobility, and a really unique move set.  Granted she doesn’t play anything like I imagine She-Hulk fighting in the comics but I can’t wait to get my hands on her and give her a test drive.  Welcome to the team Jen!