A wise man once said, "If it ain't broke, don't nerf it."

Capcom should have pondered that adage before it gave into childish demands and reduced Sentinel's health in Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Now, instead of being the resilient death machine he's supposed to be, Sentinel is about as sturdy as Spider-Man and Wolverine. That is, to say, below average. Of course, he's just as capable of kicking your ass as he ever was.

Marvel vs. Capcmon 3

That alone should tell you something is wrong with the developer's knee-jerk attempt to balance its game. Sentinel can be a nuisance, but reducing his health is a solution to a problem that doesn't really exist.


Before the update, I defeated Sentinel just as often as he bested me. When I won, it was despite his status as the most long-lived character in the game. In fact, his large frame usually worked against him, allowing me to score hits I might normally miss against even average-sized foes. Seeing a bulky character like Sentinel or Hulk in an opponent's team usually put a smile on my face, because the two are so much fun to mindlessly combo against. And when Sentinel won, it was because the player controlling him was just plain better than me at all aspects of the game. It was always clear my opponent's skill and my mistakes determined the fight, not our character choices.

What I find odd about Capcom's method of "fixing" Sentinel is that it fails to address the reason players claim the fighter is cheap in the first place. I've lost entire matches to skilled Sentinel players without ever landing a single hit of my own. When he pulverizes me with an endless barrage of lasers and drones from across the screen, I curse the gods but not Capcom. That's because those players aren't exploiting an unbalanced character. They're simply employing a troublesome, yet beatable (and boring), strategy.

Marvel vs. Capcom 3

Even though Sentinel is now missing 30 percent of his health, I find my encounters with him haven't changed much. Again, the better player wins. It's not like I was losing before, despite dishing out loads of damage. A good player will prevent those hits no matter the character. The only difference now is that the game punishes less skilled players for picking Sentinel.

I'm glad Capcom is working to balance and eliminate glitches in MVC3 even after the game's release. The same update that hit Sentinel also removed the potential for a few infinite combos some players have discovered. I think the practice will only hurt the competitive scene in the future, though, if the changes continue to be knee-jerk reactions to complaints from sore losers…especially if those changes are as lazy and ineffective as this one.