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Recently, I've seen quite a few complaints about Marvel vs Capcom 3's attempt to catch more of the casual market. A lot of fans are acting like Capcom is ruining fighting games by trying to reach a wider player base, by making it easier to pick up the controls. They argue that the casual market ditches the game after only a couple months while the hardcore group keeps the game alive. This is true, causal players do ditch games and the hardcore will keep playing a game forever. But, the company doesn't make any money off of the same 20 guys playing the same game over and over again and they certainly don't make any money when the hardcore market complains about each tiny change and refuses to buy the next version. Look at the complaints about Street Fighter 4 using 3-d graphics or the complaints about Super Street Fighter IV costing money. How is the company supposed to justify making new games when the core fans always threaten to ditch new games over tiny changes?
Right now, the biggest argument is that MvC3 won't use enough buttons and that it needs to be just like the game before. What a lot of these fans seem to forget is that MvC2 had a simplified control scheme from the previous games (Marvel Super Heroes through Marvel vs Capcom 1) and this worked well because of the game's pace. Having fewer buttons to worry about allowed the players to accomplish combos and supers that much faster and keep the game moving at the breakneck speed people love. Also, I've really enjoyed Capcom's recent fighters, so it is a lot harder for me to decide without having seen any actual gameplay that they are screwing up the franchise. I would like to imagine that they have, in the past 10 years, probably come up with a few control innovations that will help make the game awesome and at least as fun to play.
Just because the game makes it easy to do special moves, doesn't mean that the game will be super easy to master. If the special moves are that easy, then more of the game's actual strategy will come out. The mistake a lot of people make with fighting games is thinking that the combos and the specials are the real game. It's true you will not get good at a game if you can't do specials and basic combos, but the real game only begins when you get your accuracy next to perfect so that you can start the mind games, the traps, the baits, and all of the other elements that make high level play so fun to watch. The sad truth is most people never reach that level and as a result never end up enjoying the game as much as they can. If MvC3 could create the ease and appeal of Smash Brothers, without all of the brokenness, the entire fighting game community would be changed forever. And having all of those players learning, becoming better, and enjoying the game would only make this genre of games, and the competition, better. Fact is, we were all casual players at one point and it's those of us who stick around to become the hardcore that keep the games and communities alive.
Final thought: They better put Ken in the game or I'm not buying it.