By Ben Chabala
We love Marvel fighting games and we know you do, too, so we're starting a new series of interviews with top brawlers from the community. This week, we’ve got fighting game legend and king of MvC2 Justin Wong on the line to talk about “Marvel vs. Capcom 3,” need-to-know team dynamic, plus tips and tricks to help you level-up your game.
|Marvel vs. Capcom 2 promo art|
Marvel.com: How did you break in to the Marvel vs. Capcom series?
Justin Wong: I was in 8th grade, so I was probably 12 years old, and my friends from school brought me to this arcade called China Town Fair. They were really competitive in “Marvel vs. Capcom” and when I saw it I was like, “Oh this game’s pretty cool, let me try it out,” and then they just beat me down so bad. That summer, there was this little candy shop that had “Marvel vs. Capcom” and I spent my whole summer there just learning how to play every character. Then in high school I came back and beat everyone.
Marvel.com: Back during its heyday you were one of the best “Marvel vs. Capcom 2” players in the world. What are some of the things you like about the newest iteration in the Vs. series?
|Marvel vs. Capcom 2 Storm promo art|
Justin Wong: I like that the cast is creative and pretty diverse, the art style is cool and comic book-ish, and I can pick up any character and do really really well with them. Here you can pick She-Hulk and win, but in MvC2 let’s say you pick Marrow or Guile, it’s vey hard to utilize them against the top dogs like Magneto, Storm, Sentinel and Cable. Now those characters aren’t as cheap, or if they are, the other members of the cast have creative ways to beat them.
Marvel.com: In MvC2 there were only a few viable team choices at the highest level of play. How has MvC3 changed that?
Justin Wong: Capcom somehow managed to make every character viable--everyone has cheap tools and X-Factor helps a lot! Also, without hit stun deterioration [the amount of time characters can be comboed after a hit decreases as the combo counter rises] there would be infinites everywhere, but because they added hit stun deterioration, characters like Magneto are fightable now. Without it, everyone would have infinites, and easy infinites at that. The fact that “Marvel vs. Capcom 3” forces you to be more creative, with a ton of viable combo options, makes it much more playable.
Marvel.com: You’ve played a ton of different teams at Wednesday Night Fights and at tournaments abroad. Do you have a favorite?
|Akuma vs. Doctor Doom in Marvel vs. Capcom 3|
Justin Wong: Right now my favorite is probably my Storm, Wolverine, Akuma team. I like that team a lot because of how Wolverine plays--he’s super offensive--and Storm is my favorite “Marvel vs. Capcom 2” character, while Akuma is a great assist.
Marvel.com: When you’re picking your team, do you keep an eye out for certain character traits or specific moves that you’d like to integrate into your play style?
Justin Wong: I think the first thing I think about when I pick a team is whether or not their outfits will match.
|Wolverine vs. Ryu in Marvel vs. Capcom 3|
Justin Wong: Yeah, that’s one thing I like to do first. After that I work on their DHCs [Delayed Hyper Combos]. Like, can I effectively DHC to either make one character safe or do more damage? Then I always like to find an assist to back me up on offense.
Marvel.com: So how does that translate into your Wolverine/Storm/Akuma team?
Justin Wong: Well Wolverine is the offensive character who deals a ton of damage. Storm is the support because her Hail Storm hyper does a ton of chip, does great damage in general, and DHCs characters to safety. Akuma is just there to increase my offense.
Marvel.com: Is there anything you can suggest to new players? Tips, tricks, anything n00bs need to know?
|Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Wolverine promo art|
Justin Wong: This game reminds me of a comic book: anything can happen! I think this game was made for the casual community, so don’t take it too seriously and just try and have fun and be as creative as you can. Technical advice? Nail down your execution. Training mode is your best friend because the training mode options are awesome. You can record yourself playing and practice difficult situations. You should be in there for a while practicing combos, and because any team combination might work, you won’t know until you try it out.
Marvel.com: When you’re not playing Marvel fighting games, do you read any Marvel comics?
Justin Wong: Not really, but I’ve always loved the X-Men cartoons.
Marvel.com: You mean the ‘90s X-Men animated series?
Justin Wong: Yeah! That was my stuff. I was never able to read comics because my parents were really strict when I was younger, so the closest thing I ever got to comics was the animation on TV.
Marvel.com: Despite strict parents keeping you from some awesome comics, do you have a favorite Marvel character?
|Silver Surfer art by Gabriele Dell'Otto|
Justin Wong: In Marvel games I have to stay Storm. I’ve always played her. But I guess in general I’d have to say the Silver Surfer. He’s surfing in space and he’s pretty powerful. I watched the Fantastic Four cartoon and whenever he’s involved he just wrecks shop. I was really hoping he’d be in MvC3 because he’d be so cool!
Marvel.com: Alright, now imagine that the Silver Surfer appears in front of you, hanging 10 on that shiny board, and tells you he’s willing to give you a little of his cosmic power that will manifest into one extra-normal ability of your choice. What do you choose?
Justin Wong: Well me and my friends, we talk about this a lot. In this day and age, I’d have the power to teleport anywhere, or teleport anything anywhere. Then I’d start my own teleportation business and I’ll basically shut down all the airlines. You want to get from New York to Japan in under a minute? I got you.