Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Taskmaster is copy-cat killer

Feb. 17, 2011 | 4:59 p.m.

Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds

A great deal has changed since gamers last pitted villains and heroes from the Marvel and Capcom universes against one another in Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes. That fighting game debuted in arcades — yes, arcades — in early 2000. Now, more than a decade later, Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds has just arrived for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Here at Hero Complex, we’ve been marking the release with a series of posts looking at the game’s Marvel villains, their history and their combat moves. Today: Taskmaster

taskmaster Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Taskmaster is copy cat killer

Taskmaster (Capcom/Marvel)

Ever wonder where supervillains like Dr. Doom, MODOK and Magneto get their endless supplies of minions who are willing to carry out their crazy plans?

In the Marvel universe, many of them are provided by Tony Masters, a.k.a. Taskmaster, a villain with photographic reflexes and a costume that resembles the grim reaper on summer vacation. Taskmaster’s ability to duplicate any action after simply observing it has made him a mentor to countless under-appreciated henchmen, a constant threat to superheroes and, more recently, a training instructor for the U.S. government.

taskmaster1 Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Taskmaster is copy cat killer

Taskmaster from the pages of The Avengers ( Marvel)

“Anything the Avengers can do, I can do better!” is how his creators, writer David Michelinie and artist George Pérez, had the villain introduce himself on the cover of The Avengers No. 196 in 1980. In that same issue, Taskmaster brags that he can sling his shield harder than Captain America, shoot arrows more skillfully than Hawkeye and perform more death-defying gymnastics than Spider-Man.

The only Marvel villain to appear in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 who doesn’t hail from the Silver Age of comics, Taskmaster is one of the game’s “secret” characters, meaning he can only be unlocked after reaching 6,000 player points, a task which, according to Capcom’s Seth Killian, can be achieved in about an hour of gameplay.

Taskmaster’s move to master? “One of my favorites is the ‘Aegis Counter,’” said Killian, an advisor on the game. “If you anticipate your opponent’s move, it counters the hit with an insane flurry of sword slashes, capped off with a stylish behind-the-back gunshot.”

And, speaking of insane flurries, one thing players will immediately notice with this sequel is that the signature over-the-top, chaotic animation of Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes has remained firmly intact.

“We like that feeling of controlled insanity,” said Killian of the aesthetic. “If you’re new to the series, on first viewing, you can be a little overwhelmed with everything happening on screen. But once you play it for a few minutes, you start to understand why it’s happening, and you see the method to the madness.”

– Mike Winder

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