Ten years ago, the Marvel vs Capcom series drove itself into a cul de sac.
Layer upon layer of complexity and ever more intricate controls turned Marvel vs Capcom 2 into a fiddly game of rock, paper, scissors played at lightning speed.
To play it well was to be a gaming virtuoso, capable of executing elaborate moves with precision in the blink of an eye. But for most, it was impenetrable to the point of being unplayable.
A decade on, Marvel vs Capcom 3 is seeking to reverse the series out of its cul de sac of complexity.
Much remains unchanged. It is still a traditional 2D fighting game in the Street Fighter mould packed with famous Marvel and Capcom characters such as Captain America and Dante from Devil May Cry.
Rather than controlling a lone character, you command a tag team of three fighters as they battle three rivals. The action is faster and more flashy than in the Street Fighter games, with fighters zipping around in a trail of cartoon motion blur.
But beneath the surface things have changed for the better. The controls have been slimmed down to an instinctive core of three attack buttons that should let anyone who knows their way around a controller take part.
Not that the game compromises on depth. There's still a wealth of special moves and strategies to master once you dig past the surprisingly accessible basics. But this time around Marvel vs Capcom has managed to balance its complexity with ease of entry.