Fighting games were never really my forte, so I was a little worried when I started up my first game of Marvel Vs Capcom 2. I knew I would be useless, but the game really made a mockery of my utter lack of skill towards button mashing my opponents to death.
Though I found myself oddly attracted to pretty much everything that the game offered. For those who have been living under a rock for the last ‘whole-of-your-life’, allow me to conduct a very brief history lesson.
The Marvel Vs Capcom 2 series emerged in the 1990’s during what could be described as the ‘Arcade-Era’. It pins characters from both Marvel Comics and Capcom backgrounds against each other in an all-out war and survival of the fittest. Today many fighting games have been strongly influenced by such origins.
This recently released remake for Xbox Live brings back old memories and does so in such a way that feels retro and classic, but also displays in Hi-Def. And you don’t have to ‘insert coin’ every time you wish to play.
You get to choose three of 56 different characters (all authentically part of Marvel and/or Capcom) and brawl against three opposing characters (per opponent) in a tag-team combo-fest. A couple of fine character examples are Ryu from Street Fighter and Spiderman from the Marvel Comics. Indeed, if you can think of a character that comes under either the Marvel or Capcom category, then there’s a relatively high chance you will find them in MVC2.
It’s the basic versus type of game play and you can utilize all three of your chosen fighters at any given time. The first person to knock out their opponents players before the timer runs out wins. Alternatively, the person who has inflicted the most damage (or racked up the most points by chaining together combo’s - depending on the chosen game mode) at the end of that timer is dubbed the victor.
The aim of the game however is figuring out how to achieve devastatingly successful combo attacks, particularly involving all three of your characters, as doing so generally leads to victory eventually. String together light and heavy kicks and punches, a bit of jumping and support from your tag-team buddies and you will be an ace at Marvel Vs Capcom 2 in no time.
Or you can button mash (like myself) until your Xbox 360 controller starts crying from the abuse, and hope for a positive outcome.
The game modes are pretty straightforward and there isn’t much of a variety, however the included online multiplayer adds a whole new element to the game. Unfortunately for me that element was just expanding on my uselessness at fighting games, as everyone online seemed like they had been playing continuously since the 90’s in which time they had only a handful of five-minute breaks to use the toilet. Luckily there isn’t any balancing issues between the characters as such and most of the good opponents that you will be facing are actually very good at the game (or successfully fluke it every time).
The visual dimension of Marvel Vs Capcom 2 is great. You actually have three graphical options (or as Capcom call them, ’filters’) that you can choose from but they all look classic in their own way and that really makes for a fun and memorable experience. There is no way that these are considered ‘next-gen’ visuals - they're rather far from it. However for this particular style of game, there shouldn't be any complaints from that perspective, and the authenticity really shines through here.
The audio is equally as authentic, and I just loved hearing the jazzy-like intro and menu music whilst preparing to smash my next opponent. Arcade sound effects top this all off and will give you flashbacks of when you and your mates all stormed the local arcade for hours on end.
It is a very challenging game (at the risk of repeating myself) and I find that to occasionally be somewhat of a negative point. This is particularly the case for new players, who I suspect may find themselves giving up after being beaten repeatedly by the computer on the easiest difficulty. That said, if you stick at it you gain a sense of achievement and the game becomes more and more enjoyable in the long run.
The basic control scheme helps these newer players as well, who need only utilize the main four buttons (X, Y, A and B) to attack in order to actually play the game to an average level.
Because it’s a relatively small game (being from Xbox Live Arcade) I won’t give too much away. Give the game a trial if you wish to make sure you’re making the right decision to buy it, but I can assure any classic arcade game-lovers out there that this is a must-have for your collection. It’s good old fashioned fun packed into a visually authentic looking bun and seasoned with the addition of online play and vast character choice.
Have a blast from the past and give Marvel Vs Capcom 2 a well-deserved bash.