Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter
"Don't miss out on the enjoyment of a lifetime!"
Developer: Capcom Publisher: Capcom Genre: Fighting Players: 1-2 Memory: 1 block (yes, I actually saved the options setup) Discs: 1 Analog: No Dual Shock: Yes ESRB: Teen Difficulty: Adjustable (but Cyber Akuma is still impossible either way ^_^)
WARNING: The following contains words Street Fighter language, like "scrub", "combo", and "Alll youu can!", and should not be read without the aid of a "smart" guy like me.
The birth of the Street-Fighter-on-steroids era created monsters. Monsters who lurked about local arcades, armed with more quarters than any normal human being should be allowed to own, who constantly hogged the machines, cussed and sweared at the last boss, slept in the Ridge Racer booths, would wake up at 6:32 AM, and continue the process of feeding their change into the demonic Capcom boxes as the hours wore on. Occasionally, they'd hide behind the Time Crisis booth and leave a machine open for some unsuspecting newbie (like myself), or "scrub" to plunk their 50 cents in. The monster would laugh as the scrub would select the two worst characters, put the control setting to Easy Mode, the speed to Normal, and barely win a hard fought battle against the merciless first level CPU. The scrub would be celebrating, dancing, yelling "Oh, heck yes!", and generally being scrubbish, when suddenly...
One of the monsters would leap from out of the Time Crisis booths and SLAM their tokens below the screen (a common ritual done by these beasts, saying "What're YOU doin' here? I don't want no scrub! You've crossed my boundary! Put up your fists, you lowly scrub, and let me knock you out! Mwa ha ha!"), then watch the scrub get pummeled by the second stage team. Just before they die, the arcade monster pops his tokens in, just to add to the humiliation. 20 seconds later, the scrub's team has been defeated, only doing a few pixels of damage to the monster, and they walk away an unhappier, but disciplined, scrub. That's the sad tale that is...*shiver*...Capcom's Vs. series.
However, on a happier note, the scrub can go home, rent the game for himself, and play happily and Continue as much as he wants. He doesn't have to worry about the monsters anymore... unless they kick open the door and
their controllers in. The scrub might as well give up his Playstation and head for the hills before any further damage is done. This has only happened to me a couple of times, but I'm still happy with what I rented!
Gameplay--MSHVC (pronounced Mish-vu-ca) uses the same tried-and-true gameplay that it's milked for three previous games, and will continue to do for years to come (not that I'm complaining about either fact). You select a two fighter team from 15 (22, actually, counting the hidden characters) of the characters who come from Marvel Comics or the Street Fighter universe, crack your knuckles ("Ow!"), and engage in some of the fastest and most fluid 2D fighting seen on the Playstation. One thing that you'll notice when you start to do some special moves, are that this ain't your... uh... older brother's Street Fighter (even though I don't have one). All the moves are exaggerated versions of the Street Fighters' original moves (while the comic book guys get some similar ones), so you can expect to see some Hurricane Kicks that juggle for five hits, or regular fireballs the size of Palmer. Also, you've got a bar at the bottom that gradually fills up as you perform regular moves, special moves, combo moves, and getting hit moves. When it does fill up, you're ready to use a Hyper Combo! Each character has at least two of these devastating, flashy, high-hitting combos, and to add to the enjoyment, can team up with their partner to execute a Crossover Combination! This is even flashier and more jaw-dropping to look at, due to the fact that both characters perform a Hyper Combo simulaniously! Truly a fun way to finish off an opponent.
Unfortunately, the gameplay has been toned down a little, since the Playstation can't handle four characters' jumping on and offscreen like in the arcade. The fight, like in X-Men vs. Street Fighter, has been reduced to a one-on-one battle, with your partner occasionally jumping in for a Crossover Combination, Variable Assist (your character poses, and the partner jumps out with a brief special move), or Crossover Counter (like the Alpha counters in Street Fighter Alpha 1, 2, and 3). Still, it's a woodchuckin' good one-on-one fight!
Graphics--Jeff and I agree: They're grrrreat! Mish-vu-ca's graphics are the best of any Playstation 2D fighting game. Slowdown, unlike X-Men vs. Street Fighter and Marvel Super Heroes (that game was still cool, though!) is kept to a bare minimum--even though I didn't notice any, there's probably a controversial spot in the game where there IS slowdown, so I'll keep my mouth shut. Additionally, there's no breakup or choppy animation--I noticed there were more frames than in X-Men vs. Street Fighter, thank the Planet.
When you get down to the actual graphics, they're extremely well done. The comic book crew looks even better than they do on their lame TV shows (right down to Wolverine's arm hair and the motion blur of Cyclopes's visor), the Street Fighters look as good as ever (right down to, *shudders*, Sakura's evil victory grin), and the backgrounds are filled with detail and breathtaking scenes (unfortunately, you probably won't be looking at the backgrounds much with all the fighting going on ^_^). Finally, the moves look just as good as they do in the arcade--just as detailed, and just as flashy. And the Hyper Combos have to be seen to be believed!
Sound--Once again, arcade perfect! The background themes blast out of your TV with heroic little tunes that pump you up
Stussy: Huh huh huh.... uh huh huh....
... for battle, and if you've played Marvel Super Heroes, you'll instantly recognize (well, I did) the themes for Spider Man and Captain America two of my favorites. In short, there's very little not to like in the music, since it goes along perfectly with the kung fu fightin' taking place.
The sound effects are excellent as well. Every wet towel slap that signifies a hit, evil Sakura victory giggle, and Akuma grunt is straight from the arcade. Also, there's the character voices, with memorable quotes being "The game is over!" by Apocolypse (who sounds kinda like Darth Vader when you think about it), and "Alll youu can!" by Ryu, Ken, and Dan. Unfortunately, the announcer is so much like a terrible game-show host ("Are you ready, true believers?), you'll half expect him to give you a new car when you beat the game.
Control--Control in the Street-Fighter-on-Steroids genre has always been a mixed bag. In Marvel Super Heroes, I could pull off a 10 hit air juggle with Wolverine easily, yet in X-Men vs. Street Fighter, I couldn't even get a 4 hit ground combo. Fortunately, the control issue in Mish-vu-ca is not a problem. They're masher (read: scrub) friendly, they let you pull off those razzle dazzle air combos, they're fully customizable, and those two buttons that each stand for two punches at once and two kicks at once are still there, making it a lot easier to perform Hyper Combos than at the arcades, where your hand has gotten so sweaty, you need to bring a change of clothes to the place. In short, the controls are just what Capcom fans like myself want! There's even a couple settings for beginners that'll even have scrubs like Jeff kickin' spum early on in the game!
Fun Factor--This game, next to Tekken 3, has got to be the most fun I've ever had with a fighting game (don't even think about the Dual Shock/vibrator idea and get that mind out of the gutter!). While the main game has been reduced to a one-on-one fight, it's still one of the best one on one fights you can have. The thrill of completing an air combo, finishing your opponent with a Crossover Combination, or FINALLY BEATING Cyber Akuma is exhilerating. Unfortunately, that brings me to the one low point in the game (besides Sakura).
Cyber Akuma (bum bum BUM)! He's got to be the cheapest, most dirty trick using, nastiest, hardest end boss I've ever played against before. He alternates between patterns of Hey, Maybe-I'll-Let-Up-On-the-Player-At-the-Beginning, Now-It's-Time-to-Be-a-Cheap-Spum, and Kick-Punch-I-Got-the-Funky-Flow-Bow-Down-to-Me-Mortal! All of these spell bad news for the victim who rented the game, thinking that when he set the difficulty down to the lowest setting, he might be able to beat the game. In reality, all he gets is Cyber Akuma taunting him with Nelson-ish "Ha-ha!"s after every match. Or maybe that's what it seems like. Anyway, I've only beaten this guy once, and that took all my energy for the day. Next time, Capcom should tone down the AI on the end boss, or suffer major lawsuits from me.
Overall Satisfaction--Still, impossible end bosses aside, Mish-vu-ca is a very enjoyable game that will keep those rabid Capcom monsters from the arcades busy for a while. There are a few different modes, such as a Hero Battle, where the comics fight the Street Fighters, and the Cross Over mode--which enables the tag team action like in the arcade, but you have to fight the same characters that you're playing as. Additionally, there are some hidden characters in the game, like Mech-Zangief, who can't block, but is ultra-powerful, and Evil Sakura (as if she can't get any eviler), to add some depth to the game. All in all, this is a very satisfying experience, and besides Cyber Akuma, there's very little not to like here. Don't miss out on the enjoyment of a lifetime--let's go, bub!