Marvel vs. Capcom review

Marvel vs. Capcom

"Capcom's first game was Vulgus, made in 1984!"

Developer: Capcom Publisher: Capcom Genre: Fighting Players: 1-2 System: Playstation Memory Card: 1 block ESRB: Teen Difficulty: Adjustable

When you stop to think about it, it's pretty amazing how far the Street Fighter series has come, and in how many ways it's improved over the years. Remember the days where 3 hit combos were DEVASTATING, and took expert skill? Remember when there were no super moves, no air blocking, no custom combos, variable counters, team up supers, or helper attacks, barely any special moves that did over one hit, and M. Bison was the biggest cheapass of all time?

Forget all of it now, because Marvel vs. Capcom is here.

Gameplay--If you're new to the "Vs." series, or have never been to an arcade in the past few years, here's the scoop: EVERYTHING'S been revamped. I'd go into more detail, but you can just read exactly what was in my Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter review if you wanna know most of the new stuff that's been introduced.

As if there weren't enough innovations in the last Vs. game, Marvel vs. Capcom introduces several new elements that add up for more crack-induced action. First off, there's the Helpers feature. At the character select screen, after picking your fighter, you can choose the option of having a Special Partner or Special Helper. The Special Partner can be any one of the available fighters, and comes in only for counter attacks and painful Team Supers. The Special Helper is chosen from a much larger list of lesser known (well, when compared to the fighters) characters from the Marvel and Capcom universes, such as Pure and Fur (the current Capcom mascot), Arthur (yep, the lil' guy from Ghouls and Ghosts!), and Thor, God of THUNDAA!. These guys can be called in for a quick preset special attack that can be used to keep your opponent away or set up a combo. Definetely a cool feature to the series...too bad it got taken away in Marvel vs. Capcom 2. As did the Duo Team Up Attack (?), where you control two characters at once for a set amount of time...with unlimited Hyper Combos (the name for super moves just keep changing). Mayhem ensues, of course.

The Playstation version of Marvel vs. Capcom lacks the tag team feature in two out of the three modes, but (almost) makes up for it by including Hyper Canceling. Hyper Canceling, as seen in MSHvsSF, lets you link together your Hyper Combos to deal heavy damage, and look frickin' cool in the process. Also included are the Street Fighter standard Versus (same as every fighting game ever made), Cross Over (plays exactly like the arcade, with the tag team feature--but each team has to have the same characters, since the weak ol' PSX can't support four), Training (where you can practice your own crazy combos), Gallery (where artwork and endings are unlocked for certain characters after you finish the 1 player Battle mode), and...the almighty OPTIONS~! mode! Whoohoo!

Graphics--X-Men vs. Street Fighter had choppy animation and decent looking characters, Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter had a huge improvement in animation, and finally, Marvel vs. Capcom sports the best graphics yet. The backgrounds are, as always, incredible--there's just so much to look at--the character animation is top notch, the detail on the characters is excellent--right down to Morrigan's individual fingers--and of course, the Hyper Combos are flashy and incredibly fun to watch. The game has an overall snazzy feel to it, with big, colorful lettering and the like. Think of it as what happens when a game show host gets hold of the Street Fighter system graphics: Everything's gotta be sharper, faster, flashier!

Sound--I really wasn't expecting much from this category. Maybe it was because I'm never able to HEAR the sound in the arcade (save for a few "HUEH"s by Wolverine) over all the loud, crappy music, random bystander comments, and music from House of the Dead, Crazy Taxi, and Hydro Thunder all going at once. But nonetheless, I was pleasantly surprised (my thtarth) by some of the tracks in the game. A few were old favorites, such as Captain America, Spider Man, and Chun-Li's themes, which are always great to kick ass by...but new tracks, such as Captain Commando's Ninja Gaiden-esque one, Ryu's revamped "Original Street Fighter 2" melody, and Morrigan's lounge music (shades of what was to come in Marvel vs. Capcom 2, perhaps?) all fit the mix really well. Call me crazy--

Crowd: "YOU'RE CRAZY!"

But I have to say that the music in Marvel vs. Capcom beats out anything before it (I say "before it", because Marvel vs. Capcom 2 blows this one out of the water with its funky jazz beatz).

As for the sound, it's all the standard "HAH!" "KYA!" and "ALLL YOU CAAN!" that we've heard in previous games. Some of the Japanese helper voices and war cries have stayed in, which adds to the game the same way that the voices in Breath of Fire 3 did--pointless, but cool. I also gotta say that Mega Man's voice adds insult to injury when you're beating somebody down with him. :) Control--The control in this game, like all fighting games, has a major upside, and a major downside. The upside is that you get so used to kicking ass with the easy, compact Playstation controller. The downside is that you get so used to kicking ass with it, you can't do ANYTHING in the arcade with the clunky joystick and huge buttons. It separates the scrubs from the pros in a way. Scrubs think they're good only because they can win at home, while the pros can beat any scrub, any time, with any character, under any conditions. Once a guy at the arcade beat me with a team of Rolls, with both hands tied behind his back and duct tape over his mouth ( "no-handed pushup").

Another upside/downside about the controls is that they give button mashers all kinds of fun advantages. Like the I Just Kicked the Crap Outta You Cuz' I'm Using Beginner Mode advantage. Or, its whiny little cousin, the I Just Kicked the Crap Outta You Cuz' I'm Using Wolverine advantage. Or, its alcoholic, pedophile uncle, the I Just Kicked the Crap Outta You Cuz' I'm Using Wolverine on Beginner Mode advantage. Or--I think you get my point.

Fun Factor--Marvel vs. Capcom dispenses more fun than I expected it to. The gameplay is fast, fluid, and flashy, the supers are better than ever, and the system of combo-ing (i.e. Make up your own) isn't showing its age at all--91 hits with Mega Man, anyone? It's every good 2D fighting game you've ever played, injected with Mountain Dew.

Overall Satisfaction--I had already played the beejesus out of the first two Crossover games on the Playstation, not to mention Marvel Super Heroes...but something about this game kept me coming back for more, even after I'd beaten the game with everyone. It could be the satisfaction of pulling off a huge combo, or trying to learn the technique of playing that the pros use in tournament play...heck, it might've just been the element of I Like to Hurt People (another reason why Tekken 3 lasted so long for me). Whatever it was, it made this game a keeper. Beginners, experts, kids, heck, even
Highs: ALMOST arcade-perfect graphics (only reason why they're not arcade perfect is because, uh, you're not in the arcade any more), always fun SF series action, kickass combo possibilities, good training for the arcades, and
Captain Commando!
Lows: There's not much to do after beating the game with everybody, masher-friendly controls.
Score: 8

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