Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Blasts From the Past: Marvel vs Capcom 2

This was the most popular fighting game for 10 years?!

Ever wonder who would win in a fight between Iron Man and Megaman? In Marvel Vs Capcom 2 these thoughts can be put to rest as you pit Marvel and Capcom's superstars against each other in an epic and flashy fight to the finish. Originally released for the Arcade and Sega Dreamcast in 2000 this game has made a dramatic comeback on the Xbox Live Arcade and PS Network as a downloadable title thus pleasing Capcom's legions of fighting fanboys and girls whom have been begging for a re-release since the doom of the arcade scene and Dreamcast.

.................uhhhhhhh apparently 56 different characters just want to fight each other. There is no visible story at all just pointless fighting. But then again no one plays fighting games for their stories.

Art Direction

 The graphics are good for a dated title such as this one but are nothing special. There are 3 graphical filters available in the Xbox and PS3 ports but odds are you'll only be using the smooth character sprite filter as it the easiest on the eyes. Also its hard to get past how badly the sprite's have aged since most were just plucked out of their respective games; poor Morrigan has been using the same sprite since the first Darkstalkers.

 Audio is a kinda love it or hate it aspect of the game (personally I hate it). The game's soundtrack is very jazzy and feels a quite out of place in this fighter and by the time you've played this game a couple of times you'll have "I want to take you for a Ride" stuck in your head FOREVER! This can be remedied in the 360 version by turning on your own music and for me nothing beats a good old slugfest to the music of Nightwish.

Voices can get irritating as characters repeat the same quote over and over again whenever they are tagged in or use a special attack; and trust me after you've heard "I'm a member of STARS" from Jill Valentine for the thousandth time you'll just want to go get a copy of Resident Evil and watch the zombies snack on her and laugh as she dies.


 Time for some more positive criticism. MVC2 is a rather unusual fighter in that you use 3 different characters in fights; you control one while the other two wait in reserve and can be tagged in at any time. This team aspect also comes into play for combos; with a touch of one of the 2 assist buttons you can call in one of your reserve characters to perform one of 3 pre-determined attacks which can help some characters overcome certain weakness' such as lack of projectile or anti-air attacks or extend combos further.

As you fight you build up a hyper combo meter which allows you to use incredibly powerful and flashy hyper combos. And if that wasn't enough if your quick enough you can call in a reserve character to perform a hyper combos of their own, or you can hold both assist buttons and perform 3 hyper combos at once from your whole team. The whole team aspect gives this game an incredible amount of depth and the combinations are almost endless.

There other advanced moves such as the snapback (which allows you to kick your opponent's current character out of the fight for a few seconds and force one of their reserve characters into the fight which is useful for finishing off a tagged out weakened character) and aerial rave (performing a ground combo that launches the opponent into the air and following them up and continuing the combo). The amount of options you have in a fight are numerous and add a great deal of strategy to this mindless melee.

There are about 56 characters available with some being familiar faces such as Megaman, Jill Valentine, Spiderman, and Wolverine, to some not so familiar faces such as Thanos, Ruby Heart, and Shuma-Gorath. The amount of characters makes for quite a few team building options and playstyles.

Now back to the bad: this game is very unbalanced; some characters are drastically more powerful than others and are taken well advantage of by the game's more fanatical players who rationalize this cheapness by calling it "skill" and believe me when you've been on the receiving end of an infinite combo at the hands of Magneto, Storm, or Sentinel you'll argue otherwise. This high level of unbalance can make this game very hard for newbies to get into unless they don't mind taking lots of punishment on this painful climb to the top; and it is very disheartening to lose 99 out of 100 fights. Online mode works very well but you might want to omit voice chat as odds are you'll just be trash talked when you lose and cussed out when you win.

Its a fighting game you have to play it multiple times.

Despite the high fanbase and great amount of depth in the 3 on 3 tag team gameplay I just cannot respect this game as one of the greatest fighters made like everybody else. Its just way too unbalanced and extremely hard to pick up and learn. Its a good fighter but it just won't appeal to casual, and recreational fighting game fans looking for a good pick up and play fighter.

Hardcore fighting game fans only.

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