DesertEagle’s Take: Marvel vs. Capcom 2, what an interesting existence you’ve lived- your tumultuous history is worthy of a television biopic. Born in the year 2000, you were a critical and commercial darling; in the early part of the decade nearly every respectable arcade had your coin-op or related iteration. Soon after, your Dreamcast port was held in the highest regard, and is still enjoyed by many. However, your transition to other consoles signaled a downturn, as critics gave your PS2 and Xbox conversations substandard reviews. Who could forget that 3.9 score from IGN?
The low point was your ubiquity in bargain bins across the United States, as retailers tried to salvage their losses. Just as you were about to be swept into the halls of obscurity, along with Sphinx and Blinx, developer Capcom lost the Marvel license. Prices and prestige skyrocketed, as gamers were willing to spend upwards of $150 for your disk. With the re-release of Marvel vs. Capcom 2 for the Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation network, the fateful third act has been written.
Clearly, MvC2 has never looked better- from the newly rendered high-definition backdrops to the faux widescreen support, developer Backbone has filled the title’s visual wrinkles with virtual Botox. While the game’s sprites have not been given a Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix make-over, the title’s graphical filters keep the characters from looking last-gen fugly.
While MvC2 maintains graphical authenticity, a few questionable changes have been made to the game’s mechanics. The title’s 56 character roster is unlocked at the game’s commencement, unlike previous home versions. As the game as always lacked character-specific endings, there is little incentive for persevering though the single player campaign multiple times. Additionally, the ability to stealthily rearrange your character line-up has been inexplicably excised.
Still, these are minor quibbles for an otherwise gratifying port. Considering that collectors have been paying exuberant sums for a chance to play Marvel vs. Capcom 2, paying $15 for a respectable port seems like a bargain in my book. The game’s tag-team gameplay has been often duplicated, but never bested; therefore all fighting game fans are duty-bound to at least try the venerable fighter.
SeanNOLA’s Take: It is not uncommon for someone to claim that Capcom fighters are among the best, if not the best fighting games out there. It is also not uncommon for people to mention Marvel vs. Capcom 2 in the same breath as one of the best Capcom fighting games. In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that I fall pretty firmly into this camp: Marvel vs. Capcom 2 was my favorite game for the Dreamcast, my favorite system. I have invested a lot of time and emotion into that game, so suffice to say I was a little excited when the PSN demo hit back in June.
For those who are new to the license, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 was the logical conclusion the Capcom’s Marvel fighting games license, wherein a player could choose any of the Marvel or Capcom characters previously available in X-Men Children of the Atom, X-Men vs Street Fighter, Marvel Super Heroes and of course, Marvel vs. Capcom, as well as some new fighters. The end result is 52 fighters in a 3-on-3 Street Fighter-style brawl of colossal proportions. The game was fast, quirky, chaotic, gorgeous and had more charisma than any fighting game could ever hope for. In short, it had it all.
With the Dreamcast and the arcade taking tandem nose-dives, we have now seen 4 ports of MvC2, and none have lived up to the Dreamcast original, but I’m not here to review MvC2 for bygone systems; I’m here to review it for PSN. At its core, the game works as you’d expect it to: there are no lost frames, the controls are responsive and all of the modes available in the original are present and in working order (with the exception of the store – everything is unlocked from the beginning). There are new options for viewing the sprites in this new version, but unlike so many sprite filters that we’ve seen in the past, the HD sprites in Marvel vs. Capcom 2 are actually not half bad. The online multiplayer is fun, when it works, and suffered from very little lag, once connected.
Much like the ports before, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 has some issues with its new home on the PS3. The developers ham-handedly tap-danced around the issue of changing the aspect ratio by stretching the background and installing invisible walls on the ends of the arena. This works mechanically, but aesthetically looks phoned in – especially when you select characters such as Spider Man, who can now apparently fly, or Jin, who’s “Blodia Vulkan” hyper combo creates a hideous floating cockpit sprite that has the sides unceremoniously lopped off. Although Online Multiplayer is great when it works, it crashed my PS3 more often than not just trying to find a game.
In summary, we are still talking about Marvel vs. Capcom 2 here, and if this is the only access you have to it, then by all means, buy the greatest fighting game of all time any way you can. If online multiplayer is not important to you, and you have lost your Dreamcast, you really can’t go wrong spending $15 on a classic – even if it’s not the most perfect port, it’s still a working one.
Marvel vs. Capcom 2 was reviewed on PS3 hardware.