When Marvel VS Capcom 2 hit arcades in 2000 it marked not just the pinnacle of the crossover fighting genre, but it also was considered the last great 2D fighter for some time. While Street Fighter 4 has changed everything, MVC2’s release on X-box Live and soon Playstation 3 could be just as enjoyable if not more than Capcom’s flagship fighting game, even if it’s a much older title.
The graphics, while almost a decade old, show 2D fighters at their finest. They animate nicely and the 3D graphics compliments of the then Sega Naomi hardware, are also great to look at as well. For a game this old, it holds up quite nicely as a downloadable title. It’s still great to look at and animates very smoothly.
The music however, is just as annoying as it ever was. For whatever the reason, Capcom felt that “taking you for a ride” was a great idea. The soundtrack is filled with jazzy samples and blues tracks which just don’t quite fit the chaos that the game has. Granted, character themes like Megaman, which were awesome in the first Marvel Vs Capcom are all but gone here. The music’s not bad; just not fitting. Like the Batman soundtrack in a Spike Lee movie.
The VS series has all be about speed and chaos and MVC2 turned it up a notch. While everyone praised the first Marvel VS Capcom, this is a much different game. Gone are the more controlled two on two tag-team fighters and structured gameplay, in are three on three bouts with an emphasis on your teammate coming to your aid periodically.
It may sound difficult, but that’s MVC2’s charm. It’s a very easy game to pick up and play with enjoyment. The fact you can call your teammates in for devastating moves, adds more hectic monitoring, but a new level of strategy to the game. Each character has at least one hyper combo they can unleash for devastating damage and you can even bring everyone together for an even more devastating combo.
Don’t want to leave yourself open for a combo? Fine, bringing your teammates in for a simple assist like a dragon punch makes or breaks a match. With the right characters you can create strategies and traps that can make novice players have a difficult time.
However, this was what one of the games shortcomings in 2000 was- and it’s still present here-some characters are simply unbalanced and easy to take advantage of. The best example is Marvel X-man Cable and his relentless gunshots/Viper beam combos. By the press of a button Cable can keep characters at the end of the screen and fire hyper combos chipping away at their health even if they are blocking. Assist happy characters can created a near-flawless trap with their characters doing it over and over again while you are helpless for their need to be cheap. Marvel VS Capcom can become very cheap fighting very quick and when this happens the fun just goes to zero.
You’ll break a controller several times in ranking mode because of this, because some dick has to bring out a team of Cable, Iron Man and Magneto (three of the cheapest characters in the game) and do the same attack all match that keeps you from doing absolutely anything-it will happen. No matter how good you may be, a noob can kill you in an instant abusing their abilities. Besides that though, if you can appreciate the game for what it is, and find people who play with a bit of skill and old fashioned style, then it’s quite enjoyable.
Speaking of play on X-box live, it succeeds for the most part. There are a few glitches here and there, like when someone leaves at a certain point in the match, but for the most part we finally have this game to play on the internet. There are some bugs, like if someone leaves just before a match starts, forcing you to restart your game, these are minor qualms in the big picture. You can go into ranked match, a quick 1 on 1 match where the winner/loser is recorded and thrown on the leader boards. There are also matches that gather with a lobby and feel just like being in the arcade waiting for your chance to beat that monster with 20 wins, it’s pretty much all here.
Fortunately for everything, Capcom even added in a move list to their training mode which makes a trip to gamefaqs even less of an issue.
For its price and fun, Marvel VS Capcom 2 delivers both for new players and fans of the original arcade game. While it does have its shortcomings, these are enveloped in what truly is a fun game.
FINAL SCORE 4.0