As mentioned before, we here at Geekspective love us some Marvel vs. Capcom. That’s why we’ve been so excited ever since we heard that MvC:2 was going to be the second title in Microsoft’s “Summer of Arcade” XBLA line-up. Well, the day is finally upon us! I’ve gotten a chance to play through the Arcade mode once and try my hand at some of the online matches. Is the game everything that we’ve hoped it would be? Come with us as we take you for a ride.
For the uninitiated, the Marvel vs. Capcom franchise pits famous fighters from Capcom’s various intellectual property against heroes and villains from the Marvel universe. There are 28 characters from either side for a whopping total of 56 fighters in all. A player selects a tag team of 3 fighters and selects from 3 different support types for each fighter. This provides for an immense variety of combat styles and combinations for people to choose from, making it very rare to fight against the exact same opponent twice. Originally released as an arcade cabinet in 2000, it has seen immense success as a PS2, Dreamcast, and Xbox port. Today, the game receives its fifth iteration.
Not much has changed since the original, and this is mostly a good thing. I’ve always been of the idea that if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. Unlike the other console releases, none of the characters need to be unlocked. This is a plus, considering most people downloading the game are going to want to jump online immediately to fight against other live players. Graphically, the game has been improved slightly. Unlike Street Fighter 2 HD where they added completely new HD sprites, MvC:2 adds Crisp and Smooth modes, which blend the sprites into much sharper versions of their original counterparts.
I mentioned multiplayer earlier, and I’m sure this is the element that most will be tapping into. I mostly got to experience Ranked matches, which seemed to be the slowest way to find a matchup. Ranked matches are strictly one-on-one. With the “quick match” option never putting me into a game and all of the custom matches being filled up by the time the match list refreshes, my only real option was to create a match and wait for players. Player matches allow for lobbies of up to 6 players to spectate and wait for their turn to fight against the winner of the previous match. This is much akin to a genuine arcade experience with your buddies and can be pretty fun if you’ve got a bunch of friends you want to take on virtually.
With a $15 price tag, this may not fall under the “impulse buy” range for those unfamiliar with the franchise. For those of us who are the least bit familiar with the game, however, it’s a no-brainer that this is a must-have for any fighting fan’s XBLA library. All in all, the game improves on an already superb fighter, making for an uncanny experience that gamers will not want to miss out on this summer.