30 Reviews in 30 Days, Day 23 – Marvel VS Capcom 2

So we are into the final week of this series. Have you noticed that I have been taking the time to review all the the games in my top ten? If you have, then the fact I am reviewing Marvel VS Capcom 2 should come as no surprise. Since the 360 and PS3 version just came out, I think it makes more sense to review that one then the old Dreamcast version, even though it is based on that model.

It may not have started where you think it started

Do you remember where the whole Marvel characters appearing in Capcom fighting games got its start? Many of you may be thinking X-Men VS Street Fighter, but there was one before that: Marvel Superheroes. This game pit several of the major characters from the comics against each other in an attempt to stop Thanatos, who was in control of the Infinity Gauntlet. That was followed by the aforementioned game, and things eventually lead to Marvel VS Capcom.

Marvel VS Capcom brought a cavalcade of characters into play, with you picking two to work in tag team battles throughout the game. It was heralded by many people to be one of the most interesting fighting games out there, and the crowds it used to draw would have rivaled the Street Fighter 2 games if the arcade hadn’t been on the downturn. Before the local arcade really hit its end, however, Capcom released the the sequel, and people were just blown away.

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Though it can be a little frantic, Marvel VS Capcom 2 is an excellent game.

Marvel VS Capcom 2 did the unthinkable. Not only did it once again pair the Marvel and Capcom worlds together, but it brought 56 characters into the field. This game was just about pinnacle of the 2D fighting games, so when news came out that it was getting released for the Xbox Live Arcade and PSN, gamers like myself rejoiced.

The only concern was whether not not game would live up to our expectations. Thankfully, it does more than that.

Tag team insanity

At first glance, one might think that Marvel VS Capcom 2 is a more simplistic game than its predecessor. After all, the game does remove two of the attack buttons, making it easier to play for those not as used to the Street Fighter button layout. The other two buttons are replaced with assist buttons, which allow you to call in your teammates for help.

That’s right, I said teammates. Unlike the first game in the series, Marvel VS Capcom 2 lets you select three characters, not 2. Not only do you get to call in your partners for assist attacks in the middle of combat, but when you select your characters, you can choose what type of assistance they are going to give, which may include capture attacks, projectile, anti air or others. How you choose to use these assists can determine just how well you perform in the fight; in the later stages, it is crucial to know how to pull them off.

You can switch from among your characters at anytime during the fight, with characters who are not currently fighting being able to regain some of their lost health. You have to be careful, however. If your character loses all it’s health, you cannot use it the rest of that battle. On top of that, characters who are coming in for assists can be hurt. So when it comes dow to it, you really have to know how to use your characters well.

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56 characters, assists and team super combos make this a game you need to play.

So who do you choose? The answer to that question generally stems from what kind of player you are. With 56 characters to chose from (all the unlockable characters are unlocked from the beginning for 360/PS3), there are fighters to fit anyone’s style. The main thing you want to keep in mind is what characters will complement each other well. For example, you probably do not want to choose three melee fighters or projectile players. Sure, you may do well against certain teams, but a well balanced team will be able to take you out.

Special attacks

Of course there is more to the game than just your normal attacks and combos. As was the case with the games before it, you can build up your combo meter, which will allow you to unleash major attacks on your opponent. What is nice is every character has at least 2 of these special attacks, and some have more, even if they are only slight variations. You can build up to 5 levels on your combo meter, which not only allows you to use multiple super attacks back to back but also do combined supers, calling in your teammates to do even more damage. Of course, each additional character you bring in uses another bar of your combo meter.

There is one other type of special attack in the game. If you can time it right, you can knock an opponent off the level, forcing your opponent to use another character. That character you just knocked out will be unusable for a time, which can be really strategic, forcing your enemy to use a character he would rather not have to use against you. If you can do it twice in a row, you can force your opponent to use just one character for a time, which can be very advantageous. This attack will use one bar of your combo meter, but it is more than worth it.

So any bonuses for the new version?

With the tendency to add new graphics or other things to the new versions of games being released on Xbox Arcade, you would think Capcom would add something to Marvel VS Capcom 2. Sadly, that is not the case. Other than having all the characters unlocked up front, this is the same game Dreamcast fans have had for a while.

Of course, there is the online play. You could maybe argue the ability to play over Live or PSN is a new addition, since it does bring in Player, Ranked and Custom matches, but in the end it is not much of an addition. Even the graphics are the same, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Though it would have been nice if Capcom had added something this this game, It really did not need it in the end.

So if you were a fan of the original game or just like 2D fighters, Marvel VS Capcom 2 is a must own game. Though it may have its issues, the game still holds up very well, and it is more than worth the price. Marvel VS Capcom 2 gets a 5 out of 5.

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