I can remember back in July of 2000 I was so excited to be a Dreamcast owner. Mainly because I was the only one in my circle of friends that owned one and everyone wanted to come over and play this game I bought. That game of course being Marvel vs. Capcom 2. My friends and I had logged countless hours into the original MvC and we were ready to try out this new game with its expansive roster, and 3 on 3 tag battles. Now some 9 years later, I still own the Dreamcast copy of the game but sadly my Dreamcast has gone the way of the dodo but my love for the game is still there. Thankfully after asking and practically begging Capcom, and Backbone Entertainment have rereleased the game on the PSN and Xbox Live Marketplace.
Now I was never into Street Fighter growing up. My real taste of the fighting genre began with Mortal Kombat and after playing that, Street Fighter always seemed to slow to me. But I have always been a comic book fan, still am to this day so when I heard about MvC I was excited mainly for the Marvel portion of it. But after enjoying and becoming quite good at SF 3 and IV I can now say I enjoy both the peanut butter and the chocolate as it were.
So if you haven’t guessed it, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 takes characters from both companies and mixes them up in a grand battle. Fighting teams are comprised of three characters that you can mix and match between the two universes. Bouts begin as one-on-one fights, and stay so for all intents and purposes. You are able to freely choose between them whenever you need to, which can be used to set up combos and other attacks. However, you can call in one of your teammates to “assist” you. There are various types of assist that range from healing, air attacks, or dash attacks. These are helpful for setting up combos or trying to get a quick health boost. But you have to choose the right moment to use them, because if you call them in at the wrong time you can find your support killed off just because he/she/it got hit with a Hyper Combo.
Speaking of Hyper Combos these are exactly what you would think, a game changing super move. Every character has at least one, but a few of them have as many as four. Some of them are very flashy and screen filling. Like Strider’s call to his animal friends, or Cable’s Hyper Viper Beam. Others are fast fist combos, like Captain America’s Final Justice, or Morrigan’s clone fist attack. In using some of these attacks are where you will notice a small graphical flaw. Some people have attacks that have them hanging or something come out of the side of the screen and if you are playing the game in the 16X9 option the side of the screen won’t sync up with the side of your TV. It is not a game breaking problem as it doesn’t affect normal game play at all, but it will be something you notice.
Now MvC2 isn’t just about performing epic combos, or flashy super moves it can also be rather deep. While it is true that it is more flash than other fighters, that doesn’t mean that the game can’t be played with a fair amount of skill. Technical, well-trained players can use MvC2′s air juggling system to create big combo strings without the need for the special attacks. I fought a guy who used Magneto to utterly destroy me, I mean by body didn’t hit the ground till I was dead. It will require some of those years of Street Fighter knowledge to pull off some of the more flashy moves, and set up Hyper Combos with perfection and ease but SF enthusiast will enjoy being able to utterly destroy any opponent.
Those of you that just want to mess around with Megaman, or pull off a Berserker Barrage with Wolverine will have just as much fun. They made this game for anyone to be able to pick up and enjoy. And with its rather large cast of fighters (56 in total) I am sure anyone can find one that they like. The online is also superlative; using the same net code as previous Capcom fighters creates a smooth experience that nearly replicates the original arcade action, without the smell of sweat and nerd lingering in the air of course.
Backbone really helped make this game great, and because of that I can’t think of anything bad to say about it. I could go down a list but that would just me being a little more nitpicky than I need to be. And with a price point of only $15 it is really a bargain, seeing as a disc based version of this game for the original Xbox sells for more than $85 dollars on EBay. If you enjoy the Street Fighter series, or the Marvel fighting games that Capcom made back in the day then this is one you shouldn’t miss.