|System: X360 (XBLA), PS3 (PSN)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Backbone Entertainment||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: CAPCOM||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Aug. 13, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2 (6 Online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Matthew Walker
I remember the first time I enjoyed Marvel Vs. Capcom 2. I was at a relative's house and he wanted to show off his new and shiny SEGA Dreamcast. The only game he had was Marvel Vs. Capcom 2. Everyday after school we'd spend at minimum five hours playing, perfecting our strategies against one another and anyone stupid enough to challenge us. I even picked up the PlayStation 2 version once it hit the shelf. It was just one of those games I could play repeatedly. It is probably the single reason I began soaking up hours at the local arcade trying the latest versions of fighting games.
Unlike later fighters, it gave me everything I wanted. For starters, it had a plethora of Capcom characters that I knew and a lot I didn't but had fun fighting with. More for me though were the Marvel characters. I was, still am, very big into comics. I knew the storylines going on, what certain elements were affecting characters, everything. It was a feeling that is hard to explain even today having a lot of those elements reflected on characters that I was playing as, for example, the two versions of Wolverine (still present in the game): the adamantium version of Wolvie (with shorter claws) and then the bone-clawed Wolverine, which add a little more reach to him. Granted, the characters in the game have the same base moves, but the fact the game reflected what was going on in the comics made it easier for the fans of Marvel to join in on the fun of Marvel Vs. Capcom 2. Like I said, this feeling is still there. Even though it is no longer reflecting what is currently going on in comic books, it does provide a solid bit of nostalgia for anyone that remembers, dare I say, when times were better in comics.
The feeling of nostalgia doesn't just stop with the Marvel characters either. It plays heavy on the Capcom side as well. Having the Darkstalkers characters in the mix reminds us all how much we liked playing as supernatural creatures in a fighting game. Hell, even playing as Mega Man reminds you that there was a time he wasn't so Anime (making you not care as much). The mixture of characters from both Marvel and Capcom leaves no room for many to complain about not having at least three characters to fight as at any given time.
The gameplay is exactly how you remember it. For those that don't have such fond memories, it's basically a three on three fight. You pick the three fighters you think you will do the best with and then you square off against your opponent's three characters. Just like most fighters of its day, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 is a 2D fighter. I have always been a fan of the 2D fighter simply for the fact of it locking the opponent on the same field as you, so there's really no avoiding the onslaught aside from the traditional block action. Some have grown past this mechanic with the newer 3D fighters, and it will definitely show once you take on your opponents in local matches or online.
Even though the online modes are rather limited, it still provides a great way to exercise your dominance like the old days of coin-slotted machines. With up to six slots available in the online matches of either ranked or friendly competitions, it definitely adds a dynamic not really seen since the days of switch-out arcade games. Much like any other online mode, you have to take the sometimes jumpy gameplay of either your internet connection or someone else's into account when playing online. One missing element though is the ability to change up your order of the characters fighting at the load screen. In the arcade version, as well as the Dreamcast version, you could do this by holding down the assist buttons. This option is still available in the offline mode which makes this deletion even more puzzling.