third installment to the Marvel VS Series pits some of Capcom's most
famed heroes against a selection of Marvel icons for yet another ride in the 2D
The Capcom character roster has noticeably decreased in size from recent prequels, but isn't only made up
of Street Fighter characters this time around. Heroes from several classic
Capcom titles make their epic fighting game debuts, including: Megaman, Strider
Hiryu, Jin Saotome, and Captain
Commando. The Marvel side shows off mostly returning fighters, with the
exception of Venom & War Machine (who is mostly a sprite edit). Unlike Marvel Super Heroes VS
Street Fighter, this sequel still manages to feel like
a completely new entity - presenting 100% new hand-drawnbackgrounds,
BGMs, and innovative gameplay
A somewhat small roster...
but a ton of assist characters.
In addition to selecting a team of 2 characters, players now
choose third "assist" character picked at random by default (or easily
selectable by inputting a quick code before the match starts). Marvel VS Capcom
features over 20 assist characters - some from past VS Series
installments, others completely new to MVC. Capcom stepped out of the
realm of Street Fighter with their assist choices as well, bringing in more
obscure Capcom characters such as: Lou from Three Wonders, Ton-Pooh from Strider,
Devilot from Cyberbots, as well as some more iconic characters like Arthur from Ghosts
The Marvel side of the assist selection is made up of mostly returning characters,
including: Cyclops, Iceman, Rogue, Magneto, and Juggernaut. Additionally, icons like Thor & Jubilee make their fighting game
debuts (hey, it counts)!
For the record, Capcom even went the extra mile for Marvel fans and got Alyson Court (Jubilee's
original voice actor from the 1990's X-Men cartoon) to do Jubilee's
voice (all 2 words of it).
FUN FACT: Alyson Court also did Claire Redfield's voice in Resident
Evil 2 (released the same year as MVC). I'm sure most Capcom/Marvel
fans would love to see the majority of the helper characters actually
"playable" in the game (even though that's completely unrealistic,
given the fact that MVC was released less than a year after the prequel).
But no doubt the assist characters still manage to add a ton of personality and nostalgia to the title,
making for an even broader scope of the Capcom and Marvel
universes colliding... *sigh* I really wish I Jubilee made the cut, though. All we gets is "fireworks!"...
complete with original voice actor!
Like in Marvel Super Heroes VS Street Fighter, assist characters can be called
out at any time during gameplay (and are imperative to maxing out your team's
combo potential). However, there is a limit to how many times a given assist
character can be called out (specific to each character). While MVC's assist system
can be a lot of fun in casual play, there are some pretty obvious flaws in high level gameplay. Simply put, certain assists
are far superior than others (ex: Psylocke & Colossus are among the
strongest). This causes high level gameplay to end up being pretty repetitive at
tag-team gameplay that put Capcom's VS Series on the map seems more
refined than ever in MVC... but brings along some
very welcomed enhancements. New to
the system is the "Duo Team Attack," where both fighters can come into
the battle at once, launching UNLIMITED super moves for a brief period
of time (determined by the level of the super gauge).
Indeed, it can get pretty insane trying to defend if your opponent knows what
they're doing with those supers! The addition of Duo Team
Attacks allow for some crazy-intense gameplay situations, and are just damn fun
to experiment with. However, there are some cheap "chip
damage" tactics that can be used which do slightly deteriorate the game in high
level play (once again). To be more specific: Certain super moves take off HUGE
amounts of chip damage. For instance, there's not much you can do against Strider Hiryu & War
Machine when they launch their Duo Team Attack and continuously spam super
moves... the end result is
life gone" even though you're
Marvel VS Capcom isn't
short on personality... that's for sure.
Finally, Marvel VS Capcom
also contains quite a few secrets, including hidden playable characters and assist
characters. With the use of a code, players can play as "alternate"
versions of existing characters, including: Gold War Machine, Orange Hulk, Red
Venom, Lilith, and Shadow Lady. While all of these are simple "sprite
clones," these characters do offer unique strategies and match-ups. The
only exception to this is Roll Caskett from the Megaman series, whom is a
completely new character (complete with a hilariously cool BGM of her
own). Furthermore, secret assist characters like Sentinel & Shadow
(Charlie) mix things up nicely.
At the time of the game's debut, Marvel VS Capcom was THE ultimate crossover
game. No other fighting game came close in the realm of frantic, high-speed
gameplay. The pace of the game alone separated the skilled players from the
novices, as a high level player can take out a casual in a matter of seconds!!!
(Bet ya never lost 50 cents so fast!)
While many fans could easily dwell on the sad fact that many classic characters from the prequels
weren't playable anymore, MVC's roster did debut some excellent and
soon to become "fan-favorite" fighting game characters by the time
they reappeared in MVC2.
Aesthetically, Capcom definitely didn't slack in MVC1's presentation. Along with all the
nostalgia value and minute fan services hidden throughout the game, things like
remixed character BGMs, colorful stages, and the plethora of new artwork really gave MVC
a unique personality of its own. In retrospect, even MVC2's "overall
presentation" didn't quite live up to the original MVC.
Even with its shortcomings and balance issues, MVC1 is arguably still more balanced than MVC2, even with the cheap chip-damage tactics
(which can be
beat)! What I love about
MVC1 is that pretty much every character in the game can hold their own.
I love me some MVC2, but I'll still go back for some classic MVC1
matches any day of the week. Still one of my all time favorite fighting games, for sure! ~TFG