Marvel vs. Capcom 2 Review
There's no doubting that it was Capcom's X-Men vs. Street Fighter that really set off the trend of tag-teaming in fighting games. It all initially started out with a secret character cameo in X-Men: Children of the Atom, as Akuma --a Street Fighter character-- was playable in an X-Men game. Not too long after, we saw the debut of X-Men vs. SF, and ever since, it's been one tag team fighter after another. Following X-Men vs. SF, there was Marvel vs. SF; a pretty good, though not quite as appealing of a title as X-Men vs. SF was. Following that, Capcom released Marvel vs. Capcom, which was an extremely addictive fighter that had enormous popularity in the arcades, and a very appealing cast of fighters. Not too long after, the sequel to Marvel vs. Capcom came along. It is perhaps the best fighter in the series of "Vs." titles, as it blended pretty much all of the previous titles into one bag. It would first be ported over to the Dreamcast and with exceptional praise as well. And now, after two and some years, Capcom has finally brought Marvel vs. Capcom 2 on to the PS2, and the game is still as incredible as it was back on the Dreamcast.
Though dated and in need of a revamp, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 still looks very good, considering it's a game that's over two years old. The sprite based characters are a far cry from the likes of Guilty Gear X, but regardless, they animate incredibly well. Unlike the Playstation versions of Capcom's "Vs." titles, animation frames are not missing anywhere in the game. All of the characters animate as they do in the Dreamcast version, seeing as how it is a direct port that's not surprising. Marvel vs. Capcom 2's backgrounds remain to very sharp and incredibly eye-catching. The use of polygons to animate the backgrounds was a very bold move on behalf of Capcom. It adds more atmosphere to the game, though I wouldn't mind seeing classic two-dimensional backgrounds return, as they present a more "retro" feel. Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is a solid looking fighter. Many of you reading this have already seen, played, or even owned the game, so you all know what to expect of the visuals.
Everybody already knows what to expect from Marvel vs. Capcom 2, as once again, chances are you have played this game at a point. Simply put, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is the best "Vs." title in the series. Some may argue it's Capcom vs. SNK 2, but seeing as how both games are so vastly different, I try to stay away from comparing both games. Despite the fact that they are both "Vs." games, Capcom vs. SNK titles lack the extreme and over the top action that makes games like Marvel vs. Capcom 2 distinguishable. Capcom vs. SNK plays like the Street Fighter Alpha series, and lacks the trance like special effects found in other "Vs." games, thus it is a more technical fighting game. But Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is not only easier to play, but it's more enjoyable. That said, let me stop comparing both games, as I've already went against what I had stated earlier by doing so. Marvel vs. Capcom 2 emphasizes fun. It's a gigantic fighter with so much value it hurts. For starters, the game not only boasts 3-on-3 fighting, but there are a total of 56 characters to choose from - a vast majority of which have to be purchased. Which leads me to my next point, and that is the game's points reward system. For every time you play through, or even a portion of the Arcade mode or Score Attack mode, you will be awarded a certain amount of points that you can spend in the game's Secret Factor shop. There you will be able to buy a whole slew of new characters, new stages, costume colors, and even galleries where you can view character art. Marvel vs. Capcom 2 literally forces you to play the game over and over again, just so you can unlock a personal favorite character of yours. But that is far from a bad thing. In fact, it's quite natural, as Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is one of the most addictive fighting games ever made.
Instead of being a 2-on-2 fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 has been upgraded to a 3-on-3 fighter. As always, you can do team super combos though this time around all three characters perform an attack. You can perform a Team Hyper Combo by having your level bar set to at least 2 or 3. What a Team Hyper Combo does is make all three characters perform their respective Super Combo, but instead of doing it simultaneously, they do it subsequently (one by one). It takes some practice to master, but it's certainly not hard to do. If you're sick of fighting against Wolverine for whatever reason, you'll be able to stun him by doing a snap back move. When executed, the snap back move will force the opponent to change characters, thus leaving the recently stunned fighter 'snapped' and unusable. In terms of fun factor, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 cannot be toppled. It may not be as technical as say, Virtua Fighter 4 or Tekken 4, but it has its own merits that warrant the game with a respectable amount of depth in fighting. The aerial raves are always something that everybody will be tinkering with and attempt to perfect even further; I know I still find myself thinking of new aerial rave combos. Unlocking everything in Marvel vs. Capcom 2 does take some time, but that's what makes the replayability of the game so damn high. As a multiplayer game, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is a gem.
Some may find it awkward, others find it...no, nevermind, it's just plain ol' awkward. The lounge music in Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is just baffling, and I never did understand why Capcom didn't use the tracks from X-Men vs. Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Street Fighter and Marvel vs. Capcom. But as strange as it may sound, and seeing as how I've been playing the game ever since its Dreamcast release, I've become quite fond of these fiendishly weird and quirky tunes. It's quite scary really, as I'd much rather be listening to Alpha remix versions of Ryu's song, or Ken's song or Zangief's song, etc. Though I can live with the lounge tunes, they're out of place, but somehow they grow on you. The rest of the audio is too generic and obvious to really explain.
The controls are probably one thing I shouldn't have to go too much into. For one, there is no more 'medium' attack button anymore, it is strictly low and high and that's it. You can customize your controller to anyway you see fit, and you can even use the analog sticks for combat. The Dual Shock vibration works incredibly well, and that's really about it. 95% of you have played a "Vs." title before, so you all should all know what to expect from the controls, it's very basic stuff, really.
In the end, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is a fighting game no one should be without. If you're one of the elitists who are anti-3D fighters, and couldn't stand Virtua Fighter 4 and Tekken 4, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is the game you need and the game you must purchase this holiday season. Visually, it's a direct port, though it remains to be a good looking fighting game. The game itself is one of the most addictive fighting games ever made, and there is no doubting that. With a total of 56 characters, many of which have to be unlocked through the acquisition of points, and tons of other extras, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is never ending fighting game that just keeps on giving.
11/20/2002 Arnold Katayev