Review: Marvel Versus Capcom 2

Game: Marvel Versus Capcom 2
Format: XBox 360
Developer: Backbone
Publisher: Capcom

Hello and welcome to the long overdue, next part of “Summer of Arcade” review series where this time around it is I (Crofterz) giving my view on “Marvel versus Capcom 2”. I have a somewhat strange love, hate relationship with beat-em ups. Whilst I have a large number of them in my games collection (“Marvel vs Capcom 2” of course, “Street Fighter 4”, “Small Arms”, “Soul Calibur”, “Super Street Fighter 2 HD Turbo Remix” and “Mortal Kombat 3” to name but a few) beat-em up games all seem to hate me because well….I’m utterly sh*t at them.

So to say I was massively excited when I heard “Marvel versus Capcom 2” was coming to Xbox 360 would be lying. Even though I am a huge comic book fan and some of Marvels characters are some of my favourite comic book characters, the attraction of getting to play as those characters were not enough to sweeten the sour taste I had left in my mouth thanks to beat-em ups. In fact it took several weeks of people recommending it to me and some spare Microsoft points to tempt me into buying “Marvel versus Capcom 2” but I’m so glad I did.

You see “Marvel versus Capcom 2” is probably the most fun I’ve ever had playing a beat-em up. The game appeals to pretty much everyone, the controls are so easy to pick up that you could just button bash your way to victory and special moves are pulled off with the greatest of ease however that’s not to say the fighting mechanics are all simple because the addition of combos and team combination moves still adds all the depth those combo learning, hardcore beat-em up fans crave for.

Another strength the game has which also helps add to this depth of moves however also makes the game very unique is the fact that it is a team fighter, not a one on one fighter. You pick your team of three characters and then fight another team of three characters, once you’ve successfully beat all three characters or the time has run out and you have more energy than the enemy team you win. I say this is a unique feature because although team modes are in a lot of fighting games, there are very few which are based solely around team fighting (“Tekken Tag Tournament” is the only one that springs to mind at the time I write this) and thus these are the only games which really explore the depths of team battles. In “Marvel versus Capcom 2′s” case this is the inclusion of team combos, the ability to tag in any member of your team at any time and the way you can mix and match different fighter types which really adds more strategy and more variety to the fights you have.

And whilst we’re on the subject of characters, there’s a lot of them. 56 in total actually, 28 from the Capcom side and 28 on the Marvel side. The sheer amount of characters means that there’s so many different combinations of fighters it’s frightening. However I can’t help but feel this is also a bit of a bad choice as there’s no real incentive to play through the arcade mode because you don’t unlock..well anything for doing so. By taking key characters from different series and making them unlockable by playing as different characters in the same series would be a great addition just like they’ve done with some of the achievements in the game. Take for example X-Men, they could’ve made arguably the most famous X-Men, Wolverine locked until you’ve beat arcade mode with any combination of the rest of the X-Men characters, thus adding more of an incentive to actually play arcade mode. And actually whilst we are on the subject of Wolverine, WHY THE P*SS IS HE IN THE GAME TWICE?! I kid you not, Wolverine appears twice on the character select screen, both versions have exactly the same moves and look pretty much identical, spare the fact that one as longer more yellower looking claws which leads me to believe that he is in fact an alcoholic, jaundice suffering version of Wolverine and the makers were so lazy they just stuck him in rather than bring in an entirely new character. I mean think about it, you have the entire Marvel universe to choose from FOR GOD SAKE!

If you look really closely you can see the two Wolverines in question

Now great gameplay and a huge roster of characters is all well and good however there are some serious issues which just ruin the game for me. First of all the graphics, why on earth thought the developers thought it was a good idea to update the backgrounds into HD but not the actual fighters is beyond me. The original sprites have ages terribly and an HD update should have been done. The addition of various graphical “filters” in which you can choose from seems like just a cop out to me and does nothing to improve the graphics at all.

I also take issue with the fact that the game doesn’t have that much content. Leaderboards (whoopteedoo!), training, score attack, multiplayer player and ranked matches and an arcade mode isn’t much when you think that the multiplayer modes could be better (more than three people in a lobby? Tournament mode? All are examples of what the game is missing) and an arcade mode that there is little incentive to play. And also on the topic of arcade mode…WTF IS UP WITH THE LAST BOSS?! Whoever came up with the idea of having a team of two irritating little shits and a huge, invincible boss that takes up the entire screen, kills you in pretty much three hits and seemingly attacks at random needs to be shot!!!!!!

Ahhh! That’s better, nice and calm now, anyway let me close by saying “Marvel versus Capcom 2” isn’t a bad game, in fact it as some great gameplay mechanics and features some of your favourite Capcom and Marvel comic characters. However I can’t help but feel that the people who reworked the original (on Dreamcast) for Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network got a little too lazy and decided to just release pretty much the original with only a little bit of work to add some modern features which is a shame as it stops the game being as great as it should be.

Review Round Up

Graphics: 2/5 – Backgrounds in HD look nice but no HD character sprites? COME ON! Also graphical “filters” do nothing to enhance the game.

Sound: 3/5 – Nice choice of allowing to choose different soundtracks for those who don’t like the jazzy inspired original soundtrack.

Gameplay: 5/5 – Great controls means games as the depth for button bashers and strategic combo masters can achieve great success. Also the team based gameplay mechanics add tons of variety, you’ll never fight the same match again.

Longevity: 3/5 – Can be fun for a while but fighting people online can get old. Also unless your an achievement whore you wont bother much with arcade mode. P.S. No DLC, a tournament mode would be nice.

Overall: 3/5 – Overall I give the game 3 superhero capes out of 5.


Wed, October 28 2009 » Reviews, Xbox 360

5 Responses

  1. Mightyles October 28 2009 @ 11:10 am

    I believe there are two wolverines in this game becuase, at the time, Wolverine had the adamantium removed from his bones, leaving him with bone claws. If you look at the two characters you can see that one of them features more bone linke claws and (I think) slightly different stats… It’s still a lame reason though!

  2. Joefeesh October 28 2009 @ 1:25 pm

    I do like this game as an arcade button basher for doing some party playing and to be honest it controls better than Street Fighter 4 for me – the moves are just easier to pull off with the crappy XBOX360 dpad

  3. Crofterz October 29 2009 @ 10:35 am

    Totally agree Joe. It was a revelation to play a beat-em up that didn’t require spending hours on hours learning combos. And yes Luke I had read around about why there was two. Still seems a bit of a cop out for me.

  4. October 29 2009 @ 11:59 am

    bought this from the arcade upon its release, and i love it….for the first few hours, now i relentlessly hate it, seeing as the last boss is impossible to beat, even on easy mode. have not played it in a while, all the characters were great fun to play especially the x-men ones. lol

  5. Mightyles October 29 2009 @ 5:59 pm

    : Try using the team of Iron Man, Cable, and War Machine, and build up their super combo. Using it at the right time can obliterate the last boss easily! :)

    : The Dreamcast version is way superior to the live/psn release, if only becuase there’s a ton of characters, stages, and costume colours to unlock. I still haven’t unlocked every costume colour in the Dreamcast original to this day!

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