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Marvel vs Capcom 2 review

Great
AT A GLANCE
  • Fast, beautiful action
  • 56 Characters
  • Lots of lasers
  • Steep learning curve
  • Too chaotic at times
  • Not quite as deep with only 4 buttons

Thanks to Marvel vs Capcom 2 we finally know who’d win in a fight between The Hulk and Jill Valentine (it was Jill, with her ability to summon a bloody great Tyrant). We’ve also managed to settle that age-old debate about the relative merits of pre- and post-adamantium Wolverine, and make Captain America beat up a small girl. More so than any other fighting game, MvC2 is about the character roster – the vast, near-impeccable line-up composed of superheroes, fighting champions and 8-bit video game legends, all punching the hell out of each other for no good reason and gleefully ignoring established canon.

All 56 characters are unlocked from the start, and if you didn’t play the title on its original release – or the sluggish PS2 port two years later – your first few hours with MvC2 will likely be an orgy of experimentation, making the most random combinations of combatants you can think of until you find your ideal three-member team. More than just an empty gimmick implemented to exploit the huge character line-up, the tag-team mechanics at the core allow for a more strategic approach to battling. You can effectively cover all bases too. It’s quick and easy to swap fighters to match the situation. Many attacks work well in combination. Our fave is binding fighters in place with Spider-Man’s web before switching to the slow-yet-powerful Juggernaut and unleashing a deadly close-quarters quake. Satisfying stuff.

The trouble is, it’s one hell of a demanding game. You have to keep track of six different fighters, at a blistering pace, as more fireworks clutter the sky than at Chinese New Year. While the game does present you with tactical possibilities, unless you’ve been blessed with bionic thumbs and a mechanical eye you’ll rarely get the chance to take advantage of them. And although Capcom created the game it feels like Marvel is the more dominant force here. Superheroes have been exaggerated to almost ludicrous extremes, smothering the subtlety and grace of the average Street Fighter character under a hailstorm of lasers, electricity and giant robots. It’s a joy to behold, but can prove distracting.

This port hasn’t been tarted up to the degree of Street Fighter II’s recent HD update, but as the original sprite work is so great it didn’t really need quite the same care. Of more note is the implementation of SF: HD’s net-code and online features, meaning this should run smoothly as the HD Remix experience. Marvel vs Capcom 2 is still the ideal title for anyone who sees fighting games as more than the sum of their scientific, carefully balanced parts (2D fighting purists). Some people just want to pit Spider-Man against Megaman, and they’re the ones who will get most out of this hyperactive fighter.

Jul 29, 2009

More Info

Release date: Jul 29 2009 - Xbox 360
Aug 13 2009 - PS3
Jun 29 2000 - Dreamcast (US)
Jul 29 2009 - Xbox 360
Aug 13 2009 - PS3
Jul 16 2000 - Dreamcast (UK)
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, Dreamcast
Genre: Fighting
Published by: Capcom
Developed by: Capcom, Foundation 9
Franchise: Street Fighter
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Blood, Suggestive Themes, Violence
PEGI Rating:
12+

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11 comments

  • Elbo444 - August 7, 2009 7:18 p.m.

    i think ssf2thdr was better than this, both great games but they put a lot more effort into the hd remixing and ssf2 just feels more balanced overall
  • jmtinfinitet - August 1, 2009 12:56 a.m.

    4 button lay out? the rb and lb bring in your 2 different assists so i'm constantly using 6 buttons. i can see what you mean by low punch and low kick are the same buttons for medium punch and medium kick but you have to land two consecutive hits with the same button for it to use the medium attack. They gave street fighter 2 turbo hd remix a 10? but this a 8? i've owned street fighter 2 hd remix since it came out and loved playing it online but mvc2 is just a better game period than street fighter 2 IMO, so imo this is deserving of the 10 and am baffled by this review, very suprised the same site gave it lower than street fighter.
  • AlpineGuy - July 30, 2009 11:38 p.m.

    MvC2's still pretty deep, four buttons or not. Personally, I'm glad it only uses four buttons because I can't find me an arcade stick.
  • bamb0o-stick - July 30, 2009 3:47 p.m.

    I played the demo of this and was really confused at the 4-button layout. I've played Marvel vs. Capcom a lot but never really played MvC2 at the arcades. Did the arcade version of this have 4-buttons as well? I'm so used to playing with 6-buttons that this feels really handicapped.
  • Elbo444 - July 30, 2009 3 a.m.

    great game, I've played it for a few hours and it's a lot of fun
  • kingpin202 - July 30, 2009 2:59 a.m.

    I sure did love this game in the arcades and on my xbox..... Always enjoyed the Megaman, Warmachine, and Wolverine team up.... It never let me down.... I'm sure to get this.. =D
  • Crashdown1 - July 30, 2009 12:54 a.m.

    never really been interested in fighting games before, but the hype is starting to make me think otherwise.
  • Reminis - July 31, 2009 1:10 a.m.

    Best game on XBOX Live Arcade in my opinion... Easy for beginners, deep for fanatics... Highly recommended.
  • cronoman66 - July 30, 2009 2:23 p.m.

    got this yesterday, and its as good as I remembered it, played it excessivly till my wrists hurt, figuring out my team, picking strats etc, and using iron mans proton cannon over and over and over
  • Cyberninja - July 30, 2009 11:14 a.m.

    i had the orignal for dreamcast so if i get a new system ill get this
  • jar-head - July 30, 2009 3:06 a.m.

    they couldnt make a fighting game with 4 buttons work? Fable1+2 was an rpg with only 1 melee button, and it worked Beautifully

Showing 1-11 of 11 comments

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