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Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (Xbox) artwork

Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (Xbox) review

"Marvel vs. Capcom 2 may be the most addictive 2-D fighting game of them all. Unlike Capcom vs. SNK 2, it didn’t rely on complicated fighting “grooves” or a fussy scoring system but on pure mayhem and oversized hyper combos! Luckily, those who never visit arcades or who are unfortunate not to have one in their area got an almost perfect port on their favourite home consoles. Capcom delved into many of their older titles, digging up a bunch of familiar faces as well as some obscure ones. Marve..."

Marvel vs. Capcom 2 may be the most addictive 2-D fighting game of them all. Unlike Capcom vs. SNK 2, it didn’t rely on complicated fighting “grooves” or a fussy scoring system but on pure mayhem and oversized hyper combos! Luckily, those who never visit arcades or who are unfortunate not to have one in their area got an almost perfect port on their favourite home consoles. Capcom delved into many of their older titles, digging up a bunch of familiar faces as well as some obscure ones. Marvel also picked out a gallery of its beloved comic book characters then tossed them into the mix to create a gargantuan cast.

The control scheme is smooth and simple, even on the Xbox controller. Either the analog stick or the D-pad can be used for movement so you can take your pick at what you want to use. The four buttons use the basic layout of weak and medium punches and kicks while the black and white buttons are used for strong punches and Hyper Combos. The two triggers at the back will also be of use as they can help you pull of double/triple Hyper Combos or they allow to use one of the characters H.C already. Unfortunately, you can only do one type with each character so you’ll have to use the white or black button to access the others.

The backbone of the fighting system is three-on-three tag battles, obviously you can tag in one of our partners whenever you want to. Every time you pick a character from the selection screen you can choose their assist type which means nothing for that character when they are fighting up front but when they are in the reserves it can be very useful. Pressing the trigger button allows one of your stationary characters to leap forward and pull off their special move. There are numerous types of these assists, ranging from anti-air to projectile. Each character has three different assists but you have to stick with one for one game, if you pick anti-air then your character will aim up high or you may use a heal type character which increases the health of the character in the field.

Everyone has about four special moves between them and they are helpful in not only pounding your opponent but for building up your Hyper Combo gauge on the bottom of the screen. Most special moves require a short combo for execution and popular ones include Ryu’s Hadoken and Spiderman shooting out web from his wrist. Performing a special move will cause your Hyper Combo gauge to increase and when it reaches it’s max you can pull use all three of your character’s Hyper Combos at once to pack a truckload of damage.

All of the characters have a few Hyper Combos between them as well. Most of the Hyper Combos are easy enough to pull off and they really dish out the damage. If you pull it off at level one, it probably won’t do the bevy of damage that you were expecting so it would be best not to waste it on this feeble level. If you get past level two you can perform a double hyper-combo which dishes out even more damage and if you exceed this you can wipe the floor with your foes with a triple hyper combo, all three of your fighters jump out onto the screen and unleash three blasts of power. They range from oversized projectiles such as massive versions of standard moves like the Hadoken or Cyclops’s Optic Blast or to basic hit based combos such as a flurry of hits and punches, like Wolverines berserker barrage. Hyper combos are so simple to do that even your three year old brother can do one, you can perform a triple Hyper combo by simply holding down the triggers or doing a quick combo and pressing the white button.

To access the games’ lavish number of characters you must “buy” them with points that you have earned during play. Every time you play the game you will be awarded with a number of points, ranging from seventy-five points a shot to four thousand. You can use your acquired points to purchase hidden characters, hidden costumes (alternate palette swaps), backgrounds and artwork. At first the prices for these items are reasonably cheap but as you progress the prices rise extortionately, gallery shots may start off at 200 points and increase all the way to 2000 points or above after all the characters are unlocked. Thankfully, you don’t need to beat the game on hardest to unlock special features, you can just play frequently to gain more points for your collection. You don’t have to be a perfectionist to unlock everything, which is a welcome gift for those who have been playing Capcom vs. SNK 2.

It’s a shame that a game with so many merits has one problem which leads to annoyance, more than anything else. The character balance is iffy in certain areas, there are plenty but some choices of fighters may seem a little rushed and pointless. Capcom brought out unknown and famous faces such as major players from Street Fighter. Bison, Guile, Akuma and Dhalshim all feature as playable characters and Capcom brought famous faces from their other hits as well. Obscure Capcom characters such as SonSon, the monkey god from the retro NES game and Captain Commando, star of the average arcade game of the same name feature here as well which will send most retro gamers on a stroll down memory lane. Marvel fans won’t be disappointed with the appearance of many key players, the amazing Spider Man, the Incredible Hulk, Magneto and Juggernaut are just a few of huge gallery of Marvel fighters.

Unfortunately, Capcom made a few mistakes in the odd character choice, we have Roll, Mega Man’s kid sister who plays exactly like Mega Man, we have two Wolverines, who are way too similar for their own good and we also have the mischievous Servbot, attaché to T. Bonne, an ugly chick in a robot walker. Servbot is an annoying character who is way too small for others to fight, he is the root of all frustration, mainly because he is damn hard to hit. If Capcom thought long and hard about it I could’ve had Sagat, Dante and Sinister as my ultimate team, instead of three robotic dorks and a Lego built shrimp.

The comic book style visuals are brilliantly bright, full of life and colour. The animation of all the characters, even on the gigantic Abyss are done smoothly. Each character looks perfectly like their comic book self and every Capcom character looks pristine, especially ones who have been revamped from the old days. The backgrounds are also special, the use of 3-D rendering in the backgrounds really pays off, the moving ice caps are so smooth and immaculate and the circus stage is beautifully animated. They all fade to nothing when they are compared to the palace of Abyss, a marble coated citadel which you watch crumble with smooth and intense visuals.

Capcom also produced some nifty tracks for this game as well. A lot of them are really memorable while others are good but nothing special. The character selection song, “I’m gonna take you for a ride!” is repetitive but sounds so good, I even caught my mother singing it one day, that’s got to mean something. The other great tunes are the song on the Ice level and the circus stage. The music seems to follow a jazz theme which is welcomed greatly as you’ll find that most of the themes are really toe-tapping. Speech content is very high and everyone has something to say. The majority of the voice clips are in Japanese and are bit annoying, like Mega Man and Roll while others capture the personality of the character vividly, Wolverine’s “Let’s go, bub” was one of the best lines in the game.

It’s a perfect port of a game that’s unbelievably fun and packed of replay value. The 3 on 3 battles are easy to grasp, there are plenty of characters to pick and the assist scheme really helps you build up different teams and show the variety of different characters. The gameplay is terrific and never gets boring; the unlocking system is so simple that even my kid brother can unlock characters. Marvel cs Capcom 2 sports smooth graphics that are crisp and clean and the music is as addictive as tobacco. It’s the ultimate 2-D fighter for the Xbox or any other system and the great thing is that you can pick it up cheaply on this system.

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Community review by goldenvortex (February 10, 2005)

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