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Monday, September 3, 2012

Marvel vs. Capcom 2 Review (Revised and Revisited)

Original Release:
Japan: March 30, 2000
North America: June 29, 2000
Europe: July 16, 2000

Game Details:
1-2 Players
VMU enabled
Standard Controller, Arcade Stick
Jump Pak enabled
VGA Box

[Video courtesy of "It's Still Thinking"]

Gameplay
"Select Your Heores...!"
Select a team of 3 from a massive roster of 56 total characters representing both Marvel and Capcom favorites like Strider, Ryu, Thanos, Sabretooth, with new premiere appearances from Cable, SonSon, and Jill Valentine to name a few.
"Select Your Assist Type...!"
Select from 3 unique assist types for each character, affecting how your team members will aid and support each other in battle (This is a MAJOR aspect in high level gameplay so experiment and choose wisely).  
"Cool Decision...!"
Fight through 7 AI controlled teams to finally face the Boss (Arcade Mode). Other modes include Versus, Training, Score Attack and Secret Factor (a shop where you can exchange your currency earned through playtime in return to unlock half of the roster as well as additional colors for all characters and additional stages). Controls take a major departure from the Street Fighter's traditional 3 strength system in favor of a 2 strength system with an assist button tailored to each member of a team. This new button scheme not only makes the game comfortable to play on a standard DC controller, it also makes the game more accessible for newcomers. Capcom expands on the formula of the renowned VS. series with 3 man tag battles (as oppose to 2) and makes great strides in expanding the assist mechanic first introduced in MSHvsSF. New features added include a fitting cancel system (cancel specials into hyper moves on the fly), a delayed hyper combo system that allows you link all 3 characters hyper combo into one another for serious damage, and last but not least, the dreaded Snapback feature that allows the user to force tag an opponent’s support member onscreen. Additional mechanics that have been a staple to the series like Push blocking, hyper jumps, dashes and magic series combos are all accounted for in this installment.            

Storyline
"The Chronicles of Battle Will Now Unfold, This is...!"
When doomful shadow covers hope, warriors join. In search of the Abyss, which is suppose to bring BLAH BLAH! Here’s the real story, Capcom still has the rights from Marvel Comics to milk the VS. series one more time. At their disposal is the best arcade hardware in the form of Sega's marvelous NAOMI hardware, and with that the once in a lifetime opportunity to recycle just about every sprite ever designed, over a decade of Capcom fighting titles milked for all their glory, all bundled with some of the most ridiculous fighting mechanics ever conceived. Unethical, immoral you say? perhaps. A recipe for success… Absolutely!!!

Graphics
"Get Ready to Kick butt, Engage...!"
The games visuals and presentation are a result of the games arcade roots. As mentioned, the game was originally developed for the NAOMI hardware (an equivalent to a more powerful Dreamcast) so the conversion process to the DC is nothing short of perfection. While the character sprites don't benefit from the powerful hardware, everything surrounding these pixilated pugilists do! The HUD is crystal clear, the hit sparks as well as special effects are overhauled. More obvious though, every background stage is in 3D, displaying in beautiful 640x480 resolution. Playing in VGA mode may make the character sprites look tad more terrible to the eye, but the overall picture onscreen looks ultra sharp and vividly colorful (Worth it for the latter if you ask me).       

Sound
"Oh Man, I Almost Had Heart Attack There...!"
Here's where the game throws you a massive curveball! While the sound effects are adequate and typical fighting game fare, they are drowned by the games soundtrack which is composed of purely jazzy inspired tunes coupled with likewise harmonious vocals that in no way compliment the games blistering pace and visuals. It's almost as if Capcom consciously chose the most unfitting music genre for this game! What other explanation can there be!

Conclusion
"Don't give Up, Challenge Again...!"
It's been 12 years since its release to the gaming world but MVC2 has obtained not only a cult status among fighting game enthusiasts, but also a longevity that I personally feel has yet to be toppled (due to its long overdue sequel lacking those arcade roots that served its younger sibling so well). After countless ports on other consoles, the Dreamcast version of MVC2 remains without question at the top as the most accurate version for home consoles. While it may lack the style and finesse of Soul Calibur, or the deep technical values of 3rd Strike, but its sheer replayability is unrivaled when mixed with the proper community.  

8.5/10

1 comment:

  1. And that's why Toodles' Collection is awesome.

    ReplyDelete