Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is a game I got a lot of mileage out of in the past. I had the Dreamcast version and I played the crap out of it. I spent countless hours tweaking favorite teams, killer combos and learning how to use literally every one of the characters – and there were a lot of them. So it took me about 3 seconds to get very excited when Marvel vs. Capcom 2 was announced for the Xbox Live and Playstation Network. There are some cool modes to be had here, and a load of characters. I’ll do a quick rundown on this game review-wise. Not quite as meaty as Marvel vs. Capcom 3 since this has been out for awhile, and not quite a Retro Reflection because while the game’s origins are old-school, it got a slight update with its release on the Playstation Network and Xbox Live.
Graphics – 7:
The graphics were a blast back when this game first came out, and the remake has a few options like widescreen and some cleanup that help the game look better than the original, without touching the level of detail found in releases made currently. The colors are vibrant and characters are well-represented in their attack animations. The backgrounds look good and some of the special moves are still spectacular when they dominate your screen.
Sound & Music – 6:
It’s all appropriate and while I don’t have my old copy of the game on the Dreamcast (the disc got scratched beyond use years ago), I don’t recall the sounds or music clearly enough to remember if what I found here is faithful to the original or not. What is here is solid for the kind of game it is. Again, it’s a downloadable release, so Marvel vs. Capcom looks and sounds decent, especially given its price, but does not really go head-to-head well against newer released fighters like Super Street Fighter 4 or Tekken.
Gameplay – 8:
Everything handles just like I remember it. It took me a bit of practice to get back into the swing of things when I first bought it – it has to have been about a decade since I last played the game with any degree of regularity. Still, Capcom fighters have a sort of feel and pacing to them that allowed me to get my groove back pretty quickly. Everything is fast, over-the-top and rewards skill, though I do have to mention that some characters are a bit overpowered as well. Menus are pretty simple, but easy to navigate, though connecting online and setting up good sorting options to find matches that suit your preferences do not always seem to work quite as well as I’d like.
Intangibles – 9:
Then again, it has online! Seriously, this game’s fun to beat up on the cpu with, and my son and I have gone more than a few rounds too, but online is where the real fun is at and if you can manage the lobby and get into the matches, there is a ton of value here. Not to mention that there are a ton of characters – 50+. Sure, there are quite a few who play similar to one another, but even so, that is a lot of characters to beat up on and to learn your way around.
Overall – 7.5:
There is a lot of fighting game to be had here. It’s not quite as deep and satisfying in my opinion as the latest Tekken or Street Fighter games, but it’s a quarter of the price. The pacing is a lot faster too – and it can be more frustrating for people who can’t just pick up a game like this and keep up. My son is okay against the cpu, but not great and prefers to play against me. My daughters can’t keep up at all, even on the easy modes. I have no problem with it and take it easy on all three when I play. The computer’s a cakewalk but man – hopping online and finding people who can bust out moves as well – if not better (and there are a LOT of players out there better than me) is much more challenging – and rewarding.