You don’t look marvelous.
Blah! It’s a port! F! F! F!
Just kidding. But that’s usually the knee-jerk reaction when it comes to a port these days. Well, the stigma comes not without reason – a port by its very nature is scrutinized in a different way than a minty fresh game. Factors such as improvements, distance from the original release and optimization are added to the review vocabulary.
so we come to Marvel vs. Capcom 2. Yes, this is an old game, but it’s
still among the best of its generation. Unfortunately, its generation is pretty
old. There might be a few players out there that haven’t played it on the Dreamcast
or the PS2 and are itching to turn back the clock several years, but then again,
there are all kinds of better, newer games out there for the Xbox.
The Xbox version is a direct port of the Dreamcast version with no additions
whatsoever. In fact, go ahead and read Brian’s DC
review or Joe’s PS2 review
and you’d get nearly the same review as here. Same bright colorful graphics
with sometimes odd 3D backgrounds, same loopy soundtracks replete with some
nameless diva singing about “taking me for a ride.” Strange, but fitting.
By the phantasmagoric powers that be, the fighters of Marvel and Capcom have
been thrust together in a battle to defy all time and space or some junk like
that. An impressive pool of 56 playable characters in teams of three smack each
other around to decide the fate of the universe… or because they have nothing
better to do on a Saturday night.
The fighting system works like every Capcom fighting game ever with
various joystick rotations, chains and mega-super-whammy-bammy attacks (note:
not the real name). The medium attacks have been disavowed in favor of a more
streamlined system. The other members of your tag team can be called forth at
the push of a button in order to deliver pain by the pair or even a triple threat
playing the different game modes, from Arcade, Versus, Score Attack or the well-constructed
Training mode, you will be rewarded with points. These points can be spent on
buying more fighters, obtaining new color schemes, or buying character sketches
to fill up your gallery. This point system works very well and extends the single
player appeal of the game significantly.
The port is letter perfect to the DC, but the biggest problem is the missing
online feature. Xbox Live! gameplay was purportedly promised, but is now absent.
I don’t understand why the designers bailed out on this; I mean, nobody is in
a real rush to play the game as it is. Marvel vs. Capcom 2 should have
been pushed back even further if only to deliver the key online element.
For that matter, since this was originally released, absolutely nothing new has been added despite the fact that developers have taken time to port it to new systems. There is no Xbox exclusive content or anything. The graphics and gameplay are exactly the same as they have always been.
I essentially see eye to eye with Joe’s PS2 Marvel vs. Capcom 2 review,
but in the 4 months since that version came out, the playing field has changed.
The Xbox is a more powerful system and one that is flourishing with online play,
and in fact even managed to do so with a weaker game from the same company,
Capcom vs. SNK 2: EO. Why they chose to
go online with that game and not this one is beyond me, but it makes it hard
to recommend Marvel vs.. Capcom 2.
I’m happy that the Xbox can have a full library of fighting games, but I wish
there was more to this than just the standard, vanilla port. Next to new fare
like Guilty Gear X2, Marvel
vs. Capcom 2 quickly shows its age. And that’s the whole point. Isn’t it
about time for Marvel vs. Capcom 3?