|Theres been no shortage of really good fighting games out
for the Dreamcast. Soul Calibur dropped jaws with its beautiful graphics and ultra-smooth
game play, Ready 2 Rumble redefined what a boxing game should be, and Power Stone gave us
something wed never seen before -- a whole new interactive dimension to do battle
in. There is a sinister dark side, however, to the 3D revolution that is often overlooked.
Chances are you know one, maybe you are one. With the trademarked bloodshot darting eyes,
the racing pulse, the ability to hit every button on the controller forty-three times in
the blink of an eye --the forgotten 2D warriors of the video game universe. Left
unfulfilled by Mortal Kombat Gold, theyve been walking the earth looking for a 2D
world to call home. Who else but Capcom could answer the call? And answer they have.
Capcom proves that they can kick ass in any dimension, and look good doing it. Marvel Vs.
Capcom offers an over-the-top hyperactive 2D symphony of ballistic tag team fighting
anime-styled characters that will send your pulse racing and the competition crying uncle.
In Marvel Vs. Capcom you select your hero of choice and a trusty sidekick. Youre also assigned a special helper characterrandomly selected from dozens of familiar Capcom and Marvel faces. You cant control your helper, but you can call on them to drop in and give you a hand dispatching those baddies. During the battle you can also swap your characters in and out of the battle, execute special team up attacks, and even go for the ultimate attackthe vicious variable cross. When this move goes off you can control both of your characters on screen at once, and you have an unlimited Hyper Combo gauge to boot. This makes for some insane attacks that are just beautiful to watch and hard to walk away from. There are extensive skills to master In Marvel Vs. Capcom. Learning to use combos, throws, blocks, Hyper Combos, and team-up attacks are just the beginning. Youll also have to master the taunt, the Aerial Rave, the counter, and many more. Theres enough depth here to keep even the most fanatical fighters satisfied for quite a while.
Marvel Vs. Capcom has fifteen characters initially available and seven more hidden throughout the game, although some of these are variations of characters already selectable. The universe of Marvel superheroes has supplied Captin America, the Hulk, Wolverine, Gambit, Venom, War Machine and the one and only web-slinging Spiderman. The world of Capcom draws suitable challengers from Street Fighter and other Capcom classics, bringing together the formidable line-up of: Ryu, Captain Commando, Chun-Li, Zangief, Jin, Morrigan, Megaman, and Strider Hiryu.
The graphics are an absolutely flawless translation from the arcade classic. The characters are amazingly anime, with a wonderful unique feel that gives them a lot of personality and makes for a lot of depth. The levels are bright, colorful, and just really work in giving the game a classic, comic book feel. The music is a collection of Capcom classics and character theme songs that certainly arent revolutionary, but definitely lend themselves to a retro feel. The overall effect is one of a dramatic comic book showdown that couldnt have been presented any better.
The only real complaint I have with Marvel Vs. Capcom is the D-pad control. The game doesnt support the analog joystick, and the standard Dreamcast controller uses a smaller D-pad than other systems and it also sticks up further off the controller. This makes it more difficult to roll the D-pad and manipulate it correctly enough and consistently enough to pull off the more difficult combos. Combine this with small buttons and the necessity of combining several buttons with a D-pad move and you can get tangled up. The fact is that after a few days of playing, I was out-playing the control pad and felt held back. The 2D connoisseurs of the world will almost certainly want to make an additional investment in a nice arcade stick and those big convenient buttons.
Even with the minor control issues, Marvel Vs. Capcom is still a fun game and a must have for any 2D fighting fan. Even better, its a wonderful comic book experience that just never seems to get old. Do you remember those special comic book issues where two super heroes would finally get to duke it out? They usually came out in the summertime and cost about triple what the average comic did. Inevitably the fight ended in a draw of some sort, which of course kept me buying the comic to see what happened next. Playing Marvel Vs. Capcom has been like being a kid again and having a new one of those issue everyday, only this time the fights hardly ever end in a draw. Best of all, if anyone starts talking smack and tells you that Captain America can take Spiderman, you can slap in Marvel Vs. Capcom and settle the issue once and for all-- or at least until the rematch.