Name: Marvel VS Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes (92.07% in 29 votes)
Release date: 2000
Reviewed by: KurenaiJiku
The latest in psychotic, pyrotechnic, super duper hyper, craziness, billion hit combo battle is Marvel VS Capcom 2. Without a doubt, Capcom puts out some of the most innovative fighting games out there with few exceptions from other companies. For the second in it's series, Marvel VS Capcom 2 isn't much to get all that excited about but definitely is a welcome addition to the powerhouse Dreamcast line up.
Filled with more craziness character clashing between Capcom and Marvel, it isn't a game to play when you have a headache, are dizzy or are just plain sick. It will probably make you huck your lunch all over your screen, drop dead for the next several hours, or try to sell the game ASAP to your friend. This game is like Marvel VS Capcom but on steroids twenty four seven. With over 50 characters to boot, running on the Naomi arcade board, many stage variations, 3 tag team partners, 3 different assist types for each character, network capabilities in Japan; this game is a sprite filled splendor.
Compared to the original Marvel VS Capcom, the freeze time in this game is much lowered on standard moves making the ability to chain combos quite easy. It's more of a button masher rather than your standard beat 'em up. Ok, so what's the deal with Capcom then? The Cap-sters realized that the VS series is no longer your common straight fighter, so they changed the focus of the game to managing your team mates and unleashing your hyper combos at the correct moment. There are now substantial delays before a hyper combo launches so it's not all about just blasting your character's super move every time your power bar is at max. There's almost an art to it. Of course there are individual character hyper combos, and then there's triple character hyper combos like the duo hyper combos in the first version. Moreover, hyper combo damage has been reduced quite a bit, so the necessity to execute triple character hyper combos is great.
The con of Capcom's decision to focus on hyper combos even more, has reduced each characters' defining traits to a smudge on a finger painting. Each character isn't as unique as it was before or at least expected to be, and is almost completely blurred. It could be the reason that there are so many characters to use in the game, or simply the ease and similar usage of each character. Whatever the reason may be, it makes the game very, very easy to learn for previous Marvel VS Capcom players, or even Street Fighter players. I think that even random button mashers can give an expert hyper combo-er a good thrashing before being taken down.
Anyways, as said before there are now 3 characters on each team and over 50 characters to choose from. Unlike the first Marvel VS Capcom, all characters are now switchable and fully useable during combat. Each character has 3 chooseable assist moves during the character selection screen; each with it's own advantages and disadvantages. Some heal, some direct attack, and some are just plain strange. Capcom did a good job of making all the wackiness in this game bareable by most audiences. I like more darker ambiences but I gave this game an exception in terms of cuteness. There's even a walking cactus Capcom character which I don't even recognize from anywhere! What's weirder from your standard Capcom fighting game is that there's only fierce and weak punches and kicks. Out goes the door with medium strength attacks. So what are they replaced with? Two assist buttons; by pressing either one will bring forth either one of your other characters to help you out in battle. Fortunately, they are easier to combo with your character in current usage unlike before. Yes people, there is some actual strategy in this now. To switch between useable characters you simutaneously press weak punch and weak kick, or fierce punch and fierce kick. As before, your team mate will super speedingly jump kick into the scene hopefully knocking the living barf out of your opponent. Fortunately, if the jump kicking character manages to smack doodle their opponent, they'll go spiraling into the air giving the attacked chance to recover.
Combos are relatively easy to perform and seemingly aerial raves aren't as necessary as before. In fact, ground combos are sometimes more effective as breaking out of being stunned is easier. Rather there's less freeze time in everything that you do in the game, and it seems that move cancelling is much easier than in Street Fighter 3. I found it funny that I could do weak punch, weak kick, fierce punch, captain fire, and then captain sword with Captain Commando without much trouble at all. Aside from all the insane and wackiness Marvel VS Capcom 2 packs, the game still has that good ol' Capcom feel.
The graphics are something to be noteworthy of. All the backgrounds are in 3D and ingeniusly textured. What? You don't think 3D backgrounds give a good Anime look? I didn't think so either, but my doubts were put to rest as soon as I played the game. All the backgrounds are in high polycount and are real time rendered nicely. It sometimes makes me wonder why they didn't make the characters high res as well. They're a pixellated blur ontop of the backdrop counter parts, and are almost totally out of place. However, considering the amount of effects and frames for all the sprites, it's understandable that Capcom kept all the memory hoggers to a lower resolution. Still, it would have been marvelous to finally have a fully high resolution Capcom game, as the first high res 2D fighter won't be Capcom made. Guilty Gear X will be the first 2D high res fighting game in gaming history; NOOO CAPCOM!!! Oh well, fans will have to settle for the half baked Marvel VS Capcom 2. Good thing that all the sprites have been slightly suped up with a bit more frames inbetween walk cycles, attacks and all the fancy dood dads that no one really sees because there's just too much stuff on the screen. The game doesn't slow down one bit during triple character hyper combos, or anything that requires a lot of flying stuff on the screen. Good thing otherwise having low res sprites wouldn't be an excuse for having a hybrid of low and high res.
Sound on the other hand is questionable. Oh when will the day come when Capcom will pick up it's Qsound luggage and huck it in the garbage? Not anytime soon it seems, because even on the Naomi board the sound effects are same ol' same ol'. Ryu's screaming hadoken sounds just as dull as before, although Captain Commando's captain fire sounds slightly more angrier than before. All sound effects are in mono world, and do the same thing as Capcom games did before; not much. Music on the other hand is suped up, or rather sounds better with the help of the Dreamcast's Yamaha music engine. Though, it's a lot more jammier and presents no specific theme for each character leaveing a bland, tasteless flavor in your mouth. There is some generic singing in the background though; English people, English!!! It's a lot like Konami's Beatmania or music game line up; jammy. When will Capcom realize that ambience rides higher than arcade-ish tones!
Overall in presentation, Marvel VS Capcom 2 is a fresh expression of the VS series most definitely. It won't give you a new definition of a Capcom fighting game, but it takes a special place in your game collection as the dominant Capcom crazy fighter. It's replay value is an all time low, but will take over Marvel VS Capcom 1, and have something new and interesting for those friendly gaming bashes. Is it overall worth it to import this game? Yes, only if you have a Nexus card and the urge to do some serious booty kicking. Without the Nexus card you won't be able to download a hacked save file to unlock all the characters. Meaning if you don't live in Japan, you won't be able to unlock all the secret characters without the save file. Meaning if you don't have a Nexus card, wait for the domestic release. Now I must go back to do some serious "whose your daddy" whooping.
Graphics (technical) - 4/5
Graphics (creative) - 5/5
Sound (technical) - 3/5
Sound (creative) - 3/5
Technical Gameplay - 3.5/5
Fun Factor - 5/5
Diversity of Features - 4/5 (In Japan)
Diversity of Features - 2.5/5 (Domestically)
Story - 2.5/5
Overall Value - 4/5
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