Marvel vs Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes (MvC 2) is a quality remake of an extremely popular game in the Vs series. The game was first released on the NAOMI arcade platform and was released on the Dreamcast back in 2000. The game was later ported onto the PS2 and XBOX in 2002 receiving mixed reviews. Now through the efforts of Backbone Entertainment, who also did the HD port of Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (SSF2T HDR), Marvel vs Capcom 2 is now available through PSN and XBLA for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. With widescreen TV support, improved sprite filters and online play, will this re-release of an arcade classic please the existing hard core fans and introduce a new generation of gamers of the craziness that is the Vs series?
For those who are encountering MvC2 for the first time the fighting system uses, two punch buttons, two kick buttons and two buttons used for teammate assist attacks. Teams can build 5 levels of hyper bar which characters can use for performing hyper combos (massive multi-hit attacks), variable counters (a la Street Fighter Alphas series counters), snap backs (which forces the current character out of the field and another team mate to jump back in), chain hyper combos (in which team mates cancel each others’ hyper combos with their own hyper combo) and dual/triple hyper combos (where two or three team members perform their hyper combos at once). Players are able to tag team mates in and out during the match, air block, super jump, double jump and a variety of other standard fighting game mechanics.
Controls are responsive and plays well on the Playstation 3’s D-pad and since the release of Street Fighter IV, there are a variety of joysticks for the PS3 which can be found to re-create the arcade action. For Xbox 360 owners unfortunately, only a few Xbox360 joysticks are available which are very difficult to obtain in Australia.
The PS3 version of Marvel vs Capcom 2 provides a roster of all 56 characters without the need for any character unlocking. The core game play has not changed much from the original release of MvC2 so all characters should play as per normal with all the combos and exploits though some infinites have been removed from this iteration of the game. Luckily this remake avoids the negatives from the PS2 port, and plays closer to the Arcade/Dreamcast version. The unbalanced character tier lists are still in effect which is slightly disappointing considering SSF2T HD Remix offered both the original and rebalanced game play modes.
MvC2 provides a simple array of game play modes, single player modes consists of: Arcade mode, Training mode and Score attack. Multiplayer modes are equally basic, players can do local multiplayer, online scoreboard matches (ie. ranked fights) and online friendly matches. Players can change their input delay settings (high/low) depending on their network conditions. In friendly matches players can create their own lobbies up to a maximum of 6 players and assign private slots for friends, set the battle speed and enable/disable voice chat. The interface for finding online lobbies is basically the same as it is in SSF2T HDR, at the time of review there were only a few game lobbies available and pings of roughly 250ms were still playable thanks to the GGPO networking code used. There are some bugs in multiplayer mode, eg. In the PS3 version when searching for multiplayer lobbies, the PS3 can lock up, requiring a hard reset. Hopefully these will be addressed in a future patch.
When joining a multiplayer lobby, players join a round robin queue where the winner stays on and those in queue can watch the games unfold. When joining mid-match players are greeted with the lobby menu and life bars of the characters currently engaged in battle.
Your experience online will greatly be determined by how big the MvC2 community is in your region. Though GGPO helps laggy connections to the US, it is no match for offline or matches against fellow Australians. New players will definitely face a steep learning curve as you will be pitted online against seasoned players who have been playing this game for many, many, years.
Marvel vs Capcom 2’s graphics have not been revamped to HD like Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix has. Two filters have been provided, crisp and smooth whilst purists can set it to classic mode to view the character sprites in their full pixelated glory. On HDTVs the pixelation is pronounced so those with sensitive eyes should opt for the filters provided. Background graphics have translated well to high definition and are crisp and clear.
The frame rate is rock solid and there were no discernable slowdowns present during matches. In game menus have been redone with new backgrounds and there is some noticeable lag when navigating through the menus. The most noticeable addition is that MvC2 is now available in 16:9 widescreen, the backgrounds and most attacks stretch the full distance but the actual game field is still in 4:3 format, this means your characters now walk up against invisible walls on both sides, so not to disturb the existing game play mechanics. This does cause some graphic anomalies, for example some team Hyper Combo attacks do not stretch the whole screen.
The background music used is the same as those used in the arcade version and for Playstation 3 owners; additional soundtracks can be downloaded for free from PSN just like how SSF2T HDR had remixed music available to download. In-game XMB soundtrack function is also supported and works fairly well though with some bugs when using it online. All voice samples and noises are there but not much more attention has been paid to the audio aspects of this remake however.
This title is available for purchase for $23.95 AUD at the time of review and presents a mixed bag of gaming value. For those who have purchased this on their Dreamcast/PS2/XBOX already, you are simply buying the same game all over again with online play, but if you are still playing the game on your Dreamcast/PS2/XBOX then this would be a no-brainer purchase for your new 3rd gen console.
As evidenced by Capcom’s decision to provide everything unlocked (characters/colours), the single player experience is fairly shallow and it is the multiplayer component of MvC2 that will determine how long you will keep playing this game.
For those who have rediscovered the 2D fighting genre, this has a steep learning curve and the gaming community fairly small on the PSN so when playing online you are more likely to encounter very seasoned players.
Marvel vs Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes is a quality remake of an extremely popular game in the Vs series. Single player modes are fairly rudimentary and online multiplayer has all the same features you are accustomed to from the SSF2T HDR remake. The core of the game play retains intact and faithful to the arcade/Dreamcast version whilst the graphical updates for HD gaming are minor but does not interfere with the combat mechanics. Overall this video game is a must for existing fans and newcomers should have a fun button mashing time. This is a good addition to anyone’s 2D fighting game library.
AAG Score: 8/10
- High quality remake of the arcade game and remains true to the source material.
- Controls are responsive and combat system deep and complex.
- Graphical updates for high definition gaming.
- New online play feature.
- Online multiplayer contains some bad bugs requiring resets.
- Character balance is bad with certain characters being far superior to others.
- Steep learning curve especially when playing against people who have been playing this since 2000.
Reviewed & Written By Danny Yee