Marvel vs Capcom: Origins review
The more things change, the more they stay the same. This statement more than any other reflects my time with Marvel vs Capcom Origins. As a kid, I frequented a local skating rink here in Florida that had Marvel Super Heroes. Now, I was barely tall enough to mash on the buttons, but I remember thinking how cool it was to use Spider Man and the like in battle in the same way I could in Street Fighter at home. Of course, what I didn’t realize then was what a juggernaut Marvel games would become in the world of fighting games – nevertheless, it was a favorite of mine for a long time. So you can imagine my joy when I realized that Capcom was revitalizing the game alongside Marvel vs Capcom.
The gameplay is just as I remember, and just as responsive, so no worries about a poor port. This game is about as close to arcade perfect as they could have possibly gotten. It even has view modes that simulate the old CRT TVs, among other options including one that simulated looking over someone’s shoulder. That one is really fun for watching replays, it felt like I was a kid again watching the teenagers beat the hell out of each other. And honestly, this game plays like a dream. The balance back then, while not perfect, reflected a time when game developers really only had one chance to get balance right. There were no updates to the game, so many infinites, unrealistic combos and otherwise cheap strategies are in the game (especially the hidden characters in MvC Red Venom and Golden War Machine, I’m looking at you) – and it was awesome. Some may call that “frustrating” but it was nice to remember what games were like back then.
The multiplayer and single player arcade modes are again, just as you would remember them. There were no shortcuts added to the game for move inputs and everything is quite sensitive to your inputs, meaning a slight mispress on the control pad is the difference between a shoryuken and a crouching punch. Whereas in modern fighters, the game autocorrects you, this game also illustrates rather well what things were like before autocorrect in fighters – wish we could have something similar for texting.
Also cool was the game’s achievement tracking on the side of the screen in every view except for Stretch. This gives you somewhat of a guide to what you’re doing a lot of so new players can learn the technical jargon rather quickly, and it’s great for achievement hunters. Though, it is an arcade title, so the number of points is limited, getting all of the achievements in the game takes a ton of time and skill. Just be glad you aren’t pumping quarters into it like you were some 17 years ago, and you’ll be fine.
Speaking of multiplayer, I’m a big fan of how the game ranks players online. You earn and lose points for winning and losing battles respectively, and usually you are placed in matches against people of a similar skill level. The netcode in particular was perfect using the GGPO system, I felt no real difference in playing someone online versus playing friends of mine at home.
Only one real gripe with this one - You can really tell this game was not designed for HD televisions if you turn the option for “Stretch” on to fill the screen. So, there was somewhat of a missed opportunity there. After other games that Capcom has put out recently that have been HD rereleases, you would think they would take the extra time and care to show you what the game may have been like released in a modern era, like the excellent Super Street Fighter II HD Remix. And I really wish they had gone with Street Fighter vs X-Men rather than Marvel Super Heroes, though that’s more of a personal opinion than a problem with the game itself.
All in all, for a walk down memory lane to a time when there was no DLC and games existed to make money in the arcades through brutal difficulty, you could do much worse than Marvel vs Capcom Origins.
Dustin Steiner is GameZone's eSports Correspondent! Follow him on Twitter @VGHC_Deitis and check out Video Gaming Hard Corps, where he is a local tournament organizer for the S. FL. Fighting Game Community.