reviews\ Nov 24, 2002 at 7:00 pm

Marvel vs Capcom 2 - PS2 - Review

Second verse (or is that versus?) same as the first.

Back in 2000, Capcom released Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes. Drop the latter part of that and you have the re-release of the same game for the PlayStation 2 from the creative talents at both Capcom and Marvel.

In a nutshell, this is three-on-three tag-team combat, featuring two-dimensional comic book-style animation against a perspective three-dimensional background. For the record, the background looks good, but is purely incidental to the gameplay. You pick your team from 56 playable characters, then pick the opposing team, and when given the command, you fight.

The remarkable thing about this game is that is does not require finger gymnastics to control fighters or to put together combinations. The square button is for light punches and the triangle is for heavy punches. The X and O buttons work the same way for kicks. Holding down the X and square will tag in another fighter. The same goes with the triangle and O buttons.

The game features several ways to play: Arcade is for one or two players, versus is a two-player competition, and training is a one-person practice venue. Of course, like any arcade side-scrolling combat game, the idea is to score the most points, enter your initials, and maybe unlock some secret characters.

But the lure of unlocking secret characters aside, this game does have some nice starting characters that first-time players can pull up. You can have Iceman, Wolverine and Ryu take on Anakaris, Venom and Rubyheart, or maybe Captain America, Cyclops and Dr. Doom taking on Marrow, Tron Bonne and Rogue. With 56 playable characters, the combinations are almost endless and fascinating.

The sound of this game is inappropriate. The music sounds like elevator lounge music and it can be quite irritating.

Graphically the game is rather good for a two-dimensional fighter. This game has a rich comic-book look and while the actual animation isn’t smooth by any means, it does have the comic-book feel and effect.

This is a game that certainly won’t appeal to fight fans that want the realism and fluid motion of a 3D combat game. But this game does have a lot of appeal and should easily find a niche with gamers who like fast, action-packed combat with individual special skills and rich graphics. Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 is almost three years old and was first released on the DreamCast. The game has ported well to the PS2.

This game is rated Teen for blood, violence and suggestive themes.

Gameplay: 8
The action is seamless once in a fight. This is a fast-paced game with incidental load times. The controls have been kept simple so that at any moment you can call in a tag-team partner, if you choose that option, to keep the fight going. This is a side-scrolling horizontal combat game.

Graphics: 8
For a two-dimensional game, with comic-book animation, this game does look surprisingly good. The game is bright, colorful and though only two-dimensional, the treatment gives is a lush, rich look. Some of the animations are a little sillier than others. Spider-man and The Hulk look like they just stepped out of a Saturday morning cartoon series than the comic books, but other characters, like Dr. Doom, Strider Hiryu and Guile, are very well done.

Sound: 6.8
The music doesn’t really fit the game, and does get annoying after a while. The rest of the effects are merely average.

Difficulty: Medium
The game controls are designed to deliver maximum action with minimum work. This works well. You can also affect combination moves and multiple hits by using button combinations. The game also features a difficulty setting. While the game is easy to get into and play, this is a challenging fight game that will have even give veteran gamers a battle.

Concept: 7
It was done before. This is a re-release of the title.

Multiplayer: 8
The game really comes to life with two players going head-to-head. Battling the CPU presents challenge, but battling another person adds to the enjoyment factor.

Overall: 8
Yes, there are better combat games on console platforms, but Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 has an innocent quality that will certainly appeal to game players of all ages. Bringing 56 well-known characters to the screen in tag-team combat, while maintaining the general animation style of the original characters is terrific. Because of the number of possible team combinations, this game has great replayability.


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