Review: Marvel vs Capcom Origins
Capcom seem to bit on a bit of a fighting game roll recently, pumping out more Street Fighters than I care to count, and re-invigorating the tag team, Marvel vs Capcom franchise with MvC3. Much has been said of the gem system in Street Fighter X Tekken, (mostly bad) but few will be aware of it’s origins. Look no further than Marvel vs Capcom Origins, the latest repackaged arcade re-release on PSN and XBLA.
What you’ll find in here are two of the most experimental games that Capcom put out in the arcade. Marvel Vs Capcom was one of the first tag team fighting games, and the crazy crossover of characters was unprecedented for a video-game, delivering a roster equal to any summer comic book crossover event. Marvel Super Heroes was the birthplace of the gem system, giving out randomised effects that fighters could trigger to their advantage.
The main games here are perfect arcade ports. Now, you may think this means “flawless gameplay” but it actually means “buggy and imbalanced”. The two games are presented exactly as they were in the arcades, with the numerous bugs, glitches, infinite combos and broken characters still present. The combat plays out like most 2D Capcom games, with super moves, hyper combos and all sorts of Tech maneuvers for the nimble-fingered. Expect to see a lot of Spider-man and Wolverine online…
The real shiny point in this package is the presentation, particularly the viewing modes. You can choose from the normal widecreen, 4:3 options, or pick one of the wackier ones, like Retro, which angles the whole screen backwards like an arcade machine, or even Over The Shoulder, which situates your view about two feet away at a sideways angle, for that crowded arcade feeling. You can also opt to have scan lines added to the screen, for that old school CRT feeling.
The Vault is a nice addition too. As you progress through the games, you can complete various challenges, similar to Street Fighter 3rd Strike. These challenges are spread across both titles, so you’re not going to need to do the same thing twice to progress. As you complete challenges, you earn Vault Points, which are used to unlock most of the games bonus features. Concept art, ending movies, and whole new characters can be unlocked here, and provide a good motivation to get keep playing.
The main addition to the title is online mode, pitting you against the devious wizards of the internet. Matchmaking is pretty quick, and the netcode seems nice and stable, no connection drops for me in over two hours. You can fiddle with the handy GGPO system, setting preferences for lag and ping, enabling your experience to be as smooth as you want.
Marvel vs Capcom Origins is an interesting beast, and a great look into the origins of some of the systems we take for granted these days. The sheer volume of display options will please the die-hard retro fan, and the arcade emulation is spot on. Sadly, the actual gameplay is hindered by it’s age, being far too imbalanced to enjoy fully. If they had taken the time to iron out some of the gameplay problems in this collection before releasing, like SF2 HD Remix did, this would be getting a much more favourable score from me. Sadly, as it stands, it’s an interesting curio, but there are far better fighters out there.