If you spent plenty of hours at the arcades, chances are you might have spent a few quarters playing Marvel Vs. Capcom and Marvel Super Heroes. Aside from the Street Fighter titles, these two games were Capcom’s most popular titles in the 90s and have been now rereleased with added online functionality and unlockables. Marvel Vs. Capcom Origins is a seamless port of both games and brings back all of the nostalgia of victories, and even defeats.
Published by: Capcom
Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
What works: Nostalgic gameplay, awards system, smooth online experience
What doesn’t work: Balancing issues, dated graphics
Gameplay for both games has been left untouched and feels just like any traditional 2D fighting game. Marvel Vs. Capcom, being the first game in a series that is still running strong, is a lot more basic than its sequels and gives you two fighters to tag between as well as an assist character that is chosen at random. It’s a lot less action-packed than its sequels, but the game offers enough combos, special attacks, and characters to provide a great fighting game experience. Marvel Super Heroes is a more typical one-on-one fighter, but it uses a gem system that offer various power-ups when activated during battle. Its roster of characters may not be as big as most modern fighting games, but each one has a distinct fighting style and can also utilize a unique gem-boosted ability.
Arcade mode on both games is still quite hard and the AI is still as relentless as ever, however, but at least you won’t be burning through quarters this time around. Also, because the games remain unchanged from their arcade days, certain characters will feel stronger than others, cheap even, so they do have some balancing issues.
Aside from the arcade ports, Origins also adds an awards system like that seen in Super Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition. You gain points for accomplishing different things in both games such as blocking or pulling off special combos. These points can then be used to unlock artwork and other bonuses, so the game rewards you for playing it often. Additionally, the game offers various display modes to recreate the feel of playing the game on an arcade cabinet, a television with scan lines, and even from the over-the-shoulder viewpoint of someone in an arcade. These additions are simply aesthetic, but they are great additions for players looking to get nostalgic.
Marvel Vs. Capcom Origins is a repackaging of two old games, but they are two games fans of the genre shouldn’t overlook. Balancing issues are still apparent, and graphics are nothing to rave about, but Capcom wanted to recreate the experience of playing their classic fighting games on consoles with extra features both older and younger gamers could appreciate it. And for that, it did a good job.