80Marvel vs. Capcom 2 for X-box 360 is a near exact replica of the classic Dreamcast game.‚  All fifty six characters split down the middle with Capcom heroes like Ryu and Mega-man and Morrigan on the left side and Marvel heroes like Capt. America and Cyclops and Juggernaut on the right side.‚  The three on three tag system, one of the most innovative inclusions to a fighting game to date, is alive and well as a welcome addition to the less team oriented fighters populating the genre today.

Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Backbone Entertainment
July 29, 2009

The difference between MvC2 and many other fighters, like Soul Calibur IV or Tekken or Virtua Fighter (there are many), is that each player is allowed to pick three characters for each fight.‚  Once you’ve selected your characters and their assist type, which means that with the tap of the left bumper or the right bumper another character you’ve chosen who isn’t on the screen fighting at the time will jump in and shoot something or heal you or grab your opponent and jump back out, the battles ensue.

The combat is fast and frantic, but with only four main buttons:‚  Low Punch, High Punch, Low Kick, High Kick, and the two assists, the battles are all about button combinations and timing.‚  By offering players the ability to select three characters, the variety in teams is wide.‚  Even the best players can be beaten if they pick an un-unified team whose assists don’t work well with their move set.

If you’ve missed the jazzy theme song that guides players through the game, you’re in luck.‚  The song still sings above all of the action in the game, on repeat, which will probably grow on your nerves after the 10th “I wanna take you for a ride.”‚  I can’t complain, the song is nostalgic and something fans of the game have to deal with.

The display options offer to pretty up the game and smooth out some of the pixels, but if you’re a purist and insist on playing MvC2 in it’s original pixilated form, the option is also available.

The real charm of the whole purchase is in the online play.‚  With Ranked and Player matches of up to six players with four spectators per round and minimal lag, the throwback fun of standing around an arcade cabinet while you wait your turn returns.‚  There’s nothing like basking in the smell of teenagers sweating around a machine in a dimly lit room, but MvC2’s online play is still incredibly fun.

Fingers crossed for some downloadable content for this package.‚  Although all fifty six characters have six costumes, some more wouldn’t hurt.‚  Some new levels and characters (a new theme song?) would surely help keep MvC2 at the top of gamer’s minds in terms of fighting games.‚  As is, the package is no different than the Dreamcast version, excluding online play.‚  But that’s good enough for me.

Blast Factor: A classic fighter, with everything unlocked from the beginning, now available on Xbox Live Arcade with the online play that never made it over from the original Japanese release. If you loved it before, get it, but if you’re new to the series, be sure to give this a shot.

Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is available on XBLA, as part of the Summer of Arcade, for 1200 Microsoft Points.

About The Author

Roger Gude is a Blast Magazine correspondent

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