Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite Review
Marvel and Capcom have clashed before in three different major installments and has been in the hearts of many fighting game champions for years. As the fourth significant title in the series, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite has been released for new generation consoles and PC with the mind of standing out among all the other fighter games released this year such as Injustice 2 and Pokken Tournament DX. For those new to the series the title pretty much says the prospect, it’s the Capcom and Marvel universes colliding together and introducing the characters to one another. This one, however, focuses more so on their cohesion to bring down a greater threat known as Ultron Sigma and other villains behind the scenes. Will this title be the king of fighting games for 2017? Or even longer?
Having a central story-line – Something that’s never really been apart of the MvC series is a campaign mode that features cut-scenes and it seems that Capcom has finally decided to include one. The main villain is Ultron Sigma, a fusion between two mechanical menaces from their respective universes, who tends to utilize all six of the Infinity Stones to forever change all of existence into its own image. The cut-scenes include interactions and conversations between the roster of characters and how they know, respect, and interact with one another. It’s definitely entertaining to witness as in previous MvC titles you only went through a ladder of characters to defeat until you eventually got to an end boss such as Galactus in MvC3: Fate of Two Worlds. Not to mention that some of them are extremely badass (i.e. Hulk teaming up with Ryu to take down the infected Elder Dragon ‘Dah’ren Mohran’). Their banter is humorous, fight scenes are fantastic, the overall story was interesting to the last with twists, and the game even pokes fun at itself at points.
Infinity Stone game-play – Any Marvel aficionado knows the Infinity Stones well and that they play a major role in not only the comic book series but also in the Cinematic Universe. They have now become the plot point for the series in not only story-telling but also in game-play. Although Capcom has revamped the fighting mechanics by excluding 3v3 fighting for 2v2, they’ve added in a new fighting mechanic with the Stones to make it more interesting. Each have effects and grant powers according to their traits: Reality, Time, Mind, Power, Soul, and Space to build up a meter on the bottom that eventually leads to the player being able to activate a change in the field. This feature not only adds a new fighting mechanic but also a layer of complexity to chain together combos for fighting champions out there.
New character additions are fun – This is typically expected but the choice of which new fighters to include was good as they included not only Gamora but also Thanos (who was playable in MvC2) and Jedah Dohma from Darkstalkers. These characters help to bring balance to the game as some are quicker at combos but others are stronger in power. Although the roster was smaller than what was to be expected (as Ultimate MvC3 included 48 playable characters while this has 30) it still includes a very well-balanced assortment. The smaller roster is also accounting for the fact that they opted out the 3v3 for the 2v2. It may be a fun new characters, but there’s still this batch of characters to learn and have fun with for veterans.
Game just plays well with improved Online capabilities – If there’s one thing that Capcom does well is make a good fighting game and this plays well. They seem to have realized any blips from their previous incarnation and worked a good set-up in on a technical viewpoint. It not only gets intricate for the more experienced and veteran fighting game players out there but allows accommodation for those just getting into the title. There’s a Beginner League in Online game-play that allows for those struggling to understand the mechanics to get better and duke it out with others of same skill level. When you gain enough points in this league you “graduate” into the Ranked Matches, rewarding the player with the opportunity to face tougher opponents. MvC:I definitely helps the player get better, especially with Mission Mode that allows you to comprehend more complex combos and practice them. It even provides a demonstration with button prompt input!
Hype for DLC, value for Deluxe Edition – The announcement of what’s to come in the next downloadable content pack brings anticipation, as well, as Venom will be making a return from MvC2. Hopefully he plays similarly to his previous 2D counterpart along with some new costumes such as his Space Knight outfit from recent comics. Although new additions are great, the game seems to focus more on Marvel aspects rather than an even balance. The next DLC will include four Marvel characters and two Capcom characters; hopefully this means that a Season 2 DLC pack is possible with four Capcom and two Marvel character additions.
Voice actors/sound effects are superb – Voice actors return from the previous game while others join the beauty that is voice acting for comic and game characters. The all-star cast of characters get some great voice work such as the likes of Liam O’Brian (Gaara from Naruto, Asura from Asura’s Wrath) for Doctor Strange who not only fit the Sorcerer Supreme’s sophisticated air but made his spell-casting sound riveting. Thanos, Gamora, Mega Man, and Jedah are just examples of some of the characters that will draw you in with their engrossing tones and script lines. The only one that’s lacking, and was strangely focused on throughout the title, was Rocket Raccoon (they should have just coughed up the money and brought in Bradley Cooper); he’s not only disappointing in how he sounds but also his appearance but more on that in the next point.
Sound effects throughout the title are enthralling, as usual, and don’t feel annoying to hear over and over again but rather assist the player in learning audible queues in sequences of combos. It all comes together to make a better fighting gamer as it not only includes muscle memory and visual queues but also this fantastic audio to hone the senses.
Menus look poor – It’s a surprise that with such an amazingly crafted game in terms of game-play and story presentation that it would lack in some minute details like the main menu. MvC3 encapsulated the feel of the game through their menu by including comic book-style character selection, various backgrounds when navigating the menu, and just felt very arcade-y while Infinite feels more bland as if the developers are just saying “get to fighting already”. It really detracts from the entire presentation as if it was placed last second with no care involved.
Many character models lacking over others – It’ll be noticeable to fans of MvC3 that the new character models definitely take on a different luster in appearance from their former models. While MvC3 focused more on cel-shading, this is a more realistic shading that looks less cartoon-y. While it looks better on characters like Captain Marvel and Ryu, putting this on the more cartoon- and anime-looking characters may look funny to many. Dante looks a tad bit creepy (as shown in image below) and Morrigan especially feels dumbed down from her previous incarnation as they’ve shrunk her eyes and “other features”. Rocket Raccoon, also, doesn’t look cute and cuddly at all; in fact, he looks rather rabid and almost like a character model from a PlayStation 2 game. It’s this inconsistency that may bug many during not only the campaign mode but also during animation sequences.
At the end of the day this is a buy for not only die-hard fans out there but also for people just getting into fighting games; it not only does a good job at teaching players the basics of the game but anyone can enjoy it even more on their own, instead of online, due to its new Story mode. The fighting mechanics are significantly different from Street Fighter and is more free for tons of complicated combos and interesting team-ups. The upcoming six DLC characters make me, as a fan, excited and justified the purchase of the Deluxe Edition in order to get the pack. Hopefully, in the future, there’s a Season 2 pack since seasons seem to be popular with the fighting games lately.
Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite was developed and published by Capcom. It was released for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 [reviewed], and PC on September 19th, 2017 in North America and Europe and September 21st in Japan. A press review copy was purchased on behalf of The Hidden Levels. Many studios submit copies for site review but this is in no way factored into our review scores. Games are scored on their individual merits and our rating system is explained here.
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