Capcom is back at it again in the ring with Marvel. It has been roughly over 6 years since we were graced with the beauty of a fighting game that was Marvel vs Capcom 3. Now in 2017, Capcom brings to us Marvel vs Capcom Infinite with new fighting abilities and a new art style. However, is Marvel vs Capcom Infinite worthy of a place on your shelf in a year chock full of fighting games? Let’s see.
Don’t let what I am about to say get you down instantly from the get go. Marvel vs Capcom Infinite has its highs and lows, so allow me to get stuck into it.
I was optimistic for Marvel vs Capcom Infinite. In a year ripe with fighters left and right, and hype for fighters on their way down the track, MvC Infinite had a lot to prove, as to why it deserves a place on gamers shelves as the go-to fighter for the year, when we have been saturated with fighters.
As soon as you jump into the game, you see heroes from both Marvel and Capcom realms battling Ultron Sigma’s robots as Ultron Sigma aims to wipe out all life and turn them into robotic beings so that he can have complete control over all life in both universes.
While seeing characters like Rocket Racoon interacting with Dante may seem cool, unfortunately it comes across as very forced and corny. Characters will announce themselves, and others will say other characters’ names, to make it seem like it is a complete surprise that they have turned up. It’s hard to put in words, but the story and interactions of characters seemed forced and almost like a poorly written old-timey, dinner time, radio show before television existed.
I kept waiting for the story to pick up and get better, but sadly this never happened. Kids may enjoy this but I don’t see many adults being entertained by the story that is presented. It simply is not well written at all.
Thankfully, the fighting aspect is quite enjoyable, this is the shining light. The game runs smooth as butter. Jumping into Marvel vs Capcom is a lot like riding a bike. Newcomers to fighters will feel right at home but once you turn off the auto-combo feature, you will find yourself having to do a lot more work, obviously. But to newcomers you can have a lot of fun and you can even get away with button mashing at times depending on the difficulty, and if you’re going up against another player online. There are more changes to controls this time around with there now being four buttons that perform certain attacks, apart from MvCs last outing which had three.
Along with the normal attacks, you also build up a super move over time when being attacked, and attacking. It can fill at least four times, allowing you to unleash your super move multiple times until you run out. This doesn’t mean players can spawn this over and over however, as you can avoid another player’s super moves various different ways. Funny enough, most of the time jumping can help. Down side though, is that super moves act out the same every single time, so the cool factor does die off quickly.
One big new presence is the inclusion of Infinity stones in battle. These six infinity stones each have their own personal attributes which change up the battle. To use these stones, you have to wait for the meters to fill up. This happens much like the same way the super move gauge does. Once activated though, you have a minute or so to deal out as much damage as possible, so take complete advantage of the stone you chose, and when you chose to use it. They also vary in effectiveness based on your character. That’s not to say that they won’t all work well with the entire roster, but some have some fantastic features that work well with certain characters. So, I do recommend spending quite some time in the training mode playing around with the stones. Getting to know what each stone does, and which characters they best work with is advantageous, especially in online or battle mode.
The various game modes accommodates to everyone’s taste. You have Arcade, Story, Training, Versus, Collection, and where most people end up, the Online mode. Playing online can be quite daunting when it comes to fighting games. I know I’ve been schooled many times, so I enjoy spending most of my time battling locally in versus mode with a friend.
Mission mode, for those who don’t know, has you perform certain moves and actions as an on-screen text boxes tells you what movements to perform, and how to perform them. These missions start off quite simple, but as you can expect, grow in difficulty as you make your way down the track.
These missions really help you get a feel for each individual character, and is a great way for you to get some hardcore training in.
Collection mode of course is where a lot of the bonus content you have gotten from playing the story mode ends up. You can view past cutscenes, check out some of the games art work, in-game sounds as well. So, there is some nice extras for those that might want to check them out.
One big change is that you no longer battle with a team of 3v3, that has now been reduced to just 2v2. Whether you like this or not, it does help a lot with instantly switching in and out of your team. Many times, I took advantage of my opponent that was blown back by a massive attack I just dealt out, only for me to then instantly switch my current character out, and send in a fresh character to instantly jump in and launch a barrage of attacks. It really helped give me the upper hand many times.
Sadly, there are many missing characters including the X-men. This really hurts the game, I used to love, back in the day, playing as Wolverine on MvC 2 in the arcade. This makes the roster feel very small, and it definitely looks it if you have seen a picture of the roster online. They are adding six new characters down the track, in the form of DLC but that still feels very lacking. It was quite frustrating to see Black Panther as just a cameo while the story takes you to his homeland of Wakanda.
Graphics & Sound
This is where my review dips and dives in waves. For example, the character designs. Frank West and Dante look terrible, and then you have Iron man and Spiderman who look great. Overall, the characters could have had a lot more detail applied to them. Hulk looks incredible even though, up against other characters, he seems like he has lost some height and bulk to his design. Thor looks like his original comic style, even though the voice acting sounds god awful, and then you have Hawkeye who looks like he was pulled straight from a cheesy 80s action movie. The design to quality ratio is all over the shop, and that is a real shame considering what we were given in the past with Marvel vs Capcom. Capcom could have done a lot better with the design as well. A lot of the characters look like they were designed by a comic book fan using Photoshop. So much more love should have been put in for the asking price.
Marvel vs Capcom Infinite’s world design has changed as well. Gone is the comic book art style of the long-time Marvel vs Capcom series. Now we have a more realistic, generic, fighting game style to it. This doesn’t seem to bother most people, but I personally feel this change may have lost the game its original charm.
Lip syncing was off as well, this made the design once again, feel very sloppy and lazily designed. A real shame. Thankfully the in-game sound, and even the game’s main theme is a plus. The sound design here is great, when it comes to move sounds and background music. However again, like I said, the voice work could be a lot better. For example, every time Thor spoke, he sounded like someone’s dad doing a terrible impression while watching the Avengers movie. I understand we weren’t going to get the best of the best in the voice acting superhero world for a fighting game, I just was drawn out at times.
Marvel vs Capcom Infinite lacks charm in its story and work in its character designs, with some characters looking like poorly made discount store action figures. Thankfully though, even with these downsides, the fighting is on point and can be a lot of fun. Especially with the inclusion and features of the infinity stones. I can see Marvel vs Capcom Infinite being on a competitive circuit. However, with the extremely lacking roster I can’t see it lasting too long.