Sunday, 10 October 2010

Retro Monday- Marvel vs Capcom 2 (Dreamcast/PS2)

With the character roster flowing thick and fast, Marvel vs Capcom 3 is set to be an absolute blockbuster. Everything a beat-em-up should be- Frantic, exciting and mind-blowing. The game looks like it's going to be a landmark beat-em-up, that shows off current-generation hardware to the full. 10 years ago, it's little brother was doing exactly the same, the groundbreaking Marvel vs Capcom 2.

Marvel vs Capcom 2 is a stone-cold classic, completely and utterly. It's concept is flawless. The age-old questions that have troubled mankind for decades are finally answered: Could Chun-Li beat up Rogue? Could Ryu's fireball match Cyclop's Laser Beam? The kind of schoolyard-scenarios that only teenage boys could dream up are fully realised, in a game that matches style, with outright insanity.

And it's insanity that gives this game it's brilliance, and what has secured it's place in the annals of gaming history. Never have I played a game so unashamed in it's ridiculousness, so confident in it's over-the-top bombasticness. It's this brazen confidence that makes this game truly unique.

Every.Single.Part of this game completely breaks the mould. As soon as you turn it on, you're greeted by a jazz-funk soundtrack, with some woman constantly threatening to 'take you for a ride'. Unsettling from the start, you're then confronted with a character select screen that is HUGE, and largely in darkness, with no explanation on how to unlock these characters. After that, the characters have 3 difference special moves, based on Greek letters, that offer little explanation to what they do. After this baffling selection process, the game kicks off properly, and you still have no idea really what is going on.

But do you know what? It's completely and utterly captivating. Hurtling along at a breakneck pace, the game just explodes with colours, characters bouncing all over the screens, as it erupts with flashes of light and bone-crunching sound effects. Even the crappest of players are able to pull off impressive-looking moves, some kind of witchcraft under the hood, making it not only compelling, but immense fun.

Marvel vs Capcom makes no excuses, and takes no prisoners. It's confidence is matched only by it's execution, which is utterly flawless. I think few games deliver on their promises, and here is a game that delivers on one of the greatest promises made in gaming history. If you're going to include Wolverine in a beat-em-up, you better make damn sure you get it right. Even if sometimes you're left slightly confused by the whole process, Capcom know exactly what they're doing.

If you're not already excited by the prospect of Marvel vs Capcom 3, it's because you've not played this yet. Go pick it up on the Playstation network or Xbox Live Arcade, and see why next Spring, the age-old question of 'Could Arthur from Ghouls n' Goblins beat up Thor?' will once again have the world excitedly getting the answer.

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