WADE MANNS – The Corsair
Genre: Tag-team fighting
Rating: T for Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Mild Language
In the realm of fighting games, few series have developed as much of a following as the Capcom VS. series. But it didn’t start with the massive crossovers we see today…
In 1994, Capcom released their first title to use Marvel characters, X-Men: Children of the Atom. It was comparatively simple to today’s blockbusters, similar in play style to Super Street Fighter II, released in 1993. As the title suggests, it only used X-Men and related characters. There were six characters to each “team” for a total of 12 characters, including the stoic leader Cyclops, the savage Wolverine, the unstoppable Juggernaut, and the villainous Magneto.
In 1995, Capcom expanded its repertoire to the whole of the Marvel Universe with Marvel Super Heroes. Again 12 characters were present; favorites such as Captain America, The Hulk, and Spider-Man battled against otherworldly villains such as Blackheart, son of the devil; Shuma-Gorath, ancient tentacled monstrosity; and Thanos, the god of death.
The tag fighters started to roll in with two very functionally similar games: X-Men vs. Street Fighter in 1996 and Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter in 1997. With a simple button combination, the player could switch instantly from playing, say Ryu from Street Fighter II and Wolverine of the X-Men. This generated a massive appeal which would only grow as the games got more complex.
Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Superheroes arrived in 1998, featuring 22 characters from all over both universes; from Mega Man, the little robot with all those weapons, to Venom, the evil symbiote who took over the vengeful photographer Eddie Brock. The tagging here is still restricted to two characters, but the combinations, and the strategies, would absolutely explode with the release of…
Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes arrived in 2000, for the arcades as with previous titles, but it became more popular for Sega’s Dreamcast console. It featured 56 playable characters (!), and up to three characters could be on a team. Now three members could find their places equally on the field of battle, and unleash their ultimate attacks simultaneously, with hit counts nearing 100! Mega Man’s rival Tron Bonne; granddaughter of classic arcade hero SonSon; and living cactus Amingo join the Capcom stable; while Cable, futuristic gunslinger and son of Cyclops; Marrow, bone-throwing mutant; and Wolverine sans his Adamantium skeleton arrive for the Marvel side. But all these characters, despite the snazzy new 3D backgrounds, were all rendered in 2D sprites. That would all change this year, when…
Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds was released February 15, 2011. Though during the 2000s there were crossover titles dealing with SNK (makers of King of Fighters) and Tatsunoko (anime development house), MvC3 was what the fans were really waiting for. The game brings a brilliant new art style reminiscent of Street Fighter IV (with similar online ranking and leveling!), fully 3D models for all 36 characters, and characters unexpected to be in fighting games such as Amaterasu, the paintbrush-wielding wolf from Okami; Arthur from the classic Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins series; and MODOK, the mostly-head cyborg from the Marvel Universe.
All in all, an excellent series and one well-deserving of your time and attention. Though all of these games may have their flaws, for their times they were great, and MvC3 seems to be near perfect for a modern fighting game. I give it five out of five!