It should be a general understanding that pretty much anything smacked with the title ‘MARVEL’ on it, is bound to catch someone’s attention – no matter how good or bad it is. It’s just a name that has become so synonymous with whatever everyone’s been talking about lately in pop culture and no doubt, a best seller by default.
But that might not be the case for Marvel Vs Capcom Infinite (MvCi).
The revival of Capcom’s ever popular versus series, MvCi, brings back the nostalgia of having your dream team duke it out with the flashiest combo you could come up with. I grew up on its early incarnation; Marvel Super Heroes on PSone then blew my mind when I heard they did Marvel Vs Capcom with all these hidden characters. So coming back to this franchise has always been a cycle in my gaming life, not to mention its pivotal influence of introducing me to the Fighting Game Community (FGC) in Brunei and the world.
To quickly sidetrack for a second, MvCi got a bad rep prior to its official launch with its early developments being plagued by horrible designs. The Capcom roster had Chun-Li looking like a discount anime girl made real and Dante looking like an aging emo kid. It was meme-worthy to say the least.
I was one of the few Bruneians that bothered to download the MvCi storyline demo back in July and honestly at the time, it was a questionable yet limited experience. Controls felt so foreign and you barely had enough time to experiment with the early roster of characters.
Fast forward to today, MvCi is a much more solid game. The combo system is much more grounded in terms of damage scaling and skillful expansion but the best part is that it isn’t as ridiculous as it was in Marvel Vs Capcom 3 (MVC3) where one combo could kill. It balances itself in being newcomer friendly yet versatile enough for pros to push the system’s limits.
To complain about the game’s graphics and story mode, I think, is pointless since the main focus of a fighting game should be the balance of characters, damage, combo system and overall mechanics.
It would be nice to have those as extra features but at the compromise of a solid and balanced game experience, no thanks. So for those looking to play MvCi for its story mode, you’re barking up the wrong tree, buddy.
I can say that one of the biggest hurdles for those coming from the previous Marvel fighter titles would be the button layout. I got so used to the MVC3 layout that the first 30 minutes of playing was like having to drive manual all over again.
If you’re like me then here’s a protip, switch out the buttons to resemble the MVC3 layout – it’s a little tricky at first but at least you won’t stumble when you’re in that combo flow and need to get around your Bread n’ Butter (BnB).
MvCi suffers from what most modern Capcom fighters have been doing lately and that’s a really underwhelming roster. You have the familiar faces like Captain America and Ryu along with some new faces like Captain Marvel and Jedah but promoting a game for its variety with small sources kind of defeats the purpose.
There are promises of more downloadable content (DLC) characters on the horizon but having to pay full price and then some, makes you feel a bit cheated at the end of the day. And let’s not even talk about the lack of X-Men characters here, that is probably the dumbest move they could’ve even done.
The gems (Don’t call them stones, that’s an insult in my opinion) are an interesting substitute to MVC3’s X-Factor system as it gives your team a dynamic boost to fit your play style. Choose from Mind, Space, Reality, Soul, Power and Time for a additional skill like a fireball or teleport then build its meter for an Infinity Surge – a game changing ultimate that either encompasses your opponents in a box, revives your fallen team mate and many more.
Overall, MvCi has a lot of promises to deliver on but has plenty of room for improvement. Capcom has recently gone through this pattern of rough beginnings with its fighting games but they do listen to the community and our support does help them grow.
I’m willing to give it a chance and hoping to get the flow back in the Brunei FGC. Hopefully, the hype of Marvel can help boost the appeal of this game for newcomers and from there, the number of players for potential tournaments grows with our local skill level for fighting games.
Capcom is also launching a worldwide tournament dubbed Battle for the Stones (urgh) which pits players against every EVO Champion from the past for a chance to collect the Infinity Gems and win a prize pool of US$30,000. Time to level up if you’re gonna take you for a ride.
PS: Dormammu was one of my mains back in MVC3 so having him come back is awesome. Sadly, he wasn’t as fun as before. Do check out what other shenanigans some of the other local players can come up with over on the Brunei Fighting Game Community Facebook Group as well as our twitch channel, Meercasttv.