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Review: Marvel VS Capcom Infinite

Marvel VS Capcom has in my eyes been a mainstay in the 2P 2D fighting genre of video games. Forever and a day has there been a segment of us who say that the Street Fighter control system far surpasses having to do the janky button combos of Tekken, Virtua Fighter or the terribly complicated fatalities of Mortal Kombat. Being able to combo off with your favourite Dark Stalker character, X-Man or random lesser known (hi Deadpool!) with partner was THE COOLEST. But time has changed, the world has changed, and I feel like either Capcom has lost touch with Marvel VS Capcom Infinite, or I have.
Full disclaimer: This review copy has been provided by a PR company. Also, I am a Marvel fanboy, a fighting game genre fanboy and I grew up playing Street Fighter on the old Sega. And yet, none of this disclaimer really matters. This game isn’t perfect. It isn’t beloved and it is seemingly not played enough online, and I will explain that further below.
And here we are, a pool of regret and bitter disappointment at a game franchise I once loved so much that on the XBox 360, I had to search a week to track down a copy because it was as rare as hen’s teeth.

Let’s Break It On Down

From the get-go, the cutscenes are poorly scripted, sounding like a cheesy kids TV show from the 80’s with dialogue so stomach-churningly bad that I’m running out of words to describe just how terrible it is. The animation has been clearly short-cut, making the “animations” look like a poorly rendered muppet gang, flapping muppet mouths with the cheesy dialogue of a terrible storyline.
At the time of writing this, I’m awaiting Marvel VS Capcom Infinite to finish another nine gig patch to download due to a DLC so I can go in and play the story mode over and clock how long the story ACTUALLY is, because when I first played through it was about two and a half unfulfilling hours. “But Chesh, you don’t play the fighting games for the stories, duuuuuude!” well I do. I play those story missions usually to get the concept of what I’m fighting for, who the “enemy” is, and those dirty little achievements. Oh and the villain is Ultron. Because we apparently haven’t seen enough of Marvel’s most robotic and boring villains, right? Not to mention the waves of nameless robot thugs for you to punch your way through in the story mode.

The Roster

The roster is a mix of Mega Man X, Ryu and most of the Avengers, Darkstalkers villain Jedah and Dr Strange foe Dormammu with a few niche characters thrown in.

WHERE IS MY WOVLIE!?

Gone are Wolverine, Mephisto, Cable, Venom and a slew of others. Wolverine is gone, but Captain America remains and this feels like an injustice that I can’t just forgive at all.

The Combat

The previous two teams of three give way to teams of two in Marvel VS Capcom Infinite and while this is a big change, it has very little effect on the game from a play point of view. Sure, no more tag combo multi-beam shenanigans, but also rounds last a short period of time. Controls are largely the same, having been built on the Capcom Street Fighter control scheme means that if you’ve ever played a SF game you can just pick up a controller and know what you’re doing to a degree.

CROTCH PUNCH HADOOOOOOOKEN!

Infinity Stones have been introduced to the latest game, adding a new depth to your teams and allowing for different meta techniques to help tech against some of the most used combo teams. Each use of your Infinity Stone will deplete your infinity gauge, but by dealing and receiving damage you’ll be able to perform “Infinity Storm”, which will dramatically change play for roughly 10 seconds. For example, the orange Soul Stone sends both your fighters in to be attacking at once (and REVIVES a dead fighter, as if that isn’t broken or something, right?). The red stone fills your combo meter faster making it easier to finish the game in a flurry of epileptic flashing fashion and explosion of sound and colour.
I AND I ALONE MUST DANCE!

Support attacks are GONE and in its place is the ability to free tag in your partner which can be great if you’re doing a stupid juggle combo and extending a combo far beyond what should be allowable in a fighting game. Let me explain this a little bit before we move on:
You have two characters and I come in to face you. Everyone was having fun at the party until we started playing MVCI, but then you left yourself wide open and I juggle combo’d you all the way through BOTH of your team. In fact, I do this to everyone. No one at the party can beat me because I know the optimal (Dante and Dormammu) combo team and eventually we just turn the console off, snap the disk and go back to being friends.
Oh, I hear you say with your flappy muppet mouth, “Why not play online if you’re so good? Surely you can be high rank in no time.” Well, see there is a little issue there, despite the above being a rather fanciful and fictional situation. There IS no online play. I mean, there is, but NO ONE is playing online matches in Marvel VS Capcom Infinite. Currently, there are apparently 520 people in game right now. However, every time I tried to find a game, finding would fail over and over. I looked up this issue and to my surprise, many other Australians were and still are having the same issue connecting. That being said, during some peak times this number has been as low as 300 people. Hardly a strong community of players at all and very upsetting when you want to play against other players online or stream the game.

DLC is Stupid

The last point I want to talk about is DLC. DLC is one of the most questionable processes publishers use these days, especially in a fighting game where you’re no longer getting all the characters you know and love because some are behind a paywall. Oh, because you can wrangle more dollars, I see. But you need me to DOWNLOAD THAT CONTENT even though I’m not buying it. You’re making me spend HOURS downloading something because someone ELSE has bought it and wants to use it. Currently, we see there is: 18 alt costumes at $3.99 USD each = 71.82 USD. Plus 3 Characters at $7.99 each. How about we just DON’T. How about we just get the game at the one price and have a couple of unlockables instead, is that too hard these days?

Something Positive/Final Thoughts

As much as the game has its flaws, underneath it all, most people I know that will likely buy MVCI will do so to play it while in a social setting. They won’t care much for story, they won’t care about playing online, they will only care about 2P VS after a few bevs (drinks) and for a spot of fun. The Auto Combo system is cool, making it much easier to string a high powered easy combo off, the “mission” mode will help teach you how to play better and use certain moves, and you will likely have some fun playing for short periods in a social setting.
Other than that, you’re not likely to get much else out of the game. BUY STREET FIGHTER INSTEAD because Street Fighter will always be FAR superior, focused, and hard to actually screw up.
-Cheshire
Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite was reviewed using a Steam download key provided by Capcom.