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Summer of Arcade week 2: It is Marvel, Baby.

July 29, 2009

This week is a release that, unlike last week’s Splosion Man, you’ve probably already decided to get or avoid. Simply put Marvel vs Capcom 2 is a fighting game that mashes together characters from Marvel comics and a wide range of Capcom titles to create quite possibly the biggest cluster fuck of fan pleasing material and eye searing visual rape that has ever been called a video game, this side of Space Giraffe anyway, and I quite like it.

It’s not as clever as Street Fighter and, unlike the recent Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe, it doesn’t have a clever comic book like story to explain the crossover, instead it says ‘here are fifty odd characters, beat the shit out of each other with missiles, machine guns, hadoukens, and the living dead’.

You won’t play MvC2 for the intense phyche outs you experience in Street Fighter, nor will you see combacks with a crowd reaction of a Diago full parry, instead you’ll play a game that has depth but masks it under a barrage of newcomer friendly controls and regular moments that will cause whooping and hollering along with sharp intakes of breath, MvC2 is the Table Tennis to Street Fighter’s Wimbledon, if the paddles shot missiles every once in a while.

None of this should sound damning however as while it is a silly game, it’s also a very good one. After the initial surprise at the simple button layout, two punches, two kicks, and two ‘assist’ commands, and once you get over the orgy of effects that will populate your screen half the time you begin to learn the game’s nuances, when to launch your hyper combo, how to activate and follow a launcher, what assists you can use to pressure your opponent, as I said previously it’s not the deep phychological fisticuffs of the Street Fighter series but that won’t matter as you learn to call Megaman in to launch a mega buster whilst you advance on your opponent.

As a Summer of Arcade release, it’s another winner for Microsoft and another game that after seeing moderate success at retail, has finally found that sweet price point at ten English pounds. It doesn’t break your wallet, and six of you can enjoy the action at a time online… Seriously Street Fighter 4, your paltry two player online is constantly being shown up, sort it out!

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