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Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite Review

Taking us for a ride?

Marvel and Capcom have spent decades partnering up to bring Marvel characters into a fighting game. Marvel vs. Capcom titles in particular are fondly remembered among those gaming in arcades during the late 90’s, and the series usually has one of the more ridiculous looking tournaments during professional events. Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite seems like another home run, but there are signs that someone is pulling back the reigns a tad too hard.

In terms of the options available, Capcom have learned their lesson from Street Fighter V a little bit, including all of the content players are used to seeing in their fighting games. As such everything is what you’d expect it to be, so there’s the option to play with friends locally, online, and even an arcade mode consisting of a good number of stages.

First on the list however is the story mode and quite frankly it’s awfully paced. It has the audacity to begin 83 days after the beginning of an event called “The Convergence” – where Ultron and Sigma joined forces. That demo that was brought out earlier this year was the first part and it doesn’t get much better from there as the voice acting is distinctly hammy and the vast majority of the plot is exposition dump ad nauseam.

Yet it omits to explain how the heroes came together from each universe; they just start fighting against Ultron Sigma because he’s a bad guy. They also seem to all know each other too. Certain interactions don’t make a lick of sense – such as why Ryu and the Hulk are first seen going through anger management via martial arts training outside Black Panther’s city. Even the ending has its own set of problems, but I won’t go into why that is for spoiler reasons.

It doesn’t take more than a few hours, but the vast majority of the time with the story mode will be beating up Ultron Sigma’s cronies. The few encounters with more formidable foes are much more challenging and I did like the fights where there’s something happening in the background that impacted the course of the bout, but really it was trying to out-do NetherRealm’s efforts and coming up insanely short.

Other modes include an extensive Tutorial that shows the basics, though it doesn’t go to quite the lengths that Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator did. There’s also a whole bunch of missions that challenge players to finish combos that include switching partners in continue combos. Training Mode includes the option to simulate frame delays for online modes, so if you predominantly play online and see a certain frame delay, you can train for it – a feature that should be standard across all fighting games.

Taking the fight online is a bit of a mixed bag as well. While the game runs well overall – I had no dropped connections and minimal frame issues – it doesn’t immediately tell you some vital information when going to Ranked battles, such as the connection of the other player, frame delay if any, and the like. That combined with a few of the Infinity Stone shenanigans makes for an unforgiving experience at launch.

As for the fighting itself, Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite goes back to the 2v2 style from the older titles. It’s still a four button fighter, with two additional buttons – one for tagging the partner in and one to activate the Infinity Stone’s power.

Infinity Stones make a return to Marvel and Capcom tie-ins from Marvel Super Heroes. Each one has two properties, one that takes a mere button to activate such as the Reality Stone hurling a homing attack or the Mind Stone grabbing the opponent if close enough for an unescapable throw. It’s wildly different from Infinity Stones which were able to be lost; rather it’s a mix between utility and a game changer.

By pressing both the tag and Infinity Stone buttons when the dial is high enough will trigger the Infinity Surge. This second ability lasts until the dial is depleted and can do all sorts of things. The Time Stone for example allows for moves that otherwise wouldn’t combo to combo seamlessly, while the Soul Stone revives a fallen partner with a small portion of health and keeps both characters on screen to attack. It’s frankly bizarre, but it fits with the Marvel universe.

There are more subtle new features in Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite putting in tons of work, such as Advancing Guard now able to bounce projectiles back at opponents; think those like the standard Hadouken Ryu can fire rather than Ryu’s charge-up Hadouken Beam. For newer players, auto combos can be initiated with a repeated press of the LP button, while pressing HP and HK will trigger the Easy Super. There’s no obvious disadvantage in power, just that they’re always the same moves.

But the thing is Marvel vs. Capcom was always about silly what-if scenarios. Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite is a different, more corporate beast. Sadly the politics of having a cinematic universe and studio disputes means beloved characters aren’t present, and yet they’ve done well including the likes of Captain Marvel and Gamora in addition to the roster.

Where Capcom have fallen by the wayside a tad is that there are only two new characters on Capcom’s side at launch and some of the Capcom character choices are uninspired. For me, every MegaMan X is countered by yet another appearance from Frank West. While I dig taking thugs to school as Mike Haggar, I don’t understand why Nemesis was chosen over someone else. Also, does anyone actually remember Nathan Spencer from the reboot of Bionic Commando?

This isn’t to say they’re not well designed characters, just that from a Marvel side there’s politics involved and from the Capcom side there’s few genuinely interesting characters that we’ve not seen for a while, even if the likes of Dante work completely differently. I’m thankful Thanos no longer just throws bubbles and some of the new characters like Gamora are still fun to use, but having Nova appear over any of the X-Men seems absurd for any other reason.

Having said all that though, the sole highlight for me is Jedah – showing Capcom still remembers and cares about their long-dormant fighting game series. He’s fun to use, but now sports some shenanigans that fit in nicely with the Marvel vs. Capcom universe. If Capcom actually make a fourth Darkstalkers game off the back of this, some of the roster issues may be forgiven.

What’s Good:

  • Still a very good Capcom fighting game that’s accessible
  • Infinity Stones liven up the 2v2 combat
  • Decent use of Marvel IP
  • Online, at least for the time being, runs well

What’s Bad:

  • Capcom roster lacking oomph
  • Story mode is utter rubbish
  • Plays it far too safe for Marvel vs. Capcom

It’s always nice to see Marvel and Capcom working together on a fighting game and Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite is still a great fighting game with neat ideas. Infinity Stones are a breath of fresh air, and going back to a less chaotic 2v2 format makes it more playable at a lower level, but ultimately some of the silliness and wonder has been sucked out of its DNA. For the hardcore audience, it’ll still play wonderfully and I had fun, but casual players will find little to sing and dance about.

Score: 7/10

Version Tested: PlayStation 4

  1. Crazy_Del
    Since: Jul 2009

    I agree with the review and also the lack of fighters. I was so annoyed to see a character in the story mode and that certain character isn’t in the rooster but will be a DLC really grinds my teeth as the character is already been created!!!
    But then again it is Capcom after all isn’t it?
    Another small problem for me is the Rank matches are really poor when it comes to balancing. I was rank 15th took some time to search (granted it’s just been released) but I was pitted for a fight aginst 11th/12th Rank players and they were bloody brilliant but I should be fighting someone on the same rank as me!

    Comment posted on 20/09/2017 at 12:01.
    • Crazy_Del
      Since: Jul 2009

      Also aye I do remember Spencer from Bionic Commando…. that reminds me I need to go back and play again to get the Platinum xD

      Comment posted on 20/09/2017 at 12:07.
      • Lieutenant Fatman
        Since: Jul 2013

        Good old Spencer, I wonder if this might be the last game he appears in.

        Comment posted on 20/09/2017 at 13:17.
  2. Starman
    Since: Jul 2011

    Th roster is so disappointing. They could’ve given us so many new characters and instead took the lazy option. And I’m guessing those infinity stones are optional dlc’s. Also we know there will be an ultimate edition with new characters.

    Comment posted on 20/09/2017 at 12:48.
    • Crazy_Del
      Since: Jul 2009

      Ohhh never thought of that but yeah I think there will be

      Comment posted on 20/09/2017 at 13:04.
    • Dave Irwin
      Since: Jun 2015

      The Infinity Stones are not DLC and Capcom have stated the game will follow a similar structure to Street Fighter V (DLC characters as Seasons) – though if rumours are true that Street Fighter V will have an “Arcade Edition”, then that will be where the DLC is combined into one package, so that will be more likely.

      Comment posted on 20/09/2017 at 16:14.
  3. Foxhound_Solid
    Is a smart cookie.
    Since: Dec 2009

    I really like MvC so ill give this a whirl, as soon as I get throw the huge backlog of titles Im working through on the Pro. Been a busy summer…

    Comment posted on 22/09/2017 at 12:24.
Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite
  • Developer:Capcom
  • Publisher:Capcom
  • Platforms:PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • Release Date:19/07/2017

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