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Get ready to kick butt, MvC fans, as I review Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes on the Arcade cabinets,
Marvel vs Capcom 2 New Age of Heroes US Flyer

Arcade flyer

Sega Dreamcast, Playstation 2, Xbox, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360... What a sightseer this installment is! Many have found MvC2 to be the best nostalgic and groundbreaking title of its series, and I can't disagree on that... But one thing I will say differently is this: this game has to be the most unbalanced of the franchise as all, in contrast to Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of the Superheroes and Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds... Uh-huh! So whaddya say we start this review off??? Let's begin...

Ah, Marvel vs. Capcom 2... It seemed to set standards in the early 2000s, being talked about a lot and such. And now, I'll make a run-down: it originally released for the arcades worldwide on February 2000, the Dreamcast on July 16th, the PS2 and Xbox versions on November 29, 2002, and finally the Xbox 360 port on July 29, 2009 and then the Playstation 3 on August 13, 2009... Phew!! Quite a hasty endeavor if I do say so, myself, since ten to eleven years after the original arcade release, we got MvC3 for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360... With mostly positive results and good sales! But as of right now, Capcom milked money again with Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3: a reworked expansion with 12 new additions, 8 more stages to fight in, mode inclusions, and best of all, balance tweaks... Geeeeeee, whiz! Is it obvious that Capcom has been turning into greedy assholes since they did the same with Street Fighter II and then IV??? They troll and troll, but they don't seem very good at all... I fear they're turning into the new form of Activision, which I don't know why that company is getting so much hatred. In fact, just days ago, they cancelled Megaman Legends 3, which was an anticipated sequel to Legends 2 after it ended in a cliffhanger... WTF?!?! But I'm no butthurt fan, and it takes a whole lot more for moi to snap... Moving on.

Marvel vs. Capcom 2 did change a few things: first off, they switched the 2-vs-2 with 3-vs-3 battles, which had eventually become a standard for the series... Good. Secondly, there is a different air-combo system... Okay. Third of all, the button scheme was changed to 4 main buttons and 2 assist ones, just to attract the casual gamer side... Eh, that worked out well, I guess. But last but not least, there are no character-specific endings... Just wow. The ending is the same regardless of the characters used or how quickly the final opponent is defeated... Not much else to say other than what I just pointed out before.

What many fans did find MvC2 so complex was the character roster of 56 fighters including the three most notorious characters that later went into the sequel: Sentinel, Storm, and Mag-freakin-neto!! Many thought this was the most number of playable characters in a fighting game, but wait until 2007 where Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 came into effect... WE HAVE A GODDAMN NUMBER OF OVER 160 CHARACTERS!!!!! {faints} But we also have original characters such as Ruby Heart, a French pirate who is also the main protagonist, and Amingo, a living cactus with a thing for Hispanic heritage... Epicness, man, epicness!! But did anyone think some character probably shouldn't have made the list, like Servbot, I mean just WTF, again??? You have Tron Bonne, who is an obscure character, who controls an army of Servbots... What use of a single Servbot unit was necessary as a fighter!?!? Unless... If he was considered a joke character, then maybe I bought that.

During gameplay, you can always tag out another character whenever necessary, except for blocking, super jumps, or even performing special or super moves... But then comes the fun part: the new "Snapback" action, which is required if you have one level of the super meter. When the character flashes for a moment, he/she will execute a normal attack on the opponent and send that person out of the playing field if not blocking. If successful, that knocked out character is out for a short period of time, only for the other character to come out immediately. If the move does connect to both the assist and knocked out fighter, then apparently, it introduces a possibility of the assist character to get hit without a regular character defending... Even more goodies!!

When it comes to unlocking characters, the original arcade version has an "experience" system where the locked characters are now playable each time you progress with a certain number of points... This was removed in the console version, where you needed to buy the new characters along with backgrounds and artwork during normal play. All of this on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions are there from the start, which is just incredibly dandy... No, seriously! I do detest when you have to buy characters and other content on a certain basis... Just look at me and Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: I've unlocked all the characters, the whole gallery, but still quite didn't achieve all the color schemes for each character's outfit or the mini-game... Not like it matters, though, but just something I wanted to share.

Although I like Marvel vs. Capcom 2, and that's saying a whole lot after what Capcom has done nowadays, one thing did bug me: the music... It was composed by Tetsuya Shibata and Mitsuhiko Takano, and is highly Jazz-influenced. Nothing against Jazz music since it does sound rather calm and relaxing, but I just don't see that fitting in fighting titles... The same reaction went to other people who played MvC2. There are a few exceptions, though: I really adore the theme music for the River stage, the Continue music, the Desert, and the Airship. Everything else though, I either found mediocre or just plain annoying... Does "Take You For a Ride" ring a bell, no?

During normal play, you often fight a CPU-controlled team and afterwards, you are ranked whenever it comes to high score... Simple as that. But during the final stage, you are pitted against the most fun boss: Abyss. He has three forms of course, and that's just about it... My favorite is that first form of his, looking all metallic and has a bit of a samurai/ninja vibe... BETTER THAN NARUTO!!!!!! The second one is a green, gloppy being that has a ranged weapon, along with a Tornado-esque Hyper Combo... FYI, it makes a really ear-splitting noise at times! Finally, you meet up with an orb with spirals around it, facing off against a behemoth in lava, which by the way breaks logic, you can friggin' move on it... Can Abyss control the space time continuum or is it just me? After you beat Abyss, you get the ending to where every fighter celebrates aboard Ruby's ship, while the latter throws the orb into the sea... The end.

So overall, is Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes the installment of the series that defines crossover fighting titles like it is? I think so. MvC2 has been subjected to largely positive reactions by critics and fans, alike... I can agree with all this, but what I said earlier in the first paragraph: it is heavily unbalanced! With 56 characters, a nice 3-on-3 fighting engine, killer Super Combos, and best of all, it can be for just even the simplest and hardcore fighting game fans out there! I forgot to add that the visuals look just stunning: the 3Dish backgrounds are pretty amazing... The character sprites on the other hand, however, are a bit outdated compared to previous titles. I know that's not much, but when it does work, nobody's really gonna complain! I think MvC2 is one of my favorite games of the franchise, and it just shows excellence...

With that said, this is also my first ever VG Review that I will go under a new Ratings system, and what better way than letter grades... I see an A-, don't you!?!? My name is Ouroburos of the Game Ideas Wiki, and I hope to see you again... I WANNA TAKE YOU FOR A RI---- Sorry.

Final Verdict

Pros

  • Excellent visuals on the stage backgrounds
  • Amazing roster
  • Solid and frantic gameplay engine, even it can be a little too chaotic!
  • 3-vs-3 battles > 2-vs-2, anyday, BABBEH!!
  • The official artwork looks like a nostalgic winner to me

Cons

  • With the exception of four or five songs, the music can be pretty forgettable... Luckily, the music can be changed on the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 ports
  • No character-specific endings, huh??? Oh, well...

Final vote

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