Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes Review

Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes dreamcast box art

Over-the-top 2D arcade fighting featuring Capcom’s fighters and Marvel’s super-heroes in a mad crossover universe.

Story

The legendary evil only known as ”Armour of Erosion” has been awoken. Its ominous shadow is spreading fast, and if it is not soon returned to limbo the world is doomed to be consumed by it. Heroes and fighters from all around the world must now fight to put an end to the madness.

Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes is one of the craziest fighting game ever made. It is a 2D fighting game where battles are fought in a three-man tag-team set up. The game features one of the beefiest character rosters around sporting 56 characters in all, and it includes famous faces from many Capcom games and Marvel comics – this is one of the few times in video gaming history where you’ll be able to see Ryu from Street Fighter fighting Mega Man, Spider Man and The Incredible Hulk. But it doesn’t stop there. Crazy crossover battles including Jill from Resident Evil and Morrigan from Vampire Savior among others make for one hell of a dream match! Simply put; In this game anything is possible.

Content

Needless to say the story in this game is very loosely anchored in the game. Instead the game focuses on wild and mindless arcade fighting. The game has four basic game modes. The most standard and basic one is the Arcade Mode where you play a series of matches against CPU teams until you reach the final boss. The Versus Mode lets you play against another player and Training Mode lets you practice your moves against an invincible target dummy. Lastly there’s the Score Attack mode where you simply play for the best score.

marvelvscapcom2-17The game does start with some of the characters locked and you must unlock them by buying them in the game’s Secret Factor mode. Unlocks are bought with points that are earned by simply playing the game in any game mode. You can also unlock new colors variations to the characters as well as new stages.

The game also features two extensive high score tables – one for the Arcade Mode and one for the Score Attack mode.

All game modes are played with a three-man tag team against another team. This means that you can switch characters at any time during the battle, while your two teammates are on the bench. While resting they are slowly regaining some of their lost vitality so switching characters is a tactical move that you will need to take advantage of and if done right, it will help you prevail.

Before entering the ring, you must choose which fighters you want to have on your team. Not only must you select three fighters from all the characters available, but you must also select which Assist Type you want for each fighter. Assist Types come numerous variants. For example; Projectile-, Anti-Air- and Balance Type. These indicate how your fighter will behave when assisting in the fight. At any time during the match you may call in assistance from your other team members. This means that the character you called will jump into the fighting arena and perform an action, depending on what Assist Type it has. Typical assisting actions are; throw a single fireball, taunt the opponent making him lose some of his Hyper Combo Gauge (the energy needed to perform powerful special attacks called Hyper Combos) or to give you healing items to regain some of your lost vitality. As each of the 56 characters can choose from three different assisting actions, all unique to every each character you can very well imagine that there’s a lot of crazy stuff going on in the battle. This is part of why this game is so fun to play.

Calling for assistance isn’t risk-free though. The second your teammate enters the arena to help you out he can be hit by your opponent’s attacks, and if he’s low on health, he may be knocked out.

Each character also has various Hyper Combo attacks. These are executed with a simple quarter-circle motion either forward of backward plus both punch- or both kick buttons depending on which character and which attack you want to perform. This means that you can easily learn any character’s special moves and the game encourages you to use them a lot. In fact, there is a special command to unleash your whole teams Hyper Combos at the same time – which means that your entire team jumps into the arena and performs a united Hyper Combo attack (again depending on what Assist Type you chose for them) that has the potential to cause massive damage to your opponent.

The game does have three different speed settings, and you can adjust the difficulty level of the Arcade Mode. If you want to play with your unlocked characters at a friend’s place you can bring your unlocks over using your VMU and the special VMU vs mode. You can also adjust length of matches (in time), and you’ll notice that the matches typically are relatively short. If you hope to knock out the whole team, there’s no loafing around.

Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes is a hilarious and hysterical game. The action is raw, untamed and incredibly fast all the way from start until the end. The game is a heart stopping fighting experience that only gets wilder the more characters you unlock and the more moves you learn. But this huge fighting fest comes with a pretty high price – the game balance between the characters is questionable. What’s more, people have found and confirmed many glitches that certainly causes some problems when the game is played at a professional level in tournaments. The game also allows for some insane imbalanced killer-combos that further takes away some of the fun of the game. But as usual, if you’re a casual gamer playing for fun with your equally casual friends you’ll probably never see these unearthly combos or suffer their effects.

Graphics

The graphics and animations are steaming hot and full with vibrant colors. Most characters animations are recycled from previous Capcom games, but they all adhere to the same comic-bookish style. The backgrounds are varied and also full of activity and color. The peak of the visuals in this game are the jaw dropping Hyper Combos that truly are something out of the ordinary. Visually this is a very intense experience. Certainly, some sprites look a bit blocky as they have probably been enlarged to match the proportions of the other characters, but more importantly the game runs pretty much flawlessly on the Dreamcast.

Sound

The sound track of this game is baffling. It’s well produced and all, but its style is very out-of-place. A game full with fighting heroes and comic book heroes should have an epic and intensive sound track, but instead they slapped on laid back sax-heavy fusion jazz sound track wherever they could. There is no connection what so ever between the music and what’s happening in the game, nor the story of the game. Needless to say the music doesn’t fit the theme of the game at all, but it does stick in your head whether you want or not – and unfortunately that is not a good thing in this case. Thinking what could have been there instead just makes the disappointment all the greater. It should also be mentioned that the stereo sound of the game doesn’t seem to be functioning.

Summary

If you are after a 2D arcade fighting experience, you should just submit to this one. This is a truly legendary title, packed with legendary battles. It plays fast, looks good and is truly unforgettable. You can easily spend 100 hours playing this and just unlocking everything will take around 80 hours if you are a casual player. Playing the game versus another player is of course much more compelling than beating CPU fighters, but the Score Attack mode is a challenge that is not to be underestimated.

This is a game you can keep coming back to and always experience something new. That alone is a precious feat. Sure enough the game has a few glitches, some of which could be considered game breaking. Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes is a damn epic game and deserves all fighting gamers attention.

Developed By: Capcom
Published By: Virgin Interactive
Version Reviewed: Dreamcast
Genre: Fighting
Players: 1-2
Also Available On: Arcade, Playstation 2, XBox, Xbox 360, Playstation 3
Released: 2000-07-16

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