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Reviewed: Marvel Vs. Capcom
Author: Michael Ahlf       Date: February 29th 2000
Page: 2

The idea of the arcade game is pretty simple -- let off the biggest combos against your enemies, using tag-team maneuvers and switching between characters, and eventually fight Onslaught to keep him from destroying the world (yeah, not much of a plotline, but for a crossover game what'd you expect?). The idea is the same in the Playstation version, but with several changes.

First of all, you only get 1 character. Support characters, the special or helper version, are available but the implementation is awkward since you now get unlimited special helpers and can create some disgustingly deadly combos with them. Second off is a mode which, at the point of a throw or air combo, will zoom the screen in on the characters. While this could have been nice, unfortunately it gets pixelated really quickly and isn't something a player will want on, since it can destroy the timing necessary to finish the combos. A nice side, however, is the ability to get the secret characters accessible by beating the game with their counterpart, instead of being forced to input a code for them. The final straw however is the Cross Over mode, which purports to be like the arcade. This is the same problem that X-men Vs. Street Fighter and Marvel Vs. Street Fighter had -- each side picks one character and then the tag teams are identical for the fight. While amusing, it quickly gets old (there can only be a Wolvie & Hulk Vs. Wolvie & Hulk match so many times....)

The main game's loading screen.
Venom takes a full Proton Cannon.
That's it War Machine, make the grab....

The usual flashy power attacks.
"Cross Over" Mode Character selection.
Cross Over load screen.

Attacks and combos in the game are the same as the arcade... sort of. In a strange twist, picking a helper character (second main) allows the tag-team and double team combos, but the trick is that a double team will call not your picked partner but the ENEMY you're facing into attack. Likewise, executing a doubleteam with a special character as backup will cause multiple instances of the helper while you let off your super powered combos. Finally, there's the fact that character implementation isn't quite accurate -- Jin, for example, can spend as many as 4 rounds (in a best 3 of 5 fight) in his super armored form. The strangeness in the implementation and cutbacks in features make one wonder if the limits on the Playstation's hardware may actually have been hit with this game; the use of certain helpers (Juggernaut and Iceman as examples) does give a noticeable game slowdown on the PSX and seems to confirm this theory.

The AI in the game also has some strange quirks in its difficulty. For some reason, it's not well standardized, and it's easy for a human to counteract computer strategy by taking advantage of things like the amazingly long helper combos. While some characters like the Hulk remain powerhouses, it's not quite the same since the computer will let off a long combo, but then not do anything against a blatant attack multiple times. Particularly easy as compared to the Arcade is Onslaught, who can be staggered by a 3-hit combo (it took some MAJOR damage to stagger him in the arcade) and is just downright easy to beat in his final form, the one that made it difficult to take on with TWO characters in the arcade.

Secret Characters abound.
Double Team attack, War Machine and Iceman.
Preparing the assault....

Protonnn CANNON!!!!
Time for an air combo.
Juggernaut and the Proton Cannon
-- Spiderman's in trouble.

Sounds in MVC take a little getting used to, as does the graphical difference. Since the PSX can't do all the nifty color shifts that were in the arcade, a lot of attacks just sit there racking up hits seemingly out of nowhere. The sound, while right for the game, doesn't have the same impact and seems to be less defined than the arcade music and sounds were. All in all, the total experience with the game just doesn't satisfy as a beat-em-up fighting game the way the Arcade did, and it ends up as something only to be bought if you don't have alternatives like, say, Street Fighter Alpha 3.

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Added:  Tuesday, February 29, 2000
Reviewer:  Michael Ahlf
Page: 2/4

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