Super heroes take on street fighters in Marvel vs. Capcom
(IDG) -- Thanks to the Dreamcast, home consoles finally have the graphic power to bring Capcom's famous 2D fighting games to your living room. To celebrate that fact, Capcom brings an arcade-perfect port of Marvel vs. Capcom to Sega's new powerhouse system. Will it be a match made in Heaven or just another game in the ever growing fighting library?
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It's been seven years since Capcom brought the mother of all arcade fighters, Street Fighter II, to the Super Nintendo, and it created a revolution in the home gaming experience. A lot has changed since then, both at home and in the arcade, and Street Fighter II has evolved into a whole new game.
With Marvel vs. Capcom, it's almost an entirely new cast of characters, with some old favorites like Ryu, Chun Li and Zangief teaming up with other Capcom videogame characters (Captain Commando, Mega Man and Strider) to take on a slew of heroes and villains from the X-Men: Children of the Atom and the Marvel Super Heroes arcade games.
Not only have the characters been updated, but game play has also come a long way. The movement is faster and even more furious - just like the arcade, but this time it's a team battle.
You can swap teammates in and out of the fight (regenerating energy while out), call in special helper characters and use hyper combos to pound your pair of opponents before your own dynamic duo is down for the count. There's a lot of quick thinking and strategy involved in the fights this time around, not just move execution and brawling (don't worry there's still plenty of that).
Well-timed use of your special moves and teammates can help newbies overcome a more seasoned Street Fighter. Add to the mix a four-player free-for-all called Cross Fever and you have moved the fighting to another level of chaotic chop saki.
The muscle behind the bulging muscles
The aforementioned frantic arcade speed of this game is brought home thanks to the power of the Dreamcast (those of you still hanging on to your Saturns, the former king of the 2D fighting home platform, you can finally step up and move on).
Brilliant colors, eye-popping graphics, smooth animations and break-neck speed make Marvel vs. Capcom an exhaustive thrill. It's exactly like the arcade, except you are going to have to find your own annoying player who blames every loss on the machine controls.
The sound is also outstanding, with its bone crushing thumps and explosive special moves, keeping you thrilled as you frantically try to gain the upper hand in the fight. Gone are some of the memorable sound bites of the characters (Chun Li's giggle, or War Machine's cry of "Superior Tech!"), but the announcer and that trademark Capcom fighting music are still the same as before.
The one chink in the armor of this gamer's dream is the control. The Dreamcast pad (unlike the Sega Saturn's) is not meant to play this kind of game. The D-Pad is sufficient, but a little low on the controller (which causes discomfort after a while), but the button configuration is really the problem.
Default settings leave the HP and HK as the left and right triggers , which are not very easy to use, and impossible to use when performing some combos. And third party six button controllers don't fully solve the problem either (they aren't very comfortable). It's an arcade stick or bust, but make sure your opponent has one or they'll be crying fowl.
Ready, fight, K.O.!!!
For the legions of 2D Capcom fighting fans out there (including those of you who have put down your arcade fighting ways), your time has come. Get a Dreamcast, pick up Marvel vs. Capcom (and 4 arcade sticks or controllers) and your friends - this is what you've been waiting for.
Arcade perfect. Crisp, clean, colorful and fast as hell. Your eyes will have trouble keeping up.
Fierce and familiar, just what you've come to expect from Capcom. Except this time it's coming from your TV, not some ratty old arcade speaker with the volume up way too loud.
The Dreamcast controller is just not up to the task of this game. Grab an arcade stick, or two, or three, or four, for the most responsive control and fun.
Fun Factor: 5.0
It doesn't get any faster or more frantic - this game involves strategy, brawling, incredible special powers, buff bodies and up to four players - it doesn't get any better than this.
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