Review by: Scott Steinberg
Published: October 28, 1999
One could hardly describe my feelings towards the neverending stream of Street Fighter clones and spinoffs coming out of the Capcom development labs as positive, but even I can’t refute the fact that even now there’s still some creativity to be milked out of their designers. It’s not often that this creativity manifests itself in the latest quarter-munching coin-op, but once in a while Capcom does strike gold, as was the case with the release of the crossover hit Marvel vs Capcom. Though it’s been a long time since this one made its debut in arcades across the world, you’ll be thankful it took so long for the home conversion to arrive since the Dreamcast actually does the title some justice.
In a strange twist of fate, Marvel vs Capcom pits America’s favorite comic book superheroes against classic Capcom characters in a fight to the finish. While the match-up may sound strange it theory, it works in the implementation, mainly because the Capcom characters are just as well animated and have as much firepower as the superheroes they’ll face off against. Similar to the original Marvel Superheroes, matches are a tag-team effort, providing you with the chance to swap your characters in and out as necessary to regain energy, choose the appropriate fighter for each one-on-one matchup, and launch powerful combined attacks against unsuspecting opponents. There’s only one objective, to win every match no matter what it takes, but this is easier said than done as you’ll quickly find out.
There’s several ways to enjoy this title because five game modes are available for play, specifically Arcade, Versus, Survival, Training, and Cross Fever. If you choose to play arcade mode, you’ll find that it requires your team to fight its way to the top, battling progressively harder teams of opponents and eventually reaching a climactic battle with Onslaught. Those who can’t afford to spend that much time with the game in one sitting can fire up a quick two-player game in versus mode or attempt the survival mode, which challenges you to beat as many foes as you can given a limited amount of energy that seldom increases from match to match. Training mode is fairly self explanatory, allowing you to practice the characters moves, while cross fever is a special four player mode not seen in the arcade version where teams of two players go head to head in a tag team match with each one controlling an individual character.
You’ll find a fairly wide selection of characters to choose from, including the standard old Street Fighter stand-bys such as Ryu and Chun-Li. In addition, you’ve also got a few Marvel superheroes such as Wolverine, Spiderman, and Captain America as well as a few Capcom characters such as Megaman, Strider, and Morrigan (of Dark Stalkers fame. All of them have individually tailored basic/special moves, hyper combos, and standard combos which can be strung together, making it a lengthy task in and of itself to learn the intricacies of each character. In an odd twist, you’re also randomly assigned a special partner for each match, who may be invoked to perform a special attack a limited number of times during a match. Many familiar characters such as Thor, Cyclops, and Colossus make cameo appearances as special partners, with the lineup even including many Capcom game supporting characters (ex. Arthur from Ghosts and Goblins) who haven’t seen the light of day in almost a decade.