MARVEL VS. CAPCOM – INFINITE [Review]: Mega Classic Makeover, Iron Man!
There’s no doubt that the latest edition or Marvel vs. Capcom — this year’s Infinite — will go down as one of 2017’s biggest disappointments. In a year permeated with high quality fighters (Injustice 2, Tekken 7) and high quality promise (Dragon Ball FighterZ), a lot of fans of the legendary superhero-meets-cult-video-game-character 2D fighting game are content without the purchase. As one of the biggest cynics heading into the release of MvC:I, allow me to diagnose the good, the bad and the ugly of a game, perhaps, badbadbutgood.. yet kinda ugly.
If that intro didn’t turn you away from the rest of the review, then you must have heard at least something good about Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. Yeah — it plays fucking great. No matter the lack of characters (30 day one, with 6 coming at a $30 DLC? WTF?), who don’t appear so wonderful in the first place, the actual 2-on-2 tag team fighting here is top-notch and, at a crisp 60fps, mega fun to play–even for freshmen/women of the series. At the end, isn’t that what you want? In any other year, I’d say “yes”.
Thankfully for MvC:I, no other current-gen console fighting title plays quite like it (unless you wanna wait for DBfZ in Feb and run the traditional MvC 3v3). Chaining attacks and nailing super specials feels rewarding, and throwing in the whole Infinity Gem power move system adds another spice to the non-sequel’s already seamless combat. When you get deeper into Story Mode — which is *far* better than the shit demo that had me reluctant to purchase the game in the first place — switching between cosmic stones becomes a tricky roll of the dice. Even the blazing flourescent screen-altering Infinity Surges don’t feel like a cheat code. Fighting is just as strategic as it is mashing up timely combos (auto-combos do significantly less damage, n00bz!).
Well, you already know. The day I went to pick this up at GameStop, I looked down and noticed the front of my hazy yellow Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 shirt was emblazoned with the likes of Hawkeye, Rocket and Ghost Rider — all characters still showcased more than 6-years later in this game. I’m glad they’re here again, and I get that the X-Men aren’t/can’t be included (although isn’ that a movie issue and not a game one? Hmm?). But isn’t Marvel currently trying to push the Defenders? The Inhumans? Where the fuck are they, then?
Not having Luke Cage or Medusa in the game feels strange, especially if you’re also using traditional Cap, Thor and a Miles Mora-less Spidey (despite the surprising appearance of Pete’s symbiote duds). The lack of more modern Marvel hero choices is questionable AF, and only having a miniscule amount of them between two giant publishers (in comparison to other fight games on the market) feels off. In case you’re wondering — and I know you are — none of the musical score will have you hynotized like the tunes of “classic Capcom” back in the day, and the voicework is a mostly who’s what of cinematic cadence rip-off.
So you wanna, once again, showcase the ol’ school Avengers trinity. Fine. Some Marvel Zombies appreciate that. But, Infinite could have at least made the newer versions of Thor (Jane Foster), Cap (Sam Wilson), Hawkeye (Kate Bishop), G. Rider (Robbie Reyes), etc. alternate skins w/ slightly different powers, eh? Maybe the comic geeks wouldn’t have been so grave on many of MvC:I‘s beyond questionable design choices. This Tin Can Queen is Gamora. And.. Doctor Strange imagines David Hasselhoff in the role of Harry Houdini. Yikes.
Worse, are many of the humanoid Capcom fighters. Mike Haggar, a fav of mine from Final Fight, comes off like a bad mesh of J. Jonah Jamison and General “Thunderbolt” Ross in Story Mode, you know, considering… while Dead Rising‘s camera-toting Frank West and Bionic Commando‘s Spencer appear just plain damn uninspiring. At least most of the mashed-up stages look cool and colorful, such as Xgard’s Bifrost Bridge and Val(Habar/Wa)kanda; while a good number of the costumed/alien/monster fighters, like the dastardly Firebrand from Ghosts ‘n Goblins, the Darkstalkers‘ pair of Jedah (a surprisingly fun boss) and Morrigan (wowzuh!), and the Incredible Hulk look awesome.
Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is a mixed bag of blunders and successes. It’s a terrifying vegan dish your stepmom made that actually tastes great. Above the previous, stellar competition — and how much you’re willing to allow your bank account to suffer from all the silly DLsizzle wizzle — it all comes down to your love for traditional MvC tag team combat and its IP. And, hey, my fastidiously dedicated, Xbox-playing ass gets to use Ryu again; to me, that’s a win. 3.5/5 Infinity Gems.