Reviews October 11, 2017

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite

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Reviewed By: Jaime Mejias Jr.
System: PC (Also on PS4, Xbox One)
Genre: Fighting
Rated: T
Players: 1-2 (2-8 Online)
Cost: $59.99
Release Date: 09/19/2017
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom

Many thought the Marvel vs. Capcom series was dead. Not dead as in no one wanted to play MvC:3, but dead as in Capcom’s done. Then, during PSX, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite was announced – the initial hype was out of this world. Once people saw the trailer though, things changed a little…

Let’s be frank, Infinite didn’t look good. Gone was the colorful comic book vibe from MvC3. In its place were these pseudo realistic visuals that were ok in some respects (Iron Man) and horrible in others (Chun-Li’s face). If that wasn’t bad enough, Capcom also decided to go back to the 2v2 format. No three man/woman squads, no assists – they removed most of the elements/series mainstays since MvC 2. Basically, even though fans were anticipating a great fighting game, there were some rumblings about these changes.

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Thankfully, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite isn’t as bad as it looked. There are still some visual hiccups. The UI/menus are bland, the character select screen was uninteresting, and some of the more human-like characters look odd. The actual gameplay is solid though. There’s a certain freedom given to players via the changes to the formula. Tags are quick and fluid, only hindered by a small window of time to reduce spamming. That said, it’s possible to start a combo, tag your partner for a few follow up hits and a super move, before jumping back in with the original character. The 2v2 format harks back to the original Marvel vs. Capcom in concept but adds a new wrinkle in the six Infinity Stones. These powerful gems sort of act as assist characters, each one granting two extra abilities – a surge which acts as an extra attack and a storm, which offers a powered-up state – during a fight. For instance, the Space stone’s surge pulls opponents towards you, allowing you to extend combos with hits that would normally be out of reach. Its storm will force enemies into a small box for a few seconds, restricting their movements just enough to tip the fight in your favor (if you can capitalize on the moment).

Combining the tag system for dynamic combos with the match altering Infinity Stones, makes for some exhilarating matches. When I experimented with the mechanics, the idea of what could be done at any given time drew me in. I would find myself thinking “oh, this move causes an extra ground bounce? I wonder if this other character has something similar. Hmmm…I should be able to extend this combo using this Stone” and so on. The combo potential is crazy once you get the hand of how everything works. That said, those of you who are newer need not worry about being blasted all about the screen nonstop…at least not at first. This is because none of the Infinity Stones seem broken or abusable at the moment. Different systems, like the Infinity meter that needs to be built up to at least half way before a storm can be used, help to keep things fair. The biggest change though is the ability to break combos. It’s possible to call in your second character while your first is being battered in hopes of interrupting. While it’s not your traditional combo breaker, it is a welcome addition given how lengthy some combos can be. Just be careful when calling in help as both of your characters could end up getting assaulted.

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Unlike Street Fighter V, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite released as a complete game. Right out of the gate you’ll get both Story and Arcade modes as well as the fighting game standards: VS, Training, Mission (combo trials) and so on. The story mode, while a nice gesture, will be hit or miss for most people. Capcom tried to take the NetherRealm Studios approach in offering an “reason” for these assorted heroes to square off. Personally, I think Capcom missed the mark here. The title’s villain Ultron Sigma, the result of merging Ultron and Sigma into one person, isn’t very creative or very unique. He does wage war within the Marvel and Capcom worlds, set up some cool action segments, and is all around powerful. But he doesn’t really drive the narrative because he is interesting. He’s a means to an end.

The same goes for the other characters. Their B-movie dialog might make you chuckle every now and then. Most of the time though, you’ll just be going through the motions. Fighting in battles that hold very little weight even though the fate of two worlds is at stake. That’s not to say that the stories found in other fighters are riveting experiences. It just that more could have been done here. I mean, you have Iron Man, Rocket Racoon, Frank West, and Mega Man X all in one game. The plot could have been absolutely nuts as opposed to mostly forgettable.

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Most of the cast are returning characters from Marvel vs. Capcom 3 with a few first timers thrown in for fun. Most, if not all fit in rather well. Unfortunately, there are no X-Men for assorted, unsubstantiated reasons. And yes, I know about the silly claim that some “modern” Marvel fans don’t know who the X-Men are. Seriously? As if they haven’t been in recent films (and let’s not point out how Captain Marvel hasn’t had her big screen debut yet). Moving on…it’s nice to see characters like Gamora make an appearance.

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is a game that leaves a lot to be desired in terms of visuals, and narrative. But, it does excel in the most important department of any fighting game, the combat. The amount of creativity available via the new tag system and Stones will keep veterans and new players occupied for some time. The roster issue shouldn’t be a problem for long either; the new additions are great and Capcom did announce some epic DLC characters. Feel how you want about them announcing such things before the game launched, I’m pretty excited for Black Panther. And who knows, we may see some X-Men make a return. As if Capcom isn’t going to reveal a newer version of Infinite in the near future…

Gameplay: 10
The mechanics are going to stick. The most creative MvC in the series, combo wise, is a title worth being proud of.

Graphics: 6
Presentation and just some of the character models leave a lot to be desired.

Sound: 5
Unmemorable music with subpar voice acting is not a good combination

Replay Value: 9
The story mode is good for one playthrough, at least to unlock the stages. The real value comes from fighting other players locally and online.

Final Score:


7.5