Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite is finally here and if the internet is to be believed, it’s the latest Mass Effect: Andromeda-type controversy, because OMG TWO CHARACTER’S FACES LOOK WEIRD IN CUTSCENES! I admit, there really are precisely two characters who have weird faces in otherwise incredible looking cutscenes. I was so distraught when I gazed upon these two faces of questionable quality that I cried and vomited simultaneously, then called my mom and told her to take this pile of garbage back to the virtual landfill from which it sprang! Sorry, just kidding, game’s awesome.
As I said previously, upon playing the demo, the single player campaign’s fan-fiction-ish mashing together of classic Marvel and Capcom characters repeatedly punches me right in the nostalgias. Yes, the story is incredibly cheesy and childish. It often feels much like something you would have seen in a Saturday morning cartoon in the 80’s or 90’s, but really, how else could a story like this have played out? Would it have been better for a scene like Chris Redfield teaming up with Spider-Man to break into A.I.M.BRELLA (yes, really) to fight Nemesis and MODOK over an Infinity Stone, to have been played out with hyper-realism and a dead serious tone? I think not.
No, this is an utterly ridiculous story that’s based on an utterly ridiculous premise of famous comic book characters teaming up and/or fighting with famous video game characters, and to a fan of both, it’s absolutely delightful to see. Seeing Strider Hiryu, Mega Man, Captain America, Iron Man, and many more, teaming up on adventures like they’re all old buddies is like a childhood dream come true.
I found the gameplay and graphics to be equally thrilling as well. Characters look and play quite impressively, each sporting their own unique movesets that feel very fitting for each character. The various attack animations and hyper combo sequences are some really beautifully animated pieces of eye candy. Oddly enough though, I found myself being most impressed by characters I had the least interest in, like Frank West from Dead Rising. I thought “this normal looking guy with a camera in one hand and a baseball bat in the other feels a bit out of place here”, but then I tried him out and found that he has a completely crazy set of moves that include things like blinding people with his camera flash, throwing zombies at them, and mowing them down with a shopping cart with chainsaws taped to it. He also has his own little micro-leveling system that allows him to power himself up through combos, which will automatically upgrade the weapons he uses in his special moves.
There are some surprisingly deep mechanics involved in some of these characters, but overall the mechanics of the game have actually been simplified compared to previous Capcom fighters. Switching characters is now done with a single button press, special hyper combo attacks are slightly simplified, and there’s even a quick hyper combo option now where you can just press two buttons together to do an instant hyper combo. I suppose this may come as bad news to those looking for a new professional, competitive fighting game, but I don’t intend on entering any Street Fighter tournaments any time soon, so I’m just fine with this.
While there are one or two strangely modeled faces in cutscenes, for the most part they’re pretty breathtaking overall. The only character that stood out in a negative way to me was Morrigan, who has a strange face and bizarrely misshapen hips. The environments are impressively detailed and colorful, and usually packed full of some form of explosive action and all presented in incredibly high quality videos. The game itself doesn’t look too far away from this level of detail and quality either. The character models almost look like real models of characters that you’re commanding to dance around in furious flashiness, as if in some mad imaginary battle with action figures in the backyard.
As usual, Capcom is at the top of the game in producing a high quality gaming experience. The only real potential downside here is the cost/content ratio, though that’s a pretty standard issue when it comes to fighting games. While the single player campaign is incredibly fun, it’s also incredibly short (roughly 5 hours), and beyond that you’re down to the typical arcade/online battles and a handful of training/challenge modes. I suppose your amount of use will depend on whether you play online or not, although I was surprised to find myself dumping several more days of play into beating arcade mode with all the characters, just so I could get a chance to play with them all some more.
I guess what it all comes down to is what you’re looking for in a game. If you’re looking for a complex, competitive fighting game to play online tournaments with, this may not be what you’re looking for. This iteration of the Capcom fighting formula definitely favors style and accessibility over skill. On the other hand, if you value a high quality single player experience above all else, with the fact that it makes for a good quick and simple couch co-op game being a bonus feature, this might be a game for you.
Personally, I fall into the latter category and enjoyed this game quite a bit (in case you couldn’t tell). Maybe I have it all backwards and am in the minority here because I suppose you could call me biased for my long-time love affairs with the two respective properties, but then again, who else should the target audience of a Marvel vs. Capcom game be, but fans of Marvel and Capcom?