Marvel Vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes

REVIEW:  Capcom's third installment to the Marvel VS Series pits some of Capcom's most famed heroes against a selection of Marvel icons for yet another ride in the 2D tag-team realm. The Capcom character roster has noticeably decreased in size from recent prequels, but isn't only made up of Street Fighter characters this time around. Heroes from several classic Capcom titles make their epic fighting game debuts, including: Megaman, Strider Hiryu, Jin Saotome, and Captain Commando. The Marvel side shows off mostly returning fighters, with the exception of Venom & War Machine (who is mostly a sprite edit). Unlike Marvel Super Heroes Vs. Street Fighter, this sequel still manages to feel like a completely new entity - presenting 100% new hand-drawn backgrounds, BGMs, and innovative gameplay systems.


MVC's intro & presentation brings the hype!

In addition to selecting a team of 2 characters, players now choose third "assist" character picked at random by default (or easily selectable by inputting a quick code before the match starts). Marvel VS Capcom features over 20 assist characters - some from past VS Series installments, others completely new to MVC. Capcom stepped out of the realm of Street Fighter with their assist choices as well, bringing in more obscure Capcom characters such as: Lou from Three Wonders, Ton-Pooh from Strider, Devilot from Cyberbots, as well as some more iconic characters like Arthur from Ghosts & Goblins


A small roster... but assist characters & combos for days!

The Marvel side of the assist selection is made up of mostly returning characters, including: Cyclops, Iceman, Rogue, Magneto, and Juggernaut. Additionally, icons like Thor & Jubilee make their fighting game debuts (hey, it counts)! For the record, Capcom even went the extra mile for Marvel fans and got Alyson Court (Jubilee's original voice actor from the 1990's X-Men cartoon) to do Jubilee's voice (all 2 words of it).

FUN FACT: Alyson Court also did Claire Redfield's voice in Resident Evil 2 (released the same year as the first Marvel Vs. Capcom).


Like in Marvel Super Heroes VS Street Fighter, assist characters can be called out at any time during gameplay (and are imperative to maxing out your team's combo potential). However, there is a limit to how many times a given assist character can be called out (specific to each character). While MVC's assist system can be a lot of fun in casual play, there are some pretty obvious flaws in high level gameplay. Simply put, certain assists are far superior than others (ex: Psylocke & Colossus are among the strongest). This causes high level gameplay to end up being pretty repetitive at times.

The popular tag-team gameplay that put Capcom's VS Series on the map seems more refined than ever in MVC... but brings along some very welcomed enhancements. New to the system is the "Duo Team Attack," where both fighters can come into the battle at once, launching UNLIMITED super moves for a brief period of time (determined by the level of the super gauge). Indeed, it can get pretty insane trying to defend if your opponent knows what they're doing with those supers!

Jubilee's assist... complete with her original voice actor!

The addition of Duo Team Attacks allow for some crazy-intense gameplay situations, and are just damn fun to experiment with. However, there are some cheap "chip damage" tactics that can be used which do slightly deteriorate the game in high level play (once again). To be more specific: Certain super moves take off HUGE amounts of chip damage. For instance, there's not much you can do against Strider Hiryu & War Machine when they launch their Duo Team Attack and continuously spam super moves... the end result is about "half life gone" even though you're blocking.

Finally, Marvel Vs. Capcom also contains quite a few secrets, including hidden playable characters and assist characters. With the use of a code, players can play as alternate versions of existing characters, including: Gold War Machine, Orange Hulk, Red Venom, Lilith, and Shadow Lady. While all of these can be dubbed as "sprite clones," these variant fighters offer unique play-styles and strategies. The only exception is Roll Caskett from the Megaman series, whom is a 100% new character (complete with a hilariously cool BGM of her own). Furthermore, secret assist characters like Sentinel & Shadow (Charlie) add even more options for potential team-ups.





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Page Updated: January 1st, 2024
Developer(s): Capcom
Publisher(s): Capcom / Virgin Interactive
Artwork by: Akiman, Bengus, Shoei, Sakumizu, Kinu Nishimura
Platform(s): Arcade, Dreamcast, PlayStation
Release Date(s): Jan. 12th, 1998                 Arcade
Jan. 23rd, 1998                 Arcade
Mar. 25th, 1999                Dreamcast
Sept. 30th, 1999               Dreamcast
Nov. 11th, 1999                PS1
Jan. 31st, 2000                  PS1
Sept. 25th, 2012             PSN - in MVC: Origins
Sept. 26th, 2012             XBLA - in MVC: Origins
Characters Ryu, Chun-Li, Zangief, Morrigan, Captain Commando, Mega Man, Strider Hiryu, Spider-Man, Jin Saotome, Captain America, Venom, Hulk, Gambit, War Machine, Wolverine, Roll, Onslaught, Shadow Lady
Special Assist Characters Arthur, Saki, Thor, Devilot, Anita, Magneto, Cyclops, Psylocke, Iceman, Colossus, Juggernaut, Rogue, Storm, Shadow, Sentinel, Jubilee, Lou, Ton Pooh, Michelle Heart, Unknown Soldier, Pure & Fur, U.S. Agent

Featured Video:

Related Games: Marvel Vs. Capcom: Origins, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite, X-Men: Children of the Atom, Marvel Super Heroes, X-Men Vs. Street Fighter, Marvel Super Heroes Vs. Street Fighter, Tatsunoko VS Capcom, Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom: Ultimate All Stars, Vampire Chronicle For Matching Service

Gameplay Engine  8.5 / 10
Story / Theme  9.0 / 10
Overall Graphics  9.0 / 10
Animation  9.0 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  8.5 / 10
Innovation  9.5 / 10
Art Direction  10 / 10
Customization  6.0 / 10
Options / Extras  8.5 / 10
Intro / Presentation  9.0 / 10
Replayability / Fun  9.5 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  9.0 / 10
Characters  8.5 / 10

 9.0 / 10

 Review based on Arcade version    


Final Words: At the time of its debut, Marvel VS Capcom was THE ultimate crossover game. No other fighting game came close in the realm of frantic, high-speed gameplay and flashiness. The incredible pace of the game and insane combos quickly separated the pros from the novices, as a practiced player can take out a casual in a matter of seconds!!! (Bet ya never lost 50 cents so fast!)

While many fans could easily dwell on the sad fact that many classic characters from the prequels went M.I.A. in this installment, MVC's roster did feature some excellent and fun-to-use characters... soon to become "fan-favorite" fighting game characters by the time they reappeared in MVC2. Newcomers like Strider Hiryu, Jin Saotome, Captain Commando, Venom, and Mega Man would soon become fan-favorites and legends in the fighting game universe!

Aesthetically, Capcom didn't slack in MVC1's presentation. In addition to the packed-in nostalgia value and subtle fan services hidden throughout the game, incredible details like remixed character BGMs, beautiful / charismatic stages, and the plethora of new character artwork really gave MVC a unique personality of its own. In retrospect, even MVC2's "overall presentation" didn't quite live up to the original MVC.

Even with its shortcomings and balance issues, MVC1 is arguably still a more balanced game than MVC2, even with the cheap chip-damage tactics (which can be beat)! What I love about MVC1 is that pretty much every character in the game can hold their own (with the right team and assist). I love me some MVC2, but I'll go back for some classic MVC1 matches any day of the week. MVC1 is still one of my all time favorite fighting games, for sure!
~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen

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