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Marvel Super Heroes
    

 
   
STORY:  The story behind Marvel Super Heroes is inspired by the famous comic saga known as the Infinity Gauntlet, published in 1991. The infinity gauntlet is wielded by Thanos and allows him to use all the Infinity gems simultaneously.
 
 

Capcom killed it in 1995... a visual masterpiece!

     
REVIEW
:  Back in December 1994, Capcom wowed Marvel and Street Fighter fans alike with X-Men: Children of the Atom, making a statement with large, colorful character sprites, ultra smooth animation, and fast-paced, exciting gameplay. To further prove what the amazing artists over at Capcom could do with the Marvel license, the team brought together an even more iconic cast of Marvel characters in 1995's Marvel Super Heroes, featuring the comic-book icons such as: Spider-Man, Iron Man, The Hulk, and Captain America. A few returning X-Men returned as well... because why not?
   

Marvel Super Heroes (1995) character selection screen

   
In more ways than one, Capcom's second attempt at a Marvel-themed 2D fighter raised the bar yet again in the arcade and console 2D fighting game climate of 1995-1997. Marvel Super Heroes really was a breakthrough 2D fighting game in terms of visuals and gameplay, paving the way for what would later become Capcom's Marvel VS Series. Everything about the game shines and begs you to play it.
     

THIS IS HOW YOU DO A VERSUS SCREEN.

   
Even from a casual 2D fighting game fan's perspective (or even from the perspective of a non video game player), Marvel Super Heroes is an impressive visual feat. What comic book nerd wouldn't want to see The Hulk finally duke it out with Juggernaut, or watch a beautifully-animated dream match of Spider-Man VS Captain America? No doubt, Capcom's beautiful 2D spritework was very much ahead its time, and actually still look awesome to this day! Marvel Super Heroes presented some of the largest and beefiest 2D character sprites to date, and even the big guys like Hulk and Blackheart show off ultra-smooth animations - something that not all 2D fighting games of the era could pull off quite so well.
  

Dream match-ups made by Capcom... eat that SNK!

   

Not only does Marvel Super Heroes look incredibly stylish and smooth... the gameplay was innovative for the time and especially fun! The Infinity Gem system offers a deeper level of gameplay than most 2D fighters of the time period (we'll talk more about that later). Marvel Super Heroes also refined the air-combo system from X-Men: COTA, making air-combos even more intuitive and fun to perform. While the combo system was open-ended and fun for casual / advanced players, the system also contained some ridiculous (and very cheap) infinite combos that expert players could pull off with ease (and take a round in literally seconds).


In addition to the crazy and highly entertaining combos, Marvel Super Heroes presented some of the flashiest special moves and most dramatic super moves to ever appear in a 2D fighting game to date. Hearing the Marvel icons scream out their super moves as they perform them definitely enhanced the effect as well! PROTON CANNON!!! ...GAMMA CRUSH!!! ...MAXIMUM SPIDER!!! (All of these are now legendary, timeless super moves than any fighting game player worth their salt knows and loves. Don't forget many of them originated in this game.) On the subject of voice acting, MSH could have gone in a very wrong direction with the wrong talent, but needless to say, Capcom got the right people for the job... and every character sounds amazing.


 

"Proton Cannon!" debuted in 1995.

 

On top of the solid and fun gameplay engine, the ability to pick up and use "Infinity Gems" to enhance your character's abilities mid-fight is also an innovative and fun gameplay element. The types of Gems that players can use during gameplay include: Time Gem (allowing faster movement speed), Space Gem (enabling super armor), Soul Gem (life recovery), Power Gem (powered-up attacks), Reality Gem (additional attack effects), and the Mind Gem (allows character to recover 2 energy levels very quickly). Characters can pick up numerous Gems at once, stacking them. However, if a character is hit by a powerful attack, they will drop one of there Gems which could be picked up by the opponent. Furthermore, certain Gems give specific characters unique enhancements (ex. Reality Gem gives Blackheart temporarily invisibility)! Part of the fun is experimenting with what each character can do with each Gem. Brilliant!


As a fighting game... Marvel Super Heroes was a noticeable improvement over X-Men: Children of the Atom, and even brought back some of the earlier cast (which returning players certainly appreciated). Overall, Marvel Supers Heroes is a fighting game anyone can pick up and play, but contains plenty of depth for the hardcore players as well. In high level play, the-ultra cheap infinite combos and tricks that players can use to dominate arguably "break" the game... but you can't really fault a 1995 fighting game for balance issues. (Plus, if you meet a fellow player who knows some infinites, it's still a fun gameplay experience on its own).
 
 

The heroes look great, but the villains... OMG.

 

Page Updated: July 1st, 2022
Developer(s): Capcom
Publisher(s): Capcom
Designer(s): Takeshi Tezuka, Tetsuya Iijima, Atsushi Tomita, Kiyoshi Nishikawa, Kei Hiratou, Satoru Kimura
Artwork By: Akiman   Character Art
Arthur Adams  
Poster / Promo Art
Platform(s): Arcade, PlayStation, Sega Saturn, PSN, XBL
Release Date(s): Oct. 24th, 1995                Arcade
Nov. 1995                            Arcade
Aug. 8th, 1997                  Saturn
Sept. 25th, 1997              PS1
Sept. 29th, 1997              PS1 / Saturn
Sept. 25th, 2012            PSN - in MVC: Origins
Sept. 26th, 2012            XBLA - in MVC: Origins
Characters Hulk, Wolverine, Spider-Man, Magneto, Juggernaut, Iron Man, Psylocke, Captain America, Shuma-Gorath, Blackheart, Dr. Doom, Thanos, Anita ( version)

msh-s5.jpg (169599 bytes)msh-s1.gif (28780 bytes)msh-s4.jpg (72569 bytes)msh-psylocke-screenshot.png (189676 bytes)

Featured Video:

Related Games: X-Men: Children of the Atom, X-Men Vs. Street Fighter, Marvel Super Heroes Vs. Street Fighter, Marvel Vs. Capcom, Marvel Vs. Capcom: Origins, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite, Darkstalkers, Night Warriors: Darkstalkers' Revenge, King of Fighters '95, Darkstalkers 2, Fatal Fury 3, Street Fighter Alpha, Mortal Kombat 3, Golden Axe: The Duel, Killer Instinct 2
  

Gameplay Engine

 8.5 / 10

Story / Theme

 9.5 / 10

Overall Graphics

 9.0 / 10

Animation

 10 / 10

Music / Sound Effects

 9.0 / 10

Innovation

 9.5 / 10

Art Direction

 10 / 10

Customization

 6.5 / 10

Options / Extras

 7.5 / 10

Intro / Presentation

 9.5 / 10

Replayability / Fun

 8.0 / 10

"Ouch" Factor

 9.0 / 10

Characters

 8.5 / 10

BOTTOM LINE

 8.9 / 10

 Review based on Arcade version     

 

Final Words: An artistic and visual triumph... 1995's Marvel Super Heroes was another big statement from Capcom, perhaps changing the face of fighting games forever. Other 2D fighters from the era just couldn't compete with this game (and we all know there were a lot of them.) Capcom proved they could do way more than just offering great new Street Fighter and Darkstalkers installments in the mid 90's. Marvel Super Heroes changed the game and paved the way for the 2D greatest crossover games of all time!

No other 2D fighting games of the era even came close to the animation quality, groundbreaking aesthetic, sound design, or gameplay prowess of Marvel Super Heroes. As a fighting game, it opened the door to faster gameplay, crazier combos, and huger super moves.

Technically, Marvel Super Heroes is fun to learn... but on the flipside, is actually a broken game. I call Marvel Super Heroes a visual masterpiece, but any MSH player who knows an infinite combo or two would tell you there are some crazy, laughable, but also annoying exploits and balance issues with this game.

Fans of X-Men: Children of the Atom also might've felt shorted because many great characters from the prequel were sadly missing in action. (It seems like they could've just stuck them in this game.) Clearly, Capcom wanted to focus mainly on the "big names" of Marvel this time around. Even with the slightly smaller character roster, MSH felt more comprehensive than Capcom's first Marvel fighting game, and was more fun to play, in my book. Thanks to the solid visuals and gameplay, Capcom had themselves yet another hit at the arcades and on home consoles.


While a head-turner at arcades and a solid console title, Capcom's Marvel Super Heroes didn't have quite the competitive longevity of some other 90's fighters as it was quickly succeeded by 1996's groundbreaking X-Men Vs. Street Fighter along with this game's successor, 1997's Marvel Super Heroes Vs. Street Fighter. All great titles that continued to change the face of 2D fighting games. (Damn, that sure was an awesome time to be an arcade-goer.) *sigh* Moment of nostalgia.... ^__^

Worth mentioning... the clever fighting styles Capcom created for Marvel's iconic heroes and villains remained unchanged when they reappeared in Capcom's various Versus Series sequels (including MVC3 which was 17 years after this game!!!). There's a reason for that, and its partly due to the brilliant animation we all experienced in this special game.

Also, each character's fun and interesting moveset design and amazingly cool combos made it intuitive for returning players! Also worth noting, several of the incredibly catchy BGM theme songs that debuted in this game carried over to many of the sequels getting cool remixed versions. But I digress. In addition to being a well-put-together 2D fighting game, Marvel Super Heroes and all the games that would follow it would continue to be the best kind of fan service for Marvel and Capcom fans, alike! And it wasn't just the big names and the popularity of Marvel's characters, it was Capcom's execution that made this series outstanding.
~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen
 
 

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