Marvel Vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes


REVIEWAfter five highly-successful Marvel fighting games from Capcom, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 exploded into arcades in February 2000. The response from fans and players was incredibly positive from the get-go, but the game soon became a phenomenon. Thanks to the iconic roster and addicting gameplay, MVC2 would stand strong for over a decade at surviving arcades and in the competitive scene!

Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 Character Selection Screen.

The arcade version launched with only 24 playable characters (eventually expanding to 56 when all fighters are unlocked). When the arcade version of MVC2 first released, the machine would gain experience points via tokens inserted (10 pts per token) or time passing (100 pts every three hours). As EXP points built up, additional characters, character colors, and stages would eventually unlock. (That means if MVC2 was popular at your arcade, characters would be unlocked faster!) This EXP system kept players coming back to the arcade to play MVC2 (if the incredibly addicting gameplay and vibrant community wasn't enough). The later Dreamcast port also featured a similar unlocking system via the Secret Factor mode.

In retrospect, MVC2 became one of the most iconic 2D fighting games of all time. One of the reasons for this was the epic character roster filled with fan-favorites. With the exception of the prequels' boss characters like Apocalypse and Onslaught, every Marvel character to ever grace a Capcom fighting game was brought back as a playable character. Newcomers from the Marvel side include Cable and Marrow from the X-Men series. Of course, all Capcom characters from previous Marvel Versus series games also return, alongside some brand new Capcom character designs like Amingo and Ruby Heart. Additional characters from other Capcom franchises, such as Jill Valentine from Resident Evil, Hayato from Star Gladiator, and Tron Bonne from the Megaman series also make their epic fighting game debut in MVC2.

Are you skilled enough to control this madness?

The frantic 3-on-3 tag team gameplay is unlike anything in any other fighting game. With a solid foundation from so many epic Capcom fighting games, MVC2 could be summed up as "Street Fighter to the extreme" and has lasting appeal that so few other fighting games could ever hope to achieve. MvC2 gives players the ultimate freedom of creativity with their teams and combo potential. Players form a team of 3 characters, each with an "assist" technique. This opens up a seemingly limitless amount of strategies and possibilities, as each character has 3 assist types which can make or break your team's defense, offense, and combo potential. With so many options... Marvel VS Capcom 2 is a game that just never goes out of style.

is incredibly fast-paced, even faster than the prequels (which were known for their speedy gameplay). In high level competition, there's no room for error. One mistake, and you could quickly loose a character (or two, or three)! A match in MVC2 might be difficult to follow for casual viewers, but a pro player will feel in control of their team at all times (and ultimately their opponent's team)! MVC2's gameplay is amazingly fun to watch when two skilled players go at it, and even more-so to play. Why? Too many reasons to list, but I'll try... Tag-Team Assist Attacks (which can be punished by the other team), Super Move Cancels into your teammates supers, screen-filling Triple Tag team supers, insane combos, and even some infinite combos... which both make and break MVC2 at a high level. The open-ended combo system is the best aspect about MVC2's gameplay (for better or worse), and it's what truly makes MvC2 stand out from the crowd.

Nothing beats high-level matches with low-tier characters.

When Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 hit the scene, it was pretty much deemed "godlike" among all respectible arcade fighting game players. There was no other fighting game that provided to many characters and options. However, years into the game's lifespan, many over-powered teams and "cheap" infinite combos were discovered by high level players and used to dominate. Indeed, certain teams in MVC2 are far more powerful than others, as the top-tier teams usually reign supreme over teams with more mid-tier or low-tier characters. Even so, clever players with the proper skillset can use mid or low-tiers in surprising ways and defeat some of those top-tier monsters. (And it's truly a beautiful / hype thing when the underdogs win in MVC2.) The unbalance is part of the game. Even though the game isn't balanced or always fair, MVC2 remains incredibly fun for players of all levels. It's the solid engine that keeps it alive. The fact that certain combos / teams even exist make MVC2 timeless to play and appreciate.

MVC2 is a pretty game, but actually not as polished as some of the prequels. MVC2 isn't perfect from a presentation standpoint. The new stages with 3D elements are arguably less impressive than the beautiful 2D hand-drawn backgrounds of the series past. I also always wondered why character walking animations appear "choppy" just before the fight begins. The core animations of the 56 characters during gameplay are solid as expected, but why do characters have to look like they're "skating" across the stage before the fight? Character-specific theme songs from the earlier titles are also gone (sadly yet understandably), but the "jazzy" soundtrack of MvC2 is something special all on its own and grows on you.

One of the best rosters and gameplay engines of ALL TIME.

The Dreamcast port is close to arcade perfect, and outside of the arcade version was the version I played the most. The later PS3 / Xbox 360 ports released in 2009 by Digital Eclipse online play and graphic filters which nicely smooth out the 2D sprites. MVC2 online on PS3 / Xbox 360 is straight-forward and playable, though a bit light on features. Battle Lobbies could've been designed a tad better and have provided more options, but at least, the netcode is solid enough to allow players from across the globe to enjoy playing MvC2 online with minimal lag.

Love it or hate it, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 is a groundbreaking 2D fighting game that introduced some of the most unique & enjoyable gameplay mechanics known to man (still to this day). It's still one of the most fun fighting games ever created especially if you know how to use a variety of characters and teams. Unfortunately, there's no story mode (proving fighting games don't need story modes to be great), and really no other extras (besides unlocking characters and stages in the beginning). But who needs 'em... Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 is a "fighting game" made for fighting game players, rewards practice, looks amazing in motion, and it delivers on so many levels.





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Page Updated: March 1st, 2024
Developer(s): Capcom,  Backbone  (PSN/XBLA versions)
Publisher(s): Capcom
Artwork by: Bengus
Platform(s): Arcade, Dreamcast, PS2, PS3 (PSN), Xbox, Xbox 360 (XBL), iOS
Release Date(s): February 2000                     Arcade
Mar. 30th, 2000                   Dreamcast
June 29th, 2000                   Dreamcast
July 16th, 2000                     Dreamcast
Sept. 19th, 2002                  PS2 / Xbox
Nov. 19th, 2002                   PS2
Nov. 29th, 2002                   PS2 / Xbox
Mar. 30th, 2003                   Xbox
July 29th, 2009                  XBLA
Aug. 13th, 2009                 PSN
Apr. 25th, 2012                  iOS
Characters Amingo, Hayato Kanzaki, Jill Valentine, Ruby Heart, Son Son, Tron Bonne, Servbot, Cable, Marrow, Ryu, Chun-Li, Guile, Charlie, Morrigan, Felicia, B.B. Hood, Captain Commando, Mega Man, Strider Hiryu, Spider-Man, Jin Saotome, Akuma, Zangief, Cammy, Sakura, Anakaris, Dhalsim, M. Bison, Ken Masters, Dan Hibiki, Roll Caskett, Omega Red, Rogue, Cyclops, Captain America, Venom, Hulk, Gambit, War Machine, Wolverine, Shuma-Gorath, Sentinel, Iron Man, Juggernaut, Magneto, Psylocke, Iceman, Storm, Dr. Doom, Silver Samurai, Thanos, Sabretooth, Blackheart, Spiral, Colossus, Abyss

mvc2selectionscreen-hd.jpg (1811313 bytes)mvc2-s21.jpg (208185 bytes)mvc2-s10.jpg (172814 bytes)mvc2-s17.jpg (167835 bytes)mvc2-s11.jpg (94580 bytes)

Featured Video:

Related Games: Marvel Vs. Capcom, 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, Capcom Vs. SNK, Capcom Vs. SNK 2, Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom

Gameplay Engine  9.5 / 10
Story / Theme  8.5 / 10
Overall Graphics  9.0 / 10
Animation  8.5 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  7.5 / 10
Innovation  10 / 10
Art Direction  9.5 / 10
Customization  9.0 / 10
Options / Extras  7.5 / 10
Intro / Presentation  8.0 / 10
Replayability / Fun  10 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  9.5 / 10
Characters  10 / 10

9.5 / 10

 Review based on Dreamcast version    


Final Words:

The culmination of Capcom's already highly successful Marvel Versus series (which began in 1996)... Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 made an unforgettable impact and statement in arcades when it launched. Even more impressive? MVC2 remained a relevant fighting game for literally decades to come.

On a personal note, I met so many friends playing MVC2 at arcades and tournaments back in the day (including one of my best friends). At my local arcades, the crowds and regulars kept the hype alive on those worn out (but still in working order) MVC2 cabinets for well over a decade. During its heyday, it was common to see 7 or 8 quarters up on the screen. Put up or shut up! Good times with this game... good times indeed.

Very few fighting games come close to MVC2 in terms of fun, replayability, and flashiness. I think one of the things I love most about MVC2 is the speed... it's probably the fastest fighting game in existence. Not only the speed, but the "solid" feeling the game has. The randomness and frantic nature of MVC2 is misunderstood by casual players. Because if you practice, you can learn how to control what's going on and make epic comebacks when you need to.

No doubt MVC2 was and still is one of the most enjoyable and open-ended 2D fighting games for casual players and expert players alike. For high-level players, the tournament scene evolved to always expect certain kinds of "OP" teams with cheap and potentially frustrating tactics being used to dominate lower tier characters. All that is true... but it's part of the magic of MVC2. Because when those mid-tier / low-tier characters do join the fight and make something happen or make huge comebacks, the hype goes through the roof!

Many still complain about MVC2's balance issues, and they're usually not wrong in their complaints... but the fact that such insane combos and teams even exist is what makes MVC2 special. (And those combos are fun to learn, btw.) In what other game can you do Magneto triangle-jump rush-down combos or 20-second chip-damage corner traps? Yes, MVC2 is "unbalanced," but I think that's what Capcom intended to do in the first place. They wanted returning players to have fun with the crazy amount of combo possibilities and teams (and we certainly did).

MVC2 made an epic return on PSN & XBLA in Summer of 2009, finally brining online play. We had to wait 9 long years for online matches, but thankfully it was worth it (mostly). The netcode is fairly solid on both PSN & XBLA, and playing other skilled players across the globe is particularly fun in a game like MVC2. There are many skilled players out there and clever new teams & tactics to test your skills against. For the record, I love using low tier teams online, but I'm also always up for going all out with OP "tournament style" teams as well. For the record, my main team is Cable / Juggernaut / Guile.

After over a decade of support for MVC2 from loyal players, Capcom brought the series back with Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 in 2011. While the MVC3 series looks great in 3D and implemented some very interesting new characters and ideas... I have to say I still strongly prefer MVC2 any day of the week. For the roster, gameplay, visuals, and the memories. MVC2 at arcades was an experience. One final thought: MVC2's arcade lifespan was as impactful as SF2's original run, but even more successful in the long run. Most importantly? People still play this game after all these years.

~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen


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