Review: Marvel vs. Capcom—Infinite (PS4)

Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC
Genre: Fighting
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
Price: $59.99

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite has been met with criticism since it was announced last year at PSX. The biggest issue amongst hardcore fans is that there were no X-Men in sight, and many of those characters were essential to a player’s dream team. Another problem was the negative reception on the character design, on which the developers had responded on to some degree. So now that the game has been released, do these criticisms hold Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite back from being something greater, or does it have the (infinity)stones to stand on its own despite the backlash?

 

Content Guide

Violence: In Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, each player chooses two characters from the Marvel or Capcom universes to do battle in hand to hand combat. Some characters use various melee and ranged weapons such as swords, pistols, rocket launchers, and laser cannons. Some characters also use their superpowers to launch projectile blasts from their hands.

Some blood does appear on the zombie characters, but it is not seen in the midst of battle. Special light effects are shown when characters are hit. They also physically react to the attacks by screaming in pain.

Language: The word a*s is the only foul language to be found in the game.

Drug/Alcohol Use: One character has a move where he takes a drink from a bottle of alcohol. He also dry heaves which implies that he is about to vomit.

Sexual Content: A succubus character wears an outfit that shows a large amount of cleavage including revealing portions of her butt.

Spiritual Content: A few battles in the story take place in an area known as the “Dark World.” This area is home to a few characters in the game who are demons, one of them being a succubus. According the the backstories of the universes, this world is considered an interpretation of hell.

The character Dr. Strange battles uses a form of magic during battle, and shouts the names of his magical attacks when he uses them.

Ultron Sigma continuously tells our heroes that he will “Make the world in his own image” which is a direct reference to the book of Genesis, except that Ultron aims to eliminate humanity to get rid of the “sins of the flesh” which refers to the human definitely of imperfection.

Ultron and Sigma become one being to take over the new world

Review

In terms of fighting mechanics, MvC: Infinite is great, thanks the the changes that have been made. The series has gone back to its roots with 2 on 2 battles rather than the 3 on 3 battles of Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and 3. The first Marvel vs. Capcom included assist characters that would be selected at random. Those assist characters have been replaced with Infinity Stones this time around. Players have the option to select one out of six stones after picking two characters; these stones have special abilities are greatly aid a player’s team in battle. For example, the Space stone can pull opponents in closer while the Soul stone can steal a small amount of health from them.

These stones can be even more useful based on the type of team you select. For example, I choose the Time stone when I select large power characters like Hulk and Mike Haggar. The time stone grants them a dash ability with the press of a button, which can be deadly with heavy hitters like those guys. When I use fast characters like Gamora and Strider I would use the power stone that knocks enemies back to get some space to launch another quick combo. Each stone also has an “Infinity Storm” version that can be activated  when a meter is filled, these storms have even greater effects that put the opponent at a serious disadvantage for a short time.

The actual act of combat and button input has also experienced a major overhaul. The face buttons are now divided into light/heavy punches and kicks, while launches are performed exactly like an uppercut in a NetherRealm studios game rather than being mapped a single button. Hyper combos are also done by doing a quarter circle and pressing both punch or kick buttons. My only issue is that all the auto combo and auto hyper settings are turned on when starting the game, I had to take of the proverbial “Training Wheels Protocol” before I could really explore everything this new style of combat had to offer.

My favorite aspect of the new combat style is the strategy of tagging fighters in and out of battle. Knowing when to switch them out is crucial to the flow of a match, because fighters will regenerate some health while they are out of battle. The risk of keeping a character in too long can lead to their demise, but a team that constantly rotates can be very tough to beat down until the last second. A fighter can even be tagged in while the current one is doing a hyper combo; this helps keeps the hits coming or break the guard of an opponent.

After going on long enough about gameplay, it’s time to touch on the presentation and story. When I look at Infinite, I see Marvel: Contest of Champions, which is a Marvel fighting game for iOS and Android—which isn’t a exactly a bad thing. The downside to the style of presentation is that many of the characters just look oddly shaped like action figure versions of their true selves. I’ve noticed the strange design of muscular characters like Captain America and Spider-Man for example. I find it difficult to take this game seriously with such goofy character design—I feel like I’m ten years old and playing with my old toys again.

Captain America has no neck

I had overheard some things about the game’s story before I personally got my hands on it—mostly negative of course. Despite that, I actually enjoyed it aside from some cringe-worthy voice acting. I never expected anything serious like the story of the Injustice series. That is exactly what I got: a Marvel vs. Capcom fanfiction in cartoon form. There were some cool moments, such as watching Hulk and Ryu kick the stuffing out of an Elder Dragon from Monster Hunter. Thanos ended up being one of my favorite characters in the game because of his place in the story and how the characters interacted with him.

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite suffers from a severe lack of replayability. After finishing the story, all that is left is the Arcade and Mission modes. Mission modes are great if you want to learn the special moves and abilities of any character, but that’s all. Though extra character colors are unlocked when finishing an arcade ladder, I was disappointed at the absence of character endings—which I really liked in MvC 3. The online play does run really smooth,  but I personally just don’t play fighting games online much.

X and Gamora are welcome new additions to the series roster

Another thing that has also affected replayability for me is on the Marvel side of things. I really have no incentive to keep picking those characters. All of them have some sort of relation to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Nova isn’t even an exception since the Nova Corps are attached to Guardians of the Galaxy. Its as if Disney said, “Only these characters can be in the game.” This gives off a great sense of limitation that I have never felt while playing a fighting game that I greatly dislike. Disney and Marvel Studios have their hands to deep into the cookie jar, and it has definitely affected Marvel as a whole. This makes half of the game feel like a cash grab when they have such a huge universe of great comic characters they could pull from.

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is secretly a great fighting game, but it’s got a rotten outer shell. What has kept me coming back to it on occasion is the solely the gameplay. It may be strange that I found the story to be enjoyable while others didn’t. However, I did not set my expectations high. I find myself somewhere in the middle concerning whether or not this game was even worth picking up. Part of me feels like every hour I spend on the game is a disservice to the series. The final product feels so heartbreakingly average, especially since the first and second Marvel vs. Capcom games are two of my favorite video games of all time..

 

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The Bottom Line

 

 

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L.J. Lowery

Born in southern California, but currently residing in Lafayette, Louisiana. Loves Hip Hop music, comics, and video games. Events/Media Coordinator, Podcast Producer, and Public Relations.

1 Comments

  1. The Great John Cock on September 16, 2021 at 8:22 pm

    Which is your favorite Marvel vs. Capcom game?

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