Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite is like food that smells off but tastes fantastic. The MvC franchise has changed a lot over the years, and not always to the delight of their fan base. Each title seems to subtract as much as it adds, or simply removes beloved mechanics and characters for ones that don’t always work out. Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite exhibits all of these while remaining to be one of the most fun, most rewarding and flat out spectacular fighting games I’ve played in recent years.
I can’t stop playing it. Every time I boot up the game and bust out the fight stick, I feel the sense of desire to get better, to learn more, to try different combinations of characters and Infinity Stones, to see how far I could climb the ranked ladder. This is a game at war with itself; it lacks any real visual style outside of its’ ultra shine and bright colors, the character models range from pretty good to, “OMG, what the hell is that??” The menus are basic and ugly, stages are decent but not great, and the character roster is small and not really full of surprises. Beyond all that though, the game itself plays like a dream and every character is fun to play and feels viable with the right player.
This iteration of Marvel Vs Capcom includes Infinity Eggs, excuse me–Infinity STONES, that’s it. The collector’s edition of this game might have confused a few people. The Infinity Stones act as your third member essentially with the game having gone to a 2v2 system. This also takes the place of the previous version’s X Factor.
Each stone has an attack ability and an activation once you have filled your meter for it by doing damage. The Soul Stone for example will allow you to resurrect a fallen party member and keep them both on stage to fight simultaneously in a bout of crazy. The Space Stone traps opponents in a box that restricts their movement for a period of time. The Power Stone grants you a damage boost and knock back potential. Reality Stone creates a storm of elemental projectiles when you hit certain buttons. Each one has an insane ability that adds more layers of circus attractions to the screen of which there are already many, but they are fun as hell and give a great layer of set up for combos and character teams.
There really isn’t too much to say here. It’s a solid 6/10. Ok, but not great, the story is about two hours long max, and follows the basic formula of any normal arcade mode but you take control of certain fighters at certain times interjected with some cut scenes. The story involves Ultron Sigma attempting to take over, while various heroes employ the help of Thanos to find Infinity Stones in an attempt to stop him. There are some very awesome team up moments though.
Unfortunately, there aren’t enough of these moments nor the humorous ones. Mostly the story is basic and includes some pretty cringe moments of dialogue and voice acting. Also, including DLC characters in the main story is frustrating; could they really not just be in the base game? They aren’t playable, but seeing them is a weird tease if you weren’t intending to pay for more characters anytime soon.
Other Modes / Online
The game does include a basic Arcade Mode as well as training and mission mode. These are all pretty standard affairs although they do offer some good tips and opportunities to unlock colors and stages. The overall menus are basic and lack any fun art style like the comic book feel of Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3 but they work for the most part. I can’t help but think that if the presentation was a little sleeker or more fun, the experience would be better, but does it really matter when the game itself is so damn good? Not much when weighed against the actual fight mechanics in my opinion, but it still matters.
Online modes worked very well in my testing. Not much lag if any at all and finding matches was a breeze. You can also partake in a Beginner’s League for ranked matches that once you rank out of it you can no longer fight in. This is a great way for new players to get situated and to keep high level players from stomping on new players.
Combat / Learning Curve
Marvel Vs Capcom: infinite has gone back to a two punch two kick system this time around as opposed to the light, medium, heavy, and special from Marvel Vs Capcom 3. This setup is what Marvel Vs Capcom 2 used and as such, will take a little bit of getting used to. Launcher moves that send you into air combos are done with down and heavy punch now instead of just pressing special. There are easy combo controls as well as auto super and auto super jump that follows air combos for follow up damage. Turning these off is an option in settings and you’ll want to, but for players new to the franchise it’s a nice set of options to get started.
Some nice high-level game play above.
Instead of using characters as assists where the second or third character come in for an attack, with the 2v2 system the character can be switched at any time with an active switch button. This means you could combo with your first character then activate a super and while it does damage, switch to your second character to continue your combo. It’s an awesome system. Switching at the perfect time to avoid combos or continue them is a blast and leads to you thinking heavily about which characters you pair together. Add in your Infinity Stone and you have quite a few options to play with while finding the most optimal setup.
This game will take a little bit to get used to. The buttons, the system, the stones and the re-worked special moves for returning characters all lead into a screen that can be filled with things going on. Sometimes you’ll wonder where the hell you are on screen or when your life bar deleted itself.
The character roster is easily the weakest roster in the series’ history being the smallest with the least amount of newcomers and female characters which is odd. All of this however does not change the fact that I love this game. Marvel fighting games have always been my favorite and this one has drawn me in fiercely. It’s fun, fast paced and addicting as hell. As much as I am not a fan of the DLC format especially for fighting games, I am excited at the DLC characters they have announced and can keep hoping for X-Men even if it is a mere fever dream now.
Below is the first DLC character trailer for Monster Hunter who looks insane.
Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite won’t wow you with its’ beautiful art or impress you with an amazing story and great voice acting. You won’t be telling all your friends about the amazing choice of characters. What you will be doing though, is playing the game until your hands hurt and hearing yourself yell out in disbelief or joy when something crazy happens, which is a lot. Is this not what fighting games are made for? Do any of the small details matter all that much in the face of a game this fun? Again the answer is yes, but only a little.
Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite is worth your time and money in my opinion, but possibly only for those more concerned with the meat and potatoes than the china and table they’re served on.