Game: Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite
Genre: Fighting Game
Players: 1-2 (Local & Online)
As an 80’s kid who spent the majority of his childhood and teen years in a still thriving 90’s and 00’s arcade era, a time before the invasion of mobile gaming, I always marveled and had a soft spot for technical fighters. It was a highly satisfying feeling pulling off a 30+ hit combo successfully after days and weeks of attempts. Whilst always being a fan of the Marvel Vs Capcom series i think most people would agree the series peaked with its second installment.
The genre itself attracts two different types of players; the technical types, who strive to learn every moveset for their favourite fighters, and spend days, weeks, months and even years perfecting perfectly timed combos, and the button mashers, who enjoy the thrill of the fight, but are not invested in learning the game on a technical level, and are happy to button mash away.
So where does Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite sit?
Lets start with the button system. The control scheme in use does away with the original 3 punches, 3 kicks style light/medium/hard button mapping, and switches to a more gamepad friendly four button attack system. Whilst the purist in me will complain and always lean towards the original 6 button setup, I must accept that mapping the last two buttons to a comfortable position on a control pad was always off-putting, and has always been a “just deal with it” situation at best.
The disappointing aspect of this change, is not the fact that two traditional buttons have been removed from the control scheme, but the fact that the game has completely forgotten about its technical fanbase. This game is, in every way imaginable, a button masher, trying to appeal at a younger demographic. Even a control scheme selection system is currently non existent.
Just how simple is it? A simple repetitive mash of the Light Punch button will result in a ~12 hit ground to air combo that ends with a special move knocking your opponent off their feet. Super combo? No problem just simultaneously press Hard Punch and Hard Kick.
Whilst some of these changes will frustrate many long time fans, the game welcomes and embraces newcomers. The game does away with the steep learning curves that are usually reserved for the patient and passionate, and dives straight into the fun. The changes in the control system help the game garner an entirely new audience to the series that would have been thrown off by said steep learning curves. An option to return to the original control scheme however would have been a welcome addition.
The story mode revolves around Marvel and Megaman Supervilains’ Ultron and Sigma, attempting to merge all dimensions and eliminate every living being, using the powers obtained from the Infinity stones, and realistically, serves more as a character introduction offering the opportunity to play as every character, rather than a hardcore credible storyline. The game itself however seems to lack the polish that would elevate it to AAA quality status, and at times, feels like a “B Grade” production; bad voice acting, woeful storyline, some questionable character models, and horrible facial animations that make the Story Mode cutscenes seem more like 90’s Machinima.
A fantastic entry into the franchise for newcomers; but for the hardcore crowd? Move along, nothing to see here…
…but who knows, maybe some new game settings in a future patch could change all that.
Platform we played: Steam
Game Score: 7.5/10