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Marvel vs. Capcom 2 for iOS

Marvel vs. Capcom 2 for iOS

Platform: iPhone/iPod
Category: Fighting

Capcom recently brought Marvel vs. Capcom 2 to the iOS, and I tried it out on my iPhone. In case you don't know, this is a fighting game featuring characters from Marvel and from Capcom. It was originally released in arcades and on Dreamcast and has since been ported to many other systems. The iOS doesn't usually do well with games that require buttons, and fighting games really do. I was cautiously optimistic because Capcom's Street Fighter IV did decently on the iOS. Unfortunately, I was let down by Marvel vs. Capcom 2.


I liked the look of the original game. It's colorful and energetic. While those adjectives still apply to the graphics of the iOS port, it doesn't really translate well. The graphics are extremely low resolution and look very dated. More over, the screen is too crammed with content to see things clearly. Not everyone considers UI choices part of the graphics, but I do. (There's more to graphics than pushing the envelope.)


The music is great. Hah! You thought I was all negativity, eh? Honestly, I forgot how cool the music was until I reached the title screen. The sound effects are also fine. With the good comes some band though: the quality isn't that fantastic, even if the song itself is cool.


Marvel vs. Capcom 2 features 3-on-3 fights. It has a huge cast of characters, but Capcom decided to keep many of them locked. I don't think having to unlock characters is fun. It's a way of artificially increasing the length of the game. With the amount of wonderful experiences out there, games and non-games, I don't like that. While most fighting games use multiple rounds, MvC2 uses one round fights. When one character is knocked out, you take control of the next. You can also call in others for assists or can switch characters. There's a lot of strategy in team composition.

The title screen lists quite a few modes - Arcade Mode, Vs Mode, Training Mode, Option Mode, Score Ranking, Score Attack, Secret Factor, and Credit. I won't describe all of them because they are self-explanatory, but I do have a few comments. First, why "Credit"? Shouldn't it be "Credits"? Also, "Option Mode" seems like an odd choice of wording. It's not really a mode. Another large complaint I have MvC2 is that things aren't explained. There's a difficulty selection in the options, but you also pick either normal or easy after choosing your characters. Why are there two separate places to choose the difficulty? Do they refer to different things? Each character has three possible types from which you choose such as Capture, Anti-air, and Expansion. What do these do? I can guess as to what some do but not all.

Characters are controlled with an on-screen "virtual joystick" and a variety of buttons. By default, there's a punch button, a kick button, a special button, and an assist button. For advanced players, there's also a six-button layout. The assist and special buttons do different things if you swipe them in one of four directions rather than just touch them. While I really like the idea, the controls just felt clumsy. The game doesn't really do what I want it to do. The touch controls also take up far too much screen real estate, leaving it difficult to tell what's happening.


While the music and video remind me that I liked this game at one time, they also help me show me that I don't like it now. This is partly my fault for not being very good at it, I admit, but the game should be more responsive and explain things much better. Combine this with touch controls and too many elements on such a small screen, and the game feels very inelegant. If you're a huge fan, you might enjoy the game. However, it seems like Capcom just wanted to cash in on hype for the Avengers film. At $4.99 on the App Store, I recommend you pass on this one.


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