Marvel vs. Capcom Origins Review

Player(s): 1-2
Extra Features: Local Multiplayer (1-2), Online Multiplayer (2 players), Leaderboards

If you've been a fan of fighting games since the mid 1990's then you'll most likely remember Marvel Super Heroes and the original Marvel vs Capcom. Both games continued the freedom of fighting found in X-men: Children of the Atom and each of them added something unique to the overall gameplay engine that started in X-men. The two games have been compiled into a collection entitled Marvel vs Capcom Origins that is available now on the PS Store and Xbox LIVE marketplace for the price of $14.99 or 1200 points.

Marvel Super Heroes is the sequel to X-men: Children of the Atom. It brought even more freedom to the gameplay found in X-men and made a few new additions to the fighting mechanics. Both games have over-the-top fighting moves and hyper combos and they both established the super jump that we now use in Marvel vs Capcom games. Marvel Super Heroes was the first game to include true air combos. By sending an opponent into the air with a knock-up hit, a player could jump and follow an opponent into the air and score some free hits as the opponent fell. Marvel Super Heroes includes a cast of 12 Marvel comic heroes and villains. Iron Man, Hulk, Spider-man, Captain America, Psylocke, Wolverine, Shuma-Gorath, Magneto, Blackheart, Juggernaut, Dr. Doom and Thanos is the full roster of characters.

Marvel vs. Capcom Origins screenshot 1

Magneto and Juggernaut were both the boss fighters in X-men and Marvel Super Heroes was the first time they were playable. Dr. Doom and Thanos are the two boss fighters in Marvel Super Heroes, and they are both playable in this collection. Anita from Darkstalkers is also playable in this version of Marvel Super Heroes by unlocking her in the vault. Marvel Super Heroes marked the first appearance of Iron Man, Hulk, Spider-man, Captain America, Blackheart and Shuma-Gorath in a Capcom fighter.

The most unique part about Marvel Super Heroes is the gems from the infinity gauntlet that can be used. Gems are given to players throughout each battle and they can be used by inputting a certain command. They bestow a certain power on each player depending on which gem is used. All characters also have a certain gem that will allow them to use a unique ability exclusive to that character for a few seconds, such as Magento's force field with the Space gem.

Marvel vs Capcom followed Marvel Super Heroes vs Street Fighter. Marvel vs Capcom still used the same two against two tag team fighting gameplay found in the prior Vs games. Instead of only pitting the Marvel characters against a certain Capcom fighting franchise, Capcom decided to pit Marvel comics characters against all of the Capcom universe. This smart decision allowed characters such as Mega Man and Captain Commando to join in from the Capcom squad and expand the Capcom side much more outside of Street Fighter.

Marvel vs Capcom was the first Vs game to use an assist character. Before each battle, a cursor randomly cycles between a list of Capcom and Marvel characters and chooses one character that can be used to assist your team. These assist have a certain number of uses depending on the assist type. The assist roster has some very obscure Capcom characters such as Devilot, Unknown Soldier, Saki and Arthur, just to name a few. Marvel vs Capcom also allowed a player to use the full super meter bar to bring in both characters at once in order to fight the opponent. Both characters have an infinite super meter gauge at that time and they can both be controlled with the same controller as the current character. The original Marvel vs Capcom is the only Vs fighter that has both of these features. As you most likely know, Marvel vs Capcom 2 changed the assists to members of the actual team.

Both games have a Vault menu of hidden goodies where a player can use vault points to unlock items such as artwork and hidden fighters in each game. Points are gained by completing tasks in each game. If you've played the HD version of Street Fighter 3: Third Strike then you'll be familiar with the tiers of tasks that the game will offer as you play. Marvel Vs Capcom Origins offers the same setup. While playing the game with bars on the side of each screen (in the default screen setup), the game will remind you of tasks that can be performed and award you with vault points for completing each task. Both games also offer an additional training mode.

Marvel vs. Capcom Origins screenshot 2

Multiplayer can be played locally or online. Online play offers the usual ranked match and player match. Player matches can be played by joining a lobby through the player match search. Lobbies allow a player to view fights through a spectator mode while waiting. Replays of each match can be saved and viewed later. You can't download other player matches. Under the matchmaking options menu the GGPO delay option allows a player to adjust the way the online multiplayer will play. In exchange for smoother graphics, you will have more delay and in exchange for less input delay, the graphics will not look as smooth. I had my GGPO set to "2" all the time and noticed very little input delay in each session of both games. I was able to get out every combo and air combo that I tried for without much hassle at all.

Both games are displayed with an HD appearance in this collection. They both have several views that you can choose from on the options menu (widescreen, arcade cabinet, retro, normal, over the shoulder, stretched) and filters that can be used to smooth the graphics. There is an option to turn scan lines on or off also. Both games are an exact port of the arcade version of each. The games have no visible slowdown and all sound effects from the original game are still intact. If you're using an Xbox or PS3 controller, the games might be a bit hard to play since they both use a 6-button setup like the original Street Fighter 2. It's actually a bit hard to come back to the original Marvel vs Capcom's 6-button scheme with how all of its sequels have fewer attack buttons.

Marvel vs Capcom Origins was a fun trip down memory lane for me but it does get old pretty fast once everything is unlocked. Having a few online fights can be fun to bring back some memories however. Marvel Super Heroes holds up the best out of the two games for me since the one-on-one fighting with the Marvel vs Capcom gameplay freedom is no more in this age of tag team fighting. Using the gems adds a unique feel to the gameplay as well. Both games are perfect for those that want to collect them for nostalgia. This is the ultimate collection of both fighters.

The Good:
+ HD graphics and many display options
+ Smooth online play
+ A vault menu with many unlockables for both games

The Bad:
- Both games may feel too dated for newcomers that have never played them

Final Rating: 80%. Marvel vs Capcom Origins returns us to the roots of the Vs style fighting gameplay with Marvel Super Heroes and the original Marvel vs Capcom!


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