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Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite Review

Marvel and Capcom is truly an unlikely meeting of two worlds. Since its inception in 1996, the Marvel vs. Capcom has arguably become the most prolific cross over game series of all time.

Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite, the long-awaited seventh instalment in the Marvel vs. Capcom series released on September 19th, 2017. It had big shoes to fill and a lot of negative coverage prior to release, how did it do? Read on to find out!

First, I’d like to address the elephant in the room. Despite being the foundation upon which Marvel vs. Capcom was built, there is not a single X-Men character included in this game. Their presence is missed. Dearly.

Infinite features a total of 30 playable characters, just 5 of whom are entirely new. They are: Gamora, Ultron, Captain Marvel, Megaman X and Jedah.
This is not only the smallest roster of characters since Marvel vs. Capcom 1, Infinite also features the fewest number of brand new characters in the ENTIRE franchise history.

Aesthetically the game is inconsistent across the board. For example; character models are a mixed bag. Some, like Ultron and Megaman X look absolutely fine. Others, like Rocket Raccoon and Captain America look hideous. The story mode cutscenes are noticeably uglier than the in-game matches, and character renders often look nothing like their in-game counterparts.

The art style itself isn’t necessarily bad, but bland. When compared with the impressive visual presence that MvC2, and MvC3 had, Infinite looks stagnant, almost lifeless. The game’s overall menu and sound design also come across as lazy and uninspired compared with its predecessors. Most of the Capcom characters themes are remixed directly from older titles, while Marvel’s are more in line with much of the Marvel Cinematic Universes unimaginative orchestral soundtracks.

The Stark-Light Library is a nice addition. Here you can find an array of interesting tidbits. Included are features such as: a model viewer, a jukebox, character voice samples and character concept art. Though to my confusion, nearly the entire Capcom cast is missing from the concept art section.

Unlike every prior Marvel vs. Capcom game, Infinite features a dedicated story mode. All of the game’s initial 30 playable characters, as well as some of the upcoming DLC characters, have at least a minor role in the story.

Without delving into spoilers, the general plot is of Marvel and Capcom’s heroes banding together to prevent the coalition of Ultron-Sigma from destroying the Earth. Unfortunately the mode is marred by lazy writing and generally poor execution. Though truthfully, we get to see some cool character interactions. There are genuine moments of brilliance, particularly scenes featuring the likes of Chris Redfield, Frank West and Spiderman. We are also treated to some fun battle sequences, though they are not enough to save the mode from ultimately falling flat of providing a compelling story narrative. Capcom’s decision to market the game based on the weak story was a gross error.

Also missing from the game are dedicated individual Arcade endings, as featured in most previous Marvel vs. Capcom games (aside from MvC2). Their absence make the game’s arcade mode feel redundant, and adds to the air of laziness and lack of content that plagues every orifice.

Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite has traded its trademark 3vs3 style for a more traditional 2vs2. While I can’t say I actively prefer 2vs2, I was pleasantly surprised by how well it has been implemented. While assists were an active part of former games, more often than not the assist would outshine the characters actively fighting. They had become less of a tool, and more of the defining focus, ultimately leading to touch-of-death combos.

The game now sports a unique ‘active switch’ feature in place of assists or tagging. The active switch is fantastic. It feels perfectly fluid, and centres the game more on the characters you’re using. Your team feels more close-knit than ever before. Active switch defines Infinite, not only from MvC3, but from every other fighting game on the market. Though it must be said that is not necessarily ‘beginner friendly’.

While the roster contains 25 characters from previous MvC games, the vast majority of them have been radically altered. Some characters have new moves, some even have brand new movesets entirely. It makes the characters feel refreshing to an extent, though it will cause longtime fans some aggregation relearning their favourite characters.

Perhaps the most radical change from prior games is the almost-complete abandonment of dragon punch inputs. Iconic moves like Spiderman’s Spider-Sting, and Morrigan’s Shadow Blade now have down, down inputs. Unnecessary changes like these make the game beginner unfriendly.

Thankfully the game is equipped to help seasoned players get accustomed to these changes thanks to the comprehensive Training Mode. Training Mode contains a number of helpful features, including a frame delay to help practice for online matches if lag is a concern. Though from my experience the Online servers are practically flawless. Mission Mode is also helpful. It contains combo missions for all 30 playable characters, as well as a basic tutorial on how to play the game.

Infinite also makes an effort to tackle some of its predecessor’s issues. The Infinity Stones are Infinite’s answer to MvC3‘s X-Factor. The Infinity Stones add an extra mechanic to each match, and there are a variety to choose from. While they are still technically a comeback mechanic, they are not anywhere near as powerful or influential as X-Factor was. Though they are fairly unbalanced amongst themselves. The Reality and Soul Stones are the most useful by a wide margin.

Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite is a flawed game, but at its heart provides long-time fans with enough to sink their teeth into. I first played Infinite with very low expectations. I fully expected to hate this game. Those expectations were beyond shattered.

While the poor visuals and dubious roster are hard to ignore, the gameplay mechanics are so impressive that those issues hardly matter. I haven’t enjoyed simply playing a fighting game to this extent for many, many years.

When you scratch beyond the surface, there’s so much more to this game than meets the eye. Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite simultaneously manages to be perhaps the best and the worst fighting game of the past decade.

Incredible Gameplay Mechanics Small Roster
Great Online Bland Art Style
Lazy/Poorly Written Story
No X-Men

What do you think of Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite? Let us know in the comments!

  1. The poor roster is just an insult I can’t ignore, especially since at least 3 (maybe 4) of the first 6 DLC characters already seem to be locked and loaded, but you still gotta pay $20 for them. Think about that; DLC for Capcom is at the point that you have buy the equivalent of the game again, for less than half the initial roster. Granted, Monster Hunter alone looks like she had the money of every other character on the Capcom side put into her, but that says less about “quality DLC” and more “rushed as all fuck base package.”

    Izzekial on September 26 |
    • The thought of Sigma, one of the main villains, being DLC irritates me.

      Anthony Acquilano on September 26 |
    • I couldn’t agree more about the DLC. But ultimately I’m enjoying the game, those 6 characters will likely provide me with enough enjoyment to warrant the price they cost.

      It may be worth reviewing the DLC as it comes out?

      TheAnvil on September 27 |
      • Seems more efficient to do what the rest of the world seems to be doing and just wait for the re-release.

        Izzekial on September 27 |
  2. I like the review even though it feels like every review of this game says the same thing. Lol. Your sprite work is very nice might I add. Seems that you’re getting better at it. You said that the game wasn’t beginner friendly and didn’t go into much detail. Could you elaborate, please?

    Anthony Acquilano on September 26 |
    • Thanks for the complement!

      With regard to the game being unfriendly for beginners, between the changes to button commands on iconic moves (such as Morrigan’s Shadow Blade), and the general overhaul most characters have in their movesets, it’s initially confusing. It’s partly a result of the transition from the traditional light-medium-heavy-launch in Marvel 3, to light punch-medium punch-light kick-heavy kick. So for example Arthur’s crossbow is now assigned to quarter-circle-back light kick, as before it was quarter-circle forward heavy.

      I think Active Switch also complicates things for beginners. It opens the gameplay up to such an extent that new players will struggle to adapt to the level of complexity it offers. Hope that explains things a bit more clearly?

      TheAnvil on September 27 |
      • Yes, thank you! I appreciate your responsiveness. 🙂

        Anthony Acquilano on September 27 |
  3. Indeed, the lack of new characters is pretty much disappointing than we ever thought. While we do see all 6 DLC characters are new (except for one), I wouldn’t count them part of it since it depends on being worth of a buy or not. X-Men and Fantastic Four’s removal is controversial, which I don’t understand why they say “they’re already forgotten”. They’re both iconic as the Avengers and even Spider Man, so saying they’re already forgotten does sound so discriminating and incorrect as many fans still support their entry. But even then, why focus only on the returning veterans? Why hesitate to bring new characters? If they’ve chose only on those characters for their story mode, then I would rather say that the story mode was very unworthy, shouldn’t be planned to bring it if characters aren’t that really important. No matter what the story would’ve been, they should’ve added more new characters into it. For Marvel’s side, Ms. Marvel, Ultimate Spider Man, Dr, Octavius, Dare Devil, Magik…there were more other popular Marvel characters out there. For Capcom’s side, Power Stone’s Falcon, Leon Kennedy, Star Gladiator’s June, Dino Crisis’ Regina…there were more Capcom characters that would’ve made a lot of sense for their inclusion to the story. I could understand that “Infinite” doesn’t classify as being “MvC4”, but still the lackluster is what this game contains that suffers player’s hopes. Even our favorite fighting game Youtuber Maximum Dood seems to be disappointed with this game, so I’d rather say Capcom/Marvel didn’t do much of an effort for this game as being too careless.

    zoniken on September 27 |
    • I’m looking forward to future DLC announcements. I hope some of those characters you mentioned are included, and that the Capcom side ultimately balances out with the Marvel side! 4 Marvel DLC and 2 Capcom DLC characters doesn’t sit right with me.

      TheAnvil on September 27 |