Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes
||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (November 2012)|
|Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes|
Backbone Entertainment (XBLA/PSN ver.)
|Publisher(s)||Capcom Production Studio 1|
|Arcade system||Sega NAOMI|
Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes (Japanese: マーヴルVS.カプコン 2 ニューエイジ オブ ヒーローズ?) is a 2000 fighting game developed and published by Capcom. It is the sixth game in the Marvel vs. Capcom series. With the sixth installment, Capcom simplified the controls to make the gameplay more accessible for casual players and the button configuration was trimmed down to four main buttons and two assist buttons. The game also features a different air-combo system and 3-on-3 tag, compared to the 2-on-2 tag from previous games in the series.
The original arcade release of Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is the only game in the series to use the NAOMI arcade platform. Though the character artwork uses traditional 2D animated sprites, the fighting arena (background) and many effects animations are 3D polygon based. This was the first Marvel vs. Capcom game without character-specific endings, as one will get the same ending regardless of the characters one uses or how quickly one defeats the final opponent.
When the Earth and everything on it begins to die, Ruby Heart (ルビィハート?), a French pirate who is the main character of the game, traces the source to an evil being known as Abyss, the Armor of Erosion. She summons the greatest heroes to her airship to find the being. Ultimately, its source of power is revealed to be a mysterious black metal ball within its center. The ending suggests that the sphere may be worthless now, given the massive crack in it; Ruby Heart holds it in her hand and regards it briefly before throwing it over her back into the water, letting it sink to the bottom.
Other original characters for to the Capcom side include SonSon (ソンソン?), the granddaughter of the SonSon from the Capcom title of the same name, and Amingo, a cactus-like being who is on a search for an evil wind that is sweeping across his land. The game's final boss, Abyss, while sharing the name of several Marvel characters, is also a new character created specifically for the game.
Players select three fighters from the roster of characters from both of the titular universes and fight one-on-one until one of the teams have no remaining players or time runs out. If each player has at least one character remaining when the timer runs out, the player with the highest total health among their remaining characters wins. Each character has at least one super combo and the entire team shares a single super meter. The characters can draw on this (at a minimum cost of one level) to perform their super combos or other special super moves. Up to five levels of the super meter can now be stored during a fight. Players can tag out their characters at any time, switching control to another character while inactive characters can gradually recover some health.
Control is similar to the previous Vs. games, which itself derives from the Street Fighter games, except that the screen is now wider. The major difference is that instead of three punch/kick attack strength, there are only two, with the last two buttons being replaced by assist buttons. Most often, a weak attack can chain two different hits. The second is a strong attack which was featured in the previous games. The only freestanding strong attacks are those that are air combo starters as well as one of Storm's special moves.
The player can also call in an offscreen character to do a selected special move by pressing the corresponding assist button. Each character has three assist types which cause them to execute different special moves (or in some cases, a regular move); this is chosen before the match. The player can call an assist at any time, except during a super jump, while blocking, or when executing special or super moves, and the assist character is vulnerable to attack or even knock out. The characters also receive double damage than normal when attacked during an assist, but will be able to recover all the health lost for as long as they remain unplayed.
Marvel vs. Capcom 2 introduces the ability to force an opponent's teammate into the fight with a move commonly called a "snapback", which requires one level of the super meter to execute. The character will flash for a moment and do a normal attack which will knock the opponent out of the playing field if it's not blocked. If successful, the current character will be knocked out of play for a short period of time and the next available partner will enter the fight on their behalf. If the move connects with both the active and an assist character, it introduces the possibility of the assist character being knocked out without the opponent being able to defend him/her.
The arcade version features an "experience" system which unlocks hidden characters after a certain number of experience points are earned. This system was removed in the console versions in favor of the "Secret Factor" menu, where the player can buy hidden characters, backgrounds, and artworks using points that earned through normal play. In the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 version, all characters are unlocked from the start. The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game are based on the Dreamcast version. Both of them feature online multiplayer using the online system from Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, as well as widescreen support and an optional graphics filter using 2x or 3x bilinear filtering for smoother or crisper graphics. These versions allow music stored on the console to be played, replacing the normal BGM.
There are 56 playable characters: 28 from Marvel and 28 from Capcom.
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Marvel vs. Capcom 2 was first ported to the Dreamcast in 2000, and later to the PlayStation 2 in 2002 and the Xbox in 2003, in a limited print run due to Capcom losing the Marvel license. While these versions are merely uncommon, high demand has caused their prices to skyrocket both in stores and online. The Dreamcast version is considered to be the most faithful conversion of the home console ports, likely due to the similarity between the Dreamcast and NAOMI arcade hardware. Although the Xbox version is on the backward compatibility list for the Xbox 360, it suffers from slow down, an inconsistent frame rate, and broken character sprites and backgrounds when played on the 360.
On April 27, 2009, Marvel and Capcom jointly announced that the game would be coming to the Xbox 360 through Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) and PlayStation 3 through the PlayStation Store, with online multiplayer the summer of 2009. A demo was released on April 30 exclusively for the PlayStation Network (PSN). The full version of the game was released July 29, 2009 for XBLA and August 13, 2009 for the PSN. The Xbox Live Arcade and PSN version was developed by Foundation 9 and is based on the Dreamcast version. Capcom has stated that they are unable to release the game on Wii due to licensing restrictions (they can only release it as a downloadable title) and WiiWare's filesize restrictions.
Changes for the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions include three different filters for sprites, Smooth, Crisp, and Classic. The game can also be displayed in widescreen format, though gameplay has not been changed, and is still restricted to the standard square playable area. Since the game was originally designed with a 4:3 ratio in mind, some of the sprites are cut off in the widescreen format. The opening 'attract' screen has been removed, and the menus have been updated. There are multiplayer lobbies, with online play, as well as the ability to spectate matches while waiting to play. There is no longer a process for unlocking characters, their colors, or extra stages, as they are all available from the start. Several characters on the selection screen are also moved to slightly different locations. In addition, in Xbox 360 and PS3 versions, the "Dash" move can no longer be set as one button but must be done manually making combinations with certain characters significantly more difficult than in older versions. Capcom also released a hip-hop "mixtape" free bonus soundtrack as an alternative music for the game.
On April 25, 2012, the game was released for iOS, available from the Apple App Store for $4.99 There’s a new feature called “Variable System” that allows the player to tag in other team members at any time or when needed, execute the most powerful attack – “Team Hyper Combo,” where all three selected members of a team combine their ultimate powers and attack the opponent. It will be compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. With the iOS version, there is a choice between the classic button configuration (light and heavy punches and kicks, as well as assist buttons), and a new configuration with flick controls (one punch, one kick, one special move button and an assist button; players have the option to configure the controls around to their liking). Unlike other console ports, the full character roster must be unlocked. There is no online play, but a versus mode option is over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
On December 15, 2013, Capcom announced on an employee blog that Marvel vs. Capcom 2 would be removed from the Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network stores towards the end of the month. It is to be removed from the Apple App Store on June 30, according to the App Description.
Marvel vs. Capcom 2 was highly anticipated and achieved critical acclaim upon its release due to its fast gameplay and enormous cast. In Japan, Famitsu magazine scored the Dreamcast version of the game a 34 out of 40, and both the PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions a 32 out of 40 each.
Over the years since its release, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 has repeatedly been included by various critics into their lists of the best fighting games ever, including by ScrewAttack at GameTrailers in 2007, and by Virgin Media in 2009, where it placed third. In 2010, UGO.com similarly ranked it as the third top fighting game of all time, while GamePro ranked it the 33rd best game for the PlayStation 2. It was declared the best fighting game of all time by Cinema Blend in 2008, and by Complex in 2011. In 2013, it was also named as the most iconic Marvel game by Nerdist, as well as the best Marvel game by Geek Magazine. That same year, Complex also made it top their list of the best 2D fighting games of all time, stating: "Say it with us now, in your best Comic Book Guy voice: Greatest. 2D. Fighting game. Ever!"
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- Official website (re-release)
- Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes at MobyGames
- Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes at the Killer List of Videogames
- Marvel vs. Capcom 2 guide at StrategyWiki