Marvel Super Heroes (video game)

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Marvel Super Heroes
Arcade game flyer
Marvel Super Heroes arcade game flyer
PlayStation and Saturn
Designer(s)Kei Hiratou
Satoru Kimura
Kiyoshi Nishikawa
T. Ueno
Composer(s)Takayuki Iwai
Yuki Iwai
Tatsuro Suzuki
Platform(s)Arcade, Saturn, PlayStation, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
  • NA: October 24, 1995
  • AS: October 24, 1995
  • JP: November 17, 1995
  • BR: November 1995
  • JP: August 8, 1997
  • NA: October 2, 1997
  • EU: November 14, 1997[1]
  • JP: September 25, 1997
  • NA: September 29, 1997
  • EU: November 14, 1997[1]
  • WW: September 26, 2012[2]
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer
Arcade systemCP System II

Marvel Super Heroes (マーヴル・スーパーヒーローズ, Māvuru Sūpā Hīrōzu) is a fighting video game developed by Capcom. Originally released in the arcade in 1995 on the CPS-2 arcade system, it was ported to the Sega Saturn and PlayStation in late 1997. The game, alongside Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes, was also included in the Marvel vs. Capcom Origins collection, released digitally for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in September 2012.

Marvel Super Heroes is loosely based on "The Infinity Gauntlet" storyline of the Marvel Universe. It is the second Capcom fighting game based on characters from the Marvel Comics line, following X-Men: Children of the Atom, and was later succeeded by the Marvel vs. Capcom series.


Gameplay screenshot of a fight between Spider-Man and Thanos

Marvel Super Heroes is a fighting game in which superheroes and villains from the Marvel Universe fight against each other. Loosely based on The Infinity Gauntlet storyline, the game focuses on heroes and villains battling each other for the Infinity Gems. The main antagonist is Thanos, who plots to use the Infinity Gems to take over the universe.

The aim of the game is to use attacks and special abilities to knock out the opponent, or possess more life than him/her at the end of the round. Throughout the match, players build up a super meter which can be used to perform powerful Infinity Combo attacks. A unique mechanic in the game are the Infinity Gems; Power, Time, Space, Reality, Soul and Mind.[3] These gems can be earned by obtaining them from opponents during arcade mode, or by fulfilling certain criteria during versus mode, such as getting the first hit. By using these gems in battle, fighters receive enhanced effects for a short amount of time, such as increased power or defense, health recovery or additional attacks. Certain fighters will receive extra benefits whilst using certain gems. For example, if Spider-Man uses the Power Gem, he can create a doppelganger on the opposite side of his opponent for extra damage during his attacks.[3]

Playable characters[edit]

  1. ^ Hidden character in original Japanese version and unlockable in Origins port.[4]
  2. ^ a b Unlockable boss character.[5]


Capcom included the four characters from X-Men: Children of the Atom which their market research had determined to be the most popular: Wolverine, Juggernaut, Magneto and Psylocke.[6]

The home conversions of the game were unveiled on the first day of the 1996 Electronic Entertainment Expo, with Stan Lee appearing at the booth.[7] The Saturn version supports the 1 MB RAM expansion cartridge to include extra frames of animation and slightly quicker load times.[8] In 2019, the game was announced as one of the titles to be included in the Marvel Arcade1Up arcade cabinet.[9]

The game was dedicated to Marvel artist Jack Kirby, who had died on February 6, 1994.


In Japan, Game Machine listed Marvel Super Heroes on their December 15, 1995 issue as being the eleventh most-successful arcade game of the month.[32]

The arcade version received positive reviews. Computer and Video Games awarded it a full 5/5 rating.[12] Despite scoring it only three out of five stars, Next Generation gave it a relentlessly positive review, saying it "blends loads of combo-powered attacks with liquid-smooth animation to contend with some of the best fighters out there." They were also pleased with the selection of Marvel characters and the 2D graphics, saying they make a "refreshing" change from the polygon-based fighters that by this time were dominating the fighting games market.[29] Wizard opined that "with great graphics, challenging gameplay and plenty of moves, throws and counters, Marvel Super Heroes has much to offer."[33]

The Saturn version was widely praised as having the same large, detailed sprites as the arcade version,[16][26][30][31][34] though some criticized the slowdown which occurs when the RAM expansion cart is used and/or larger characters are on screen.[16][26][30][34] GamePro called it "an excellent port of the arcade game which was a quarter-burner last year."[34] Rich Leadbetter of Sega Saturn Magazine praised the Saturn conversion for retaining all the scenery effects of the arcade version, and commented that "Marvel Super Heroes makes 2D graphics cool again".[31] By contrast, in text repeated in GameSpot's reviews of both the Saturn and PlayStation versions, Jeff Gerstmann concluded, "While I found the arcade game a blast, this version just seemed dull and boring. Whether this can be attributed to the translation itself or the fact that several, mostly better, Capcom fighters have been released in arcades since Marvel, I don't know."[26][27] Electronic Gaming Monthly's four reviewers were split, with Sushi-X and John Ricciardi hailing the Saturn conversion as impressive, while Kelly Rickards and Dan Hsu considered it passable but disappointing. In turn, Sushi-X and Rickards found the game itself flashy with little balance and technique, while Ricciardi and Hsu felt it had depth beneath its flash.[16] Next Generation approved of the conversion but argued that the gameplay was not enough of an advancement over previous Capcom fighting games, ensuring that "Newcomers to the series should give a spin, but veterans might want to wait until the fabled X-Men vs. Street Fighter arrives at the end of the year."[30]

Critics generally regarded the PlayStation version as inferior to the Saturn version, due to the Saturn version having less slowdown and more frames of animation.[18][27][30][35] GamePro cited the game as evidence that the PlayStation could not handle 2D as well as the Saturn,[34] rated the PlayStation version lower than the Saturn version in every category except graphics, and summarized that "Although it's identical to the Saturn version in features ... the PlayStation game loses serious points for its unplayability."[35] The same four EGM reviewers covered the Saturn and PlayStation versions, with each of the four rating the PlayStation version half a point lower than the Saturn version.[18] Gerstmann said the speech samples have better quality in the PlayStation version, but still regarded the Saturn version as "slightly better".[27]

In 2013, Marvel Super Heroes ranked as the 16th best Marvel video game by Geek Magazine for its "chaotic, yet insanely fun, gameplay."[36] That same year, Rich Knight and Gus Turner of Complex included it on their list of 25 best 2D fighting games of all time, stating that the gem-collecting "mechanic was a big difference-maker for the title and, as a result, the game still feels fresh today."[37]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Lomas, Ed (October 1997). "Checkpoint - Events and Software Releases". Computer and Video Games. No. 191. Future Publishing. p. 49.
  2. ^ "Marvel vs. Capcom Origins Collection Announced - Interest". Anime News Network. 2012-07-05. Retrieved 2015-12-22.
  3. ^ a b "Come and Get Me!". Sega Saturn Magazine. No. 23. Emap International Limited. September 1997. pp. 40–47. Retrieved November 2, 2019.
  4. ^ "Yuri (Dubindoh) > Manage Blog". Retrieved 2013-12-18.
  5. ^ "S.W.A.T. Pro: Marvel Super Heroes". GamePro. No. 112. IDG. January 1998. p. 157.
  6. ^ "X-Men: Children of the Atom Head-to-Head Combat Action Game!!". Maximum: The Video Game Magazine. No. 3. Emap International Limited. January 1996. pp. 64–71.
  7. ^ "From Marvel to MTV". GamePro. No. 94. IDG. July 1996. p. 38.
  8. ^ "TGS 1997 Spring". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 95. Ziff Davis. June 1997. p. 64.
  9. ^ "Classic Marvel Arcade Cabinets Announced at E3 2019 | News | Marvel". Marvel Entertainment. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  10. ^ "Marvel Super Heroes for Saturn". GameRankings. 1997-09-30. Retrieved 2013-12-18.
  11. ^ "Marvel Super Heroes for PlayStation". GameRankings. Retrieved 2013-12-18.
  12. ^ a b Lomas, Ed (12 January 1996). "Video Drome". Computer and Video Games. No. 171 (February 1996). pp. 74–7. Retrieved 2015-12-22.
  13. ^ a b "Computer and Video Games - Issue 193 (1997-12)(EMAP Images)(GB)". December 1997. Retrieved 2015-12-22.
  14. ^ Edge, issue 50, page 96
  15. ^ Electronic Gaming Monthly, 1998 Video Game Buyer's Guide, page 83
  16. ^ a b c d "Review Crew: Marvel Super Heroes". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 100. Ziff Davis. November 1997. p. 192.
  17. ^ Electronic Gaming Monthly, 1998 Video Game Buyer's Guide, page 73
  18. ^ a b c "Review Crew: Marvel Super Heroes". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 100. Ziff Davis. November 1997. p. 197.
  19. ^ "マーベル スーパーヒーローズ まとめ [PS] / ファミ通.com". 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2015-12-22.
  20. ^ "マーベル スーパーヒーローズ (SS)" [Marvel Super Heroes (SS)]. Famitsu. Retrieved 13 October 2021.
  21. ^ GameFan, volume 5, issue 11 (November 1997), pages 24 & 132
  22. ^ "Marvel Super Heroes Review - Game Revolution". 2001-02-03. Archived from the original on 2001-02-03. Retrieved 2013-12-18.
  23. ^ "Review - Marvel Super Heroes". Game Informer. 1999-01-27. Archived from the original on 1999-01-27. Retrieved 2015-12-22.
  24. ^ "Legacy Review Archives". Game Informer. Retrieved 3 October 2021.
  25. ^ GamesMaster, issue 66, page 79
  26. ^ a b c d Gerstmann, Jeff (November 5, 1997). "Marvel Super Heroes Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2013-12-18.
  27. ^ a b c d Gerstmann, Jeff (May 2, 2000). "Marvel Super Heroes Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2013-12-18.
  28. ^ " Marvel Super Heroes Review". 1997-09-30. Archived from the original on 2000-04-13. Retrieved 2013-12-18.
  29. ^ a b "Marvelous". Next Generation. No. 12. Imagine Media. December 1995. p. 206.
  30. ^ a b c d e "Finals". Next Generation. No. 35. Imagine Media. November 1997. p. 196.
  31. ^ a b c Leadbetter, Rich (October 1997). "Review: Marvel Super Heroes". Sega Saturn Magazine. No. 24. Emap International Limited. pp. 70–71.
  32. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 - TVゲーム機ーソフトウェア (Video Game Software)". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 509. Amusement Press, Inc. 15 December 1995. p. 25.
  33. ^ Brown, Steve (August 1997). "Junk Drawer: Video Games". Wizard. No. 72. pp. 84–85.
  34. ^ a b c d Scary Larry (November 1997). "Saturn ProReview: Marvel Super Heroes". GamePro. No. 110. IDG. p. 152.
  35. ^ a b Scary Larry (December 1997). "PlayStation ProReview: Marvel Super Heroes". GamePro. No. 111. IDG. p. 160.
  36. ^ Jones, Elton (2013-10-22). "Marvel Comics' 25 Best Video Games - Geek Magazine". Archived from the original on October 27, 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-18.
  37. ^ "The 25 Best 2D Fighting Games of All Time". Complex. 2013-08-15. Retrieved 2014-01-14.

External links[edit]