Marvel vs. Capcom
|Marvel vs. Capcom|
Current Marvel vs. Capcom logo
Iron Galaxy Studios[c]
|Platforms||Arcade, Dreamcast, iOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Sega Saturn, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One|
|Platform of origin||Arcade|
|First release||X-Men vs. Street Fighter
|Latest release||Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite
Marvel vs. Capcom (マーヴルVSカプコン Māburu bāsasu Kapukon?) is a series of crossover fighting games developed and published by Capcom featuring characters from Marvel Comics and Capcom's own video game franchises. It was the first Vs. series involving Capcom, who would later produce other Vs. series with SNK (SNK vs. Capcom) and Tatsunoko Production (Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars).
The Marvel characters depicted in the earlier games were often based on their appearances in various 1990s animated series, particularly X-Men, and were often voiced by the same voice actors. Similarly, the Marvel vs. Capcom 3 cast bear similarities to and share voice actors with their late 2000s animated incarnations, such as those seen in Wolverine and the X-Men, The Spectacular Spider-Man, and The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
On December 3, 2016, Capcom officially confirmed the next installment of the series, entitled Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. An official trailer was released at the PlayStation Experience.The series has shipped 7 million units overall.
|X-Men vs. Street Fighter||1996||Arcade||Sega Saturn (1997); PlayStation (1998)|
|Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter||1997||Arcade||Sega Saturn (1998); PlayStation (1999)|
|Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes||1998||Arcade||Dreamcast (1999); PlayStation (2000); PSN, XBLA (2012)|
|Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes||2000||Arcade||Dreamcast (2000); PlayStation 2 (2002); Xbox (2003); PSN, XBLA (2009); iOS (2012)|
|Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds||2011||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360||N/A|
|Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3||2011||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360||PlayStation Vita (2011); PlayStation 4 (2016); Microsoft Windows, Xbox One (2017)|
|Marvel vs. Capcom Origins||2012||PSN, XBLA||N/A|
|Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite||2017||Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One||N/A|
Capcom's partnership with Marvel began in 1993 with the release of The Punisher, an arcade beat 'em up based on the comics. Capcom then created their first Marvel-based fighting game, X-Men: Children of the Atom, in 1994. Marvel Super Heroes soon followed in 1995. Many of the gameplay mechanics used in the Marvel vs. Capcom series were first developed and refined in these two fighting games, serving as precursors to the series. Former Capcom USA Strategic Marketing Director of Online and Community, Seth Killian, stated that many fighting game aficionados, including himself, consider them to have laid the foundation for the Versus series.
X-Men vs. Street Fighter was released for arcades in 1996, introducing the series' signature tag team action by combining Street Fighter-style combat with tag team features. The game was succeeded by Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter in 1997, expanding the character roster to the larger Marvel universe. Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes later debuted in 1998, including characters from numerous Capcom video game franchises. The sprite-based games culminated in 2000 with the arrival of Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, which featured a cast of 56 playable characters.
Shortly after the release of the PlayStation 2 and Xbox ports for Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Capcom lost the use of the Marvel license after a string of legal issues put the series on hold. After a decade-long hiatus, the franchise was revived with the 2011 release of Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds. The series' traditional sprites transitioned into 3D character models while retaining the 2D-style combat. An updated version of Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, was released later in the same year with additional characters, stages, modes, and other gameplay enhancements. A compilation of Marvel Super Heroes and Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes, called Marvel vs. Capcom Origins, was released on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade in 2012, featuring high-definition visuals, online multiplayer, challenges, and unlockables.
Following the release of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 for the PlayStation Vita in 2012, Marvel's new parent company, The Walt Disney Company, which acquired Marvel in 2009, chose not to renew Capcom's license with the Marvel characters, instead opting to put them in its own self-published Disney Infinity series. As a result, Capcom had to pull both Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes off Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network in 2013. However, in 2016, Disney decided to cancel its Disney Infinity series, discontinue self-publishing efforts, and switch to a licensing-only model, allowing them to license their characters to third-party game developers, including Capcom. On December 3, 2016, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite was officially unveiled during Sony's PlayStation Experience event. The game is slated for release in 2017 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows.
On July 2, 2012, Udon Entertainment announced the release of Marvel vs. Capcom: Official Complete Works, an art book consisting of promotional artwork, sketches, and bonus material from the video game collaborations between Marvel and Capcom, beginning with the 1993 arcade game The Punisher to Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. The book contains contributions from a variety of artists and illustrators, including Akiman, Bengus, Shinkiro, Joe Madureira, Adi Granov, Joe Ng, Long Vo, Chamba, Adam Warren, and Takeshi Miyazawa. Official Complete Works made its international debut at San Diego Comic-Con on July 11, 2012, in an exclusive hardcover edition. The hardcover also featured a wrap-around cover designed by Udon Entertainment and Capcom artist Alvin Lee, and digitally-painted by Udon's Genzoman. A standard-format softcover was released in November 2012 by Diamond Comics.
The basic gameplay of the Marvel vs. Capcom series is derived from Capcom's Street Fighter series. Players compete in battle using characters with unique moves and special attacks. Using a combination of joystick movements and button presses, players must execute various moves to damage their opponent and deplete their life gauge, or alternatively, have the most cumulative health when the timer runs out. Unlike Street Fighter, however, the Marvel vs. Capcom games revolve around tag team-based combat. Instead of choosing a single character, players select multiple to form teams of two or three. Each character on the team is given their own life gauge. Players control one character at a time, while the others await off-screen. Players are also free to swap between their characters at any point during the match. As characters take damage, portions of their life gauge will turn red, known as "red health", which represents the amount of health that a character can recover if the player tags them out. The off-screen, dormant characters will slowly replenish their red health, allowing players to rotate through their team members and prolong their ability to fight. Furthermore, as characters deal and receive damage, a colored meter at the bottom of the screen known as the "Hyper Combo Gauge" will gradually fill. By expending meter from their Hyper Combo Gauge, players can perform "Hyper Combos" – powerful, cinematic attacks that deal heavy damage to the opponent – in addition to several other special techniques. If one character loses all of their health, they are knocked out and the next available fighter will automatically come into play.
Each successive Marvel vs. Capcom installment has added, and sometimes removed, gameplay elements over the course of the series' history. X-Men vs. Street Fighter added two-on-two tag team features. Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter introduced the concept of the "assist" by allowing the player to summon their off-screen partner to perform a special move without switching characters. This feature was replaced in Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes. Instead, the game randomly allocated an unplayable guest character with a preset assist move before each match; in addition, assists were limited to only a few uses per round. The assist features from Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter were re-incorporated into the following sequel, Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, once again granting players the ability to call in their off-screen characters at any time during the match without constraint. Marvel vs. Capcom 2 also increased the number of characters per team by one, providing a three-on-three battle format. Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds introduced "X-Factor", a comeback mechanic which offers increased damage, speed, and red health regeneration for a limited time upon activation. The upcoming Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite will revert back to two-on-two partner battles and remove traditional character assists. Infinite will also implement a gameplay mechanic involving the Infinity Stones, where each of the six stones grants unique abilities and enhancements to the player.
The series' gameplay is distinguished from other fighting game franchises due to its emphasis on aerial combat and combo-chaining. Every character in the Marvel vs. Capcom series is given a "Launcher" move, which sends the opponent flying up into the air. The player can then choose to follow up immediately by using a "Super Jump", which allows a character to jump much higher than normal, in order to continue their combo; these airborne combos are called "Air Combos" or "Aerial Raves". Marvel vs. Capcom 3 introduced a gameplay feature known as the "Aerial Exchange", giving players the opportunity to extend their Air Combos further by quickly tagging in their other characters while mid-air. The aforementioned Hyper Combo Gauge grants players numerous options for chaining together combos, such as "Delayed Hyper Combos", where players execute consecutive Hyper Combos against the enemy, and "Variable Combinations", where players summon their entire team to use their Hyper Combos simultaneously. Assist attacks are also useful in creating opportunities to extend combos.
As Capcom's design philosophy for the series has changed to appeal to a wider audience, the control scheme has been repeatedly modified to accommodate people less familiar with the fighting game genre. The first three installments utilized the same layout of six attack buttons. In Marvel vs. Capcom 2, the controls were reduced down to four attack buttons and two assist buttons in order to make the game more accessible. The control scheme was further simplified with the release of Marvel vs. Capcom 3, which included three attack buttons, two assist buttons, and a dedicated launcher button. In addition, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 included two different control scheme options: Normal Mode and Simple Mode. Simple Mode, designed for casual players, allows players to perform special moves and Hyper Combos with single button presses at the expense of limiting a character's available moveset.
- In X-Men vs. Street Fighter and Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, the player can fight as the game's final boss, Apocalypse, against waves of AI-controlled enemies in "Boss Mode."
- In Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, alternate versions of Blackheart (Mephisto), Captain America (U.S. Agent), and Spider-Man (Armored Spider-Man) appear as secret characters.
- In Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, the player can fight as the game's final boss, Galactus, against waves of AI-controlled enemies in "Galactus Mode."
- In Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Superheroes, alternate versions of Hulk (Orange Hulk), Venom (Hyper Venom), and War Machine (Mega War Machine) appear as secret characters.
- In the PlayStation version of Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Superheroes, the player can fight as the game's final boss, Onslaught, against waves of AI-controlled enemies in "Boss Mode."
- In Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, an alternate version of Wolverine, named Bone Claw Wolverine, appears as a separate playable character.
- In Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, the player can fight as the game's final boss, Cyber Akuma, against waves of enemies in "Boss Mode."
- In Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, an alternate version of Charlie, named Shadow, appears as a secret character.
- In Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Superheroes, alternate versions of Chun-Li (Shadow Lady) and Morrigan (Lilith) appear as secret characters.
- Norimaro is exclusive to the Japanese arcade and console versions of Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter.
- In Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, alternate versions of Zangief (Mech-Zangief) and Sakura (Sunburned Sakura) appear as secret characters.
|This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (September 2012)|
In 2012, Complex ranked Marvel vs. Capcom at number 37 on the list of the best video game franchises, commenting that "a frenetic pace and over the top effects work together to make this franchise stand the test of time."
- Backbone Entertainment developed the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes.
- Eighting co-developed Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 with Capcom.
- Iron Galaxy Studios developed Marvel vs. Capcom Origins.
- Virgin Interactive published the Dreamcast versions of Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes and Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes in Europe.
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Seth Killian: So the history of the Versus series technically starts with X-Men vs. Street Fighter, but many fighting aficionados including myself really date some of the origins back to games called X-Men: Children of the Atom and Marvel Super Heroes which introduced things like chain combo and aerial rave [...] all of that lead us eventually into X-Men vs. Street Fighter...
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