Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 is an awesome beat ’em up. On every platform it has graced, its mix of over the top combos and moves, deep mechanics and multi character play has ensured that the game goes far beyond the novelty factor of playing Capcom and Marvel characters off against one another, and it has in fact been widely regarded as one of the best 2D beat ’em ups ever.
So, now that it comes to iOS in a universal iPhone and iPad release, the question has to be, what are the controls like?
Well, it depends on where you are coming from. If you are a hardcore MVC2 player, and have poured hundreds of hours into other versions of the game, and know every combo with every character mix, then I have to say you may be mildly disappointed with this iPhone version. For everyone else, this is probably the best fighter on iOS and is as robust as it is challenging. You may not get anywhere near to the mastery of control that you can if you have physical controls, but Capcom have made a decent stab of making the game playable, and have made some additions to help with the more difficult combos and moves.
The main control addition is the ‘flick’ button. This allows you to perform complex moves by flicking a button in different directions. It is a clever concept, and I am sure it will be enough for many people, but in the middle of intense battles, I found it difficult to implement effectively. Maybe it is because I am hardwired to performing these moves manually, but it definitely doesn’t help that the button can be a little bit temperamental at times, occasionally missing inputs or mistaking one command for another, although in truth, I can’t see what else Capcom could have done here.
Even if you are a hardcore fan, I would say to give this a try, just be aware of the control limitations. Marvel Vs. Capcom wasn’t designed for virtual, touch screen controls, and it shows.
The game is otherwise excellent. A more or less fully featured arcade conversion, this has a massive roster of 56 fighters to choose from, with some great characters from both universes making an appearance. Ever wanted to pit Ryu, Ken and Strider against Spider-Man, Iron Man and Hulk? Well now you can, and on your mobile phone of all places. The game is of the tag team variety, so you can call on your teammates for help, and you essentially get three health bars to keep track of. There are some incredible combos to be performed that use the multi-character idea to its fullest.
The characters all behave exactly as you would have wanted, with each having a different ‘feel’ to them. The likes of Ryu and Ken may play as expected, but great Marvel characters like Wolverine and Spider-Man really play a little differently from the usual Capcom fare. It is great stuff, and although I feel that Capcom may have toned down the difficulty in the single player modes somewhat, new players, and those struggling to adapt to the touch screen will find a very challenging single player experience.
Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 does feature a multiplayer mode, over Bluetooth, and this proves to be a well implemented mode that I’m sure will give many hours of pleasure if you have a like minded iOS using friend, or especially if you have more than one device. There is one massive feature missing here: online play. Yes, one of the most addictive elements of other home versions didn’t make the cut. It is a real shame, but at least there is a Bluetooth mode in here to provide that all important two player mode.
Graphically, the game looks good to my 2D loving eyes, although I have to say that the lack of Retina support is a massive disapointment. The game just doesnt look as clean as it should do. I hope that a free Retina update is in the works and not a ‘HD’ edition. The game also has a few frame rate issues, nothing major, but you will notice it if you have played the game on a previous format.
Overall, this is a tough one to call. It has some natural control issues, although Capcom have done some fine work here, and the lack of net play and Retina support is disappointing, as is the less than stellar frame rate. However, this is still a brilliant fighting game, and perhaps the best on iOS, despite its issues. The game is sure to be one of your most played iPhone or iPad games, as it is perfect for playing a round or two on the bus, and the immense amount of fighters to choose from means that there is always more to learn and discover here.
Overall, this comes recommended, but lets hope that some updates are on the way that fine tune the controls even more and add those missing features.