MARVEL VS. CAPCOM 2 Review
- Full console content; 32 characters to unlock, 56 total.
- Universal App; best played on larger screens.
- Online versus mode absent; local network still available.
- Muddy visuals; poorly scaled sprites and low (if stable) framerate.
Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 feels rushed and otherwise falls short of Capcom's prior fighter releases on the App Store; a shame considering the wild popularity of this title.
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CAPCOM generally doesn't skimp on the details when it comes to its fighting game releases on the App Store. It seems almost counter-intuitive to think a serious fighting game could be successful on a small touch-screen, but Street Fighter IV has shown that it's not only possible, but also a lot of fun.
As such it's almost unfortunate for Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 to feel as rushed as it does, suffering from bloated controls on smaller iDevices and visuals that looked muddied thanks to poor scaling. Given the Arcade and console version's wild popularity; gorgeous, smooth 2D visuals; fast and frantic 3v3 team fights; and eye popping effects it's easy to feel short-changed.
What's not left off the table is the content. Players start with 24 characters and can unlock up to 32 more by playing through the Arcade mode and earning points to buy them in a store. Interestingly no IAP are available, so you'll need to pay your way with hard work.
It'll be hard work indeed on iPhone and iPod Touch screens as the controls take up a huge portion of the screen; even the simplified controls that rely on relatively intuitive swipes to pull of special moves takes up all but the middle of the screen - not helpful when players are continually being bounced around the screen.
This is almost a favor as you'll find it harder to notice the poorly scaled sprites that feature no filtering, resulting in a pixelated mess. This would forgivable if it resulted in smooth visuals, but at best you're provided with a stable low framerate instead of a stable high framerate.
As a final nail in the coffin, the game lacks an online competitive mode. Local network play is available, but you're at the mercy of your friends having a copy.
If there's one shining aspect to MVC2 it's the clever control scheme. By utilizing two 'swipe' buttons to pull off special moves or control your teammates, it's relatively easy to pull off a complex chain combo with a minimum of practice.
Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 puts in the bare minimum needed to make it a playable game on the iOS platform. For some this may be more than enough and it's not worth complaining about its shortcomings, but if you expect something even approaching the quality of its many console iterations, you'll be sadly disappointed.