‘Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite’ Review: Not Quite Right

out of 5

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite has arrived! Many fighting game fans, like myself, have waited patiently for the last six years since the previous installment Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 hit in 2011. UMvC3 was one of my all-time favorite fighting games, combining all the knowledge gained in the 15 years Capcom had been making the comic book and video game mash-ups. Was the wait worth it? Will it make up for the subpar Street Fighter V we saw last year?

Right out of the gate Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite hit me hard in the eyeballs, not the graphics, they look okay, using some of the same style we saw in SFV, but the art design itself floored me. It is so terrible that I had nightmares that night of comic books where all the cape-wearing heroes had ‘80s shoulder pads or their capes seemed to hang in the air like they were hardened with too much starch. Seriously, who is doing Dr. Strange’s laundry? Or has the Cloak of Levitation taken to just showing off and levitating four inches from the good Doctor’s shoulders?

Horrible art direction aside, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is more of what we have come to love in the series: heroes and villains from Marvel comic books and Capcom games battling it out. This time around, using teams of two instead of the previous three, changing the system to “fast tag” in and out so players can continue combos with a different character. Even mid special move, tag out and both characters will pound on your opponent for the duration of that move, tag back and forth for some insane damage output!

Players will also find a new system using the Infinity Stones from the comics. Select what stone you want, each giving your team two levels of power, Infinity Surge and Infinity Storm. These meters will fill as you fight, and each stone has a different effect associated with it. This adds a huge level of customization for the players and their prefered playstyle. With 30 different characters to pick from, no fight should ever play out the same way. Classics such as Ryu from Street Fighter, to Spider-Man and Iron Man, to some rather odd picks like Arthur and Firebrand from Ghosts N’ Goblins will give everyone a chance to find one they love.

With multiple modes, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite offers a lot of options for players. Mission mode will give 10 challenges to each character, teaching you how to play them better. Arcade is the standard; fight increasingly harder opponents until the final boss. There are ranked matches, of course, for online battles if you want to be competitive, and casual if not. A new mode, Story, is exactly what you think, a short three-hour-long tale, where players do not choose their characters, they are picked based on the progression of the story.

That story unfortunately lacks. It starts after a few months have passed following the merge of the two dimensions. The heroes are making a stand against Ultron Sigma, a combination of Ultron and Sigma from Mega Man X. Why only those two are merged into one being, along with worlds themselves, like Xguard, (Asgard and wherever the hell Mega Man X is from) is beyond me. Shouldn’t Iron Man and Mega Man be one person? Iron X? Iron Mega Man? The heroes spend most of the time in poorly written cutscenes that give no explanation of how they got there, players are just expected to either know who the character is or just not give a crap enough to care. The only saving grace is that the interactions between some characters is fantastic. Rocket Racoon asking to borrow Ebony and Ivory from Dante? So awesome! Unfortunately most of the fights in the Story Mode just include taking on waves of Ultron Sigma bots and generic infected Asgardians. God help you if you don’t know how to play a certain character, and if so, prepare for some beat downs. Hulk took me a few times to beat and I have been playing with Ryu since I was 15. He hits HARD.

What we are left with is a subpar entry to the Marvel vs. Capcom series. Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite just doesn’t feel as polished as I expected it to be. So many characters look monstrous, in a bad way. Characters like Nemesis and Dormammu look cool, but they don’t have very human aspects, and any human based characters, especially the males, look like they need to take a crap most of the time, with faces twisted and devoid of any warmth. This made me miss the old comic book style/cartoon art we saw in previous entries. Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite feel like a generic version of what we have come to know and love. While it’s enjoyable for a little while to see the interactions of characters I hold dear, the horrible design, aged graphics, and the story mode not having any real “story” worth following, made Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite a huge disappointment.

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. This review is based on an Xbox One copy purchased by the reviewer.

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