Marvel vs. Capcom Origins review for XBLA, PSN

Platform: Xbox Live Arcade
Also On: PSN
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Iron Galaxy
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-2
Online: Yes

Back in the 90’s, Capcom ruled the arcades with the Marvel vs. Capcom series. A string of tag team 2D fighters beginning with the classic X-Men vs. Street Fighter, and continuing with 2012’s Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Now, Capcom brings Marvel vs. Capcom Origins to Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network, but sadly the two games included are not exactly the origin of the series.

Origins gives you 2 classic Capcom fighters, Marvel Super Heroes, and Marvel vs. Capcom in one download, with the latter being the only “versus-series” game. When this game was announced, the world expected with a name like Marvel vs. Capcom Origins, we’d get at least 2 or 3 of the classic versus titles. Not to say that Marvel Super Heroes is a bad game by any means, but it?s inclusion in this pack seems misplaced.

First up in Marvel vs. Capcom Origins is Marvel Super Heroes, a 2D fighting game in which superheroes and villains from the Marvel universe fight against one another in one on one battles. Throughout the match, players build up a super gauge which can be used to perform the powerful Infinity Combo attacks. The unique element in this game are the Infinity Gems, Power, Time, Space, Reality, Soul and Mind, which can be used to give your character more of an advantage in the fight. The Power gem lets you inflict more damage, the Time gem speeds you up, the Space gem give you super armor and the Reality gem adds elements to your attacks. The last gem, Soul, allows you to recover some lost life. Then there is the Mind Gem, which can only be obtained in the final battle with the game?s final boss, Thanos, and can regenerate your Super Gauge.

The second Origins game, Marvel vs. Capcom, is actually the third entry into the Marvel Vs. series. Unlike Marvel Super Heroes, this game pits actual Capcom characters against Marvel heroes and villains in a tag team style fight. Players select 2 characters and one “helper” character from a different menu. In the fight, you can tag in your partner at any time to change the flow of the fight, and really makes for some exciting action. The helper characters can be called in a limited number of times for one or two hits on your opponent. This element can really tip the scales in ones favor very quickly. Like the previous game, you can build up your super gauge to unleash Super Combos and (with 2 Gauge’s filled) can unleash Team up Combos to gain an insane hit count! The Final Boss is Onslaught, a ridiculously difficult fight with a screen filling enemy that even skilled players have had trouble getting through.

New to both titles is the ability to play online against the world! The online component is GGPO-enabled for maximum performance and features ranked matches, 8-player lobbies and even Spectator Modes. The online play is fluid with no lag whatsoever. Every connection I had was perfect, so I couldn’t use the old “my game/controls are lagging” excuse when I would get my backside handed to me in a fight. Also included is the Vault, where players can acquire points by playing both games either online or off, and spend those points to unlock artwork, secret codes, ending movies and hidden characters. The hidden characters you can unlock are mostly for Marvel vs. Capcom, but there is one for Marvel Super Heroes that has to be seen to be believed, I won’t spoil it here.

The graphics are just as fantastic and well-drawn as they were when you first saw them in the arcades. But now, players can select a few HD Filtering enhancements such as scanlines, smoothing and even play the games with the original cabinet artwork on the side. In all there are 30 different visual styles that can be implemented. These features have been seen in previous Capcom collection downloads such as Final Fight Double Impact, and Street Fighter 3 Third Strike, so it?s really nothing that hasn’t been seen before. The sound is top notch, with every grunt, boom and smack heard crystal clear like you are standing in front of an actual machine! The soundtracks, like the sound effects, are classic and sound as great as you remember, if not better!

Marvel vs. Capcom Origins brings the fun with 2 classic fighters. If you are a 2D fighting fan, like myself, you will find something to like here. What would of made this a perfect collection if it included, instead of Marvel Super Heroes, the fantastic Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter. Not only is it in the versus series, it’s also a tag team fighter like Marvel Vs. Capcom, plus it’s inclusion would have justified the price. Origins is a whopping 1200 MSP ($15 on PSN), and that seems like a lot since there is only one actual Versus-series title in the bundle. Again, Marvel Super Heroes is NOT a bad game, it’s just misplaced in a pack entitled Marvel vs. Capcom Origins. If you need a 2D fighter fix, it will do, otherwise you may want to wait for a price drop before picking this one up.

Grade: B-