Platform Reviewed: Playstation 4
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Acquired via: Purchase by Reviewer
Normally, Uncle Willy would be reviewing Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite. Him and Grumpy Joe are the fighting game fanatics. But Uncle Willy is trying to dig himself out of a pile of work and articles. Plus, I had pre-ordered the Collector’s Edition and was dying to get my hands on it. So it fell on me. I’ll write an unboxing article later. For now, I’ll focus on the game.
Uncle Willy did want to add a bit to this review about the Marvel vs Capcom series. Here’s his backstory:
It’s been 6 years since Capcom released Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. In the years between then and now, there was a lot of kerfuffle between Capcom and Disney’s Marvel. Games in the vs series were briefly pulled from retail as Marvel briefly assessed their video games strategy. Eventually, they must have decided that Capcom was a good fit for their strategy, because they are teamed up once again.
I was jacked when Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite was announced at PlayStation Experience 2016. I started eating up as much information as I could handle from that point on. Since then, a few omissions have soured my anticipation some. The focus on a more MCU-themed roster for the Marvel side irked me. The X-Men have been a part of Capcom-developed crossover fighting games since X-Men: Children of the Atom in 1994. In Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite, they are absent. Some of the additions on the Capcom side, like Spencer and Jedah, confused me. I mean, is it just me, or would Thanos and Akuma make strange partners in this story?
Oh, story! Previous Marvel vs Capcom games had the thinnest coat of story. It was usually summed up simply: big bad evil, beat them. This entry does the same, but fleshes out more of the reason for the “big bad evil” existing. This iteration’s ultimate baddie is Ultron Sigma, a meshing of the two villains from each universe. He is merging the Capcom and Marvel universes, and the heroes (and villains) from both universes have to band together to defeat him.
So great, Story Made. Thankfully, there’s an Arcade Mode, too. Evidently, Capcom learned its lesson from Street Fighter V. The requisite Mission, Tutorial, and Multiplayer modes are also present. There’s a good amount of content available. The game looks pretty crisp visually in gameplay clips, but how will gameplay be?
Punisher got the jump on me this time because he pre-ordered the Collector’s Edition. I refuse to give publishers one thin dime in advance; it’s kind of a mantra. I’ll buy the game in due course. For now, I’ll let Punisher talk about the game properly.
After you insert the disc for the first time, you’re welcomed with an 18GB Day One patch. Then you’re able to play. I tried Story Mode first to get a taste of the story. Uncle Willy warned me, but I wasn’t ready: Story Mode is CAMPY AS FUCK! Trying to get a compelling story out of something this silly was going to be hard, but Capcom just decided to pile layers of cheese onto the story. The result is pretty hard to go through.
(Note: When I first tried recording gameplay for Story Mode, I kept getting a note from the PS4: “This is a blocked scene for gameplay recording.” WHY??? It looks to be corrected because there are Story Mode videos on YouTube. But it stopped me from recording during my review time.)
In Story Mode, you’re forced to play as specific characters. That gave me a chance to try them all. There’s enough variety in characters types and moves to not get bored. But they all look like they take ALL the steroids. Doctor Strange looks like he can rip a phonebook with his fucked-up hands (watch the movie for that reference). And some of the faces look weird, especially Morrigan’s.
Worse than that is Story Mode’s difficulty. Sometimes you’re fighting some useless minions that don’t give too much of a fight. Then all of a sudden, you fight one of the characters on the roster like Hulk and Nemesis. In those fights, the difficulty jumps up to nearly impossible. When you lose, the game offers to lower the difficulty for you. No thanks, game, I can do this!
Since I’m not a fighting game guru like Grumpy Joe or Uncle Willy, I had my troubles. Seriously, some fights are harder than Chinese algebra!
(Sorry, I had to take that joke from Uncle Willy.)
(Ed Note: Uncle Willy took it from Robin Williams. You’re fine.)
Eventually, I had to stop. See there’s this thing called sleep. From what I’ve heard, it helps if you get about 8 hours of it a day. Playing video games kind of gets in the way. And that’s the thing about Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite. Once I got over the cheesiness of Story Mode and the ‘roided-out characters, I was left with a game that is really fun to play.
Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite plays really well. After some practice, I was performing some pretty epic air combos and team-up attacks. This game dumps the 3v3 combat and replaces it with the 2v2 combat in the original Marvel vs Capcom. It also borrows the Infinity Stone mechanic from the original. That keeps it in line with the MCU. It also allows some cool things to happen. You can use both Infinity Storms and Infinity Surges which are different for each stone. My favorite is the Space Stone. Its Surge pulls opponents towards you, and the Storm traps opponents in a box. That’s pretty cool.
It’s the gameplay that really kept me playing way past bedtime. I did play Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 during Digital Crack gameplay sessions, and Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite plays different. The Infinity Stones are great but the action is crazy without them. This game removes the support attacks but allows players to tag at will. Now I can attack with Dante, do his Super move, and then tag to Hulk in the middle of the combo. I control Hulk and continue the combo easily. I can do this as many times as I want. The game also has auto combos and easy Hyper combos. I refused to use them, but it’s cool to see a game give newbies a way to get into the game easily.
The character choices are also in line with the MCU. Like Uncle Willy mentioned, characters like the X-Men, Akuma, and others were removed. Instead, the Marvel side focuses on characters that have been established in the MCU. Since I got the Collector’s Edition, which included Black Panther, Winter Soldier, Venom, and Black Widow. The Capcom side gets a few new additions like Jedah and Spencer, as well as DLC characters Monster Hunter and Sigma. Some people have problems with the lineup, but I think it was pretty varied and cool.
Playing through Arcade and Mission modes add more fun to Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite. Mission mode is pretty crazy. Every character has 10 missions, which are just fancy tutorials for learning combos. I guess that only experts can complete all 10. I was done by the fourth! People who like competition can go for multiplayer. There’s local vs as well as online. I checked online out quickly and was beaten into goo. The players online are assassins.
Overall, Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite is really good. I really enjoy fighting my way into some crazy combos. I thought the Story Mode was stupid and would have preferred a story that wasn’t so campy. I also wished the characters didn’t look like they take Winstrol shots every 10 seconds But the game is otherwise well made. The levels and overall graphics are very colorful, and the control is perfect. The lack of X-Men is a shame, but hopefully they’ll address that in a DLC update later.
This game gets the Punisher Seal of Approval!