VS Capcom: Infinite
With such a vibrant history in the
fighting genre, and considering the fact that superhero movies now flood the movie
industry to the point of oversaturation, one might think MVC: Infinite would
be an instant hit with the fighting game community. That's what the
developers were hoping for, anyway. The old school Marvel Vs. games are legendary for their heart, fan
service, and timeless gameplay systems that lasted well beyond their "expiration
date" competitively. Sadly, MVC: Infinite feels a bit "empty"
when compared to the prequels and most 2017-2018 fighting games.
And we must compare. This is the reason reviews exist, after all. Brace yourselves,
because I'm not pulling any punches on this one.
Let's be real... the majority of content in MVC: Infinite
looks rehashed and dated from the start. I think the character roster has
disappointed even the most lenient fans. Let's count. Out of the entire launch
roster, 24 out of the 30 launch
characters were cut & pasted from MVC3, more or less. (I knew
something was up when I only had to create like 6 new TFG character profiles for this
game at launch.)
In some fighting
games, this format of bringing back many series veterans works. Some franchises
also have smaller universes to work with, so many returning characters must
come back... however, we're dealing with MARVEL and CAPCOM here, two companies
with colorful backlogs of so many iconic characters. Apples and oranges. Whether or not
MVCI's returning characters are "updated enough" is arguable,
especially considering how they look visually and their actual... "function"... in
Worst of all is that most of the "new" characters (AKA the more
appealing ones) are locked behind paid DLC. Yet again, Capcom made some major mistakes
with handling character DLC.
Character Select Screen as of Dec. 2017... and yes, it's
lopsided... F#!% my OCD.
MVC: Infinite got a pretty bad rap
by the fighting game community from the start.... and it wasn't just
one thing. There was Chun-Li's horrifying face in the E3 '17 trailer, Dante's "this
is your face on drugs" meme, Rocket Racoon's nightmarish eyes & mangy fur,
Chris Redfield and Frank West's painfully generic white dude syndrome, and the list goes
on. Right along with the roster itself, the overall graphics and character
renders are bland and uninspiring. It doesn't take a genius to see that Infinite could pass as a smartphone game.
There's a major visual flaw with how characters and backgrounds mesh together. The
characters don't quite pop or take visual precedence, and sometimes are hard to see against
some backgrounds - which
seem weirdly rendered at the same resolution and vibrancy as the characters. Back in the day,
Capcom's artists made sure that the 2D
sprites stood out against backgrounds and looked amazing in every frame. This
can be done in fully-3D games
as well, as seen in the incredibly visually innovative Dragon Ball FighterZ. Also worth pointing out are
generic-looking "2D elements" in MVCI's 3D backgrounds. The panther
statue in Black panther's stage? The Asgardian soldier statues in Thor's stage? They are
nothing but flat 2D sprites.
They don't look terrible per se, but I haven't seen that level of "cutting corners" tech since
the early PS2 days.
The blandness continues on the menus and the game's soundtrack. I can't remember a recent fighting game with such
an uninspired, bare
bones, cookie-cutter visual presentation. Is there a bright side? If you look
for it. The best parts of the visuals are how some
of the special move effects are animated. All of Jedah's attacks and his twirling
blade projectiles look great, for example. Venom's dynamic attacks and specials are also animated
particularly well. Sadly, great-looking characters like Jedah & Venom only make
the other 80% of the roster look even more uninspired. Certain characters
have some pretty unsightly, stiff animations that seem dated. Also, I can't tell if the
"slowmo effect" during a K.O. is intentional or
actual in-game slowdown, because the way the framerate stutters makes it look like the system can't keep
up with the graphics (which is ridiculous). Story mode cutscenes are also
locked at 30fps. Yuck.
We get a
revamped Thanos... and a painfully rehashed Spencer. Good God, his face...
Series has experimented with a wide variety of mechanics and formats over
the years, including: 1-VS-1, 2-VS-2 and 3-VS-3 battles. The prior 3
installments of the series were known for their frantic 3-VS-3 gameplay.
However, Infinite returns to the classic 2-vs-2 format - a formula that
defined X-Men VS Street Fighter
through Marvel VS Capcom (1).
MVC: Infinite's only saving
grace is that the game is actually playable. The overhauled "Active
Switch" tag system allows for a "quick tag" to your partner at
any time for a continued combo, but no partner assist attacks. The game's combo
trials mode has 10 combos to practice with each character, which definitely
helps you learn the starting point of each character's combo potential. While the
flow and speed of the game feels right, not having partner assist attacks makes Infinite
feel like a different game... and not exactly the "Marvel" I've
known and loved over the years. Dashing speeds for certain characters also feel a bit
too heavily nerfed for my tastes.
from 1995's Marvel Super Heroes, "Infinity Stones" are back and
play a huge role in gameplay.
Players now choose one of the
6 Infinity Stones after
selecting their team. Each stone grants additional strengths and techniques
that fighters can utilize. Power
Stone unleashes a strong attack that bounces the opponent of the wall,
creating an opening for a combo or super move. Mind Stone's ability
throws the opponent, rendering them immobile and open for attack. Soul
Stone leeches vitality from the opponent. If
the player's teammate is dead upon activating Soul Infinity Storm, the player's
teammate will be revived with 20% Health bar. Time Stone
enables teleport and repeatable
/ chainable moves on all normals and specials during Infinity Storm. Reality
Stone launches a
homing projectile attack and adds elemental attacks assigned to each button. Space Stone pulls opponents closer in, and during Infinity
Storm will trap them inside of a box, unable to tag their partner in (unless
they connect a crouching HP launcher).
One can make the case that Marvel VS Capcom: Infinite is a good
fighting game in terms of gameplay... and I would listen (with my arms folded). Yeah, the core mechanics feel solid, and
I'll admit there are some fun combo & team possibilities. However, I attribute a large part of the "fun" aspect
of fighting games to the character roster. As fun as the gameplay may be, I
would rather be using so many other Capcom and Marvel characters. This front line of
overdone Marvel movie characters and overused Capcom characters just doesn't do it for me.
In past Vs. Series games, I've always enjoyed the more obscure
personalities, the underdogs if you will. There really aren't any characters
like that in MVCI.
some characters look good.
Offline modes for MVC: Infinite include: Story, Arcade,
Mission, Training, Versus, Versus CPU, and Collection. Online modes and features
include: Ranked Match, Casual Match, Beginners League, Lobby, Rankings, and
Replay Settings. Story serves as a basics Tutorial, which is always smart design for a fighting game
story mode. If you remember correctly, back in 2011, Capcom promised an "epic story mode"
for MVC3... but it never happened. Six years
late and all, but we finally have a story mode in an MvC game. But
judging by the forced interactions in MVC: Infinite's story
mode, it all seems too little too late. Hollywood superhero movies have been
yawn-fests this past couple of years, so it's not like I had high hopes for Infinite's story
mode or anything. But damn, I was expecting better than this. The characters lack energy, personality, and
the plot is so boring. Shoot the robots and say
each other's names.
Add in some cheap one-liners designed to make 6
year-olds laugh. It's bad. These characters should've settled their differences in
MVC3, because most of the match-ups aren't "new" anymore. The story mode trying to
"force" excitement just makes it that much less appealing.
In Story, characters also act like they've "known each other for
years". Well, I guess that makes sense... since most characters were indeed
plucked from MVC3. However, this makes for very weak storytelling and
stale onscreen interactions. The
generic cinematography & camera angles don't help either... but hey,
it's a story mode in a Marvel VS Capcom game. It's what every mall scrub
in 2001 said that they wanted while eternally waiting on the sidelines to play MVC2.
they happy now? I doubt it. I
couldn't help but notice many characters in story
scenes are awkwardly standing around... and don't seem to know why they're even there.
Fun Fact: I made up
better dialogue scenes with my Marvel action figures when I was 6 years old (1989).
Long story short: Injustice 2, TEKKEN 7, and Dragon Ball
FighterZ all did a much better job with their respective story modes (among
4, Xbox One, PC
Mega Man X, Iron
Man, Captain America, Morrigan,
Captain Marvel, Thor, Chun-Li,
Strider Hiryu, Hulk,
Rocket Raccoon, Hawkeye,
Chris Redfield, Nathan
Spencer, Nova, Dante,
Dr. Strange, Arthur,
Jedah, Spider-Man, Frank
West, Haggar, Nemesis,
Rider, Dormammu, Gamora,
Monster Hunter, Winter
Soldier, Black Widow, Ultron Sigma, Ultron Omega
MVC3, Marvel VS Capcom 3, Marvel
VS Capcom 2, Marvel VS Capcom, Marvel
Super Heroes, X-Men VS Street Fighter, Marvel
Super Heroes VS Street Fighter, Tatsunoko VS Capcom,
VS Capcom: UAS, Capcom VS SNK, Capcom
VS SNK 2, Street
Fighter 5, Darkstalkers, Injustice
2, Guilty Gear Xrd REV2, Dragon
Ball FighterZ, Blazblue Cross Tag
Battle, Fighting EX Layer
7.0 / 10
5.0 / 10
5.5 / 10
6.0 / 10
/ Sound Effects
4.5 / 10
4.0 / 10
3.0 / 10
4.0 / 10
Options / Extras
6.5 / 10
Intro / Presentation
6.5 / 10
Replayability / Fun
6.0 / 10
7.5 / 10
6.0 / 10
Review based on PS4 Pro version
a consistent Marvel fan since the late 80's... I'm sad to say that I'm completely uninterested in MVC: Infinite.
It was sad enough that I decided to rent and not buy this game (because I was
rightfully skeptical). The game that could've been called "MVC3: Part 3"
looks very commercialized and Americanized. That doesn't
have to be a bad thing, but the poor decisions with the roster, visuals, and
overall experience ruined any chance
for MVCI to truly shine in 2017-2018.
Just compare this game with the excitement-level and vibrancy of X-Men VS Street Fighter,
or the dynamic roster and limitless gameplay possibilities of MvC or MvC2. There
is no comparison. MVC: Infinite is stale. Even when compared with MvC3
- another game that disappointed me. - MvC: Infinite is a clear downgrade
in more ways than one. Infinite
actually makes MvC3 look pretty damn good, and that's saying a lot.
Analogy Time. If you follow UFC at all, you might remember when Ronda Roussey started getting
super cocky, was when she started loosing... bad. In retrospect, one could say it was
her karma catching up with her. Sometimes "group karma" can be a thing, too.
When's Mahvel. What started as an acceptable joke and
spiraled into a catalyst for bad etiquette online and at
tournaments. Of course I'm referring MVC3 bandwagoners who held
up "When's Mahvel" signs during tournament
finals for other fighting
games - and the stream monsters of course. (Welp. To answer their question now, we can confirm that
Mahvel is not at EVO
If you laughed at such jokes or
spread around memes during the MVC3 days, you're just as guilty as the players who
were holding up the signs. Nobody and nothing stays on top forever, which is why one should
be humble when times are good. (For the record, I'm not basing this opinion on
heresy. I attended major fighting game tournaments and witnessed disrespect from
the MVC3 community towards other fighting games, including the one I was
playing. I'm just saying what goes around comes around.)
Of course, MVC: Infinite's flop is not actually the fault of the players or fans... but karma works in mysterious ways.
And sometimes we all suffer because of it. I know mass marketing when I see it. I also know
"assumed customer interest" and lack of effort when I see it. MVC: Infinite is a
perfect example of pushing out a product, and hoping that it sells well based on name recognition and the "basic ingredients" that made
it successful in the past. Well, I'm not someone who enjoys basic ingredients.
After 30-something years, I have a refined palette for fighting games... and I want
something with dynamic flavors. Thankfully for me, there are many more fighting
games to choose from in 2018. I feel lucky. However, if there weren't as many
fighting games to choose from in 2018... I still wouldn't play MVC: Infinite.
For the ninth time, Infinite's roster is weak.
Maybe the 09'ers or the newer fighting game players don't understand. But the old MVC rosters
had "impact". They were exciting. They offered characters that hadn't been seen before. You wanted to play more characters
and teams than
you possibly could. MVC Infinite's roster clearly isn't made for fighting game
players, first and foremost.
The roster is made for suckers who annually waste 100's of dollars in theaters
to see superhero movies. The roster is made for kids who sucker their parents
into buying overpriced and superhero movie toys at Wal-Mart. Ironically, MVC: Infinite
doesn't even seem like the type of game that "casual" gamers
would buy or even play for more than 5 minutes. And judging by MVC:
Infinite's poor sales, I was right. A fighting game should be made
for fighting game players, first and foremost... and so many elements of MVC: Infinite
are clearly directed towards a different audience.
Seriously. Why bring back characters like
Chris Redfield (still in his 2009 RE5 attire) and Nathan Spencer (also in his
2009 Bionic Commando reboot attire)?
I mean, really. Their inclusions in MVC3
made sense, given their respective games were new-ish back then, but this is
Nobody wanted these characters to return, not looking like that anyway. All MVC players that I know wanted throwbacks to
older MVC games, the return of classic characters, or something completely new. In any case, they definitely didn't want something
lazily recycled from 2009. Ohh, and everybody wanted X-Men.
Everybody. This game should've been delayed until Capcom could've gotten the
rights to X-Men characters again. And sadly, I think it might even be too
late for Capcom to hit the emergency X-Men DLC button.
MVC: Infinite is visually uninspiring, but graphics could easily be overlooked if the roster
or gameplay was something great. From its best angle, the gameplay is "decent"...
but it doesn't draw me in or offer anything that I can't get in other similar
games. The fact that over 75% of the roster is
recycled, and the more appealing characters are locked behind paid DLC is just
forgiven Capcom's slip-ups in the recent past... but this one's a bridge
too far. I think they should just "take the L" on this one and start
working on MvC4... and do it right this time. So when's Dragon Bahl?