RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.

Posted on Nov 2nd 2012 at 08:58:16 PM by (noiseredux)
Posted under Dreamcast, Sega

Don't you love it when a game finally wins you over? You know what I mean, right? There's games out there that everyone seems to consider a classic and you don't get it. You try and try but just don't see what's so great about it. And then suddenly, maybe without even realizing it you just completely adore the game? Well, let me tell you a bit about Marvel Vs. Capcom 2.

If you've followed this blog at all in the past then you definitely know that I've always used Street Fighter II (well Turbo or Hyper or IIX or whatever you want to call it) as the high water mark by which I compare all 2D fighting games. And while everyone seemed to rave about MVC2, I never really spent any serious time with it until it got an HD re-release on PSN. I had actually just picked it up for around $30 on PS2 but hadn't had a chance to play it when I received a PSN giftcard and figured that the online-enabled PSN port would be the better way to experience the game. So I sold the PS2 copy and downloaded away. And of course these sprites looked great beaming through an HDMI cable, projected on an LCD monitor in hi-def wide screen. But the game... it just seemed so boring to me. It had this huge roster of awesome characters, but I could barely force myself to enjoy an entire 3-on-3 fight, nevermind the entire Arcade Mode.

And so I assumed I really didn't like Marvel Vs. Capcom 2. Although it was widely considered the fan-favorite, I seemed to get far more enjoyment out of the third installment, and eventually the first. I tried to figure out what was wrong with it -- the music? The four-button simplicity? The sprites that probably should have been redrawn? Sure these were all marginal complaints, but they shouldn't equate to a ruined game by any means.

Recently I got a day off from work due to Hurricane Sandy and decided for some strange reason that MVC2 would be the game to pop in for the afternoon. I'm actually quite terrible at playing fighting games with arcade sticks, but since I don't have a legit Dreamcast fightpad I decided to fire it up with my Agetec to try to learn how to fight with a stick to get a sort of arcade realism going on. At first I had so much trouble pulling off simple moves. The classic Capcom Ryu projectile movement of down to forward + punch for instance often saw me jumping around like a flailing lunatic. But after about an hour I was starting to feel a bit more comfortable.

But maybe weirder is that after that hour I was also having a ton of fun. But the real difference to me was replayability. In the PSN version I was used to having all 58 characters accessible from the get-go. This was perhaps overwhelming to the point of boredom if that makes sense (see: Devo's "Freedom of Choice"). However playing the Dreamcast port meant that two of my go-to fighters  (Morrigan and Chun-Li) weren't even available. So instead I had to play with Wolverine (who is a favorite), Ryu (who is an "okay, I like him") and a wild-card. And then I slowly started unlocking characters.

After a couple of days playing sporadically I had unlocked a handful of new folks, among them an alternate Wolverine and my beloved Morrigan. And yet nothing makes me want to slow down my progress. No, instead I'm loving mixing up my trio and unlocking more of the roster in a "gotta catch em all" style mania. Hell, I still don't have Chun-Li or Cammy or Akuma or Felicia or Mega Man or... well you get the idea. So yeah. It turns out I kind of love Marvel Vs. Capcom -- when it's done right, like on the Dreamcast.

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When a game is done right - presented well, executed nicely - everything just clicks. You form some bond with the game and its characters.

I really enjoyed your article. You accurately described how our favourite titles grow on us and earn those special places in our gaming libraries.
My friends and I went through the complete unlock for MvC2 almost three full times (one extra for a lost VMU, another for the import DC version) and as much as I really, really enjoyed the game, I think that spending that much time to unlock everything made me enjoy it so much more than if I'd gotten a later version without the unlock system.  SO much fun investing into the nuances and learning curves to get everything, staying up night after night passing the controller or just getting a few points going head to head.
I agree. I've loved this game since we (my brother and I) first got it for Dreamcast all those years ago. Luckily, I've retained my copy of the game and find that replaying it over and over to unlock all the characters and color schemes was just the best experience out of a fighting game that I've ever gotten. I was so pumped for MvC3 only to find out only a small selection would need to be unlocked. Once I cleared Arcade a few times it sat on the shelf while 2 was still spinning, even after 14 years.

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