Some of my favorite games are in the fighting genre. I’ve spent hours in the arcade playing Tekken 4, and I grew up playing Mortal Kombat Trilogy with my father. As I grew older, I introduced my closest friends to the genre. Some of them like Injustice 2, but the game that kept our interest the most was Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3. As a group of comic book and video game lovers, that game was a dream come true. At one point, we all purchased the game, gathered every Sunday to fight against each other, and we also had bouts on Xbox Live. Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 almost felt like a way of life. It took over my time with the Xbox 360, and I loved every second of it.
When Capcom announced Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite, I freaked out. Finally, a sequel to one of my favorite games was coming to current generation consoles. I couldn’t wait to fight with my friends as we did a few years ago. The end product, however, made me appreciate the fact that I purchased the re-release of Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 on Xbox One. It’s better than Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite in every single way, and the game also respects the fans of the franchise.
There are so many issues with Marvel Vs. Capcom Infinite that they are difficult to count. I’ll just name a few. First off, the visual aspects are atrocious. When the story demo launched a few months ago, there was an outcry over Chun-Li’s appearance. Let’s be honest, it was a terrible representation of a fantastic character. Dante, Chris Redfield, and Captain America didn’t fare well either. Even newcomer Captain Marvel featured an underwhelming character model. While Chun-Li was worked on before the launch of the final release, it’s worth noting that the visual style is not up to par with the other games in the series.
Let’s not forget that this installment of the popular franchise doesn’t include X-Men or Fantastic Four characters. Doctor Doom, Wolverine, Deadpool, and Phoenix were among my favorite characters in Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3. Infinite lacks these fan-favorite fighters. It’s understandable because this game focuses on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it’s still unfortunate. This seems to be a case of Marvel trying to capitalize on the films instead of blocking these characters from the game. If Fox or Sony truly had a part in preventing the use of these characters, X-Men characters and Spider-Man would have been cut from Marvel Vs. Capcom 3.
The biggest travesty regarding Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite is the most crucial mechanic; the combat. Seriously, how could Capcom drop the ball on the core gameplay? Let me just say that the fighting is competent and the game is playable, but the developer’s inclusive approach actually alienates its fan-base. The joy of playing a game in the fighting genre is executing stellar combos against your opponents. I spent hours in Injustice 2 learning how to use every one of Supergirl’s and Black Canary’s moves by memory. It’s a muscle reflex and an accomplishment I’m quite proud of. I also enjoy watching the pros use their skills during EVO and other tournaments on Twitch.
Capcom appears to have competitive gameplay in mind with Marvel Vs. Capcom Infinite, but the gameplay decisions seem to contradict this. You can experience the game the way I feel it’s meant to be played; with actual skill and fast reflexes. The online community is taking a different approach unfortunately. By spamming the “X” button, you can pull off some impressive moves. While you can utilize combos the old fashioned way, what’s the point? Every single opponent I’ve played against online has used easy combos, or easy hyper combos, which only requires players to press the “Y and B” buttons simultaneously.
Simply put, Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite lacks any form of skill. I understand that Capcom wants fans of all ages to play the game, but by doing so, the series has lost its essence. Instead of being a stellar sequel, Capcom delivered a lackluster fighter and one of the most disappointing games of the year. The story mode is front and center (unfortunately, it’s underwhelming as both a fan of comics and the MCU), the in-depth gameplay mechanics take a backseat to easier modes, and the roster features a bunch of forgettable characters.
One of the coolest features in the entire series is Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite’s use of the Infinity Stones. This mechanic allows players to choose one of the six stones from the comics. Each of them grants the user different abilities that often change the course of battle. Even though I like the feature, it would be better in a game like Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3. The simplistic nature and dull combat of Marvel Vs. Capcom Infinite make the feature a missed opportunity.
Capcom doesn’t seem to be slowing down with content for the game. In 2017, Monster Hunter, Venom, Gill, Black Panther, Winter Soldier, and Black Widow will all be added to the roster. The company stated these characters are part of the 2017 pass, which means that a bunch of characters will launch next year. Honestly, I don’t think the 2018 characters will make an appearance. A fighting game lasts as long as its online community is active. If my experience is any indication, I’m unsure how much longevity Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite has. Since launch, I’ve rarely found a match on Xbox One, and when I finally did, my opponents continuously spammed moves.
Unless some changes are made in the future (there’s even a notification in the training portion that says move-lists could potentially change), I’ll be sticking to Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3. My most anticipated game of the year quickly became the biggest disappointment. I want the game to succeed, but I don’t think it has a chance in the competitive field. I think tournaments like EVO and others streamed on Twitch will use past games in the series instead of Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite.
Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite is a terrible package from the opening moments. A few interesting inclusions can’t save it from all of the negative aspects. Fans of Capcom’s fighting games know that there will probably be an ultimate/hyper/turbo edition of this game somewhere down the line. Maybe after a year or two, the development team will make the appropriate alterations that will make this game great. I have no hope that Capcom will make Infinite worthy of sharing the Marvel Vs. Capcom name.
What do you think? Are you a fan of Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite? If you like it, what are your favorite aspects? If not, what do you hate about this installment? Leave a comment below.