Review: Marvel vs. Capcom Origins (XBLA)

Review: Marvel vs. Capcom Origins (XBLA)

I never thought I’d find myself recommending a Marvel vs. Capcom game again after the burn that was Marvel vs. Capcom 3. The game itself was entertaining and well designed, but the cash-grab actions of Capcom did more to put me off of it than bad mechanics and awful graphics would have done. I then found myself reluctantly recommending Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, though it was what Marvel vs. Capcom 3 should have been in the first place, and was released within the same damn calendar year as the game it was updating and replacing. Now, however, I have something I can recommend without any reservations or conditions: Marvel vs. Capcom Origins. A digital download, Marvel vs. Capcom Origins contains two classic fighters: Marvel Super Heroes and Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes.

The Marvel vs. Capcom franchise has come a long way from where it started. While it may have taken a few wrong turns as of late because of a desire to exploit consumers beyond reason, it started off as a franchise of games that has earned its place in history. Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat (and their subsequent revisions) may have captured my interest in the fighting game genre, but it was X-Men: Children of the Atom (briefly) and Marvel Super Heroes (for a much longer period of time) that dominated my time fighting at the arcades. The ability to step into the shoes of some of my favorite comic characters while retaining the mechanics of a fighting game spoke to me in a way Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat never quite did. Once Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes came out, I had found the perfect blend of the characters I loved in Street Fighter II and the super heroes I idolized. Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat opened my eyes. X-Men: Children of the Atom and Marvel Super Heroes captured my imagination. Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of the Super Heroes gave me everything. It’s been 17 years now since Marvel Super Heroes made its arcade cabinet debut, which continued and enhanced the wildly successful formula that Capcom brought to arcades in X-Men: Children of the Atom, and 15 years since Marvel vs. Capcom set the stage for one of the greatest fighting franchises I’ve ever played (in spite of Marvel vs. Capcom 3).

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The highest praise I can give is this: it is a testament to what Capcom used to be capable of that both Marvel Super Heroes and Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes are as entertaining and engrossing now as they were over a decade and a half ago.

Both games are presented in Marvel vs. Capcom Origins beautifully, with a plethora of visual customization options that can take your visual experience from full on nostalgia to a more modern feel. Scan lines (the mark of older arcade cabinet displays) can be left on or removed. The visual filter can be left at crisp, giving a sharper pixel image, put at smooth, making things more cartoony, or removed altogether, to provide a more classic arcade look. Last, but most definitely not least, is the camera perspective. As you see in some of the images above, the image can be squared with borders on the sides like you would see on an arcade cabinet or it can be widescreened to fit modern monitors. Most entertaining of all, however, is the over-the-shoulder perspective, where you will be reminded of standing next to your buddy watching as he or she played. While this perspective is absolutely awful for practical gameplay, it’s a fun little nod to the games’ origins.

Completing challenges during gameplay (for both Marvel Super Heroes and Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of the Super Heroes) earns you XP, which earns you Vault Points. These Vault Points can be used in the Vault to purchase character art, character win cinematics, and alternate characters. Challenges are multi-level, meaning that as soon as you complete a challenge, the next stage of that challenge becomes available. For example, the toss challenge. You are tasked with completing 10 tosses. Once you do that, you have moved past the 1-star level of the challenge, and are faced with a new level of tosses to achieve. The challenge aspect of Marvel vs. Capcom Origins adds an incredible amount of replay value.

The games themselves are as they ever were: fluid and brilliant. Gameplay hasn’t changed, and neither have the stories, soundtracks, or core experiences. These classic titles are being presented beautifully for your entertainment. For those who have never played either game, this is a chance that you really shouldn’t miss. At 1200MSP / $14.99 on Xbox LIVE and PlayStation Network, respectively, you’re getting your hands on two of the greatest fighting games that have ever graced the arcade or the console. Throw in online multiplayer, and you have a modernized classic that should be on every console HD with a net connection.

[learn_more caption=”Review Results”][one_half]Pros:

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  • Challenges provide fantastic replay value
  • Excellent online multiplayer
  • Classic games presented wonderfully
  • A wonderful nostalgia trip[/custom_list][/one_half]

[one_half_last]Cons:

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  • May be biased due to aforementioned nostalgia

[/custom_list][/one_half_last]

Final Word:

FANTASTIC

To see where this review score falls in our scoring range, please read our review scale guidelines.[/learn_more]

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