The fight is on.
Being a fan of both fighting games and the Marvel universe I was obviously excited when Capcom announced that the second Marvel vs Capcom game would be making its way over to iOS.
We didn’t really know what to expect from the iOS port. Would it be another excellent refresh of the Dreamcast original, just like the PSN and Xbox Live Arcade game? Or would it be a straight Dreamcast port? Finally we were able to get our hands on the game once it appeared on the App Store.
It soon became apparent that this was a straight port of the game. The moment the logo hits the screen the low resolution is obvious. While this may seem disappointing to those expecting a Retina enhanced title it should, at least, please the purists. The in-game graphics continue on the same theme with jagged edges all over the place, made even more apparent on the iPad’s larger display (especially as we were playing on the Retina-enabled iPad 3). Graphics alone aren’t going to stop me enjoying a game, though, so it was on with the show.
Marvel vs Capcom 2 revolves around a 3 on 3 battle with a mechanic to allow players to swap out characters or bring them in temporarily for a huge boost of power. The pyrotechnics on display are still very impressive despite the lower resolution, with huge explosions and lasers flying in all directions. The game relies on the constant barrage of moves, one after another, connecting together as fast as your fingers can manage.
So it’s a shame to see the game running so slowly on hardware that should be able to handle it, particularly as the graphics haven’t been enhanced. As the screen is filled with effects and fighters the iPhone and iPad just can’t cope. Even with the current generation being tested (I played this on an iPhone 4S, an iPad 3 and an iPod Touch 4th Gen) it still struggled when things got a little hectic. It all points to a hurried release and lack of playtesting when porting over from the source code to the device.
Hampering things further are the controls. Now I’m never one to moan about virtual controls, some games work fine when virtual buttons are called for and you can take Capcom’s other fighter; Street Fighter IV, as a good example of this, but Marvel vs Capcom seems to have an issue with responding to button presses and this can spell doom for a game that relies on quick reactions. Maybe it’s because the framerate is so bad that the controls suffer, but for whatever reason I found myself frustrated by the response time. The new flick control option does help a little and makes it easier to launch special moves, but it feels like too much of a compromise.
Being a port, there are only 24 characters at the start, with another 32 unlockable via currency earned in the game. I’m not going to moan about this as it’s a good way of keeping the game fresh and gives you a sense of progress, but it does mean that you won’t be able to dive into multiplayer with your favourite character if they still need to be unlocked.
Speaking of Multiplayer, it’s a case of Bluetooth local multiplayer only. This is probably my biggest disappointment with the game, but given the track record of these app store fighters at launch it’s hardly surprising. Finding a game is simply a case of setting your Bluetooth to on and both parties going to the multiplayer option. We had no issue with finding a game and, despite the same lag as in single player, it ran perfectly well enough to play against other players even across several different devices.
There are a lot of issues with Capcom’s latest iOS fighter; framerate, controls and those ugly graphics, but the game is saved from total disappointment by just being what it is; a port of Marvel vs Capcom 2. It’s just a shame that
- Sound: 7
- Graphics: 6
- Gameplay: 5
- Longevity: 6
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