Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite’s story is corny, its graphics are so last gen, and its overall presentation is subpar. The game is built on a foundation laid twenty years ago, but it fails to include classic characters that define its history in favor of a cast plucked from Marvel’s current cinematic universe. With all of that being said…this game is fun as hell, yo!
The two versus two format sees a vast improvement in Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite, and the inclusion of the Infinity Stones ups the ante. The six stones of Marvel's lore are embedded in to the gameplay in a way that makes them as important as a third team member. With the power of each stones Infinity Surge and Infinity Storm available to every member of the roster, Capcom seems to have improved upon Street Fighter 5's V-Skill and V-Trigger system.
Tagging in your teammate is a snap, as MvC:I gives you the ability to switch your character at almost anytime with the Active Switch system. There is also a much needed Counter Switch mechanic that calls in your partner when you are caught up in a devastating combo. The timing is tricky, so the Counter Switch shouldn't be abused lest you want both of your characters to be caught in the dreaded Happy Birthday.
With the simplicity and fun-factor its funny to see such mediocre scores from game review sites. Since when did a fighting game’s Story Mode cause it to be a bad game, anyway? This feature is a recent addition to fighting games as a whole, and while there are good examples of stellar story modes like Injustice 2 and Tekken 7 they are all superfluous additions to the genre. While they can be entertaining, and give much appreciated insight to character relationships and motivations, they do nothing for the inherent gameplay.
Did they ever tell us why the mash-up happened in the original Marvel vs Capcom? Street Fighter’s lore wasn’t fully fleshed out until the alpha series, and let’s not act like Super Smash Bros or the original Tekken have comprehensible stories. Who cares why Gamora wants to whoop on Frank West with her giant God-Slayer sword…just make sure she looks cool while doing it!
That’s where MvC:I shines: it is so fun to play that everything else is secondary. Does it matter that Dante and Chun-Li’s faces aren’t so pretty when Dormammu is raining demonic fire upon them? What could be a cooler visual than the Ghost Rider popping wheelies on a burning hell-cycle all over Ultron-Omega’s huge face?
Based on its gameplay…and the fact that this is the FIGHTING GAME genre…a grade for MvC:I should place gameplay above all else. Its flaws are a minutia of the overall experience even though they are glaring. But who knows… since we are in the digital age things like graphics and sound can be updated with a patch like SNK did for King of Fighters XIV.
When it comes down to a good old basement kumite, a rocking soundtrack and a cast of well-defined, colorful characters are all that’s needed for a great time. While cool tunes like (I Wanna) Take You for a Ride, and everyones favorite clawed-Canadian might be missing, these omissions in no way take away from MvC:I’s fun-factor.
It would be a shame if fighting game fans missed out on a truly special thing just because a few jaded journalists are bad at scoring a genre, so run over to a friend’s house and just play the game. Then buy it, and look me up on PS Network so I can give that a$$ a good thrashing; Faceless007.