"Howlin Mad'"  Henry Moriarty's Beta testing report on
Marvel VS Capcom

Click Here For the PPG/Entree.

  Since I am quite the pessimistic one and don't always trust the crock I hear from others, I just had to check out Capcom's latest installation to their "Vs" series, Marvel VS Capcom with my own eyes. Yes it was good, and here's the lowdown on it. By the way this report is to be read in conjunction to the Perfect Player's Guide, since one fills in details for the other.

  It was on January that I've played the beta. It's late considering that the game was already out in LA back in October, which makes me speculate that Capcom actually gets more income from the States than they do in Japan so that they're fixing the game in American interest.
  Anythus there were not many people lining up to do the beta testing. Actually there was no lines whatsoever, which is distinctly different from the time I went out to beta "The Last Blade", as it was in the same location.

The Basics

  After inserting a credit and pressing start you see the usual character select screen, where you get to select from a range of 15 characters. After that you get to pick your assistant character out of a selection of 20, but this is done in a random cursor roulette style -this means that if you were good enough to always get identical characters back in X-men VS Street Fighter, you will always be able to get the assistance character that you like in this game as well. Also, the assistance character does not stay the same throughout the whole game-- you must reselect after each match, including times when you are interrupted by a human player. It doesn't matter if you are using a Capcom character or a Marvel character, you will able to get an assistance character from any side- it has nothing to do.   Other things you set up are the usual normal/easy mode and the speed of the game.

  Each match in the game starts out with one level of the meter already pumped up. I speculate the reason to this is that some players would like to do mode changes on characters as soon as the game starts- more on this later. At the start of the match each player has 7 stocks of assistance- these stocks does not go up, even if a partner dies. This assistance is basically done in the same way as in M'vsST' : medium punch + kick. But as mentioned before it is a special character which does the assist, and the normal partner does not come out in M'vsC to do the assistance (the partner will come out in the variable combo and the double-up attack so don't worry). The Assistance is actually very useful and each are unique, having different uses. For instance Psylocke's assist hits multiple times but goes only horizontal on the ground, making it very useful for the player to jump at the opponent, whileas Tia's attack is dices from the air, being effective against opponents that jump a lot. here is a list of the characters I can remember-

Unknown Soldier [Forgotten World]- Shoots out a number of beams.
Lou [Chariot]- Little elf, shoots out Arrows horizontally.
Psylocke [X-men]- Does her old super X' .
Tia [Capcom Mascot]- Drops Dices from the air.
Anita [Vampire Hunter, MSH]- Rotates a number of objects around herself as she walks forward. Acts like a barrier.
Ice-man [X-men] - Drops a number of ice blocks from the air, front to back.
Cyclops [X-men]- ???
Michelle Heart [???]- Shoots out beams in about 3 forward directions.
Arthur- Shoots out 3 spears horizontally. Loese armor and gets half naked if attacked.
??? [Nigiirochou no Kiseki] -Character from a Japanese Quiz game (check out appetizers for more info). Shoots out laser.
Thor [Marvel]- Shoots out Laser.
Storm [X-men]- Shoots out Hurricane
Jubilee [X-men]- Shoots out energy balls (starts out slow but has wide range), then pops her bubblegum and leaves.
Rogue [X-men]- Jumps in middle of screen and does rapid vertical punches upwards out of the screen.
Juggernaut [X-men]- Does a weaker Juggernaut Headbutt.
Colossus [X-men]- Body Tackle.
USAgent [Marvel]- Charging Star.

The whole list should be up in the Perfect Player's Guide since I've diecided to make one for this game.

  So what else is new in this game? The new variable cross system of course. When the player has 2 pow meters, both members can be put in the screen at once to beat the crap out of the opponent, literally. I say this because as long as the time limit doesn't run out and the character becomes alone (or if one of the character miraculously dies), they can use their super moves infinitely. I myself was able to beat many challengers thanks to this system-  it shouldn't be effective once people learn to actually guard. One of the problems that this system has is that the player must control both characters at the same time, so if both the characters are not on the same side of the screen, it may be confusing as hell. But most people I have seen playing the game did not bother to worry about it.

  The lag time when the partners are changed has been greatly decreased, so there is not as much worry of being the crap beaten out after switching in tight situations.


  Almost each character in the game has some kind of specialty. One of the interesting one is Ryu's, who now has learned to be like Sakura and mimic the hell out of other shodokan characters. That's right, now Ryu can fight like Ken and Akuma by changing "modes".  When he's Ken, Ryu's costume turns red and he can do Ken's kicks and other moves- his Hadouken only goes a limited length too. I'm sure that he has all of Ken's supers. When he's Akuma he looks a bit like Evil Ryu and he can shoot out fireballs in the air, do all of Akuma's Supers including the raging Demon. Ryu can change modes whenever he wants to, as long as he has a stock of power.

  Now here are info on the other characters--

Good ol' Chun-li. Doesn't seem to have changed much except that she can easily be countered after her dash n' kick super combo.

Man has his Screw degraded! It takes of very small damage and the same goes with his super screw. He can change mode to his mech Zangief form, where he won't even budge when he's attacked (but he can't guard either).

She's totally gone Shodokan. Basically another Ryu/Akuma type character, as she can shoot from the air, from the ground and has an uppercut. She has two new supers, one where her bats turn into a laser cannon and she shoots out a super hadou-ken, and another where she summons out Lilith to do a multi-uppercut. Players of Vampire Savior should have no problems adopting to her. Morrigan seems to be merged with Lilith as they form in to each other in the beginning of the round and Lilith appears in taunts. Her new victory pose is a bit ecchy, as she wears a bondage type costume and has lilith tied by her hands.

Captain Commando
His appearance is very cool- comes out as a business man (1P) or a cowboy (2P) and transforms into his super costume as he puts oh his glasses. He has a flame thrower which is similar to a short range projectile, he has multi-air kicks similar to Dan's, and he has a anti-air attack where he hits the ground and an energy blast comes out upwards (kind of like GingisKarn from World Heroes, or Heavy D! from KoF94'). CapCom' can also call out for his friends in 3 moves, one of them a normal special and the others as supers. In one super he shoots out a laser beam and slices the opponent from top to bottm (like a huge light saber from Star Wars ), and in the other he dashes forward, and if he makes a hit, does a rush combo with his three friends Genity, Hoover and Sho.

Known as Megaman in the States. A bit bigger than on the NES but still dinky compared to the other characters in modern fighting games. Rockman his his dog with him all the time (which by the way is always sticking its tongue out) and can make it shoot out items. When Rockman gets hold of the item (if he misses it just stays on the floor like in action games), he can use it as a special move. Of course the item is from previous Rockman games- for instance he can use the leaf barrier. Also, Rockman can make his dog attack like Galford form SNK's Samurai Shodown. In one of his supers, Rockman turns to the size of half the screen and shoots out a number of missiles. In another Super, he he goes into a drill machine and drills/ticks the opponent to death.

Strider Hiryu
Although I do not know the original game that well, strider still uses his sword as his main attack, and even slices in a couple of his specials. He can call out his mechanical Leopard to attack, and he also has a super where he can call out a hideous number of them mechanical animals. The super move "ragnarock" turned out to be a semi-land throw, where Strider dashes to the opponent like Cap' America's Final Justice and if it hits, he does the rest. Although I hoped strider to be as tricky as Rolento, he seems to be more of a standard character. No hoe does not have any projectiles but his sword lets him have middle range. He can hang on to the edge of the screen (seems like his hover is there) and he has a special where three images of himself jump up, and one of them attacks back down.

Jin Saotome
He is the "must use" of this game. If you are tired of the same old serious fighters and also of stupid characters like Dan, then Jin is definitely your choice. Jin is not a fighting game character but does his best to win, meaning that he uses all his might to the match. He will spin around so much that nothing can be seen except his face (with dizzy looking eyes), he will take off his cloths and use it to attack the opponent, he will leg tackle the opponent like SF3's Sean and then roll them all around the screen, and he will even call out for his robot have it annihilate the opponent. Having the same kind of craziness as Ralf from the King Of Fighters series, Jin's moves do not have in consideration such thing as "recover time" and lots of it has burning flames. Doing chain combos on the ground? Don't really think about it- all his normal moves on the grounds except for the weak attacks are so unique from other character sthat they are not to be comboed- only aerial raves. For instance is fierce punch is a dashing flaming straight that does not look like a normal move, his fierce kicks are flaming drills, his middle kick is a Dan- like multiple air kick combo, etc. His throws are interesting- in one he goes on top of the opponent who is laying on the ground and beats them, and in the other he throws the opponent and calls his robot to punch them. He also calls his robot in his supers, one where the robot punches the opponent and another where Jin jumps out the screen, the robot shoots the crap out of the opponent, and the robot's control panel actually comes out in front of the screen. There is also another Super where Jin turns into a gigantic tornado.
Jin also powers up in hard situations- this seems to give him more power, more defense and a super armor. Although the situation for this is unclear, it seems to be when the partner is beaten and  he comes out to fight with low energy.

Captain America
Not much different from before.

Not much different from before, and not many people picked him.

Not much different from before, but his Kinetic Card seems to stun the opponent longer, he has an additional super combo where he jumps to the wall and does a powered up version of his aerial Kinetic Card. His Royal Flush does not have anywhere as much lag time as before( if it's Gambit VS Gambit and  the Royal Straight gets guarded, the opponent can't counter with a Royal Flush).

War Machine
Not Really different from Iron Man. From what I've heard as a rumor, Marvel can't lease out the license to Iron man so they licensed out War Machine as a solution. He has a new Super where he shoots out missiles upwards, then they fall down to the opponent.

Not much different, but he may have weakened a bit.

Still Cheaply strong as ever.  I've seen two people getting 20+ of a winning streak with him and Morrigan.

Thought he was like Spiderman? Well that was what I was afraid of until I actually played with him.
Venom is bulky as hell when compared to Spidey. He is nowhere as fast when walking or jumping and he does not have a projectile. In fact he seems like a power based character-  for instance when his Web throw hits, he does not swing around the opponent but bang them on the ground like Omega Red's Carbonadium Coil but with much more speed. Actually many of Venom's special moves are very fast, and this can be a problem to the opponent. In his venom fang he hops forward (distance depends on button) and attacks. This doesn't sound like much when written in paper, but consider this: his hop attack comes out very quick, it has an attack detection the moment it is out, it hits multiple times and it takes pretty good damage. Now do you know what this sounds like? It sounds like the perfect Shodokan killer, as projectiles can easily be countered with. Unfortunately characters without projectiles may have problems too.  Although Venom can easily be countered if this move is guarded, there is no doubt that the Venom Fang is going to be one of his primary weapons. His venom thrust also works as an anti-air attack and his supers have minimal lag time when guarded, making him a very strong character. At this time I would consider him very strong, if not cheap.

The Last Boss

  The last boss of this game is Onslaught- yes, the nightmare created by Professor X' and Magneto which virtually wiped out half the Marvels characters in the fight at Manhattan (oh man my ol' city!). He's very strong but like Apocalypse, he can't guard. He's nowhere as corny looking as Apocalypse too- in fact he looks very evil and ready for the kill.
  Apocalypse has two levels- in the first level you see Professor X' (in his black costume, just like in the Onslaught comics) fading inside/into Onslaught who is about 1/3 the size of the screen-- about twice the size of a standard  character. He uses moves similar to X-men's Magneto. When I say this I am referring to the game "X-men". So he can use The ol' Quad Hypergrab balls which homes into you, the really gigantic Shockwave, the tick damaging Em Pulse, and two additional moves- one which is similar to Thanos' (MSH) Dash attack except that Onslaught is way bigger and it takes way lots more of damage, and another which is a Sinkuu-hadouken type move about twice the size of Ryu's. When you try to attack Onslaught, he takes the punishment but may cheaply teleport in the middle of getting hits multiple times. This means that if Ryu was doing a shinkuu-hodouken, Onslaught can teleport to his back and do massive counters. Also, Onslaught seems to be able to summon out other characters to fight for him, although he rarely does so.

  In the second level, Onslaught is about the size of the full screen. Basically he's another Apocalypse type enemy this time around. Luckily he isn't that ball of pure energy like what happened in the comix so the player can be physical with him... only a bigger Onslaught with a Skeleton looking head.
  But Onslaught is nowhere as weak as Apocalypse. He has no assistance satellite, but he doesn't need it at all-  he is strong enough, and the damage done to the player from the 1st level still remains intact. His attack methods are not really that different from Apocalypse except he has a few specials like the Quad Hypergrab.  So what makes him strong? For one thing he doesn't always have his hand on the ground so attacking him may be a problem, and he tends to fly all over the stage at a very fast pace and he doesn't stay so still on land either. Plus add the fact that Onslaught's attacks are strong as hell. But if you are lucky enough to beat him, you get to see Professor X laying on the ground, all rippled and crippled.


  One problem I found with the game was that novices can beat the crap out of advanced players. I've seen a little kid slaughter a game fanatic who was getting 10 plus games in a row. There seems to be a definite level of unfairness between the game characters too, such as Zangief and Morrigan. But the game in overall seems to be very fun, and players who restrained themselves from Marvels VS X-men because of the weird hit detection can come back to play, because it's back to the X-men VS Street Fighter style again. Expect this game to be a long lasting hit, and hopefully there will be some interesting secret characters as well.

  Finally I would like to say thanks to Daimos- one of the "Fighting Gamers" (a gamer's coalition in Japan- I myself am not a part of it since I am a true Lone Wolf) member who've I've met at the location and was very helpful in figuring out some of the old characters. He was quite a loud and unique fella and I think that we'll be having more encounters in the future for he does not live too far from Tokyo.

-Henry Moriarty
PS- Check Out the Entree Section, and the PPG should be up!