Today marks the day that the Marvel vs. Capcom games and all associated DLC are pulled from XBLA and PSN in the US (Thursday for the EU). It’s sad to see the start of the inevitable but often unspoken digital downfall and today Capcom has cast the first stone. Marvel vs. Capcom as a series has seen a resurgence last console generation having sitting comfortably on the PS2 and Xbox ports previously.
I still remember as XBLA was picking up steam and PSN was getting off the ground when people started to speculate what retro games would be ported onto the digital market place. Of course fighting game fans instantly started petitioning for Capcom classics; Street Fighter 3, Power Stone, Rival Schools and Marvel vs Capcom 2. All fantastic games and all extremely rare. Poor ports of Marvel vs. Capcom 2 would run up to $100 on eBay so in 2009 when Capcom announced a release on XBLA and PSN everyone rejoiced.
It was a game that comic book geeks and gamer geeks could obsess over. It was a cross over of a life time! And now newer generations could experience the 90’s dream of pitting Wolverine against Guile. Of course the new digital port of MvC came with graphical updates and all the bells and whistles of that console generation. The most important being online play. Things were good.
Then they release a subpar iOS port of MvC 2 with characters needed to be unlocked and the disabilities of playing on a touch screen.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3 came as a big surprise to many people back in 2010. There hadn’t been a new MvC game in a decade and now they are rolling out one for the PS3 and 360. With an updated look and simplified controls for new comers, MvC 3 also rolled out new characters with a handful of fan favourites like Sentinel, Magneto and Dr. Doom. While it didn’t have as many characters as the previous game, Capcom said they would include characters via DLC (on disc no less).
It didn’t help Capcom’s cause when they announced Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 less than a year later which soon became the definitive version of the game. Ultimate was not received as well as their previous attempt at updating a fighting game (Super Street Fighter IV) but fixed some of the problems that marred vanilla Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
Lastly they released Marvel vs. Capcom Origins onto PSN and XBLA last year but is not queued up to be taken down today so at least we can still play some MvC after tomorrow.
Marvel vs. Capcom like Kingdom Hearts is a cross over that only happens in video games apart from comic books. There are a lot of licensing mumbo jumbo and lawyers have to be involved but MvC appears to be the shining example to show companies that it’s ok for their franchises to beat the hell out of each other, as long as there is scoops, Haagen Dazs and Curleh Moustaches.