It’s an awesome time to be a fan of fighting games. If you’re into the newer stuff we’ve had great releases like Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3, Skullgirls and Tekken Tag Tournament. If you’re into the older stuff or you’re new to the genre and you want to experience where the fighting genre really came to light, then there’s plenty for you too. There has been for a while actually – on XBLA we have a brilliant Mortal Kombat Collection, the amazing Marvel VS Capcom 2 and more recently Jo Jo’s Bizarre Adventures HD. Now a new addition to the family is gracing our consoles: Marvel VS Capcom: Origins. Marvel VS Capcom: Origins features two complete games – Marvel Super Heroes, originally released in 1995 (arcade) and then later ported over to the Playstation and Sega Saturn in 1997, and Marvel VS Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes which was released a little after Marvel Super Heroes in 1998 (arcade) and then released for the Dreamcast and Playstation in 1998. We’ll start with the regular, unchanged stuff before moving onto the new stuff that’s been added to these games. Graphically the games still look the same. This is not a bad thing – being a 2D fighter instead of a 3D one, Marvel Super Heroes and Marvel VS Capcom still look as impressive as they did all those years ago. The colours are brilliant, vibrant and sharp, no detail has been lost in this release of the games. Each game is still a joy to look at after all of these years. This is not a HD release and to be honest I’m happy it isn’t – these games really do take you back in time. Some games are just best left untouched as they looked beautiful to begin with (see the N64 Banjo Kazooie series for a classic example of this), Marvel VS Capcom and Marvel Super Heroes are no exception. The music is brilliant too, aged just as well as the graphics. The other main thing that has not changed is the difficulty. Now, whether this is a pro or a con will depend on your perspective. I personally think this is a good thing. Sure, some of the characters are a bit broken and could do with some tweaking, sometimes the game is ridiculously hard and the learning curve is relatively steep, but it’s quite nice to see a fighter this challenging. If you are used to games like Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3 (which I am) and are not used to playing the harder more old school games, then this will be difficult for you at first. Power through it though – both of these games are fantastic and completely worth learning. It will be frustrating at first but there are rewards lurking within the game, namely in the form of unlockables. Oh yes, so many cool unlockables. Ranging from alternative costumes, character art, movies to new playable characters. The unlockables are a great way to motivate yourself into playing the game despite the difficulty. Basically, the unlockables are in a ‘vault’ and in order to get things out of the vault you must earn ‘vault points’ which you earn just by playing the game and beating challenges, for example, winning a round with full health, ending 15 separate matches with a special move, firing a certain amount of projectiles and so on. Moving onto the new stuff – there isn’t a lot, but to be honest I don’t think there needed to be much added, otherwise it may have spoiled the original feel of the game. The main thing that every good fighting game needs has been added – online multiplayer – so that’s the main box ticked straight away. Obviously the vault is new too, again an excellent new feature that will get players wanting to challenge themselves for new shiny rewards. Another new feature is the option to change visual filters and point of view. The visual filters are ‘crisp, smooth’ and ‘none’ so basically did you play the game in the arcade or via console when you were younger? Because you can re-create whichever image you enjoyed as a kid. Point of view is certainly interesting too. You have a choice between ‘Arcade Cabinet’ which is just the standard straight ahead point of view. ‘Retro’ which tilts the screen back a bit, and the most interesting perspective ‘Over The Shoulder’ which is for you people out there who often enjoyed watching people play these games back in the day of arcade. Not a particularly useful feature, but an interesting and nice feature all the same. As for the cons of this game…well, to be honest, for what it is there really aren’t many cons. This was never meant to be a release about improving the games, just a simple release of two old classics since fighting games are becoming very popular these days. It’s nice to go back to the humble beginnings of the genre. However, if I had to criticise the games (which I do, this is a review after all) it’s that in comparison to current fighting games I think people are going to be surprised. As I mentioned before, these games are difficult. There has been no effort to change anything about the games difficulty or any broken characters in the game. There is also a distinct lack of characters in comparison to the current generation fighting games – again this is just nit-picking. These aren’t particularly major flaws in the game, just how they may be received by some people who aren’t particularly used to the older fighting games. Due to the vault there are a few characters to unlock that you can play with which is great, but even with those characters the selection is still not great. Despite this, I still truly think that Marvel VS Capcom: Origins is a great game. I would heavily recommend it to anybody who loves the current generation Marvel VS Capcom games or anybody who is interested in learning about and experiencing old school fighting games. Go download the demo, have a good few battles and see what you think. If you like it, buy it. The value here is ridiculously good. The price is 1200 Microsoft Point on XBLA and £9.99/$14.99 on the Playstation 3. That’s two brilliant games for a brilliant price. If you’re into your fighters and so are a few of your friends this is a wise investment. Marvel VS Capcom: Origins is easily a game that will keep yourself and your pals up until the early hours of the morning.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.