This Is An Article Criticizing Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite
Like many fans of the Marvel vs Capcom series, the announcement of a new installation after the abhorrent drop in support for UMvC3 was one I met with much excitement. Shame that as the news for the game keeps rolling, the game seems to be hemorrhaging any kind of expectation for the game, with bright neon signs pointing at possible culprits as to exactly why.
I’ll get this out of the way first- Disney. In every creeping corner of Infinite-related news you can smell that mouse just around the corner, rubbing his hands enthusiastically saying “hot dog!” as Marvel continues its ongoing Disney-ification of all its properties. Disney has had it’s money-generating claws in Marvel for a while, with its corporate brand-synergy-infusing antics ruining any hope of a labor of love in favor of just advertising their next big movie. Disney did this when they killed the superb Earth’s Mightiest Heroes series to replace it with the rather garbage Avenger’s Assemble. Disney did this when they decided UMvC3 wasn’t important anymore but a mobile fighting game would be the new hotness. Most importantly, Disney did this when they decided Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite shouldn’t be a colorful, comic-booky experience and instead decided all the characters should look as much like their movie counterparts as possible. I’m well aware that without Disney’s OK Infinite probably wouldn’t even exist- but with the foresight to know that Dragon Ball Fighter Z and that Blazblue crossover fighter were gunning for the popular tag-team fighter slot, I think we would have been okay with that.
So people are excited this game has a story, but right now it feels more like a poorly made catalogue of the Marvel Cinematic Universe- in the trailer alone we have Thanos and the infinity stones, an obvious plug for Avengers: Infinity Wars the Duology, as well as a horribly unnecessary Civil War moment a g a i n. It really tells you how much Disney knows their own property if Captain America and Iron Man have existed for years yet the only meaningful thing they can do with them is to rehash a widely-criticized crossover event from 2006. By doing this Disney, unlike most Marvel characters, has stayed incredibly in-character and done what by now it should be known for- turning what’s supposed to be a beautiful celebration of one of its properties into just another ad for all its shiny IPs.
And speaking of characters, has anyone noticed how bad the roster is?
UMvC3 had an interesting blend of both fan favorite characters like Doom and Akuma while also bringing new blood to the series with hot new additions like the then-unknown Rocket Raccoon and the mechanically genius Phoenix Wright. Every character in Infinite is either just a boring rip-off of its UMvC3 counterpart or an ad for a Marvel movie. Some characters even feel redundant- what’s the point of having Captain Marvel and Nova if they’re both going to look like they play the same as floaty shooty space people? Since they can’t use them in a movie, beloved characters like the good doctor Doom and guy-who-was-literally-on-the-cover-of-MvC3 Wolverine have been replaced with Guardians of the Galaxy characters Gamora and Thanos. Most of these characters don’t even really feel all that different- as mentioned before, Nova and Captain Marvel play so similar I didn’t realize they were separate characters. Gamora’s play style seems highly lackluster too, with the idea of guns and knives and swords in a fighting game eliciting the kind of sound you make hearing that the cat has once again decided to wedge itself behind the book case for the hundredth time.
I’m not done with Capcom on this topic, either. Like I said, UMvC3 had an interesting mix of some of Capcom’s most interesting characters, with many franchises having not been heard from in a while getting a chance to beat the crud out of Iron Man. Given the opportunity for a new game Capcom could have easily chosen to make new IPs into a household name but instead played it too safe, leading to a surprisingly dull roster of characters. Obviously we have X now, because God knows what kind of brimstone the fans would have dug up if he hadn’t been in infinite, but was the Ghosts and Goblins lobby really so demanding that we needed Arthur and Firebrand in the game? On this front the Capcom roster really does exceed Marvel’s, with characters like Frank West and Nemesis bringing in more interesting playstyles (Frank West, for example, has to level up to get more moves by executing a particular move at the end of his combos).
Ignoring all these flaws, Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite actually looks really good. Mechanically, this game looks interesting from the free control of tag-in assists and the various Infinity stones letting even picking the same characters result in vastly different playstyles. The vitriol directed at this game stems from several major points- A bad art style (the HUD haunts my nightmares) and a disappointing roster that doesn’t push as far as it’s predecessor, as well as the bitter aftertaste of having announced DLC characters before confirming its final in-game roster.