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Video Game of the Week – Marvel vs. Capcom 2

Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (downloadable from Xbox Live! for the Xbox 360 or from the Playstation Network for the PS3) is a re-release of the highly-acclaimed fighting game that first appeared in arcades and on the Sega Dreamcast back in 2000. It features superheroes from both Marvel Comics (including Spider-Man, Iron Man, Hulk and Wolverine), as well as Capcom games such as Street Fighter, Resident Evil and Mega Man.

Mindful of the success of the original, the developers have wisely decided not to stray too far from a winning formula. There are a total of 56 fighters and superheroes to choose from when you put together your team for a series of intense three-on-three tag matches. The moves and combinations are basically the same as the earlier version but the graphics and controls have been updated to take advantage of the HD screens and the new generation of consoles.

In Arcade mode, a single player can do battle against a series of computer-controlled fighters. The three-on-three format allows you to seek assistance from teammates to get the upper hand or substitute fighters in and out depending on their health. There is also a Training mode for novices to help them master the moves before fighting for real.

One huge addition to this version is the multiplayer component. There are three multiplayer modes: you can play off-line against friends or online in “ranked” or “player” matches. Once you select your option, you can choose to jump into a quick fight with whoever is online or create a fight for yourself. If you’re not involved in a fight or are waiting for your turn, you are placed in spectator mode and get to scout your opponents. The online component comes with weekly and all-time leaderboards, so you can track your progress.

Although players in Marvel vs. Capcom 2 use a variety of punches, kicks, throws and special powers to beat up and knock out opponents, much of the violence is almost cartoonish in nature. A little blood is spilled but nothing gory or sadistic. The game is rated T for Teen – age 13 or older – and parents definitely need to be aware of the online component.

Fans of the original will love Marvel vs. Capcom 2, with familiar characters given a new lease of life by the shiny new graphics. Newcomers will face a challenging format, which is a little chaotic at times but is great fun once the basic moves and substitutions have been mastered. Thankfully, there is always Training mode to get you ready for the big battles to come!

Publisher: Capcom
Platforms: Playstation 3, Xbox 360
RRP: $15 (Playstation Network Store); 1,200 Microsoft Points (Xbox Live)
ESRB Rating: “T” for Teen – age 13 and older

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