by Lee Freedman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
While the name may not suggest it, Marvel Super Heroes Vs. Street Fighter is more of an upgrade to X-Men Vs. Street Fighter than a sequel. The game uses the same basic game play system, only with added features, such as being able to call out your partner for a small offensive attack by hitting MP and MK together. The graphics have also been greatly improved; now the game is very flashy, with large explosions, lots of new hit animations, and when doing a super or tag-team super, very cool-looking and VERY flashy new animated backgrounds. As for the regular backgrounds, the same stages from X-Men Vs. Street Fighter are here, but recolored to show different times of day/seasons, and in some cases, more animated than before(such as the mall stage). The music has also been redone and sounds MUCH better than before...probably one of Capcom's best efforts.
The biggest change from X-Men Vs. Street Fighter is the character roster. From Marvel, returning from the X-Men series are Cyclops, Wolverine, and Omega Red. From Marvel Super Heroes comes Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, Shuma-Gorath, and Blackheart. On the Street Fighter side, characters include Ryu, Ken, Zangief, Gouki(Akuma), Chun-Li, Vega(M. Bison), Dhalsim, and "new" to the Vs. series, Sakura and DAN!!!!!!.
However, these are not all of the characters selectable. Also available is one of the strangest(and funny) fighters ever seen: Norimaro. Based from the ideas of a Japanese comedian, Norimaro is a scrawny, nerdy little man with a tote-bag, camera, and BIG head! His attacks include a Dragon Punch parody, throwing various items from his bag, and supers that have him rushing forward to the opponent and doing all kinds of weird stuff to them!
Norimaro was not available for play on U.S. Marvel Vs. Street Fighter machines, which is too bad. He seems to add something to the game...he REALLY stands out when compared to the other characters.
Besides the normally-selectable characters, there are also seven hidden fighters. First comes Shadow, who is Nash(Charlie) from Street Fighter with a few new supers and cool new look(his upper body is VERY dark, and his eye glows brightly). Mega Zangief is a powerful version of everyone's favorite SF wrestler, only with a strange color palette, Dhalsim's Yoga Flame, and a some very powerful supers--with a catch. Mega Zangeif cannot block; instead he has super armor and cannot be launched into an air-combo.
Sunburned Sakura is closer to the original from Street Fighter Zero(Alpha) 2, only with a few moves taken from Evil Ryu. U.S. Agent is a palette-swap of Captain America, and plays just like him, only slightly faster, and Armored Spiderman is colored black and white, takes less damage, but also does less damage in his attacks. The final hidden character is Mech Gouki, also known as Cyber Akuma. He is playable in this version, but you must beat the game in several ways to access him first.
Like most of Capcom's other fighters, Marvel Vs. Street Fighter has great animation and a very colorful look to it. The "flash" that has been added to the game only makes this better, despite the fact that some of the characters seem to have lost their ducking animations(this was also in the arcade version as well, I believe). There is nothing cooler than doing a tag-team super and watching the background change to moon with red and blue colors flashing all over the place!
The sound quality is probably Capcom's best ever. Every voice sample is very clear and easy to understand, and the music stays at a level so that you can hear it and the voices/sound effects at the same time easily. (Also, did I mention that the game has great music? :)
With a Saturn controller, this game is perfection. It is easy to do every move in the game, even the raging demon, with ease. Everything is very responsive, so no problems should be had.
Just like in the arcade, the game's combos system has been slightly changed. It is now harder to do some of the cheaper combos from X-Men Vs. Street Fighter, however there are also now newer ways to be cheap! The Vs. series isn't about skill-based gameplay, so keep this is mind before playing. Personally, I find that the game plays a lot better than X-Men Vs. Street Fighter does after having the Saturn version(I used to think it was the other way around), however, it seems even easier for beginners to win against experienced players than it was in X-Men Vs. Street Fighter.
Again, skill isn't exactly a large factor in this game, it's all just plain FUN.
I played X-Men Vs. Street Fighter right up until this game came out, and I plan to do the same thing with Marvel Vs. Street Fighter until a home version of Marvel Vs. Capcom surfaces. Even then, I will still play the game as I have done with X-Men Vs. Street Fighter. As for the CPU difficulty, it seems to be better than X-Men Vs. Street Fighter, actually giving a challenge in some fights, but I'm sure that experienced fighters will still wipe the floor with the computer! :)
For a good two-player home or party game, it's hard to beat Marvel Super Heroes Vs. Street Fighter.
Another arcade-perfect 4MB translation from Capcom...too bad it's probably going to be the last. If you're looking for a great Saturn fighter, give Marvel Super Heroes Vs. Street Fighter a shot!
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