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What it's like to get beaten up in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite

I'm very bad at the latest fighting game pitting Marvel superheroes against Capcom's most famous characters. But that's OK because it's still pretty fun.

I don't know why I thought I'd be any good at Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. There have been five previous games in the Marvel vs. Capcom crossover fighting game series, and I wasn't particularly good at any of those, either.

As far as fighting games go, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite feels easy to dive into. There's an excellent easy super move system and it's simple to engage with the cool tag-team features and the new Infinity Stone powers.

Why's it different to other fighting games?

For starters, you've got Marvel characters rubbing shoulders with Capcom's finest. Secondly, it uses that cool tag-team system where you can swap your team of fighters in and out at will to line up. Or, if you're like me, send Captain America charging face first into Chun-Li's foot.

Even with the limited roster for the hands-on session, I didn't get tired of trying out the characters.


What's it like to play?

It's a fighting game. You hit the other guy repeatedly until his health bar is empty. Or you get juggled in the air forever and wonder why you even bother holding a controller. If you actually know more about fighting games, it's a four-button setup: light kick, heavy kick, light punch, heavy punch. Extra buttons come in for triggering the new powers.

Dropping back down to teams of two characters from the previous game's three-a-side, makes remembering move lists far more manageable and gives fights a good pace. Like most fighting games, it's all timing, remembering move lists and reading your opponent. It's not the most beginner-friendly, but little touches mean that it's easy enough to get a hold of if you don't mind getting beaten up a bunch.

As I mentioned, there's also an easy combo and ultimate move system for players who want to pull off impressive moves without committing long combo strings to memory. Hold down the two heavy attack buttons, and you do something cool. That's a fighting game strategy I can get behind.

What's the story?

A young writer thought he was good at games and was proven wrong. Repeatedly.

I mean the game's story

Oh. Ultron (the robot bad guy from Marvel) and Sigma (the robot bad guy from Mega Man) team up to destroy all biological life using the Infinity Stones. As biological life, you need to not let this happen by punching things. It's a fighting game, it's really not that important.

Left: Me, pressing kick. Right: My opponent, Shooting me with huge energy balls (re-enactment).


Who punches things?

So far, the roster includes Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Captain Marvel, Hawkeye, Rocket Raccoon and Ultron on the Marvel side. Repping Capcom are Chun-Li, Ryu, Chris Redfield, Mega Man X, Strider Hiryu, Morrigan and Sigma.

It's excellent having Iron Man blast someone with a huge ion cannon, or seeing Resident Evil's Chris Redfield unload a full arsenal on your enemies.

What was that about Infinity Stones? The word Infinite is in the title. They must be important

Yup, those are the Infinity Stones from Marvel, which you've probably seen in after-credits scenes in every Marvel movie made in the past decade. In the game, you can pick one of the six Infinity Stones to grant your team of fighters additional powers.

For instance, the basic power of the Space stone will knock back an enemy, but the fully charged power will trap them in a cage so you can unload ranged abilities. The Time stone gives you a teleport and a speed boost. The extra layer adds a little more depth to team selection, helping you round things out and account for weaknesses of specific fighters.

Cool guys don't look at explosions.


How many rounds did you lose?

I think I went 2-12. I lost count after a while. That said, Marvel vs. Capcom is still very fun to lose. The easy combo system, tagging characters in and out and Infinity powers mean there's a lot going on, and pulling off super moves feels very rewarding. And those eventual wins are all the sweeter for it.

When's it out?

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is slated for release on September 17, 2017. It'll be released on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

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