I was overwhelmed with joy when Capcom announced that one of my favorite fighters –Marvel vs. Capcom 2– was making its way to the iPhone and iPad. But the excitement wore off seconds after I launched the app.
Let’s get this out the way early: The iPhone’s touchscreen isn’t conducive for recreating the hardcore fighting game experience. I felt this way while playing Street Fighter IV: Volt Battle Protocol and The King of Fighters-i, but after playing the Marvel vs. Capcom 2 port I appreciate those games a bit more. Trying to play Marvel vs. Capcom 2 on the iPhone is just ludicrous and destroys the experience. On paper its a great idea, but Capcom failed in execution. Instead, we’re left with a $2.99 piece of nostalgia that’s found on half a dozen consoles.
The Marvel vs. Capcom series has always involved fast-paced action and control complexities. As such, preciseness is important. Instead, Capcom serves up two control settings that don’t work particularly well. First, you have your standard six button control scheme, with two punch buttons kicks, and assists. Good luck pulling off delayed hyper combos, or launching into complex combos; it’s nearly impossible with these controls. The buttons are unresponsive, which makes it difficult to pull combos off consistently. There’s also a four button option that makes special moves a bit more manageable by assigning dedicated special move icons, but that’s as simple as it gets. Note: You should move the onscreen buttons to the top of the screen, as you’ll hamper your ability to see the action with the buttons in their default position (especially if you have burly fingers like mine).
Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is also plagued by slow down, this occurs during hyper combos and super jumps. It was also occurred during random instances where there wasn’t much action on the screen. The stages, however, are still as detailed and bright as I remember. All of the game modes are here, including training mode, and the in-game shop where you can unlock characters (which hints that it’s a port from the earlier Dreamcast, Xbox, and PS2 version of the game). Multiplayer is only over Bluetooth so you can only play a nearby friend–another miss.
At the end of the day this is a bit of fan service for the Marvel vs.Capcom 2 aficionados, and for those that love the game I say pick it up while it’s still $2.99, because after May 6th it will be available for $4.99. Just don’t expect anything amazing here.
Note: This review was conducted on a iPhone 4S and iPad2. I experienced slowdown on both devices.