Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite could well be the heavyweight fighter Capcom needs, and should arguably be the flagship Japanese fighting series given its appeal of both Marvel and Street Fighter characters and the series’ competitive popularity.
Back in December it was confirmed that the director of the upcoming instalment of the Marvel vs Capcom series is one Norio Hirose, and while this is his first venture into video game direction, he has a wealth of programming experience in multiple Capcom fighting games. His involvement with X-Men Vs Street Fighter, the original Marvel vs Capcom crossover title back in 1996, was followed by other top fighters, including the follow-up Marvel Super Heroes Vs Street Fighter (1997/8), Marvel vs Capcom (1998), and Capcom Vs SNK (2000).
Following an interview with Game.Watch, director Hirose, he certainly seems the right person to continue the crossover series, especially given his experience on Capcom’s fight catalogue. Also revealed is that Infinite will revert to the 2v2 tag format that brought the X-Men/Marvel Super Heroes Vs Street Fighter games success; seamless tagging and for its story mode to concentrate on the characters selected instead of 1 over-arching story the Marvel vs Capcom series is more familiar with.
“In the story mode that was not in the past series, I will implement the story mode where each character is active, making full use of MARVEL and Capcom characters” – Norio Hirose
Hirose elaborated on the 2v2 format, stating his desire to concentrate more on character depth rather than character choice, although expanding the other way with potentially 4 or even 5 characters was initially considered. This decision for me was the right one; the best crossover titles have been 2v2 and always felt Marvel vs Capcom 3 had too many (and similar) characters. In terms of the characters on offer, so far 3 from each camp have been confirmed: Ryu/Mega Man X/Morrigan from Capcom, Captain America/Captain Marvel/Iron Man from Marvel.
The subtitle ‘Infinite’ has a 2-fold purpose, as Capcom USA Producer for the game Mike Evans explains. “The theme of infinite possibilities” as he describes it refers to not just the reference and use of a Marvel concept, the Infinity Stones, but also signals the intention to create a game with as much longevity as possible. Separate story-lines is certainly a big step towards that, but most of all, the defining element of the game will be the ‘Stone’ system.
You choose the 2 characters you want, then you get to pick which ‘Stone’ system to play with, such as ‘Time’ or ‘Power’, which can be as defining as the characters you have chosen. For example if your preference is bigger but slower characters, the ‘Time’ system can be used to inject speed to your team. Think of it as a combination of the ‘Groove’ systems in Capcom Vs SNK (super combos/extra mode respectively) and the Infinity Gems element of an earlier Capcom/Marvel fighter Marvel Super Heroes, expect the Gems there were earned during battle and could change hands.
Based on the evidence and statements so far, Marvel Vs Capcom Infinite is a very exciting prospect indeed. After the disastrous and frankly embarrassing release of Street Fighter V, Capcom appear to be focusing on the right elements to please Marvel, Capcom and fighting fans alike.