Capcom Talks "Marvel Vs. Capcom 2"

Captain America versus Mega Man. Psylocke versus Chun-Li. Hulk versus Zangief.

With the ability to create matchups like that, it's easy to see why the "Marvel vs. Capcom" series is one of the more beloved fighting games of all time. When Capcom released "Marvel vs. Capcom 2" in 2000, it was considered an instant classic, and with the recent resurgence of the fighting game genre, fans have been begging for the series to return. They'll get their wish soon enough, as "Marvel vs. Capcom 2" is coming to Xbox Live and the PlayStation network this Summer. The game is based off the Dreamcast version of "MVC2," and will be sporting some new features that make it much more than a mere port.

Seth Killian is the Senior Manager for Community over at Capcom, and he took some time this week to talk with CBR News about the return of "MVC2."

CBR: Fans have been clamoring for this game for years. How did the re-release of "MVC2" finally come together?

SETH KILLIAN: Capcom loves the Marvel games, and there are a lot of big Capcom fans within Marvel, but the rights to do a fighting game have been tied up for a long time. Basically it was a matter of waiting for those rights to become available again, and then imagining how best to bring the "MVC2" magic to this generation of hardware.

While the emphasis of "MVC2" is clearly on the gameplay, there is also a narrative that runs through the game. Can you give us a summary of the game's storyline, and why these two franchises have been thrown together?

Haha. I'm not sure the story is the game's greatest strength, but basically there's this thing -Abyss-that's causing everything to die out. The flying pirate Ruby Heart ("MVC2's" main character) gets together a band of heroes to track him down and take him out. Of course the "heroes" include people like Blackheart (son of Satan), and Akuma (also not too nice), but... yeah.

For fans that may be more familiar with the "Street Fighter" control scheme, what's the major difference with the "MVC2" fighting engine?

In "MVC2," you've got four attack buttons instead of "SF's" 6. The other two buttons are used primarily to call in your partners, since you've got 3 vs. 3 teams instead of just one-on-one characters. It might sound odd to old-school Street Fighters, but you pick it up very quickly, and everything flows together in a very smooth way.

What makes the Dreamcast version of "MVC2" the best version of the game to base the re-release off of?

The Dreamcast version is considered the best by the hardcore players because it's the closest to the original arcade release. 99% of people wouldn't be able to tell a difference between **any** of the releases, but since Dreamcast has been the competitive standard for so long, we wanted to go the extra mile for the fans that have kept this game so exciting for close to a decade and start from the DC code, even though it was a lot more work than just porting the Xbox version.

For the online component, you're using the same system as "Super Street fighter II Turbo HD Remix." For those that haven't played that game, can you tell us a bit about the "quarter up" feature and other online elements?

What we call "quarter match" is more recognizable as "player lobbies." Basically you can invite your friends (or open it up to anyone), and everyone sits around together watching two people play, and waiting in line for their turn against the champ. It's the online equivalent of hanging out in an arcade-winner stays, loser goes to the back of the line.

Apart from that, we've got the familiar player (aka "friendly") and ranked (aka "for keeps") matches, so you can practice more casually or try and improve your competitive record.

Why did you decide to forgo the unlocking of characters for this incarnation of the game?

Because basically all of that unlocking isn't fun. In the arcade days, unlocks were exciting because you never knew which new characters would show up on the machine that week - it was actually a lot of fun, and gave you time to spend learning every new character. In 2009, however, everyone already knows all the characters in the game, so there's no exciting revelations that come from the unlocking. I remember running tournaments on "MVC2" in the arcades, and having to take turns hitting the coin-mechs thousands of times just to unlock all the characters. Never again!

Rather than a complete change in the graphics, you are giving players the option of applying graphical filters to the game. Can you explain how these work?

Basically the filters are a fancy kind of math. What they do is to take the data about the original pixel locations and add information to smooth out the original look for today's HD screens. Rey Jimenez ("MVC2" producer) and the team probably went through hundreds of possible variations trying to get the look just right, and their work really paid off.

In addition to custom soundtracks, you will also be offering a brand new hip-hop soundtrack for players to download for free through Marvel.com, Capcom-Unity.com, and the game's official site, tu4ar.com. How did that project come about?

That would be the work of the Product Manager, John Diamonon. He's a big hip-hop fan, and the "MVC2" competitive community is also way into hip-hop, so basically it was a great opportunity to get a few favorite artists involved. It was even more perfect, because a lot of the artists are also big gamers, and go way back with Capcom. I think their love for the games really comes through in the lyrics.

Once the game is released, will you be offering any downloadable content in the form of new characters, levels, etc?

The bad news is that there are no plans for "MVC2" downloadable content. The good news is that you get the whole game straight out of the gates. Our deal with Marvel was to release the original game, with the updated graphics, soundtrack, and of course the full online experience, and you'll get all of that immediately.

Is there anything else about this version of "MVC2" that you want the fans to know about?

With 56 characters, customizable assists, and crazy team dynamics (the characters work together in really interesting ways), there are literally tens of thousands of distinct playable combinations. It's one of the easiest fighters to pick up and play, but stays endlessly fresh because there are so many variations in terms of teams, playstyle, etc. That's what makes this game a favorite with hardcore fighting fans as well as noobs that just like to hit some buttons with their friends.

Finally, we have to ask. If "MVC2" proves successful, is there a chance we could be seeing another installment in the series?

I know I'd love to see it. Capcom definitely hears the fan demand for a sequel, so if "MVC2" succeeds, hopefully Marvel agrees.

"Marvel vs. Capcom 2" is currently slated for a Summer release through Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network. For more information on the game, head over to www.tu4ar.com.

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