After Hours: Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite

Main Street Electrical Arcade
5 min readJan 25, 2023

Why am I revisiting one of the most divisive entries that probably was the death knell for a beloved franchise? Well, we just recently passed the 25th anniversary of Marvel vs. Capcom’s arcade release, one of the most beloved fighting games, and indeed series of all time. While it would be easy to write a blog post praising that groundbreaking entry in a series that technically started back in 1994 with X-Men: Children of the Atom. But those early games get enough praise lavished upon them, I figured it would be good to look back at where the series supposedly went so wrong it suddenly seems to have no future.

So let’s establish my fighting game credentials, or more importantly, lack thereof. I enjoy fighting games, but have never been super competitive in them, and honestly will enjoy a good story mode just as much or more than an arcade mode. If I get into a fighting game these days, it probably does have to have a crazy crossover aspect or a really fun story like the Injustice games, because even really solid mechanics aren’t enough to entice me into a scene where if I’m not playing all the time, I will regularly get my ass handed to me. So I am not coming into this from the viewpoint of someone who is in the fighting game community, I am very much a filthy casual in this aspect.

That being said, I’m still pretty well aware of what went down around the release of Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite. The roster was smaller and missing long-time favorites like virtually any X-Men, seemingly to if not match up to be much closer to characters used in the MCU. The art style also really rubbed people the wrong way as it was no longer the more cartoonish style the series had used and was arguably more simplistic and streamlined.

Was this appraisal fair? We’ll get into that in a bit but it really didn’t matter as Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite got a mostly good critical reception but fans clearly weren’t having it as it only sold about half of what Capcom projected. Capcom might be sitting pretty now on the backs of Monster Hunter & Resident Evil, but they were in a very different place in 2017, and given the reaction of fans and subpar sales, I really don’t blame them for bowing out after this entry.

But, is Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite actually a bad game, or at least a dissapointing one given the previous entries in the series? It’s certainly a big change up in a lot of ways, but I feel if you came in either as someone who has only dabbled in the series or never played it before you’d come away with a mostly favorable impression.

Let’s start with the story mode. Is it comepletely ridiculous with bad dialogue and absurd moments? Absolutely, but that’s part of the fun here. It’s fun to see Ryu & Hulk not just fighting, but having an established relationship, it’s fun to see Spider-Man and Frank West interact. And honestly as someone who didn’t really know the whole roster off the top of my head playing story mode it’s fun to see characters pop up in unexpected places. It’s also the first real story mode in a Capcom fighting game. Previously you only got an ending screen with very brief idea of what your character’s ending even was. Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite tells a story with a ensemble cast of characters.

Let’s talk about the art style. I think, if you were going to have a proper story mode with cinematic cut-scenes (and really, Netherealm had been killing it with fun story modes for awhile at this point, Capcom probably felt they had to include an actual story), the old style of previous games simply would not have worked. That being said, the style in Marvel vs. Capcom is definitely hit and miss in some places. I think most characters look good to fine but there are some real noticeable bad examples like Doctor Strange there, Chun Li practically became a meme overnight and Mike Haggar arguably looks the worst, like something just seems incredibly freakishly off about his whole design.

The roster is definitely a huge downgrade compared to previous entries, and I’m not talking about who they chose, rather the much smaller number of characters. I mean 30 characters and then six dlc characters certainly isn’t a small number, but when MvC2 had over 50 & MvC Ultimate had about 50, it’s a pretty huge downgrade in roster size. Do you need that many characters in a fighting game? I mean not really but it’s something you will notice compared to the over the top craziness of previous versions.

Otherwise you have your pretty standard slate of modes, and while there isn’t anything really unique, it’s a fighting game and offers what you’d expect, you don’t really need more.

So is Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite the reviled game it has a reputation as? I really don’t think so. It merely commits the sin of being pretty dang good and fun in an absurd way while previous entries set a pretty high bar for fighting games in general. It would be hard to keep that going forever, but it’s also a shame that Capcom decided this was the end of the road for the series. It’s an easy reccomend on sale which it often is, but not over Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 which is still easily available on modern platforms and also often on sale.

Still, if you want a fun few hours of story where the likes Chris Redfield and Spider-Man fight minions of MODOK in an undrground AIMBRELLA lab, Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite might be a fun day or even a a weekend. Hopefully the super successful Capcom of today and the seemingly more open Disney of today will give this franchise another go in the near future.

That’s it for today, there’s some Deadpool DLC for Midnight Suns launching tomorrow and I’m hoping have something up this weekend about that, so see ya real soon.



Main Street Electrical Arcade

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