Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Retro Review: X-Men vs. Street Fighter

Developer(s): Capcom
Publisher(s): Capcom
Platforms: Arcade, Sega Saturn (Japan-only), Playstation
Genre: Fighting
Rating: Teen

With the release of Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 and the upcoming Street Fighter X Tekken, I'd thought it would nice to take at look back at how the cross-over genre began by reviewing the game that started it all--"X-Men vs Street Fighter."

During the haydays of arcade gaming, Capcom released the coin operated console game that pitted their own against the X-Men. The Street Fighter characters retained their appearance from Street Fighter Alpha 2 while the Marvel character remained largely unchanged from Capcom's two previous Marvel releases, "X-Men: Children of the Atom" and "Marvel Super Heroes." Gameplay for X-Men vs. Street Fighter is similar to the style of Marvel Super Heroes, and adds a tag team feature. Unlike the forementioned title, this game's matches consists of two-on-two battles as opposed to a best two-out-of-three match. Players controlled one character while their partner waits off screen. You can switch parnters on the fly and the match lasted until a team is defeated.

PRO: X-Men vs. Street Fighter's two-on-two matches provided much more variety than in other fighting games at the time. You can begin your assault with one character and finish with the other. No best-out-of-three matches here. It's one match; winner take all. The character models were smooth and fluid, and cartoony, much like in the first two Marvel based games and in Street Fighter Alpha which made intergrading Ryu and friends with the X-Men a seemless fit. The action is very fast paced, pulling off insane combos to devastate your opponent. Hyper Combos add flare to your attacks. These are enhanced versions of a characters super combo.

CON: By today's standards, X-Men vs. Street Fighter would be considered a turtle plodding along in the sand. It's limited roster of 12 fighters and graphics have nothing on current titles Marvel vs Capcom 3 and Street Fighter 4. But in it's hayday, X-Men vs. Street Fighter was the game to play.

OVERALL: Today's fighting games and even some action games have to thank the fighting games of yesteryear. X-Men vs Street Fighter not only brought variety to what was once a straight forward genre (beat your opponent and that's it), but it has also inspired gameplay for titles such as God of War series, current Mortal Kombat release, and Devil May Cry series. X-Men vs Street Fighter set the standard for cross-over fighting games as well as games that succeeded it. It was a fun and entertaining game enjoyed by many an arcade attendee and still is to this day. And will continue to inspire future tag-team crossover fighting games.

Final Score: X-Men vs. Street Fighter gets 5 out of 5.

See you on the next level,
Brian M.

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