Ryu, Captain America, Mega Man, and the Hulk: Marvel vs. Capcom Turns 18
Ryu vs. Captain America, Mega Man vs. War Machine, Gambit vs. Chun-Li, Zangief vs. the Hulk, and Venom vs. Morrigan are just some of the potentially amazing bouts you could have, thanks to the cornerstone crossover fighting game, Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes. 18 years ago, this fast-paced fighter started hitting arcades, forever changing the scene, especially with the sequels that would spawn from it.
Capcom had been building towards this grand crossover for many years. Prior to Marvel vs. Capcom, there was X-Men: Children of the Atom, a predominantly Mutant-filled fighting game, which then expanded to Marvel Super Heroes, which introduced non-X-Men-related characters. X-Men vs. Street Fighter was the first time Ryu met Wolverine on the battlefield, but it certainly wouldn't be the last. Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter added even more characters to the mix, and Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes was what this series was building up to become.
Marvel vs. Capcom didn't feature all of the characters that we saw appear in its predecessors, but it had a very solid cast. On the Capcom side of the roster, we had Captain Commando, Chun-Li, Jin, Zangief, Strider Hiryu, Ryu, Morrigan, Mega Man and Jin. On the comic book side, we had Wolverine, Captain America, Gambit, Hulk, Spider-Man, War Machine and Venom. There were 20 unplayable guest characters you could choose to use as an assist during your match, which featured previous characters like Cyclops and other Darkstalkers. Other guest characters include Jubilee, Thor, Juggernaut, Arthur, Saki, and more. Most of these characters, including many of the previous Capcom and Marvel fighters that were previously featured from the Street Fighter Alpha series onward, would be featured in the arcade and Dreamcast-bound Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, which had a whopping cast of 56 characters.
In terms of gameplay, Marvel vs. Capcom featured some fast-paced action that was quite unlike what we saw in other popular fighting games at the time like Tekken, Mortal Kombat and even Street Fighter. MVC's format allowed you to chain together long combos to whittle down your opponent's health at an even faster rate than before. You could even knock your opponent into the air, jump after them, and continue your combo in the sky. Being able to pull off Hyper Combo special attacks and chain them from your melee hits allowed for some very elaborate, flashy sequences. Due to the upgraded combo system and great cast of characters, you were able to actually pick two players for your team. This allowed you to switch between the two on the fly and even perform Hyper Combo attacks with both characters at the same time, allowing for some insane damage and amazing onscreen effects.
Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes is a pivotal part of one of our favorite fighting game franchises out there. Even when you're not even looking at the all-star cast of video game characters and superheroes from across Marvel and Capcom's histories, the fighting engines and gameplay are more than enough to be immortalize the Marvel vs. Capcom series as its own brand. There's just something so fun about knocking an opponent into the air, juggling them with melee hits, and ending things with a Hyper Combo special that you simply can't get playing normal Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat. To this day, MVC1, MVC2, MVC3, Capcom vs. SNK 1-2, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 all have crazy followings, and we can't wait to see what kind of crossover fighter we'll get next.