Marvel Superheroes

Marvel Superheroes
Game Name: Marvel Super Heroes
Media: 1 CD-ROM
Publisher(s): CAPCOM
Developer(s): CAPCOM
Genre(s): Fighting
Release Date: November 1997
Serial Number: T-7032H-05
Region: PAL

Marvel Super Heroes ScreenshotCapcom’s second Marvel based game debuted on the Saturn at a time when the machines reputation at Arcade conversions and 2D games had already gained some momentum. So with a game like Marvel Superheroes one would expect the momentum to only continue.

The game is loosely based on The Infinity Gauntlet storyline of the Marvel Universe bringing you a playable roster of Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Spiderman, Wolverine, Psylocke, Blackheart, Shuma Gorath, Juggernaut, Magneto, Dr. Doom and Thanos as the main villain. All the characters are once again unique with their own strengths and weaknesses. JPN version also has Darkstalker’s Anita as a hidden character.

Everything about MSH is pretty standard with Capcom based 2d fighters with reversals, special moves, super power attacks and counters e.t.c However, due to the over the top flare of the Marvel characters vs the quite tame looking Streetfighters, pulling off Alpha counters (or Infinity counters as they call it here) is much more rewarding as they look that much more powerful and impressive due to the flamboyancy of the Marvel characters and their powers.

Marvel Super Heroes ScreenshotThe presentation of this game is stunning. The intro, the backgrounds, the menus are all laid out beautifully, providing you with a very enticing welcoming to the game. Its certainly one of the most bright, colourful and cheerful looking Capcom fighters on the Saturn.

The sound is even more so enticing, with uplifting, feel good heroic anthems to accompany your battles and make you feel like a superhero. You just can’t help but have a cheerful disposition whilst playing MSH giving the game a certain appeal for the sound alone. The sound effects are also great here too.

The graphics are again stunning, really showcasing the Saturn’s 2D capabilities. As you watch the colourful, graphical, mayhem explode on your screen you can’t help but feel you are watching a work of art, especially when played with the 3MB option through the 1 MB Ram cart, it truly is a sight to behold with some of the more over the top super moves.

Marvel Super Heroes ScreenshotThe big USP of MSH is the inclusion of the Infinity gems system. The gems are earned by beating opponents during arcade mode or by fulfilling certain criteria during versus mode i.e first attack. These gems consist of Power, Time, Space, Reality, Soul and Mind. Certain gems will have an enhanced effect on certain characters for a short period of time.

Marvel Superheroes is also the first Capcom game to introduce the air thrust combo juggle system, a feature which later became paramount to the Capcom crossover series. By thrusting your opponent into the air, usually with a medium punch or meduim kick, you can chain your hits by following LP,LK,MP,MK,HP and HK hence the term ‘air thrust combo’ Faster moving characters like Spiderman & Psylocke are capable of achieving this on the ground. This feature added with the Infinity gems system make Marvel Superheroes an awesome multi-player experience on the Saturn.

Marvel Super Heroes ScreenshotOne small issue is the game suffers from severe slowdown. There are many theories behind this with some blaming the choice of RAM carts and various other reasons but the fact remains that MSH is alot slower than other Capcom offerings like X-Men Cota, SFA2 & Darkstalkers. If you’re used to Capcoms other classics then MSH is definitely a game you’d want experience at 60hz at all times. Of course this all boils down to personal preference as some may like the decrease in speed and when all is said and done the speed issue does by no means make the game unplayable.

Unfortunately MSH doesn’t offer anything other than Arcade, VS Mode and Options mode which is a real shame as the games difficulty is far too easy. The AI is too sluggish and unimaginative to offer any sort of challenge giving the single player lack of incentive to come back to the game once they’ve completed it with all the characters and seen off all the endings as the difficulty doesn’t get any harder.

Marvel Super Heroes ScreenshotLuckily the Infinity gems and superb air thrust combo system gives MSH that much needed extra edge. Just trying to hone skills and learning different ways to combo juggle and chain super attacks ensures there’s always something to work on with MSH. Pulling off these superb combo attacks is extremely rewarding, especially when playing against a mate which is the real beauty of the game. The two player experience is exceptional.

Overall a great game that could’ve done with additional options, particularly in single player mode but really comes into its own for 2 player mode. One of the more fun VS Fighters you’ll find on the Saturn that doesn’t take itself too seriously. But one can’t help feeling that with a bit more time and effort it could’ve been so much better.

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