Not Marvel Baby! 5 Marvel fighting games Capcom didn't work on










If you ask people their favorite fighting games, usually they'll name a Capcom one. They've owned the genre since 1991. They've made several series, but none more superheroey than The Marvel vs Capcom series. A 7 game spanning series (I'm being charitable letting Marvel vs Street fighter, but fuck UMVC3 being a whole entry.) IT is considered among the finest superhero fighting games, and overall king amongst brawlers.

Unsurprisingly, the Marvel License goes around, so others did tried their hand at making the residents of the house of ideas fight. Let's see the results.

Marvel Comic´s Avengers in Galactic Storm

 
 For a time, there, Data East, of Double Dragon fame, had the Marvel License. They where mostly smart and kept to their area of expertise by making Double Dragon knock offs.

But at some point they got it into themselves to make a 1 on 1 fighting game. And so they made Marvel Comic's Avengers in Galactic Storm, based on the current storyline at the time where the Avengers got into a fight with the Kree.

Now, I'm all about taking up obscure and unused characters in this type of situations, but this game's biggest mistake might have been it's cast. For kids weaned on a series that had Wolverine and Spider-Man, big cartoon stars at the time, Thor substitute Thunderstrike fighting Dr Minerva while Iron-Man occasionally did a drive by was not exactly setting the roof on fire.

Also, the graphics were...prerendered cg. All the bad of mid 90s 3d graphics, crammed into all the bad of mid 90s sprite work.

Marvel Nemesis

During the time between Marvel vs Capcom 2 and Marvel vs Capcom 3, EA got the license for a while. And they got an ambitious idea: to launch a new set of heroes on the back of a Marvel crossover, on a fully realized free movement Powerstone style fighting game.

But it's not how far your goals are, but how good you are at getting there. Sadly, EA failed at making the game fullfill the lofty promises of it's premise. Maybe it's because it's new characters where...not that great. Or maybe it was the gameplay, which failed to have that "Superbattle between heroes" feeling they where going for.

Whatever it was, EA just couldn't cut it.

Unnamed Marvel fighting game from EA.

 
 But why do we fall? So we can stagger for a bit and then fall again! EA tried again to raise a game from the bones of Marvel Nemesis, this time ditching it's original characters. Early footage looked pretty good, but the game got canned, so what are we gonna do.

On the games, the game was gonna correct the horrendous snobbing of Hulk in Marvel Nemesis.

Activision's Mutant Academy series

 
 Activision had the rights to X-Men in the late 90s. And having learned it's lesson from the Capcom games, it opened the doors to X-Men: Mutant Academy shortly after 2000's X-Men movie. It even had costumes from it!

Over time they released a sequel, a Game Boy Advance iteration, and a third game called X-Men: The Next Dimension. I've only played that last one, as a way to cure my X-Men Fever after X2. It...was not so great. It's got interesting ideas and characters, but they're done in such a halfhearted manner, that all the Playable-For-The-First-Time Lady Deathstrikes in the world couldn't save it.

There was also this.


And every possible assumption you could have about it is true.


                     The M.U.G.E.N. stuff




Over time, several fans with more sprite editing expertise than knowledge of copyright laws have edited existing characters into new-ish characters for the M.U.G.E.N. fighting engine. So one day the Heroes/Char Thieves at M.U.G.E.N. Eternity picked many of these efforts along with some work of their own and cobbled them together into a package they called Super Marvel vs Capcom: Eternity of Heroes.








It's probably at it's best if you're largely unaware of M.U.G.E.N. I've played it and I just can't look past the fact. When you've been in there, you can feel the sprites haunt you. You can totally look at Symbiote Onslaught and go "Fuck, that's just Onslaught with a little dressing. And look, that's the Silver Surfer some guy started but never finished"

And while it's nice that you can play as Arthur and Captain Mar-Vell simultaneusly against Balrog and Centaur Man, it always feels like this characters came from completely different games, in part because they totally did do that.

 

There's other Marvel M.U.G.E.N. projects bouncing around, including Scruffy Dragon's Decade + effort to make a Marvel vs DC game. That one I followed for a long time, with the hopes I'd be able to make a rocking Black Manta and Mary Marvel for it. He. Didn't quite pan out.

 

Overall, while there have been sincere efforts to bring Marvel to fighting games, overall Capcom is still the reigning champ. But that's not to say we can't take another stab at it. I heard the Unreal Engine is free, now. 


And Capcom, meanwhile, well...that's another story...

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