Fighting Games Friday: Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite Character Reveals

I’ve mentioned the long gap between the announcement and subsequent character unveilings for Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite in a few posts. Specifically, they confirmed its existence in early-December last year, but didn’t start announcing more characters and details about how the game will differ from previous Marvel vs. Capcom installments until late-April. Since then, however, there’s been a constant stream of news, and it almost feels like Capcom is rushing to reveal the remaining roster.

Then again, they don’t need to spend much time showing and detailing characters returning from the Marvel vs. Capcom 3 titles. Despite how Infinite will run on a different graphics engine compared to its 3D predecessors (it’s running on Unreal Engine 4 instead of Capcom’s internal MT Framework engine), returning characters look nearly identical outside minor aesthetic differences, down to using most of the same animations for their attacks. While it doesn’t appear that Capcom is adding many new characters to make up for the reuse, they’ve been the bigger focus among their showcases.

Case in point: Two of them were the focus of the exhibition match at Evo on Sunday. Though Guardians of the Galaxy’s Gamora was announced during E3, this was the first opportunity for tournament players to show off her move set. She’s similar to her movie and comic book counterparts in using a blaster and a sword for long and close-range attacks. But the real of focus of the showcase was for a newly-announced character: Darkstalkers final boss Jedah. Though his appearance wasn’t a complete surprise thanks to him appearing on several leaked rosters, the presentation was worth watching to see how the developers would implement him in a 3D game. While he’s toned down in terms of his viciousness thanks to this game’s Teen rating, since it’s considerably more difficult to insert cartoonish violence in a 3D title instead of a 2D one, the team did the best job they could.

In fact, as I noted in my post about fighting game announcements at Evo on Monday (because one fighting game-related post a week wasn’t enough, clearly), the new characters look better than the returning characters. It’s evident where Capcom has allocated this game’s resources. They’ll give the returning characters a little more polishing by the time it releases.

Marvel and Capcom revealed four new characters during the Marvel panel at San Diego Comic-Con in a new trailer, which also gave some focus to Gamora and Thanos. Given who hosted the panel, Spider-Man was a big highlight in the showcase. He’s returning from previous Marvel games and retains many of the same animations, but he can now swing across stages faster, and has a lunging super attack. Both will help him close the distance between his opponent more efficiently compared to his older techniques.

The three Capcom characters revealed are also returning characters: Nemesis from the Resident Evil series, Dead Rising’s Frank West, and Final Fight’s Haggar. Nemesis’ return is no surprise considering he was on those leaked rosters, and he looks identical to his older counterpart.

Notably, Frank West and Haggar weren’t part of that leaks, similar to Mega Man X‘s Zero before, meaning more surprises could be in store. Anyone hoping for the return of Frank West’s Tatsunoko vs. Capcom version will be disappointed, as he looks like his MvC3 version. His TvC version relied heavily on the usage of zombies, which had to be cut from the 3-on-3 MvC3 on last-gen consoles due to ram limitations. This game, however, is 2-on-2 like TvC, and is on more powerful systems, but it appears Capcom didn’t feel like changing him too much. Meanwhile, Haggar looks identical to his MvC3 versions, though with the added ability to toss barrels, to compensate for this game’s lack of dedicated assists.

One of the most vocal points of contention when the game was shown at E3 last month was the face modeling for some characters — especially Chun-Li, and Morrigan to a lesser extent. Compared to her character models from Street Fighter V and even the MvC3 games, Chun-Li looked like a bootleg figure from a corner store. She’s been noticeably improved in the Evo exhibition video, but she still needs a little work. Fortunately, Street Fighter producer Yoshinori Ono specifically asked about this during the MvCI panel (clearly in a joking manner), where it was confirmed it, and several other aspects, will be polished with a day-one patch. Don’t let anyone tell you pre-release criticism doesn’t work.

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite will release on September 19th, so expect more characters to be revealed in a quick fashion from here on — some of which could be surprises. For instance, the leaked existence of this comic suggests Firebrand and Dormammu will be part of the roster, both of which are returning characters who also didn’t appear on the previously-reliable leaked list. Expect Capcom to show more characters soon, though don’t count on any of them being from X-Men and Fantastic Four unless they want to show some good DLC early.

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