Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is currently in the final testing stages, and it is expected to hit arcades within the next month or so. We recently got a chance to play the current version of the game, and here's what we saw.
The most mind-blowing change in Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is the control scheme. The six-button, three strengths for each punch-and-kick methodology is gone. Now, you have four main attack buttons and two buttons that call in your other two characters for helper attacks. Pushing the weak attack buttons together or the medium attack buttons together will tag in one of your other two characters. Pressing the two helper buttons together will execute a team super, where all three of your characters (or two, if one has already been beaten) will hop out and deal some simultaneous damage. But that's not the most effective way to use your super meter. Supers can be cancelled into other supers, and you can even change characters during the cancel. This makes for insanely long super combos if you're working with a full meter, and Capcom has told us that a 999 hit combo is indeed possible. Scary stuff.
Since the game runs on Sega's Naomi hardware rather than on Capcom's CPS2 or CPS3 hardware, all sorts of cool-looking effects pepper the game. Many of the backgrounds are smooth 3D scenes, filled with color and lots of animation. As is usual in Capcom's vs. series, the super combos cause the screen to explode with tons of crazy effects. Since you can chain supers together here, the screen just gets crazier and crazier as the supers are cancelled into one another.
The character-select screen was filled with question marks, as the Japanese version of the game will require a Dreamcast VMU card containing game data from the DC version of MVC2 to unlock a great deal of the game's fighters. The US versions of the game won't contain this option, so other as-yet-undetermined methods will have to be employed.
While we didn't get a chance to spend a great deal of time with the test version of the game, it's safe to say that if you found the first Marvel vs. Capcom a little too confusing, MVC2 will make you insane. Between the mega-exaggerated moves and the way-too-fast action, you'll find yourself on the receiving end of air combo after air combo, and you'll be moving to the back of the line before you've figured out the new button layout.
Marvel vs. Capcom 2 will hit arcades soon, and the Dreamcast version will hit Japan on March 23. No US release date has been announced.