If you've played any of Capcom's 2D fighter CPS2-to-PlayStation conversions lately, then you already know what to expect from the PlayStation version of Marvel vs. Capcom. While the arcade (and, subsequently, the arcade-perfect Dreamcast conversion) supplied a four-fighter tag-team battle, the PlayStation's RAM limitation limits the battle to two fighters. Also, many frames of animation have been chopped out, particularly those for larger characters.
Marvel vs. Capcom is the latest incarnation of Capcom's Street Fighter vs. series. But here, instead of limiting the characters to X-Men or Street Fighters, Capcom has taken characters from all over the Marvel and Capcom universes. Marvel is represented by new additions like Venom and Onslaught, as well as fighting-game veterans like Spider-Man, Captain America, and Wolverine. Capcom's lineup includes Street Fighters Ryu, Chun Li, and Zangief, but also nonfighting characters like Captain Commando, Strider Hiryu, and Mega Man. The result is an ultimate (albeit a bit condensed) lineup of fighters from all over the place. This cross section of comic-book heroes and video-game characters gives the game a truly new and diverse feel, even if the gameplay hasn't changed too much since the last Capcom vs. fighting game, Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter.
Some remnants of the tag battle remain. You still select a second character, but that character's only influence on the battle is in the form of short, special attacks. The arcade game actually had you select three fighters, one of whom served as a helper character that you could call on at any time for a quick attack. Now, you select your main fighter and then choose if you want one of these helpers, or a second normal fighter that will join up with you and perform team super combos, should you issue the command to do so. To make up for the loss of the tag action, the ability to link multiple super combos has been added. This lets you really rack up the multihit combos and do a lot of damage to your opponent, to boot.
Graphically, the game really doesn't look too bad, taking into consideration the limitations of the hardware. The game is colorful, and the backgrounds are nice. New to the PlayStation version is a quick zoom that occurs during throws. This is a little disorienting, and the characters get pretty pixelated up close as well. The audio portion of the game is troublesome. Everything sounds extremely tinny, and the trebley sound and music will get on your nerves almost immediately.
If you're looking for the arcade version, you really need to go to an arcade or pick up the Dreamcast version. The PlayStation version may have the same moves as the original game, but the shell surrounding those moves is completely different. Rent this one first.