The maddest, craziest, loopiest, barmiest beat-'em-up ever is here.
The one that pits Iron Man against Ryu. Or Morrigan against Psylocke. Or an asteroid flinging Hulk against a zombie-summoning Jill who calls in help from a giant dancing cactus and a monkey that flies around on a cloud.
Most games see their appeal diminish over time but Marvel vs Capcom 2 is a game that's so over-the-top, bizarre and different that the normal rules don't apply to it. Time has preserved its cult appeal and kept it high on the list of games anyone who has picked up a pad wants to see make a comeback.
Now it's here, it doesn't disappoint. The graphics have been tidied up, though you can crank up the retro factor with Pixel-O-Vision if you want, while the kitsch jazz soundtrack is still in place. All the characters are unlocked from the start (breath a sigh of relief, Dreamcast owners) and online play has been included to reflect its 2009 release.
Otherwise, it's the same Marvel vs Capcom 2 you would have played back in the day. It's still an incredible fast, fluid and frantic fighter that feels like it's only loosely tethered to sanity by the thinnest of rules. You can call in team-mates to help from the side of the screen, pop three supers at the same time and launch opponents high up into the air for gravity-defying combos.
The reason it works is it's so damn accessible. With a huge cast of characters from Marvel's and Capcom's history tied into a game system that rewards you with flashy explosions just for picking up the pad, it's an easy game to love. Add in online play that puts recently Arcade efforts such as Garou and King of Fighters '98 to shame and you have a great package. Just watch out for that giant cactus...
As funky and fun as it was when first released