'Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite' feature preview: One-button auto combos
MANILA, Philippines – Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite (MVCI), the next in the long-running crossover fighting series, has one big change that might shock longtime fans: one-button "auto-combos."
With the feature, a player can simply spam one button – the square button for the PS4 version – to pull off cool combos that, in all the other MVC games prior to this one, required a good dose of button memorization and skillful timing.
An extension of MVC 3's "Simple Mode," the auto-combos are a feature that's meant to attract casual players and new players that want to get in on the action, have a little instant gratification, and feel like an actual superhero rather than a newbie fumbling with the buttons.
The old MVC games have always had the appeal of letting fanboys and fangirls slip into the boots and tights of their favorite Marvel or Capcom character. But it wasn't always that easy to feel like you're actually donning the characters' powers. It takes some dedication to get good at the game, and unleash the hell you imagined. Things often start awkwardly with a lot of fumbling around with the buttons. The one-button auto-combos allow players to skip that.
I did just that at a recent preview session with developers from Capcom at an event hosted by PH game retailer Datablitz, and thought the feature was a lot of fun. (It's an optional feature too, and you can turn it off anytime if you want to fight the classic way.)
I picked Iron Man and Dante from Devil May Cry, and as soon as the bell rang, spammed the square button. I learned a lesson right away: get close to the opponent first. Auto-combos don't initiate when you're hitting air, and you'll end up throwing a series of silly-looking jabs. Connect, however, and you get to give your opponent a pro-looking beatdown on the ground and then in the air, and then on the ground again.
It's fun but also a little bit dirty. You kind of question yourself: "Do I really deserve to look this cool in a fighting game even if I haven't invested any time in it? What about all those hardcore players that put in the time to deliver such in-game wickedness?"
These thoughts are momentary though; the thorough-looking demolitions you'll deliver will wipe away all that weird guilt, and you'll start to enjoy it for what it is: a feature that gives the game pick-up-and-play appeal. It might be Capcom's way of appealing to a whole generation of gamers who grew up with the simpler mechanics and quicker gratification found in mobile games.
Even super moves are easier to perform: On the PS4, just press triangle and circle when you have filled up your super meter. Officially, the feature's called "Easy Hyper Combos." They're exactly that: super moves that don't require button sequences more complicated than "press triangle and circle now!" I blasted away my opponent with Iron Man's signature Proton Cannon, although full disclosure: I still lost that match.
I think these are two great features. First of all, your controllers will thank you for it: instead of mashing all the buttons, players now get to abuse just one button. More importantly, it's great for casual fighting game players that just want to beat opponents down with newcomers like Guardians of the Galaxy's Gamora, ultimate baddies Thanos and Ultron, or anyone else in its 30-plus character roster.
It will also urge players to play around with more characters and explore the full roster, beyond the ones they feel comfortable with.
Returning to 2 vs. 2 and reintroducing "Infinity Stones"
Further simplifying the game, the 3 vs. 3 format has been replaced by a 2 vs. 2 format found in the first MVC, and earlier crossover titles Xmen Vs. Street Fighter and Marvel Super Heroes Vs. Street Fighter. With just 2 characters per player, there's now only one player switch button as opposed to the last version's 2.
There's, however, at least one new element that adds depth: "Infinity Stones." Players assign one of the six Infinity Stones to each character they select, and each Stone has a unique basic ability and super ability.
Some basic abilities (activated by pressing L1) add damage to a player's attacks while some can make a character go faster. Super abilities (activated by pressing L1 and R1 at the same time, and requires energy from your Stone meter) deal even more tide-shifting effects such as one that constantly recharges the super gauge and one that traps opponents in one area.The strategic use of these Stones definitely modifies the way one would use the same character, and thus gets players to think creatively.
Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite is shaping up to be the most accessible MVC yet. For the casual fans who love the characters but aren't necessarily obsessed with fighting games, it's most definitely a winning proposition. For hardcore fight fans who like depth and strategy, the addition of the Infinity Stones adds complexity to a game whose direction has generally been to simplify things.
Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite comes out on September 21 in the Philippines and other regions in Asia; and September 19 in the US and other western regions. The game will be available on the PS4, Xbox One, and Windows platforms. – Rappler.com