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Gamer Tuesday

May 14, 2013

Pap the Disney Gamer's Highlights Pap's Favorite Things Week: Marvel Super Heroes (Arcade)

Developed by: Capcom

System: Arcade, PlayStation, Xbox 360 (Digital Download), PlayStation 3 (Digital Download)

There is nothing better than having a whole week dedicated to your favorite things, so I was more than excited to talk about my own favorite things. But then I came onto a peculiar problem: I had talked about most of my favorite Disney games! Heck, my favorite Disney game series is the Kingdom Hearts series, and I love it so much I spent a whole year talking about it in its 10th anniversary! So what else could I talk about? Luckily, I realized that Disney is now more than just Disney, it also has the Muppet family, the Star Wars legacy and, of course, the Marvel universe. So today, I will think outside the box and focus on one of my favorite games under one of those labels, and that is Marvel Super Heroes!

Marvel Super Heroes

You might recall that last year, we did a whole week dedicated to super heroes, all in honor of the release of Marvel's The Avengers in theater, a massive event in its own right. In my Gamer Tuesday article, I talked about some of the best Marvel and Disney super hero games. I had featured Marvel Super Heroes as part of that lineup of awesome games, but I had always wanted to talk in detail about it. Released in 1995, just as the fighting game genre was at its peak, Marvel Super Heroes would be the second Marvel themed arcade fighter developed by Capcom, one of the pioneers in fighting game history.

In Marvel Super Heroes, you play as one of 11 Marvel heroes and villains as they take on a story loosely based on the Infinity Gauntlet comic book storyline, with Thanos as its main antagonist. Their main goal is to take control of the Infinity Gems for either their noble or evil purposes. The Infinity Gems take a main role in the gameplay scheme. Marvel Super Heroes takes the high speed, 2D fighting game system made famous by Capcom's own Street Fighter series and adds the ability to use these gems in different ways. These gems can alter the player's health during battle, help them gain additional power and defense, and even alter time to their benefit.

Marvel Super Heroes

Besides that, it still plays like a classic arcade fighter, complete with the bright, colorful graphics and cheesy one liners Capcom was known for at the time, all done with a great Marvel flare. The question now is: why do I love it so much? It is true that Capcom would then go on to create bigger, better, crazier Marvel-themed fighting games, and in comparison, the game is very simple. One reason (out of the many) why I love it so much is because it perfectly encapsulates a great era in arcade gaming: the 90s. Everything about the game screams the 90s in a loving way: the design and sound effects the game were heavily inspired by Marvel's 90s Fox cartoons such as Spider-Man and the X-Men. They even got some of the voice actors from those series to voice the characters in the game! So playing this game makes me feel like I am playing the cartoon series.

Another reason I love Marvel Super Heroes so much is that it introduced me to so many Marvel characters I never knew before. I had known Spider-Man through his 90s TV show, The Incredible Hulk through the classic live action series, and Wolverine through his cartoon, but this is where I was introduced to Iron Man, a character that would become one of my favorites thanks to Robert Downey Jr's amazing interpretation through the Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Captain America, Dr. Doom (foe of the Fantastic Four), Blackheart (Ghost Rider's nemesis) and many others. It was an introduction to a cast of characters that would play a major role in my appreciation of sci-fi stories and comic books.

Marvel Super Heroes

I already mentioned how classic the gameplay is, and that is also another reason why I love this game so much. I love fighting games. As aggressive as they may seem (and even bloody in some game series), they always take me back to my childhood, when my friends and I would have sleepovers at my house and play Street Fighter II on my Super NES till the very early hours of the morning. Marvel Super Heroes plays exactly like that, save for the usage of the Infinity Gems. It is, however, aided by the technical prowess of the arcade systems of the era. Capcom had experimented with arcade hardware, and made the game play faster, creating exciting fighting matches for everyone to enjoy.

But the absolute main reason why I love Marvel Super Heroes so much is because it takes me back to a much simpler time in my teenage years. I was introduced to this game in the summer of 1998. After many personal turmoils, my family decided to take a vacation to a tropical resort outside of town. Not only did we get some awesome news there, we had the time of our lives. The resort also had this really awesome arcade that was a mix of classics and new releases, and one of those games was Marvel vs. Capcom. I remember I used to spend the rest of the evenings at the arcade, either watching others play Marvel vs. Capcom, or taking a turn myself pummeling Captain America with Blackheart. To this day, I can close my eyes, and hear the sounds of Iron Man shouting 'PROTON CANON!' bouncing off the walls of that small, but so much fun, arcade. That may sound dramatic, but it is true.

Marvel Super Heroes

The best thing of all, though, is that the game is no longer a great memory of my past! Due to the recent rise of popularity in fighting games, as well as the digital game distribution model allowing game companies to distribute classic games at little to no cost, Capcom has re-released Marvel Super Heroes as part of a downloadable game package called Marvel vs. Capcom Origins, a package that also includes the first Marvel vs. Capcom game. In addition to the classic games being redone in high definition, it also include online mutliplayer for online matches! So now, my favorite game isn't just a memory from my past: it can also be a great memory for players in the present. If you love fighting games and Marvel, you should download this game if you have an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. You won't regret it!

Marvel Super Heroes


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