Marvel vs. Capcom 2 rocked arcades for the first time in the year 2000, a scant two years after its predecessor. Each entry in the Capcom vs. series brought with it a handful of changes and improvements -- by the end of its run, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 had mutated considerably past its roots as X-Men vs. Street Fighter. Tag battles, support characters, and new fighting systems blossomed out of each game, culminating in a game so wild, so over-the-top, so full of content it's practically bursting at the seams.
With over 50 characters, MvC2 is any Marvel or Capcom fanboy's dream come true. To take advantage of its expansive roster, MvC2 adds an additional character to the tag team, giving each side three fighters to draw on at any time. They can be switched out on the fly to allow other characters to recuperate, called on to perform an assist attack, or -- best of all -- teamed up with to unleash a brutal and highly entertaining super combo.
This is where things with MvC2 get a little complicated. Or, more accurately, they don't get complicated. In an effort to appeal to more gamers, Capcom simplified the combat system down to four attack buttons and two buttons for support characters. Trigger both support buttons at once and you've got an instantly devastating super combo. On top of the simpler system, the vast library of characters ensures that some will inevitably find flaws in the roster's balance.
And it doesn't matter one damn bit. Marvel vs. Capcom 2 brings the fun harder, faster, and with more flair than any fighter before or since, unless Tatsunoko has managed to dethrone its predecessor. Over-the-top supers, ridiculous air combos, and simple controls all whirl together into one of the most visceral and entertaining experiences available in gaming. Its accessibility guarantees that even gamers with little fighting experience can pick up a controller, pick out three awesome characters, and instantly be unleashing a ton of attacks that look at least as good as they feel. And for the veteran fighters, the game still offers plenty of depth and an unparalleled number of moves to learn and characters to master, even if they won't be pulling off any Daigo parries.
There's plenty more to talk about -- MvC2's fantastic selection of unlockables that puts most games to shame and the variety of releases (protip: always go Dreamcast) being at the forefront -- but instead, let's spend more time on the Born for Wii angle.