Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite replaces assists with tag outs, which is likely a brilliant move for more than one reason

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • April 28, 2017 at 12:30 p.m. PDT | Comments: 47

By now it's well known that Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite has left the assist mechanic (one of the defining facets of MvC2 and MvC3) out of the works. If your knee jerk reaction to hearing this was anything like ours, you probably started in by asking how this could even be considered an MvC game.

Fear not, the chaos, combo potential and room for players to uniquely express themselves through their gameplay could very well be greater than ever in MvCI. Please keep in mind this is speculation based on footage and the recollections of those few who have actually been able to play, so none of it is set in stone.

Assists, as they've existed in recent Versus games, are set attack animations from sideline characters. We've seen players fervently mine this mechanic for countless set ups, combo extensions, mix ups, distractions, retreats... and the list goes on.

Given how huge an impact assists have had on the identity of recent MvC titles, wouldn't nixing them detract from the MvC identity? We don't think it will at all.
Upon first glance, the tag mechanic in MvCI made us think Street Fighter Cross Tekken before a traditional Marvel fighter. Upon closer inspection, the way developers are implementing tags seems to be absolutely perfect for the Marvel vs. Capcom pace and atmosphere.

Why is this? Because you can do it at almost any time. Mid combo, mid air combo, mid hyper combo, while getting hit (it'll cost you two bars of meter for this one) and at most any other point in a match, players are able to bring in the second half of their team for a quick switch.

Not only does this keep in step with Marvel games' grueling and chaotic pace, but it arguably allows for even more personal expression through gameplay. Where one player may tag to extend a combo, another may choose to go for a reset in an otherwise identical situation.

Marvel players have very clearly shown their abilities to creatively play around the set animations of assists, but now they'll have even more freedom as they take the game in different, personalized directions.

Because of how integral they are, assist properties have often been the deciding factor in what makes certain characters viable in Versus titles. Perhaps they're not the best fighter, or even close to it, but an amazing assist is sometimes the sole reason a character will be choosen for a player's team.

As useful as assists have proven to be, they're generally set animations that happen the same way just about every time. This is great, but what about those that don't have hidden missiles, shopping carts or jam sessions?

Lack of a good assist can mean certain characters are perpetually sidelined to the low tier table. The tag mechanic allows players to send their second fighter in with their full moveset at their disposal, meaning there's a ton more potential for each character to be deemed valid in this avenue.

We're feeling MvCI is shaping up to retain that "Mahvel feel" while exploring all new horizons with bold decisions. Do you agree? Let us know what you think in the comments section.
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