Have we been overvaluing the assist system from previous Marvel vs. Capcom entries?

The upcoming title's quick tag in system looks to be more versatile than the assists of old

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • August 11, 2017 at 3:13 p.m. PDT

There's definitely been a lot of fan feedback on the direction that Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is heading. Aside from complaints regarding the game's art direction and roster selection, most of these concerns seem to stem from the fact that this entry of the series (or rather the reboot) has a few radical changes implemented into the mechanics.

Rather than being a 3v3 fighter like Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, the series is essentially returning to its roots by making it into a 2v2 title. Not only that, but the assist feature has been completely removed.

Calling for assistance allowed a player to bring out one of their team mates onto the screen in order to perform a predefined attack. This came without any animation from from the point character, allowing them to continue their pressure.

In a lot of ways, it is honestly a little hard to imagine a Marvel vs. Capcom game without assists. Fans have put a lot of value in this gameplay style and often associate it as being an essential part of the series.

Perhaps some players are feeling as though the upcoming title won't quite be as good without this specific method of teamwork between the fighters. It just doesn't give everybody that nostalgic feeling they got before.

It is understandable that this alteration to the series formula has a number of fans disappointed. Change can be good though...

From what I've seen, the quick tag in system appears more versatile than traditional assists. Again, this is only based on what I've seen in videos.

Given, assists are a very powerful mechanic. Depending on the assist attack, it could allow a player to continue pressure whereas they normally wouldn't be able to, complement their zoning options, provide a reversal, continue a combo, and much more.

To reiterate, the assist system allowed the player to choose between one out of three moves (out of their entire moveset) that they will perform once called. Essentially, you are being restricted to only one technique per fighter.

With Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite's tag in system, your point character can perform any of their attacks and then switch in your partner. This will allow the two to switch roles after the attack is complete.

What is particularly interesting about this system is that the point combatant can swap in their comrade while they are performing one of their hyper attacks. While blocking the hyper, they will have to keep an eye on the player controlled entity.


Click images for animated versions

As we can see, after using a hyper the other is then able to tag themselves in and mix the opponent up. Switching from left to right makes the hyper difficult to block.

This type of scenario would only occur in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 by using the team hyper function. If your point character had a hyper that required the least amount of time to complete, then they'd be able to pressure afterwards.

Regardless, no assist had this type of utility. In MvCI, it's available to everybody.

Being that characters were limited to only three choices as their assist function, this meant that some were just strictly better than others because their assist moves were just better. Dr. Doom just happened to have access to his hidden missiles as one of his assists, so he was particularly good as support.

But what could've happened if some of the game's other fighters used a different attack for their assist than what they were actually given? Maybe they had better options in their moveset but had other moves chosen to be their assist instead.

"Regardless, no assist had this type of utility. In MvCI, it's available to everybody."

Skullgirls is a game that rewarded player creativity a little more. You obviously couldn't do a super attack as your assist, but other than that you could basically assign any normal or special attack to be a character's assist function.

The main difference is that in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, it is the fighter that is on screen that sets this attack up so that their team mate can pressure afterwards. The concept is a little different, but somewhat similar at the same time.

Ryu, who wasn't exactly common in UMvC3, could easily perform a Shoryuken attack and be kept safe by his partner afterwards in MvCI. In UMvC3, you wouldn't be able to call an assist until their action came to its conclusion.

As a result, I'm definitely getting the feeling that more of the cast can be viable this time around. Everyone now has more options to work with this time around.

For example, you can actually perform the reality gem action, the homing projectile, then tag in your partner, then have them use their reality gem action. What happens is that you'll have two homing projectiles out at the same time.

I obviously haven't had the opportunity to play a player vs. player match in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, but I get the sense that being down a team member is more damaging than being down two in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. We'll have to see if the utility of the tag-in feature makes that much more of a difference compared to assists.

It makes me wonder if the concept of assists might be somewhat overvalued. Is it really such a bad thing that it's not present this time around?

Could MvCI's mechanics allow for more creative play? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

GIF Sources: Maximilian Dood.

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