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Translated 20-year-old Marvel vs. Capcom 2 interview reveals reasons behind changing to a 4-button fighter and other gameplay alterations

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • October 9, 2021 at 7:58 p.m. PDT • Comments: 10

Marvel vs. Capcom 2's DNA dates back all the way to 1994's X-Men: Children of the atom, and the giant crossover served as a culmination of everything that came before while changing the core gameplay significantly.

Thanks to the amazing work of Shmuplations, a 20-year-old interview with the developers allows us to now get a better idea as to why Capcom changed MvC2 to be a four-button and 3v3 fighting game among other interesting decisions.

The original interview took place in the March 2000 issue of Arcadia in Japan, likely right before or right after the game first hit arcades, and featured Marvel 2's director Tatsuya Nakae and producer Yoshihiro Sudo.

Much of the initial focus delves into the idea to release and develop the Naomi and Sega Dreamcast versions at the same time, which greatly impacted how the all-time classic would come to play.

Although the previous Marvel fighting games were six-button fighters like Street Fighter, Nakae found trying to play MvC on a Dreamcast controller to be rather difficult.

"I figured that if I could unify the play feel, then home players would have an easier time playing in arcades," said Nakae as translated by Shmuplations. "Another reason was that, with a 6-button setup, there are a lot of commands that use simultaneous button presses, which aren’t especially intuitive; by reducing the attack buttons to 4 and adding dedicated partner buttons, we were able to more intuitively give players the feeling of controlling three characters."

The director goes on to say there were a lot of people within Capcom who initially didn't like the change, but location tests and other demo events showed them players would be comfortable.

"By reducing the attack buttons to 4 and adding dedicated partner buttons, we were able to more intuitively give players the feeling of controlling three characters" - Tatsuya Nakae

This alteration would ultimately stick for the brand when it eventually moved forward with Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Infinite implementing similar, but still different versions of a four-button fighter.

Nakae goes on to state he'd been wanting to create MvC2 as a 3v3 game instead of just 2v2 like the prior crossovers as the game's big selling point.

"From there we came up with the idea for the Delayed Hyper Combo, which allows players to string together Hyper Combos by all three player-characters," said Nakae back in 2000. "[General producer Noritaka] Funamizu was also interested in this idea, so we were able to decide on that pretty quickly."

Interestingly, the Snapback feature was one of the last to be added to Marvel 2, as the developers found that many matches would end in time overs because players would simply tag out their team members with low life.

That led them to the idea of forcing characters back into the fight, which became something of a trademark of the hyper fighter genre going forward alongside DHCs, even showing up in non-Capcom games like Dragon Ball FighterZ.

"[Snapbacks] added another layer of strategy and made players gamble on whether to defeat the character in front of them at that moment or to go for the player on standby, and I think that led to a more interesting game"

"Accordingly, it added another layer of strategy and made players gamble on whether to defeat the character in front of them at that moment or to go for the player on standby, and I think that led to a more interesting game," said Nakae.

Clearly, some of Marvel 2's changes to the formula were a bit controversial for both players and developers, but many of them became some of the signature aspects that people loved most and continues to carry the title over two decades later.

Although much of the game was made using already-existing assets from prior entries, we're all probably glad now that let the team focus on how they thought they could make things more fun.

There's a lot more information on Marvel 2's creation found within that interview, so we highly recommend checking out Shmuplations full translation to get a better understanding of how this classic came into being.

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