Any fighting game fan will tell you that the precision of a physical joystick and buttons cannot be replicated on a touch screen.
They’d be right, but we’ve seen multiple companies, Capcom included, do a good enough job tackling this in the past. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Capcom’s recent port of Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, in which controls are only one of the problems plaguing this classic.
On the surface, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 iOS retains the same feature set as the original. The entire 56-character roster is available, as well as arcade (round-based) and time-attack single player modes. There’s also multiplayer although it’s only local, which is a shame as previous Capcom fighting games have included online multiplayer.
The gameplay aspect that sets Marvel Vs. Capcom apart from other fighting games is that each side uses a roster of three characters that can be swapped in and out, as well as called in for a few seconds of support, at any time. To win, you must defeat all three of your opponent’s characters before they defeat yours. Choosing your roster and learning when to switch between fighters is essential to achieving success at harder difficulties.
Many of the characters and alternate costumes are locked behind an in-game shop system that uses currency earned through gameplay. The prices on most of the character unlocks are quite steep, meaning you’ll need perform well in combat in order to unlock them at a reasonable pace. This is where one of Marvel Vs. Capcom 2’s most pressing issues come in: the controls are so janky that even skilled players will have trouble laying down blows on the easy opponents.
In an attempt to streamline Marvel Vs. Capcom 2’s controls for touch screens, Capcom ended up overcomplicating them. Aside from the traditional analog stick and kick/punch buttons, there are two odd buttons, one that controls assists and another for special moves. Both do a wide variety of things when tapped, flicked or swiped in a certain direction. For example, flicking the assist button left or right will cause an inactive character to provide support while swiping swaps out characters, and the game doesn’t do a great job of discerning between the two inputs.
There’s a second control option that uses two kick buttons, two punch buttons and “swipe/flick/tap” assist buttons for your inactive characters, but the tradeoff is that you need to manually input combos for special attacks. This is extremely frustrating considering that the frame rate is half that of the original game, thus causing the controls to feel sluggish.
Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 is a pretty game, but this port does not do it justice. The menus are ugly, graphical assets are blown up and there’s no retina support. It’s extremely grating on the eyes to look at this port.
Our best advice is to avoid Marvel Vs. Capcom 2’s iOS port, although we recommend checking it and the third iteration of the series out on other platforms. If you need your fighting game fix on the go, there are plenty of better options available.