Fans have wanted a Marvel Vs. DC game for decades now. But should it be more like Injustice, or more like Marvel Vs. Capcom?
By Conor Gunn
Published May 26, 2021
Both?NetherRealm and?Capcom stand as titans of the fighting game industry. With titles such as?Mortal Kombat and?Street Fighter still able to garner hype after so many years, fans tend to have a lot of faith in the development teams. Another pair of titans of their respective industries are?Marvel and?DC Comics. Can the Hulk beat Superman? Is Iron Man smarter than Batman? Who’s the better archer: Green Arrow, or Hawkeye? These questions have been explored in official crossover titles between both comic companies.
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Combining both IPs into one fighting game has been a dream of so many fans for decades, and both?NetherRealm?and?Capcom show evidence that they’d be great contenders for who would do it best.
Adapting superpowers to a fighting game isn’t as easy as it sounds. One has to factor in power scaling and how those powers can be represented in narrative and how they translate to a playable moveset on a controller.
Through both the?Mortal Kombat series and?Injustice,?NetherRealm has shown that they know how to take these incredible powers and translate them to a playable moveset so the player doesn’t feel like compromises had to be made, or that they can’t do something that was shown in a cutscene.
While?Capcom has a good history of creating fighting games with?Street Fighter, their true strength for blending these two worlds together is in their ability to blend IPs.?Marvel Vs. Capcom is a classic series of fighting game culture.
They managed to take a wide selection of?Marvel characters and an equally wide selection of different?Capcom characters from varying genres and blend them into one cohesive style that allowed each character to feel like they belonged in that setting, each with a moveset that complimented their character even if they weren’t?in a fighting game previously.
The world and story created in?NetherRealm’s Injustice is something new for the?DC?universe. Both the two games and the comic series created a tense and thrilling story that breathes new life into age-old characters. That very story is proof that?NetherRealm and comic writer Tom Taylor are more than capable of writing a good story for a fighting game that is both engrossing and lasting.
With themes that question and directly criticize the original concept of the superhero and finding the flaws in the old Golden and Silver Age comics’ mentalities, they know how to bring justice to the project.
Superhero team-ups are a huge part of the genre. Whether it be a short-lived alliance between two unlikely characters or a series about one singular team, the comics are filled to the brim with them. And fans love to see their favorite characters interact with one another. Being able to experience this through gameplay is another important layer to creating the dream superhero game.
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Marvel Vs. Capcom is known for its team-based combat with assists, tag-outs, and combined specials, with the game’s core mechanics built around building the perfect team.
The main problem many comic adaptations suffer from is making something so old seem so new. Especially for?DC Comics characters as they’ve been around since the 1930s. While many comic concepts worked in the Golden and Silver Ages, when they’re brought into the modern age or a realistic setting, they seem extremely dated and unconvincing.
NetherRealm’s Injustice manages to take all of the old and dated Golden Age concepts and modernize them in a way that allows them to work within a realistic modern-day setting. This allows them to create a believable foundation where the audience is able to suspend their disbelief a reasonable amount and accept so many otherworldly abilities.
Capcom fighting games are known for their dynamic, fast-paced combat and lengthy combos. And, when?a player does manage to learn them, the game reaches a whole new level of exciting as?they learn to pull off massive combos that truly make?players feel like a superhero.
Being able to see characters from the Justice League pull off such combos is absolutely something that?Capcom could do. Their dedication to unique and complex movesets for each character would allow them to translate any ability from the?DC?lexicon.
Despite releasing many fantasy-based titles such as?Mortal Kombat, in recent years?NetherRealm?has begun to lean further and further into realism with their games. Starting with?Mortal Kombat 9 and following through to?11, their aesthetics, graphical quality, and story writing have all shifted to a more grounded and realistic setting.
Their characters’ motivations and dialogue are believable and well-written and provide the perfect foundation for a more grounded story. These more grounded and gritty settings may be an exciting new journey for?Marvel’s cast of characters.
The first three titles for?Marvel Vs. Capcom have excellently captured and translated the classic comic book aesthetic into a video game format. From bright, vibrant colors to distinct cell-shading and bright flashy graphics when super and specials are performed, everything about those first three titles oozes a clear love and appreciation for that traditional comic aesthetic.
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Whilst the fourth title in the series,?Infinite, did not share the aesthetic to the same level, combining both comic book IPs should encourage a greater focus on a unique and likable colorful style.
With the success of both of their titles,?Injustice 2 and?Mortal Kombat 11, and with the rise in attention for comic book-based media over the last few years, and multiple comics being adapted into films, TV series, etc., the time to go on an ambitious venture has never been better.
The culmination of the last few years of massive comic book film success would be the perfect support for both brands and?NetherRealm’s ability to create well-received and successful titles makes them the perfect creators for a Marvel Vs. DC?game.
The failure of?Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite was a huge blow not just to the?Marvel Vs. Capcom brand, but to?Capcom as a whole. The title lost its place as one of the primary titles at EVO, the famous fighting game tournament and the former fame of the series has since fallen into obscurity.
Releasing a new title with the original design of the first three games and adding in a brand new cast of Justice League characters could be what is needed to revive the public’s faith in the Capcom fighting brand.
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About The Author
(23 Articles Published)
Conor Gunn is an avid reader of comics from East to West. A graduate of both the Technological University of Dublin for Creative Digital Media and a Masters in Creative Writing from Dublin City University. A fan of everything pop culture from Batman to Boruto.
Website -> https://www.conor-gunn-portfolio.com/
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