This is probably one of the more insane ideas anyone can ever think of. Putting the hectic Marvel vs. Capcom 2 on iOS with nearly nothing lost in the process. Certainly, there is some witchcraft present as this is indeed a straight up port of MvC2 seen on the consoles. However, the magical sorcery is quickly dissipated with a one huge glaring flaw: Controls.
Those that have played MvC2 will find everything to be very familiar. Nothing content wise was compromised in the transition. The sprites and backgrounds do take a quality hit but every frame of animation and every piece of those quirky 3D backgrounds are still intact. Frame rate is lower, definitely less than 30 frames-per-second, but it is not too distracting. It is almost as if they took some sort of Dreamcast emulator and shoved it into the iPhone.
As great as it looks, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 was a game that required dexterity to play proper, even more so than any of the other iOS fighters that have been ported over. The touch screen controls do come in two flavors with one simplifying the controls while the other mimics the traditional six button layout. None of these are ideal for this game and each come with their own set of flaws.
Simple attempts to bind together all of your team’s repertoire into four virtual buttons. However, the Assist and Special buttons require you to flick them to get different commands. While it allows them to fit in more attacks per button, flicking feels too counter intuitive. It would have lend itself better if the combination of direction input and the special/assist buttons dictated your attack. Alas, such an option is not available.
The traditional controls are a complete mess when considering the iPhone’s size. It’s extremely difficult to even play piano-style as you will soon find that your fingers, no matter how small, are simply too big to be precise. It might be possible to do Magneto’s infinites or some of the more complicated combos but expect to have a hard time wrestling with the buttons.
All the modes that were in the console version are still intact despite that Score Attack is still just another Arcade Mode and Training Mode is to be expected. Multiplayer is local only via bluetooth. What is a bit surprising is that most of the characters are locked and must be unlocked using the original points system. Considering that the iPhone is meant for pick up and play and the game has been out for over a decade, not having all the characters unlocked just forces people to have to sit down with the game for prolong periods of time. I remember it did take some time to unlock everyone in MvC2 back on the Dreamcast, I really do not want to repeat the process again.
As fantastic as it is to see Marvel vs. Capcom 2 running on the iPhone, the problems easily can make this game look unattractive. Instead of attempting to build the game to be playable on a mobile platform, simply porting it over and slapping on a few virtual buttons only leaves you wanting to play one of the console ports instead. If you can get around the controls, you will have with you a solid port that you can pull out and play any time you want.