Disney has officially bought 21st Century Fox. Marvel now owns the film rights to the X-Men, the Fantastic 4, and the majority of their properties once again. This is a huge deal for Marvel fans because it means Marvel can once again acknowledge these franchises. Since the start of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel has turned their attention towards the characters and properties they own the movie rights to. This makes sense financially, but as I’ve pointed out in a few reviews, excluding Marvel icons like the X-Men and the Fantastic 4 from games, shows, and even comic books in an attempt to starve Fox out is a disservice to fans.
This was one of the major issues I had with Marvel vs Capcom Infinite when I reviewed the game. It was very obvious that iconic characters like Wolverine and Doctor Doom were being excluded to minimize market exposure to Fox’s properties, and the lack of Marvel vs Capcom icons like Magneto, Storm, and Sentinel was frustratingly short-sighted and left a lot of fans angry and disappointed. But here we are, three months later: Marvel has Fox, the X-Men are home, and Doctor Doom can finally take his place as the best villain once again. It’s no secret that sales for Infinite haven’t been ideal, critical reception has been mixed, and the public’s opinion of the game is shifty. So even though it’s only been three months, I think it’s about time we started thinking about Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite. I’m not saying we need it right now, since three months is indeed an incredibly short launch window. It’s undeniable, however, that Marvel vs Capcom Infinite needs new life, and here’s my pitch for saving it.
Obviously the first order of business is to fix the roster. An over-reliance on carried-over characters from Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 hindered the roster as much as the exclusion of the X-Men, especially when brand new characters were already announced as DLC. Now that Wave 1 has been released in full, it’s the perfect time to shuffle any existing plans for upcoming waves of DLC.
So how do we fix the roster? Add twelve new characters, the same amount added to Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. Six Marvel, six Capcom. My suggestions for each side would be:
|Wolverine||Vergil (Devil May Cry)|
|Magneto||Asura (Asura’s Wrath)|
|Storm||Gene (God Hand)|
|Sentinel||Edward Falcon (Power Stone)|
|Deadpool||Rashid (Street Fighter)|
|Doctor Doom||Apollo Justice (Ace Attorney)|
From fan polls, general opinions, and past “leaks”, I think this list would cover most people’s expectations nicely, as the excluded Marvel franchises and more obscure Capcom characters are present and accounted for. And with twelve characters, the new number of playable characters wouldn’t be entirely unfeasible.
After the roster, the biggest issue with Infinite is its visuals. Faces look ugly, models can look wonky, and there’s no distinct singular style to the game. I’m not saying to create a new style, because that’s far too much to ask of a company, but fixing models and creating a sense of continuity between models in the already existing style seems like a fair request. Even just improved facial animation for every character would go a long way in making Infinite look less like a mobile game.
Patches are obviously an important addition as well (altered moves possibly, like in UMvC3 certainly wouldn’t hurt) as this would be the perfect opportunity to fix issues the community has with certain characters and stones. The core gameplay in Infinite is already fantastic, so fixes here and there could help take the game to the next level. Throw in the alternate costumes that have been released alongside Wave 1 of the DLC characters, and you have a pretty substantial package. A discounted title would be icing on the cake, but I would actually understand charging full price for this package with everything included.
Now do I think these things are going to happen? Some will, some won’t. Whether it’s in the form of a new Ultimate release, or through upcoming patches and content releases, that comes down to Capcom. But an Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom Infinite release would let Capcom have a fresh start, and could save Infinite from its rocky launch and less than stellar public opinion. I truly think Marvel vs Capcom Infinite can be a great game, and while I don’t necessarily think my suggestions are objectively the best way to fix it, I sincerely hope Capcom finds a way to fulfil Infinite’s true potential.