Written by  :  Chris Wright (105)
Written on  :  Aug 12, 2009
Platform  :  Xbox 360
Rating  :  4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars

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Fun and flashy — the pinnacle of fighters

The Good

Really, there's one thing to like about Marvel: winning. Ain't nothing about this game to consol you if you come up second. All the action goes down in an upbeat, fun environment with jazzy music playing, but it's a deadly serious affair for competitive players. I'm a grizzled veteran myself but I still get butterflies going into a match. It may seem odd that I'd get so worked up over a mere videogame, but that's because it's so good.

The wonderful thing about Marvel is that there's so many widely disparate characters to choose from. Everyone can settle on a few personal favorites. Sentinel means serious business, being a gigantic robot that can utterly dominate the playing field when played judiciously. Cable just tosses grenades and shoots lasers at you, but god help you if a savvy player catches you in an air Hyper Viper Beam. He'll chain three of them and your character is dead.

But then there's another two characters on your team, so even after losing a man, you can still pull yourself together a mount a comeback. Miracles can and do happen in this game, and the feeling when you accomplish one is hard to match.

The Bad

For a time I was anxious about a sequel, but with its release on the 360, I can wait another decade if need be. This version is so complete, so expansive, so well-executed, that to hanker for a sequel is to take what we already have here for granted.

The Bottom Line

Pulse-pounding action that can be played strategically, frenetically, or a mix of both. A single hard-fought match can be a draining affair that can take hours to recover from fully. All-in-all, one of the best games ever made. If you have the passion to get good at it, of course.