Welcome back to the second half of the Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite scouter report. I appreciate your attention & time given as I give my take on all the possible aspects of this game. The game and, by extension, the meta are still in their infancy and growing swiftly. So fast, that I had to extend this into a two-parter to properly research and analyze the constant data & new tech being discovered. Let’s get to it and pray nothing ground breaking is uncovered at this exact moment!
Sure enough, I said the game feels like Skullgirls and the one guy that’s giving everyone culture shock is the best SG player. I’ve seen so called ‘purists’ get their panties in a bunch when the new generation of players comes in and has success but damn, everyone’s going into cardiac arrest! Maybe you should’ve broadened your horizons and listened when you heard that Marvel was an air dash/anime game and such games play similar to it. The Marvel community’s somewhat of a high strung bunch, fortunately I have a few ties that are objective and even keel on all matters. So I’m here to say just pump the breaks a little bit, this is a NEW game and we’re only two months in!
Within the first month, we find the FGC picking up their new favorite word: setplay. The relative of the vortex and flow chart… or maybe it’s all the same thing, I honestly couldn’t tell ya at this point; everyone is too caught up to give an objective response. My point isn’t the example of another FGC term confusion, but rather the ad nauseam ‘flavor of the month’ level of attention ‘setplay’ has gotten. If you think about it, it's not like this is a new concept to fighting games. It’s just more commonplace in anime games (there’s that ‘air dash fighter’ similarity again). Understandably, setplay is in the driver’s seat of the MVCI meta currently, but I can’t help but feel the linear attention, thought process and practice of it is undercutting the freeform gameplay. Even though the last EVO champ used Chun-Li/Morrigan/Phoenix, let’s not repeat UMVC3 here, shall we?
Which brings us to the December 5th patch that I’ll analyze soon… I have to get on the case first. I gotta calls it likes I sees it, this game fell victim to appeasing community complaints through patches. Granted, majority of the adjustments were bug fixes and I’m not tone deaf to the outcry of the #WeAreTheTesters movement because they have their merits. What I have seen, though, are things like asking for Reality Stone nerfs before week 3 while not so much as throwing a glance at what Mind or Time has to offer. I have seen advocacy of adopting the present meta -- be it certain characters, stones and/or setups -- and paying no mind to anything else “because it’s what works.” Putting certain concepts and characters on a pedestal & burying others (especially this early) is follower talk. You’ll never evolve and when this kind of hive mind takes place, it stunts community, game & player growth. I’m repeating myself here, I’m sure; Marvel has some great players, but real bad mentalities.
The energy put into lamenting can be channeled into finding solutions and brother, that’s a hell of a lot of energy. I’ve had multiple fits in the past few months on how players that descended from UMVC3 and MVC2 recycle the tired excuse from SF5 that this there’s no defense in this game… as if you were able to burst out of lightning loops or stop a Happy Birthday before. As if the thought never occurred to them of what kind of madness that they went through and left behind. It’s a moot point now the New World Order is nearly upon us and the grievances will be answered. So in addition to reflecting projectiles, tagging in your 2nd character while the 1st is getting hit, the forced techs (or ‘crumples’ as the patch notes state) can be tech rolled as normal to alleviate the rampant setplay. Characters like Dante & Dormammu got hit and so did Reality & Space Stones. Congrats fellas, you got your wish I hope it’s what you really wanted.
Sarcasm notwithstanding… Dante needed some adjustments as he quickly established himself as the best character that had all the options and answers in the world while, for some reason, hitting like a freight train. Clearly everyone noticed because DAMN! Why did they Shao Kahn nerf hammer this man in the face like that? This isn’t The Walking Dead. I have to say though; I think he’ll be pretty viable after the patch. This was a heavy handed reality check, but I’m getting UMVC3 vibes from this Dante iteration minus the TAC infinite. The Stones, however, could have used more steeping from the community before it got nerfed. I’m for the Reality Stone Surge made easier to reflect and disappearing if you hit the opponent, but everything else I feel is a bit much. I expected Reality to be rotated out as the year went on, but now it may have gotten pushed out the door.
This is a similar practice to what some eSports titles do for balancing, one of which being Overwatch. It isn’t exactly shuffling the top to the lower and vice versa on a seasonal basis, but I’m not fond of any practice that subtracts from some to make others look better. Right when players started to learn to defend themselves in the Space Storm, the timeout in the box takes a penalty. Couple that with Dormammu’s nerfs, it’s clear that Capcom is trying to steer the game away from the prevalent setplay. Speaking of Dorm, I agree with the thorns disappearing after a hit and shortening the time it’s active. The rest, though… it doesn’t sit right with me. Things might shake up for the others that got touched although; I’m more focused on the answer to the Hit Stun Deterioration (HSD) glitch.
I made sure to triple check with my ‘sources’, but yes the damage scaling bug fix addresses what could have been the second coming of the TAC glitch that led into the infinites. I have to admit after enduring the ‘Marvel is dead/Marvel lives’ movement, all the game breaking features and no developer support for five years… getting prompt responses to infinites is giving me culture shock. It was refreshing for once then I was forced into a sideways look when these ‘Mahvel purists’ wanted the Spiderman infinite to rock. Nonsensical is all I have to say now that it’s been dealt with. From one extreme of ‘this is the worst, Crapcom plz’ to the opposite end of ‘players are supposed to play the game and nothing else’, no brain cell is safe.
Putting all that aside now, we have to examine Capcom’s hands in all of this. I was more than ready to go into my ‘scorched earth mode’ had they not done anything about the Spiderman + Reality Stone infinite, but you got to give the devil his due. Moreover, I did not expect them to even know about the HSD glitch, let alone patch it out right before the Battle for the Stones tournament. While I give them credit & appreciate the diligence with the game defining threats it doesn’t erase the obvious corners cut from a rushed project. Whose fault is it really for the lack of polish is debatable and, at this point, it has little bearing on the present product & reception. Once again, we’re at a perception check for Capcom… is the glass half empty or full for you? Personally, I just hope they don’t go to NRS levels of appeasement.
What puzzles me about the Battle for the Stones is that if you’re going to have it in the pre-patch version, why even roll out the patch before? I understand the reasoning, but it doesn’t really add up. The tournament itself I’ve accepted it for what it is: a spectacle and celebration of the MVCI launch and the history of UMVC3. With the stones and the player selection, it’s for entertainment and I’ve warmed up to the idea. I will say that I’m not too hot on the idea of having stipulations like this as your first major circuit for your new game. Basically, this is just slapping a gimmick on your new product before it gets fleshed out just for boosted viewership. This is a fun idea, but that’s all it is. For the future, give MVCI some real community support because this leaves the impression that you need some TV show twist to make your game float.
Be it misguided with good intentions to play catch up or nefariously laid out in a grand scheme under the guise of ‘progress’ before it was announced to the public, MVCI is getting some post release attention to its many quirks. Some effort is better than no effort, right? That’s more than I can say for a very vocal section of the community that practically begged for this game. So you guys realized the grass wasn’t green enough for you on this side, huh? You know that the lawn was just put in and requires some follow up care, right?
To be fair, some skeptics did open up to what MVCI offers. Others are frustrated with the growing pains to no surprise; I commend them for the grind. Now for ones that celebrated their champion franchise upon announcement just to come up with a million and one excuses to desert it now… you’re getting the Scarlet Letter ‘F’. More than enough time has passed for you to get your feet under you with MVCI; I’m branding all you as ‘Frauds.’ It’s not what you’re used to, not what you expected or wanted; it’s not shiny… so you cast blame everywhere else to desperately turn away. Your power levels are coming in low and I want you all to prove me wrong! Prove me wrong… lest some (God forbid) anime players infiltrate your scene and steal your thunder.
Lastly, to the resurgence of the 'Marvel is dead' trolls and advocates... you all have some f***ing nerve. It's a habitual impulse to bring everyone down because being miserable by yourselves is just never enough. Most of you hailed from older MVC games with no developer support, where one would have a case that it's really dead and what happened? The community kept it going, refused to buy it, now 3 months in you're calling it for MVCI. Hot off of 3 DLC characters and a hefty patch, with rumors of bigger plans next year and the game's dead, right? This reeks to high heaven of compensation. Compensating for bias, scorn and lack of adaptability.
This isn't about settling for less, making excuses for Capcom, or feeling a sense of poetic justice as everything catches fire. It's about giving something with a foundation a chance. It's a two way street between the higher ups & the consumers for a product to flourish; look at WWE (or any professional sport)and how they profusely thank the fans because really, a game without an audience, without players is nothing. We've seen instances when one side faltered and the other picked up the slack, when both sides met harsh circumstances and overcame. For anyone that wants to take MVCI, or anything really, seriously or enjoy playing it... don't let these frauds discourage you. The game's getting support for once, take advantage of it.
This much isn’t going to change, so it serves no purpose for me get worked up about it anymore. I’ll leave this Experience with some words of caution and good tidings. Mind your thoughts, words, actions and spheres of influence now & in the upcoming year because the FGC is changing very rapidly. It may require us to band together tighter, tougher and stronger than ever before to withstand the influx of games and what follows. I’ll be making necessary preparations myself for the New Year. I must say doing this, being involved in the FGC like this… it is a joy despite it all. From the Saiyan wearing an orange beanie hat, Happy Holidays everyone, peace & love to you all.