Marvel vs. Capcom (マーヴルVSカプコン Māvuru tai Kapukon?) is a series of fighting games created by Capcom in which characters created by Marvel Comics and Capcom’s own characters appear together. While it was the first vs. series involving Capcom, the name Marvel exists to distinguish it from Capcom’s other vs. series with SNK (Capcom vs. SNK),Tatsunoko Production (Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars) and Namco’s crossover RPG with Capcom (Namco × Capcom).
The Marvel characters depicted in these games were often based on their incarnations in various early 1990s animated series (particularly X-Men), and were often voiced by the same voice actors.
Many of the characters and fighting mechanics used in these games were first developed and refined in two other fighting games Capcom had developed earlier, serving as precursors to the series: X-Men: Children of the Atom, which featured characters strictly from the X-Men universe, and Marvel Super Heroes, which gleaned characters from Marvel’s entire roster (X-Men included).
Although the tag-team fighting concept was not new, it was refined with this series (although fans would argue whether this was for better or for worse). New fighting game terminology, such as “Aerial Rave” (the act of performing a combo on an opponent while the opponent remains airborne) and “Variable Combination” (the act of having two or more characters on the same team to perform their hyper combos at the same time) were added to the fighting game vernacular with this series.
Marvel Publishing, Inc., commonly referred to as Marvel Comics, is an American company that publishes specializing comic books and related media. Marvel Entertainment, Inc., a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, owns Marvel Publishing.
Marvel counts among its characters such well-known properties as Spider-Man, Iron Man, the X-Men, Wolverine, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Captain America, Daredevil, the Punisher, Ghost Rider, Doctor Strange and others. Most of Marvel’s fictional characters operate in a single reality known as the Marvel Universe, with locales set in real-life cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
The comic-book arm of the company started in 1939 as Timely Publications, and by the 1950s had generally become known as Atlas Comics. Marvel’s modern incarnation dates from 1961, with the launching of Fantastic Four and other superhero titles created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and others. Marvel has since become the largest American comic-book publisher, surpassing its longtime competitor DC Comics.
According to Capcom, “the name CAPCOM is an abbreviation of CAPsule COMputer. This was a phrase symbolic of an internal company objective to create a new gaming experience that would exceed that of rival personal computers which had also been increasing in popularity during the same period”. Over the years, Capcom has created some of the biggest and longest running franchises in video gaming history. The company released their first arcade game in 1984, Vulgus. Their early games were mostly arcade games such as the scrolling shooter1942.
In the late 1980s, Yoshiki Okamoto joined the company from Konami. In 1987, Capcom released the game Street Fighter. Also in 1987, the company released the platformer Mega Man (Rockman in Japan) for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
Final Fight, a beat ‘em up, was released in 1989. In 1991, Okamoto’s Street Fighter II was released in the arcades.
Breath of Fire, Capcom’s first major foray into the RPG genre, was released in 1994 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
Resident Evil (Biohazard in Japan), a successful survival horror, was released on the PlayStation in 1996.
Two Capcom development houses, Clover Studio and Flagship have created successful titles in recent years, including the Viewtiful Joe series and Ōkami.
In 2002, a movie based on the series entitled Resident Evil was released, which did well enough financially to warrant a sequel (Resident Evil: Apocalypse) in 2004. A third movie, Resident Evil: Extinction was released on September 21, 2007, and led the box office in first place. The fourth movie in the franchise is titled Resident Evil: Afterlife and is currently in production. It is scheduled for a 2010 theatrical release.
Capcom also teamed up with Microsoft to make the successful Dead Rising in 2006, which was a popular zombie survival and adventure game and timed exclusive for the Xbox 360. In 2009, the Wii version Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop hit the market, and Dead Rising 2 is announced for the 360, PS3 and PC.
Beside developing games under its own brand, Capcom also developed the arcade, Dreamcast and PS2 versions of its Mobile Suit Gundamthird person shoot’em ups for Bandai and also distribute many games including the Grand Theft Auto series for the Japanese market.
As of mid-2007, Capcom teamed up with Valve Corporation to release games through Valve’s Steam content delivery system, being the first Japanese company to do so. At present, 10 games are available, among those being Onimusha 3, Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition, Street Fighter 4, Resident Evil 5, and Lost Planet.
Capcom develops products for all age groups and supports the programs and guidelines established by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). Capcom’s “E” rated games for Everyone (content suitable for persons 6 and older) include the Mega Man franchise of games. Capcom’s “T” rated games for Teens (content suitable for persons 13 and older) include theStreet Fighter’ (now ew’, Breath of Fire and DarkStalkers franchise of products. Capcom’s “M” rated games for mature audiences (content suitable for persons 17 and older) include theResident Evil, Devil May Cry and Onimusha (with the exception of Onimusha: Blade Warriors, which received a “T” rating) series of products.