Originally Posted by Andy Bain
I would still play any 2D shooter if it was of a high caliber.
Take my word on this: they really, really, really, really, really, REALLY, really, really don't come in a much higher caliber than the Metal Slug franchise. These games are at the pinnacle of the whole damned genre, and this is scientific fact.
29. Marvel vs Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes (Arcade, 2000)
This game shouldn't have worked. In a move uncharacteristic of Capcom fighting games (that are typically tweaked and balanced and tightened to Aspergian, obsessive compulsive degrees), this one was a sort of slapdash affair where, almost as if Capcom knew that time was running short on their ownership of the Marvel license, they decided to make one final game with it that functioned mostly as an excuse to throw together each and every piece of sprite work they've ever used in their myriad of 90's Marvel-based fighting games (not a single one of which made it into the 90's thread: for shame yet AGAIN chewers) all into one megamix of a 2D fighter. And fuck it, why not make it 3 on 3 instead of the usual 2 on 2 tag team fighting found in their famed and celebrated "Vs" series? And hell, why not hinge the very FABRIC of the fighting engine itself on super combos? Fuck it, lets throw all pretence at game and character balance to the wind and just make the most palpably unhinged, coke-fueled fever dream of a mashup game that anyone's ever attempted. This game should've honestly been a disaster. An entertaining as ALL hell disaster don't get me wrong, but a clusterfuck of epic proportions all the same.
And yet... and yet...
Somehow or other, that isn't QUITE what came of things. Even though that's what by all rights ought to have. No, somehow, be it through a voodoo ritual, more hidden depths of design genius within Capcom's offices than anyone ever thought possible, or (most likely of all) just plain old fashioned dumbass, clueless fucking luck... somehow by hook or by crook this game DOESN'T fall apart under the crushing weight of its own titanic bloat. Somehow this game, almost in direct violation of the laws of nature, has JUST enough checks and balances in its fighting engine and game balance (and I mean just. BARELY. enough: Street Fighter III this most certainly ain't) to hang the entire psychotic, batshit, bugfuck insane fanboy pleasing affair together to create what is without a doubt one of the single most overplayed, wildly beloved classics in Capcom's entire damned legendary stable of fighters.
Among the very last major 2D fighting games to make a wide arcade release (both Capcom and SNK would still have a few more classic 2D arcade fighters to come still, but by that point the arcade industry, in Western territories at least, would be well and truly dead and outside of major cities like California and New York they would largely only be played via their console ports), this was the game to launch a billion raging fanboy hard-ons.
Truly the swan song of the original arcade fighting game scene at the absolute twilight of the Western arcade industry, this couldn't have made for a cooler, more infectiously fun sendoff for one of my all time favorite niches in the whole history of gaming. Still widely played and widely regarded as the unhinged piece of pure, concentrated fun that it is.