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Developer Capcom Options
Distributer Virgin 1-2 Player
Game Type Beat-em-up Memory Card
Review Date January 1998 Standard Joypad
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Setting the Scene
Come on, own up! All those who said that the PSX was only good for 3D beat-em-ups. All those who said that the PSX could not handle whopping great 2D sprites. Yeah, nobody will admit it now but there have been numerous reports from disbelievers over the last twelve months claiming just these points, but Capcom have made these critics eat their words by producing an almost perfect version of the arcade smash Marvel Super Heroes.

This is a coin-op-conversion that features some well, and not so well-known Marvel characters who partake in series of one-on-one battles to decide the ultimate comic book hero.

Most of your favorite Marvel characters perform their skills in front of a selection of stunning flat backdrops. Some of the scenery has a fair amount of movement going on which occasionally catches your eye and provides a slight distraction. Giant eagles swoop across the screen, a battle torn New York setting is alive with broken electric cables and moving mechanical parts while a body slam from the gi-normous Juggernaut sees sections of a rickety old bridge collapse under the strain.

Every whack, biff, sock and kaaa-pow is rewarded with forceful animation depicting the action using vibrant colors and stunning effects. The power and speed of each attack is exaggerated to the umpteenth degree, in fact it's a comic book battle coming to life in front of your very eyes.

Each of the characters have been meticulously animated. Every muscle on the body of the Incredible Hulk has been lined and shaded, highlighting his tremendous power, with fists the size of sledgehammers. Even his shorts have been ripped to shreds during his transformation into the large green beast.
Spider-man is as agile as his comic counterpart, casting his web into the far corners of the screen before launching his wide range of acrobatic attacks.
Where Juggernaut lacks in speed he most certainly gains in weight, throwing his enormous body around the set to land on his foe with more power than an avalanche.
Captain America wears his stars and stripes costume with pride launching his boomerang shield around the screen with great effect.
Wolverine is an X-Man mutant with claws longer than a Hollywood bitch. Similar to the comic character he has accelerated healing powers and moves at lighting speed making him a difficult opponent to face.
Iron Man is armed with some mighty impressive weapons such as a piercing beam that comes from his chest and a pair of cannons that double up as his arms.
Psylocke is the curvaceous sister of Captain Britain. She can teleport around the screen before popping up to attack the enemy with her martial art skills.
Shuma-Gorath occasionally appeared with Dr Strange. Basically a one-eyed purple squid who can alter his form into many advantageous shapes.
The floating Magneto and the ghostly Blackheart complete the ten available characters within Marvel Super Heroes.

Sounds and Effects
Every swish, bang and crash from the arcade classic has been accurately converted onto the PSX version, while each character throws in a few words every now and then such as "Showtime", "Unstoppable", "Freedom" or "Come on".

The background music has that arcady feel to it which is hardly ground breaking but perfectly acceptable.

The gameplay follows the familiar routine where you are offered a choice to take part in the single player Arcade mode or a two player Versus contest. The two player mode allows you and a mate to battle it out by each selecting one of the ten available characters and then adjusting the handicap bar to ensure a fair fight. You must then decide if the battle is to be fought using Normal or Turbo speed. Once the desired number of rounds has been won it's back to the character select screen to line up another contest.

The single player game uses a 'winner stays on' system of play. Select your preferred fighter and prepare to work your way through all nine other contestants. Should you fail at any hurdle you are returned to the initial screen to re-select your character. Conquer all of your opponents and the ultra hard bosses Dr Doom and Thanos are waiting to bring you straight back down to earth.

A quick visit to the options screen allows you to adjust the difficulty setting, decide on the time limit, choose the number of rounds for each contest and configurate your control pad. Turbo speed may also be adjusted.

Attacks are performed with three kick buttons and three punch buttons while every fighter has their own unique selection of special moves which are unveiled by pressing the correct combination of buttons. Backing off from your attacker puts the fighter in defensive mode. Combos aside, every character has one really special move called an Infinity Move which if performed correctly will inflict multiple damage on your foe. Should you hit the correct buttons the screen will darken as your fighter receives a small charge-up. Now it's only a matter of laying the first punch before all shit breaks loose with an unstoppable lethal combination of strikes that rain down on your opponent, severly damaging their health bar.

I thought that the inclusion of Infinity Gems gave Marvel Super Heroes an extra edge over it's 2D rivals. Both fighters begin with three gems each and depending on how successful your attacks are, you can grab gems from your opponent and add them to your own collection. The gems you possess are displayed below your fighter and may be called upon by pressing the relevant combination of buttons. This extra power will only last for a few seconds therefore speed is of the essence. Should you lose any of the gems during a battle they will fall to the floor and picked up by whoever walks over them. The gems are Power - which increases the strength of attack. Time - which boosts your speed. Space - increases defensive power. Mind - recovers energy. Soul- enhances your health bar. Reality - enhances your character with fantastic new powers.

Value for Money
If you are a fan of the Marvel arcade smash then you probably already own this title which has been around for a few months now. Newcomers will find this game irresistible as it's so easy to pick up and play while proving impossible to put down. It has ample characters to select from, bright colorful graphics and a multiple of hidden moves.

GRAPHICS: 18/20 Marvel Super Heroes must rank as the best 2D fighting game on any console and will be an excellent addition to the growing library of quality beat-em-ups available on the Playstation.
SOUND: 9/10
VALUE: 16/20

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