Thoughts on the classic Capcom fighters resurgence

As COVID-19 still ravages the Western world, people are continuing to be responsible and stay inside. In a strange way, though, the quarantine has only shown just how far certain communities are uniting behind some classic titles- a trend that had begun before a global pandemic even started.

Maximilian recently posted this video that highlights multiple points on how Marvel Vs Capcom 2 has been seeing a resurgence in relevance after being announced as an EVO main stage invitational title, and given my own interest in reigniting my love for older fighting games, it struck a few thoughts in my head about it. MvC2 has never not been relevant in the fighting game scene, and my own introduction to it was not by the FGC, but playing it casually with friends, particularly the PS2 version of the game. It is a cultural mainstay outside of just the FGC, a game that casuals can always pick up and enjoy alongside the more serious competitors.

In a certain kind of parallel, Capcom Vs SNK 2 satisfies more of the audience that is already familiar with fighting games. While it has a bevy of different Grooves that drastically alter the gameplay, one could be more simple and simply stay playing the C-Groove if they were more casual and be able to play at a competent level of familiarity after some hours invested in the game. It certainly lacks the Western mainstream appeal that MvC2 has, however, staying much more in line with what a veteran of fighting games would expect from its time and roster. Unless you’ve already been playing fighting games and been exposed to King of Fighters, you probably wouldn’t have the same recognition as you would to characters like Captain America and Wolverine. This isn’t a knock against CvS2, but it’s simply a fact: even people who do not play fighting games know who both Ryu and the Hulk are in Western society, thus expanding the appeal of MvC2.

Funnily enough, though, both of these games share a similar problem in that both are not readily accessible to audiences. If you own a PS4, you can certainly purchase Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3 and Marvel Vs Capcom Infinite, but MvC2 is not available anywhere to legally purchase except obtaining a physical cab, Dreamcast version, or PS2 version. Conversely, if you have a PS3, you can download CvS2’s PS2 emulated version, but this version struggles mightily with an input delay even casual players would notice. Once again, legally obtaining a copy of this game is both expensive and troublesome. Where does that leave us? Emulation is your best bet.

While the best way to play CvS2 used to be the Dolphin emulator, recent changes to NullDC have changed the game completely and now it’s never been easier to set it up and run it even if you have little to no experience with emulation. In fact, from experience, setting up NullDC was even easier than setting up Dolphin after these changes were implemented. MvC2 is also playable using this emulator, and its setup is also very easy following a few simple steps.

So, what’s the point of these thoughts? Consider this a sort of follow-up to my previous post- emulation can help pave the way for these communities to expand and make these classic games become relevant to the larger flow of fighting games. This emulator provides a better netcode experience than the vast majority of fighting games out there right now, and plenty of other classics can be played with Fightcade and GGPO. Want to play Super Street Fighter II Turbo? Fightcade has you covered. Want to play MvC2? Load up NullDC and play sets.

The world of fighting games is vast and the time to secure a larger active base of users is right before us in quarantine. MvC2’s popularity had already been building up, but twitter has recently also become more active with interest in CvS2 and other retro titles where playing online can be done with even older computers and an ethernet cable. If companies can’t provide us the netcode experience we need to have stable and decent connections, we can provide them ourselves and bolster our communities while we’re at it. There is a positive momentum shifting forward with these titles, and excellent netplay to solidify the experience. MvC2, CvS2, 3S, all of these can become our representative titles if we give them the proper chance. So, let’s run some sets.

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