All Capcom fans rejoice - Marvel Super Heroes is finally here.
After a long wait while Sega and Virgin debated whether to release this game in Europe with or without the 1MB RAM cart, they finally released it - without the cart, but nevertheless, Marvel Super Heroes is simply the best Capcom beat 'em up ever to grace the Saturn, or indeed any machine as of yet. You may argue that Street Fighter was the start of all this and therefore that is the best, but no. This game includes more moves (and might I add more interesting ones) and more interesting characters. The theme of this game makes it a far more flexible piece of work, because they can include practically anything in terms of moves, being super heroes. The concept of Infinity Gems and Infinity Moves adds further depth to the gameplay. The Infinity Bar is rather like the second bar introduced in Super Street Fighter 2 which made the special moves even more deadly, but this time around you can come up with some completely different special moves.
The graphics in this game are simply amazing, and blow the PlayStation version away using the Saturn's superior 2D capabilities. Even without the RAM cart this game's animation is incredible, close to arcade perfect (but not quite). With the cart it apparently regains much of the arcade's frames of animation, although I haven't seen it for myself. Each level has about 3 or 4 scrolling backgrounds layered on top of each other, and the effect is brilliant.
You have to fight your way through six other fighters (although there are 10 to choose from), who all have their own individual arenas, before you move on to the bosses - Dr. Doom and the megalomaniacal Thanos. These two can provide a reasonably hard challenge, although against the normal fighters it is usually a bit too easy, whichever difficulty setting you might happen to be on. Once you complete the game with someone, there is a story at the end, usually resulting in saving the universe for the good guys and universal domination for the bad guys - except for poor Juggernaut who still loses out, a shame because he is one of the best fighters. Once you complete it you can access Dr. Doom or Thanos using a tricky code which needs to be entered quickly.
Once again, the 2-player mode rules. Even if you have mastered countering the CPU opponent's tactics, this provides an extra challenge. You can sit for hours pounding the lights out of your friends until they start crying and go home. Great fun.
The music in this game is quite good actually. Most of it is pretty cool and some of it is just annoying, but I find that music doesn't play a very big part in this game and you tend not to notice it that much. There are some excellent voice samples for each fighter which sound just like you might imagine them to. Some, in particular Shuma Gorath's, is simply hilarious and sounds quite like a monster off Power Rangers. Captain America's voice is reflected in true cheesy super hero style.
There is no shortage of options in this game, from the number of rounds per fight to the speed of the turbo mode. However I think that they could have made the difficulty a bit harder as all of the settings are relatively easy.
MSH is a simply amazing game that you have to buy. Although it is quite easy (but not too easy at times), the addictiveness of the Street Fighter series is retained and even enhanced due to its better moves. Although X-Men vs Street Fighter is going to be even better, this is an excellent experience (and has some characters which won't be in the next game). Buy this game.
Review By: Joel Stanier