Marvel Super Heroes is yet another superb arcade-conversion from Capcom. When it was first released in the arcades it was originally perceived to be pushing the adopted board to it's very limits and that a port-over to the home consoles simply wouldn't be possible. The original perceptions were wrong, and that is a gross understatement.
Although the Playstation version is a mere shadow of it's arcade-parent, the Saturn offering is far in excess of even the wildest expectations. Sure, both characters and backgrounds are missing a small amount of animation frames, but certainly not enough to tarnish enjoyment to an unwelcome level. Due to the Saturn possessing more internal RAM than the Playstation, this affords the former machine a better opportunity to create exceptional 2D fighting fare, as a great deal more stuff can be shifted around the screen without fear of intense slow-down.
Additionally, this title is compatible with both 1Meg and 4Meg carts, increasing the amount of animation on the characters quite considerably. To be honest, the game doesn't lose too much graphical impact without it as the differences are fairly subtle. However, those who hanker for the best-possible version should seek a RAM cart without fail.
Conceptually, I suppose this is the coolest available beat-em-up on the Saturn. I mean, it's pretty difficult to compete against the likes of The Hulk, Spiderman and Doctor Doom for pure machismo. Fans of the comic-book and cartoon series should be contented that all the characters actually move as they "should" do. By that I mean that their movements remain true and faithful to what has been witnessed before. It would hardly be appropriate for The Juggernaut to float across the screen as if he weighed about ten stone, would it? Instead, he purposefully bounds across the arena with a dark look across his face, excellent in this regard.
So, we've established that the graphics are shit-hot, what about the music? Well, they're aren't any surprises here. The tunes are what we have come to expect of Capcom over the years, not exactly inspired but not exactly shabby either. Thankfully, the sound-effects have been beefed up a little over Alpha 2, with some satisfying crunches in there for the bigger-blows.
The gameplay is quite a bit different to the Streetfighter games, however. Whereas beginners at Alpha will normally be whipped until their buttocks are cherry-red by an experienced player. First-time players in MSH can quite conceivably "shake-out" combos in excess of ten hits by randomly hitting the buttons and waggling the joypad. This can be somewhat infuriating in the short-term but after a period of time and some concerted play, the experts will be able to pull off some wicked twenty hit "aerial raves" at will. What provided me with some consternation was the lack of difficulty put-up by the CPU. They really are piss-poor. I know of merely average games-players who can sail through MSH on the hardest level without even breaking sweat. However, super-humans like myself have to rely upon a decent human opponent to come up with a decent challenge. This really was disappointing for me. The default difficulty settings should be what is adopted in the arcade itself, Capcom didn't need to tamper with this aspect whatsoever. Due to this aspect, MSH truly excels as a two-player game where both combatants are of equal ability. Also worth mentioning is the slow-down that afflicts certain characters on certain stages. It doesn't really infringe upon the gameplay to a huge extent but I can't help feeling that if Capcom had made this truly compatible with all of the 4meg carts memory and not just a quarter of it, this game would have been absolutely awesome, as it stands, it's "merely" great.
The endings are near-enough exactly the same as every other Capcom fighting game. I'd just like to say that the PAL version of MSH is dreadful, with big borders and slower game-speed being the order of the day. If you can, get your Saturn switched and enjoy this title a lot more at 60Hz mode.
Review By: Michael West