Tokyo Game Show 2017 was one of the biggest video game conventions in Asia. People flocked from around the world to see first-hand the newest and most exciting upcoming games. Most come to get a chance to try games that haven’t released yet. Some were still in early alpha, while others were only a few weeks away from going gold. One major exception was Capcom’s Marvel Vs. Capcom Infinite.
Marvel Vs. Capcom Infinite became available to the general public a day before Tokyo Game Show 2017. I thought to myself that there wouldn’t be much value in checking out a game that was already released. Then, just within earshot, I heard two words.
In a somewhat unceremonious manner, Capcom announced the final four DLC characters for Marvel vs Capcom Infinite a day before its release date. The previously announced Sigma and Black Panther were going to be joined by Venom, Winter Soldier, Black Widow, and Monster Hunter. The trailer for Monster Hunter gameplay was playing on the screen above the booth. I salivated at the chance to take Monster Hunter out for a spin. If she wasn’t available, then at least I’d get a better feel of whether I, as a casual fan, wanted purchase Marvel Vs Capcom Infinite.
After waiting a fairly short while, I got my chance to play. I would test my mettle against… a fairly unassuming young office lady. As she was calculatingly going through the available roster, my eyes darted for one thing and one thing only. Monster Hunter was well and truly playable. We were given 20 minutes to play and you can bet your bottom dollar that I’d be using Monster Hunter every match.
Time to Go Monster Hunting
I paired off Monster Hunter with the villainous Jedah. For the most part, she felt like a rushdown character. She had a forward dash/roll move that allows her to close the distance with her opponent very quickly. At that range, she can land a flurry of attacks using her deadly dual swords. The dash/roll can also be used to escape potentially bad positioning.
An interesting tool lifted from her original franchise was a mid-range greatsword attack with armor properties. In other words, Monster Hunter won’t be interrupted while performing that move, although she will be taking full damage from any attack she receives. This can be a high-risk, high-reward way of breaking combos or getting in the last fatal damage in.
If her opponent opts to play keep away, she can utilize her oversized bow for combat. The projectiles were launched indirectly, so it feels less like a zoning tool and more a method to punish characters who stay too far away. The bow proved less effective against charging opponents.
Flavor-wise, Monster Hunter was a blast to play. Like Dante and Frank West, she got to arm herself with several classic weapons from her original franchise, from the dual swords to her greatsword. Her Hyper Combos add to the feel, with one of them even incorporating the powerful barrel bomb. The small attention to details to her weaponry and the iconic Rathalos armor added the cherries on top.
Monster Hunter seemed to fit well with any of the Infinity Stones. The utility of the Power and Mind Stones were fairly straightforward, even though I hadn’t memorized fully her Hyper Combos. Although I never got to use the Soul Stone, the ability for reviving a dead teammate was easy to imagine. The most fun to use were the remaining three Infinity Stones. The elemental damage of the Reality Stone augmented her incoming damage. The Time Stones fits the rushdown nature of Monster Hunter, allowing you to quickly close in on your opponent. This also mixes well with her aforementioned dodge/roll ability. The Space Stone worked best for trapping slippery characters, making it easy to turn the opponent into mincemeat.
I paired Monster Hunter with several of the new additions to Marvel vs Capcom Infinite, namely Jedah, Ultron and Captain Marvel. It was difficult to truly test Monster Hunter’s synergy with those characters. However, it still felt very smooth and kinetic, reminiscent of the Marvel vs Capcom games of old. The matches with my opponent were often hair-raising, twice ending with barely a pixel of life left. The auto combo (press Light Punch) and easy hyper combo (press Hard Punch & Hard Kick simultaneously) allowed a sense of excitement, even as we were figuring out how to properly execute the character’s moves. By the end of the demo session, it was clear we had a lot of fun, with the initially stone-faced office lady cracking more than a few smiles and chuckles. Never judge a gamer by their cover!
Last Special Surprise
Playing the Marvel vs Capcom Infinite snagged me a cool clear folder and a can of Red Bull. As I was sipping my Red Bull, a colleague brought someone to my attention. At the top of the stage, producer Tomoaki Ayano was playing his game against lucky visitors. Fellow producer Kansuke Sakurai was providing commentary and translation for those gamers who couldn’t speak Japanese. We were able to catch a quick word with both producers. They were very excited about the release of their project. Sakurai mentioned that the pre-orders for the game were fairly numerous in the Philippines. He also commented on the good numbers for this year’s Manila Cup, the Philippines’ leg of the Capcom Pro Tour. Both Anyano and Sakurai look forward to Marvel vs Capcom Infinite featuring prominently in next year’s major fighting game events.
There is no announced launch date or pricing for Monster Hunter or any other DLC characters for Marvel vs Capcom Infinite. Fans who buy the Character Pass will gain instant access to all these characters. I am definitely looking forward to using the Monster Hunter once she hits the wild!