Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, the 4th full game in the MvC series (although there are predecessors, related titles, and an ultimate edition out there), is on the horizon. We’ve only just begun to receive the onslaught of news leaks about it.
The series is known for its vast and varied roster; peaking with the 50+ playable characters in Marvel vs. Capcom 2. But not all combatants are created equal. Of the nearly 100 characters you can control throughout the series, very few are complete stinkers. We are here to suss out the bottom of the MvC barrel.
“Lame” is a subjective term, to be sure. For the purposes of this list, we are judging based on a character’s redundancy, comparative underpowered-ness, generic nature, unwieldiness, or the nonsensical nature of their inclusion. We don’t expect to get everyone’s least favorites, and we’re sure that many people have good arguments for why some of our selections don’t belong on the list. That’s what a comments section is for, and we’d love to hear from you!
Here are the 15 Lamest Characters In The Marvel Vs. Capcom Series.
15 Dan Hibiki
Enough already, Capcom! Dan Hibiki actually began as a way of Capcom making fun of the fighting game characters from rival game company, SNK. As time wore on, he gathered up his own cult of admirers for reasons unknown to most sane individuals. It is entirely possible that his entire fanbase is an ironic one.
Dan’s move set is awfully similar to that of Ryu and Ken and Akuma and Evil Ryu and what feels like a dozen other characters. The difference is that because the character is a parody of SNK’s Street Fighter rip-offs, he is objectively inferior to the characters that share his same relative skills and attacks. The one saving grace to Dan is that because of his being a parody character, he’s been given a distinct personality (equal parts cowardly and braggadocios) that sets him apart from other characters. In line with that personality, he’s been given some fairly cute attacks -- like signing an autograph and throwing the autographed paper as a projectile.
But an annoying and egotistical (and much weaker) version of a character that essentially gets repeated multiple times has no place in a fighter with such potential for diversity.
14 War Machine
As with Dan before him, War Machine’s inclusion on this list is mostly due to character redundancy. The character, for those of you who’ve been living in a pop culture hole for the last several years, is a well-known Marvel superhero. James Rhodes, military man and close friend to Tony Stark, filled in as Iron Man when Stark was battling his demons. After Stark was ready to don red and yellow again, he created a new, more weapon-minded suit of armor for Rhodey, and thus, War Machine was born. As portrayed by Don Cheadle, he has been popping up in the MCU quite frequently as of late.
So from a branding perspective, War Machine makes sense. Rhodey’s entries in the MvC games, though, predate the films by quite a ways… and were more likely just a lazy way of making a “new” character. They took Iron Man’s animations and gave it a paint swap, mostly. Yes, there are slight differences (damage amounts, what the giant cannon ultra move shoots out, etc.), but not enough to warrant a separate character.
13 Silver Samurai
We have an admitted soft spot for Silver Samurai, and enjoy playing him from time to time in MvC2 (the only entry in the series in which he appears). But that still doesn’t change the fact that it is absolutely mystifying that he made the cut of Marvel characters that appear in the games. The Silver Samurai is best known as a comic book villain of Wolverine’s, though he has menaced other heroes and actually made his debut in the pages of Daredevil. He even briefly was a hero and part of the Big Hero 6 before dying in the comics. His son, more recently, took on the mantle and is a comic villain of little repute.
So the Silver Samurai was, at points, a noteworthy Wolverine villain… but made no real waves of public interest outside of the pages of Logan’s books. But at the time of MvC2’s release, he wasn’t especially being pushed as a character in comics or elsewhere. Why was he on the MvC roster, then? Is it as simple as him being a Japanese character and Capcom being a Japanese company? If that’s the case, Sunfire is perhaps more notable. Is it simply that the Capcom side had a couple guys with swords (Hayato and Strider) so they decided Marvel needed a sword guy? Then maybe Blade (popular due to the movie trilogy), Black Knight (an Avenger as late as the ‘90s who’d been around since the ‘60s), or Nightcrawler (famously an accomplished swashbuckler) might have been sounder choices.
Anakaris was one of the late inclusions to this list when we were figuring things out for two main reasons. The first reason is that he is, despite his intimidating appearance, a silly character -- and we are all for levity and wackiness where we can get it in the MvC series. The other reason is that the Darkstalkers series of fighting games from Capcom needs as much promotion as it can get in the hopes that it finally gets its due as a franchise in the West. (Seriously, how is a Street Fighter-esque fighting series featuring monsters and sexy ladies not a money factory here?) Felicia and Morrigan are the typical representatives to the series, but their sexiness and cosplay fanaticism can cut both ways and leave many feeling that Darkstalkers is just shallow titillation.
So enter Anakaris, the giant mummy able to use his bandages and sarcophagus in a number of bizarre ways (including turning his arms into giant snakes). It’s all very cool visually. The problem lies in his un-playability. You can’t appreciate Anakaris if nobody wants to be Anakaris (with his large target body, painfully slow speed, and leaf-in-the-wind floatiness). We’ve gotten a couple other Darkstalkers like Hsien-ko and BB Hood, and it would be nice to continue the trend of adding more when possible.
11 Crimson Viper
Of the newer characters that Capcom has introduced in the Street Fighter-verse over the years since the seminal Street Fighter 2, they have certainly played favorites with pushing the agendas of a few of them. In our opinion, they often select the wrong characters to promote and carry over from title to title. Crimson Viper is just that kind of character.
When Street Fighter IV introduced the ginger undercover CIA agent to us, it was generally agreed upon that she greatly resembled an SNK fighting game character. So it is ironic how much Capcom has begun to lean on C. Viper as an auxiliary tentpole character, seeing as how Dan walks around to demonstrate the vitriol Capcom holds for unoriginal character aping (for lack of a better word). There have been dozens upon dozens of characters introduced in the world of Street Fighter. If MvC really needed a more modern character (IV and beyond) there are more than a couple better options to take her place.
The ‘90s were a wasteland for new characters introduced by Marvel Comics. Like the albino and blind animals that live in deep caves, they were built to live hardily in their environment but were ill-suited to live outside of it. Such was the case of Marrow, despite an obvious attempt by the big brains at Marvel to push her toward the forefront. A mutant that was originally one of the Morlocks, she joined up with the X-Men where she was just as edgy and angsty as one could imagine a punk-rock mutant could be. While she faltered in the comics, she does resurface now and then (and was most recently a member of one of the X-Force teams).
Probably her biggest claim to fame was her inclusion in this game. Her powers of rapid and controlled bone growth manifest themselves in MvC2 (the only entry in which she’s playable) as the ability to wield bone knives, throw a giant bone ninja star, and spear people with a gigantic bone point that she launches out of her back. While the move set isn’t bad, and the character isn’t completely horrible by '90s comic standards, her inability to catch on in the comics has made her seem like an awkward fit in the game. She is so little-known outside of the game that it would be easy to assume she were one of the game-original characters like Ruby Heart and Amingo.
Let’s start by saying that we are sooooo glad that they went with Hawkeye’s original purple horn costume and not his movie costume(s). That said, why didn’t they go with another Avenger (like Black Widow) for the game? Hawkeye isn’t terrible, but upping the core Avengers in the game without helping tip the scales in the male-to-female ratio is pretty silly. Especially considering how well-suited Black Widow would be to an MvC fighting game. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 featured 25 playable Marvel characters… and only 4 of them were women. Great job, Marvel and Capcom! Girl power!
For those of you who don’t know Hawkeye, welcome to the 21st Century from some time in the distant past. Hawkeye is a non-superhuman member of the Avengers whose training with a bow and arrow qualifies him to fight supervillains (which he himself was at one point). In the films, he is portrayed by Jeremy Renner. His relative crumminess compared to the rest of the Avengers was played up in a modern classic Saturday Night Live sketch. Hawkeye actually plays pretty well in the game, although it’d be nicer if they played up more of his novelty arrows since they went with the corny costume.
8 Charlie Nash
Going through the character rosters of the MvC series, it becomes quickly apparent that a Capcom tactic to artificially inflate the numbers is to add a number of redundant characters. Earlier, we covered Dan Hibiki/Ryu/Everyone else and War Machine/Iron Man. We come now to Charlie Nash. Nash is a member of the U.S. Air Force, and a friend of Guile, who is killed by M. Bison somewhere in the convoluted storyline of Street Fighter.
Unsurprisingly, Nash is basically just a Guile clone, with different attacks doing different levels of damage. Surprisingly, Charlie has even sillier hair than his blond pal with a flat-top. That Charlie Nash ever made it to the series when Guile is such a Street Fighter stalwart is a testament to how badly Capcom wanted to puff up the number of fighters in their game. Looking back, it would have been much nicer to sacrifice all of the clones for even just one or two more actually different fighters. We will just have to hope that Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite doesn’t have that same doppelganger dilemma.
We appreciate diversity in the characters being offered, and we appreciate attempts to expand the presence of Mega Man characters in other Capcom games. That said, we wish it weren’t Roll being used to expand that presence. Roll dates all the way to the beginning of the Mega Man series, as a housekeeping robot in the shape of a little girl.
Again we are confronted with a virtual clone character (this time of Mega Man himself). In the related game Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, her move set differs from the Blue Bomber in that all her moves revolve around her housekeeping duties (think Servbot from MvC2 but less silly). The entire Mega Man series is rife with robots ready to battle the likes of Wolverine in a brawl between brands. While we understand the reasons behind clone characters, it is a pity that Roll’s inclusion stopped one of Dr. Wily’s robot bosses from joining the fray. It is also worth mentioning that Roll has perhaps the most disturbing ultra move -- in which she grows to giant size and her body becomes both more robot-like and more lady-like (as in more “developed”) and she proceeds to fire missiles from her breasts. Kinda creepy, Capcom. Kinda creepy.
6 Sakura Kasugano
We wish we were done with clone characters. You wish we were done with clone characters. Unfortunately for all of us, there is just a litany of clones out there in the MvC series. Sakura, like Dan, follows a generally similar template as Ryu and Ken and Akuma, but with more pronounced tweaks.
Sakura is something of a cult icon in the cosplay community, and has the distinction of being not just a Street Fighter character, but also the only character in Marvel vs. Capcom to have appeared in a Rival Schools game (a severely underappreciated and underutilized Capcom fighting franchise). The only problem is that she, like so many others, throws a hadouken (fireball) and has a whirlwind kick and a jumping-spinning uppercut. The big differences here are a couple moves (she has a special dash attack) and cosmetic ones. The story is that Sakura is a plucky schoolgirl (hence the cosplay connection) angling to train under Ryu and compete with the best fighters in the world. Mission accomplished, Sakura: you’re fighting against little boy robots and floating mummies and extra-dimensional demons and sentient cacti... but we wish you weren’t.
The logic behind including X-23, or Laura, in a MvC game is 100% sound. She is a recent, popular character that is prominently featured in Marvel comic books. She also appears (as a little girl) to be a focal point of the upcoming movie, Logan. The problem once again is just a stupefying amount of similarity between this character and another on the roster (in this case, it’s Wolverine).
X-23 is, in the comics, literally a clone of Wolverine. In fact, very recently in the comic books, she adopted the hero name of Wolverine after the main timeline’s Logan died (an Old Man Logan recently was plopped in from a parallel world and may well find his way into the upcoming game sequel). The funniest thing about X-23 is that even though she is a clone of Wolverine, her attacks and abilities are far more different than Wolvie’s when compared to other in-game clones that are supposed to be two separate and (mostly) unrelated characters.
The Wolverine redundancy is once again in effect with Sabretooth. Like X-23, the character and his moveset is different enough from Wolverine to not call him an identical clone. The sameness of much of the cast of the ongoing saga of Wolverine really gets pushed to the forefront in a video game that has far more to do with fighting and far less to do with character development.
And so, with that, we find ourselves stuck with another Marvel fighter using his claws to do his fighting. Admittedly, Sabretooth is a bigger and slower character, capable of doing more damage. But when the number of Marvel heroes and villains available for inclusion in a fighting game number in the hundreds (and the ones with a logical branding angle still number in the dozens), there is no real excuse for having multiple characters that hit so close to the same mark.
Devil May Cry is another of the uber-popular franchises made by Capcom. As such, Capcom decided it was in its best interest when making MvC3 (the first iteration of the fighting franchise to come out post-DmC) to include two characters from the series: Dante and Trish. Tonally, as should be the case with characters from the same franchise, they were very similar (even if their attacks and weapons were not).
On the release of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (just 10 months later), Capcom decided it was in their best interest to release a third DmC character. Vergil is a very popular character in his own right, although he's far less well-known than Dante. The issue is that outside of fans of DmC, nobody knows who these characters are. The sameness, tonally, of Dante and Vergil therefore create another all-too-apparent clone problem. We have two guys who are both sword-and-long-coat guys. The move sets for Dante and Vergil are different, but there's definitely a limit to how different you can be with a sword in hand.
Notice anything interesting about the image above? In case you’re not looking, or don’t care to do the mental gymnastics, we’ll help you out. The characters in the side-by-side image look nothing alike. And yet, they are meant to be the same person. Mephisto is a notorious demon in the Marvel world and, despite not being much of a fighter himself, would have made for a great inclusion in the fighting series as a big bad. In the precursor to Marvel vs. Capcom (called Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter), the braintrust behind the game opted to go instead with a demon named Blackheart. Blackheart, while certainly more intimidating looking than Mephisto, is a far less well-known entity (he originated in the late ‘80s, while Mephisto debuted in 1968). As a “secret” character in the game, however, Capcom added Mephisto -- but all that meant was making Blackheart a reddish orange and changing his name despite him being totally different than Mephisto (in the comics they are father and son).
Capcom also pulled this stunt with U.S. Agent (based on the Captain America character). The remaining ‘secret’ characters of the game were a bit more forgivable because their moves and play changed a fair bit with the palette change.
1 Bone Claw Wolverine
The palette-swap fighters being passed off as a totally different character is an odd decision to make for Capcom. The reason for this is because, even in MvSF, where “Mephisto” and “U.S. Agent” were playable, literally every other character had palette-swapped versions of themselves so that both players could pick the same character and differentiate them. So they made the decision in that game to put an arbitrary distinction on certain colors of characters and not worry about the rest. But that was with a very early game in the series -- surely Capcom would have learned its lesson, listened to player feedback, and not done anything so asinine in future installments, right?
If you said yes, you’d be wrong. In Marvel vs. Capcom 2, we are witness to virtual palette swappers like Iron Man and War Machine. But we are also witness to the most egregious offender in the palette swap scam: Wolverine and Bone Claw Wolverine (also charmingly known informally as ‘Bonerine’). What is the difference between the two? The color of their claws. That’s it. That’s all. We have no idea why they wanted to even try to get away with something like this. Is Wolverine really doubly as popular/important as Captain America or Spider-Man that Wolvie has two entries and they have one? Your guess is as good as ours. It is pretty safe to say, though, that Bonerine is the lamest character in all of Marvel vs. Capcom.
Did we nail your pick for lamest characters in the series? Who did we leave out? Is there one on here you'd like to see in MvC: Infinite? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!