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X-Men Vs Street Fighter

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Released: 1997

Genre: Beat-’em-up

Format reviewed: Sega Saturn

Publisher: Capcom

Developer: Capcom

Submitted by: Darran Jones

X-Men Vs. Street Fighter isn’t really loved by most purists of the beat-’em-up genre. Many feel that the characters lack imagination, they’re too unbalanced and that the over-the-top air juggling and frantically fast pace kills the game.

Those people are wrong.

Yes, Capcom’s gloriously extravagant brawler is far from perfect and if you wanted to, you could spend an afternoon dissecting its numerous flaws, but it’s been put together with such joyful exuberance that you can’t help but instantly fall in love with it.

By pitting some of Marvel’s heaviest hitters against its own famous creations, Capcom dared to get players to discover the answer to one of the most important questions a beat-’em-connoisseur could ask. Namely, who would actually win in a scrap between Wolverine and Ryu?

While there are 16 different fighters to chose from – eight X-Men and eight Capcom heroes – the player is free to pair them together however he chooses. Want to team-up the speed and versatility of Ryu, with the brute strength of Juggernaut? No problem, or perhaps you want Magneto and M Bison to take on all and sundry? No matter what your preference you’ll easily find a combination to your liking.

Once the teams have been formed, it’s then straight in to the action, and what glorious over-the-top mayhem it is. Super jumps launch you soaring into the air; your other fighter can be tagged-in with a press of two buttons and the aforementioned air juggling, while tricky to begin with, soon becomes second nature.

Most impressive though, is how faithful the Saturn conversion was to its CPSII parent. Due to the inclusion of the 4MB RAM Cartridge, Capcom was able to treat Saturn owners to a near identical conversion that made the PlayStation version look rather poor – a fair few frames of animation were missing and there was no tag switching – in comparison.

A shame then that the proposed UK release was cancelled at the very last moment.