Well, last night I waltzed out of Gamestop with a 1600 Point Xbox Live card, a SFIV Madcatz Tournament Edition Fightstick, and trepidation that the $170 I just let go of to play a decade old game that I already owned was ill spent. I crossed my fingers.
When you first open the multiplayer menu, you'll immediately notice how the options of online play modes are scant when compared to that of Street Fighter IV. Don't expect to find any "Championship Mode" or see any post-fight displays tallying gained or lost points after ranked matches. Instead Capcom opted to go with a structure seemingly identical to that of Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix. Maybe I should have expected this considering that both MvC2 and HD Remix are XBLA games, but it doesn't change the fact that I find myself longing for the more logical, fleshed out points system used by SFIV. As with HD Remix, results of ranked matches affect your standing in the online leaderboard, although not always accurately. Expect to find many of the same glitches that plague HD Remix's leaderboard--it's not uncommon for your wins and losses to be archived incorrectly and you may occasionally find people with blatantly worse records ranked higher than you (other factors are obviously considered in your rank).
After getting the opportunity to play a few ranked matches, I decided that I was generally happy with my purchase. You might notice occasional frame skipping or hiccups in speed, but I've found them to not really effect gameplay for me. In fact, considering that this is MvC2, I'm pretty much baffled by how little lag interfered with my combos. I was comfortably pulling off Cable's Triple Air Hyper Viper Beam and Cammy's air combo into Killer Bee Assault. But maybe I should withhold judgment until I see someone pull off Iron Man's infinity (something I didn't test due to my lack of experience with him).
At first, I found the level of online competition to be below my expectations. But after my 11th game or so, I fought a Magneto, Storm, Sentinel combo that annihilated me. So expect to wade through plenty of scrubs before stumbling upon the stronger opponents. And fans of being boner-licking buttplugs will be happy to know that rage quitting is still...all the rage lolzz!!! Two of my initial 5 opponents, on the verge of defeat, decided to rage quit and then sodomized themselves with their own controllers (probably).
The game was just released, so many of the issues I've mentioned have ample opportunity to still get patched; but considering how long it took Capcom to address similar problems with HD Remix, gamers might end up having to wait a while before all serious bugs are ironed out. And there are some annoying bugs . For instance, if someone tries to join your created game and disconnects before the game starts, you get treated to a frozen screen that requires you to escape to dashboard and reload the game. Hopefully the game creation and freezing issues reported will be ironed out before the game reaches full stride.
I'm ultimately excited about having the capacity to play this game over the series of tubes that is the internet. The online play so far seems pretty damn respectable, and more than that, the diversity of players that XBL provides combined with MvC2's vast cast of characters is sure to serve me up some intriguing opponents implementing character combinations and techniques that I've never seen before. Although I'm not sure if I'd recommend buying this game if you don't intend to buy or already own an arcade stick, fans of the game will be happy to know that it seems to hold up well to online play and would be wise to pick it up for $15.