The hyper-accelerated tag team brawling series returns with a beginner-friendly riot of mega combos – but the first casualty is nuance

Over the course of two decades, the Marvel vs Capcom franchise has mutated into a sprawling crazy quilt of exuberant brawling. Look for a unifying theme and it seems to be loopy excess, with overflowing character rosters, screen-filling hyper combos and a fondness for mob-handed tag-team battles. “Gonna take you for a ride!” declared Marvel vs Capcom 2’s jazzy selection screen ear-worm, and if the shield-chucking, hellfire-hosing action could occasionally be chaotic to the point of confusion, it was certainly never dull.

Six years on from Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom (a buffed-up version of the third instalment that boosted its warrior headcount to an impressive 48) and here comes a new challenger. In Marvel Vs Capcom Infinite, the conflict implied in the title has become inextricable. A diabolical team-up by Marvel’s tetchy AI zealot Ultron and Mega Man’s lantern-jawed nemesis Sigma has forcibly fused the two corporate universes together, creating an uncanny hybrid dimension.

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