I first played Marvel vs. Capcom 2 at E3 in Los Angeles–nine years ago. Though it’s been a while since my Dreamcast gave up the ghost, I remember the game well. In the first month I owned the home version, I maxed out the in-game clock at ninety-nine hours and fifty-nine seconds. I spent three years of my life playing with this same intensity.
It’d be easy to assume that, almost a decade after its initial release, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 has nothing more to offer folks like me. And yet today I find myself, plugged into a console of the HD-era and flinging Air Hyper Viper Beams in widescreen, reliving the addictive joy of training mode. The game’s staying power reaches beyond me, as national Marvel vs. Capcom 2 tournaments still draw crowds, evidenced by this year’s massive Evo Championship Series in Las Vegas.