Hands on With the New Arcade1UP Marvel vs Capcom 2 Cabinet

Kah talks to Arcade1Up's John D. about mahvel, baby!! It's our final Spawn On Me EVO 2022 podcast transcript!

In our final EVO 2022 special edition Spawn On Me interview, host Kahlief Adams goes hands-on with the newest Arcade1Up cabinet, which showcases the legendary classic Marvel vs Capcom 2. Arcade1UP Licensing and Business Development SVP John Diamonon runs Kah through the nuts and bolts of the arcade classic, how Arcade1Up is looking to keep it true to its roots, and how the team is embracing preservation.

(Also available on Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts!)


Transcribed by E. Powers

Kahlief: What’s good, everybody in Brookago? We have another banging interview from EVO 2022. This one is all about the Marvel vs. Capcom 2 Arcade1Up cabinet that is now going to be in the world, and I got a chance to see it hands-on exclusive with my friend John D from Arcade1Up, and we had a great conversation about not only what Marvel vs. Capcom 2 has meant to the fighting game scene.

You know, what is this kind of resurgence around this very particular game? Because it is one of the most coveted versions of an Arcade1Up cabinet that people have been asking for for a long period of time. You know, how is Arcade1Up helping with preservation of old games? How are they thinking about their role in that effort? And we had a really good chance to talk about just the vibes around, you know, what you’re gonna be able to play with this piece of gear when it comes out into the world.

I am very excited for it. I got my fingers crossed. I’m like, hey, send me one of them bad boys, ’cause they look really, really cool. But it made me go back into my arcade history and feel really, really at home getting a chance to get on the sticks and play this particular game. So check out our interview with John D. He was amazing and fantastic. Mega thanks to all the folks over Arcade1Up for having us, and enjoy this dope interview with John D.

Kahlief: What’s good, everybody? We are here. We are here in front of one of the most coveted things here at EVO 2022, [laughs] and I’m here with John from Arcade1Up. Thank you so much for being here with me today and talking about this beautiful piece of gear, the MvC2 cab. It is gorgeous. It is beautiful. It makes me feel nostalgic for all the things that I miss when I was back in the arcade. How’s your EVO been? How’s everything been going so far?

John Diamonon: EVO’s been crazy. I’m glad that we’re finally back here.

Kahlief: Yeah.

John: I think it’s been about two years since…

Kahlief: Yeah.

John: I used to go every year, so I just miss it. It’s like a family reunion, you know? And, yeah, it’s been crazy, but it’s been good. I can’t wait for all the new announcements tomorrow.

John Diamonon: I got to play Street Fighter VI today.

Kahlief: Ooh.

John: That was dope.

Kahlief: Yeah.

John: That was dope. So yeah, I mean, that’s probably the number one thing I was looking forward to.

Kahlief: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

John: And then also Multiversus looked good and everything else.

Kahlief: Mm-hmm.

John: And again, the announcements tomorrow should be crazy. Crossing my fingers.

Kahlief: [sighs] I mean, the energy around y’all putting this out, ’cause again, y’all put out such great gear and so many great cabs again that was like pulling in so many games that we all love and have played over the years.

John: Mm.

Kahlief: This is very special, though.

John: Yeah.

Kahlief: This feels like this has a special layer of energy. Y’all were trending on Twitter.

John: I know, crazy!

Kahlief: It was wild. It was wild. Like, again, how has it been able to kind of bring this to market in a space where this has been the one that everyone has been been hoping for?

John Diamonon: Well, it’s been a long time coming.

Kahlief: Yeah.

John: I think a lot of people know that there hasn’t been a new version of Marvel vs. Capcom 2 since probably 2009 [Kahlief: “Yeah”] with the Xbox live and PlayStation 3 version. I worked on that version.

Kahlief: Yeah!

John Diamonon: Yeah, so kind of come full circle and everything. And yeah, I mean, to have this announced when EVO is coming back, I couldn’t have asked for better timing.

Kahlief: Like, so good. I remember seeing so many of my friends and so many industry folks who I know who have just been like, “Oh crap. It’s finally happening.”

John: Yeah.

Kahlief: We’re finally getting it. It’s gonna be…

John: Yeah.

Kahlief: For the folks who are part of our audience who may not know exactly what you would be getting if you got this cab…

John: Okay.

Kahlief: Give ’em the whole rundown of all the games, all the features, all that kind of stuff.

John Diamonon: Sure. So this is basically a three quarters representation of the original Marvel vs. Capcom 2 cabinet.

Kahlief: Yeah.

John Diamonon: It includes eight games.

Kahlief: Mm.

John: Most of the games that Capcom ever developed with Marvel, so you’re talking about Marvel vs. Capcom, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, X-Men vs. Street Fighter, X-Men: COTA. What am I missing? There’s also…I said Marvel Super Heroes, right?

Kahlief: Uh huh.

John Diamonon: There’s even a couple like Super Nintendo games, like War of the Gems and X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse. Remember those games?

Kahlief: Ooh, War of the Gems!

John: Yeah. So it’s got eight games in one, and not only that, it’s online play.

Kahlief: I remember hearing that part.

John: Right.

Kahlief: And that was the thing that really sparked my mind of saying: I, as a person who has no friends– that’s not my fault. [John laughs quietly] I didn’t do it. They left me. I didn’t leave them.

John: Yeah.

Kahlief: But that part of it really also adds this extra layer to it that I think is so important.

John: Yeah.

Kahlief: I mean, I grew up in the arcade era. You know, having that butt to butt space to be able to like move somebody outta the way if you want to. But now, having a cabinet like this, having online functionality and online play, that just adds this other layer that makes it feel just like that arcade experience.

John Diamonon: Being in the arcade, right?

Kahlief: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

John: It’s basically, since we don’t have arcades anymore.

Kahlief: Yeah.

John: And it’s still bringing that community together online.

Kahlief: Yeah.

John Diamonon: And a lot of these games have never been online before.

Kahlief: Yeah.

John: And this is really the only official way you can play Marvel vs. Capcom 2. It might be even the last time you’ll be able to play Marvel vs. Capcom 2. [laughs]

Kahlief: Yeah.

John: So we take this as a responsibility.

Kahlief: Yeah.

John: You know, we want to revive the Marvel community.

Kahlief: Yeah.

John Diamonon: You know, I understand this is a $600 product.

Kahlief: Sure.

John: And it’s a little bit expensive, but you get a nice reproduction.

Kahlief: Oh yeah.

John: And then we’re also looking for, you know, more inexpensive ways to bring this game out. Maybe possibly in a Marvel vs. Capcom 2 plug and play that is also online. You can put your sticks and everything else.

Kahlief: Yeah.

John Diamonon: But we’re looking all into that, because we want to cont– look, the Marvel community has been alive for a long time and still going on. I think right now there’s a Marvel vs. Capcom 2 side tournament coming at EVO.

Kahlief: Absolutely, yeah.

John: So yeah, we take this as a big responsibility, and we’re happy that Capcom and Marvel both entrusted us.

Kahlief: I mean, and so another layer too, where I think, and I’m happy you touched upon that, is like that level of preservation too.

John: Yeah.

Kahlief: Which is, you know, not only just in the way that this cabinet presents itself, ’cause again, this is classic stuff. Like we got some B-roll of the side art and the marquee and all that stuff.

John: Yeah.

Kahlief: But like, yeah, you’re keeping these games alive for generations to come.

John: Yeah.

Kahlief: How important is it, you know, from your team and the Arcade1Up team to really like dig into that space? ‘Cause you’ve done it across multiple cabinets and multiple games over the years, but this definitely has a very, very special space in the gaming history.

John Diamonon: It does. Like I said, there’s a responsibility. We want to make it as authentic as possible.

Kahlief: Yeah.

John: You know, look at the marquee.

Kahlief: Mm-hmm.

John: Looks just like the same. And then, you know, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 never really had a real official.

Kahlief: Yeah.

John: You know, it was like an expansion pack, so a lot of it used the old CE.

Kahlief: Mm-hmm.

John: [laughs] That’s why you see it this way. It looks a little off as you had the old CE like control panel. I mean, the side art, we use that as a representation of the original key art from the console versions.

Kahlief: Yeah.

John: So we do the best we can. There’s even like a coin door, you know, a full coin door here and everything else.

Kahlief: Ah, I love that.

John: So it is a time preservation. It is a time machine. It’s like any old music. You remember the first time you listened to like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”.

Kahlief: Yeah.

John: You remember the first time you watched The Godfather.

Kahlief: Yeah.

John: It’s the same thing. You remember the first time Marvel vs. Capcom 2, you know, hit the arcades.

Kahlief: Yeah.

John Diamonon: And it was crazy. So there it is. It’s like a mini time machine, it’s an art piece, and it’s light enough to put in, you know, your homes.

Kahlief: I mean, and it has that iconic [singing] “Take it for a ride.”

John Diamonon: Yeah. Did you guys see the beginning when hit that star speed up?

Kahlief: Ah, it’s so dope, because that’s the thing that we all think about.

John: That’s the culture.

Kahlief: And that’s a part of it too, which I love. It is a cultural thing, where it’s like, [John: “Mm-hmm”] that’s the part that you remember instantly when you think about that game and how that comes across.

John Diamonon: Yeah. There’s a certain culture with the Marvel vs. Capcom 2 fans. I think a few days ago, maybe a week ago, I was teasing the cabinet. No one knew what I was talking about, unless a Marvel vs. Capcom 2 fan was on the podcast. [Kahlief laughs] I was eating Pringles. I had like Häagen-Dazs. I had a picture of Patrick Ewing in the background.

Kahlief: Yes!

John: [laughs] You know, and all that stuff. But it is a tribute to Marvel vs. Capcom 2 fans.

Kahlief: Yeah.

John Diamonon: And I’m very happy that…you know, we really have to understand the culture. This is speaking to directly Marvel vs. Capcom 2 fans.

Kahlief: Yeah. I love it, again. I’m a huge fan of all the work you all do. Huge fan of this game, especially. I have a keychain that is…

John: There’s a key chain? Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Kahlief: I have that in my bag as we speak.

John: That’s awesome.

Kahlief: Because I’m a big fan of video games in that era of–

John Diamonon: Is that from New Wave Toys that you got it?

Kahlief: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

John: They’re dope. Another hot shout out to New Wave Toys, because I don’t–

Kahlief: Shoutout to them. For sure, for sure, for sure. So when is this gonna be available for folks to be able to get their hands on it and snag this?

John Diamonon: Okay. So let’s start with this. Go to Arcade1Up.com.

Kahlief: Yeah.

John: The pre-order starts on September 8th.

Kahlief: Okay.

John Diamonon: There’s a landing page there, and make sure you select the Notify Me.

Kahlief: Yeah.

John: And, you know, you’ll put your name and email address and everything. You’ll be the first to know when the game comes out. There’ll be a lot of special content that Justin Wong and I will create as, you know, to create hype on that.

Kahlief: Yeah.

John Diamonon: But I would definitely suggest for everyone to definitely go on that page, Notify Me, because we had such a great response this weekend.

Kahlief: Yeah.

John: And looking at the numbers of our Notify Mes and everything else, I don’t know if we’ll be able to meet demand.

Kahlief: Yeah.

John Diamonon: And I’m not just saying that. People say that, “Oh, you gotta go.”

Kahlief: Yeah.

John: Nah. I’ve seen the numbers, and you know, I hope we can make more, but you know, definitely do that. Definitely go to, you know, Twitter hashtag freedMvC2. Okay?

Kahlief: [laughs] I love it.

John: Yeah, freedMvC2. We have a contest.

Kahlief: Oh?

John: Yeah. So go on Twitter, hashtag freedMvC2, put a short clip of why you love Marvel vs. Capcom 2, what you’re excited about.

Kahlief: Yeah.

John Diamonon: We’re gonna pick, you know, one of our favorite tweets and everything else, and you’ll get a free Yoga Flame cabinet.

Kahlief: Ooh.

John: I don’t know if you guys know about the new Yoga Flame cabinet.

Kahlief: Yes.

John: It’s a Street Fighter cabinet. It has 14 games. It’s all online play. It has, you know, Street Fighter games, Puzzle Fighter, a whole bunch of other stuff, Final Fight.

Kahlief: Ooh.

John Diamonon: But yeah, we’re giving that away for people who hashtag freed Marvel vs. Capcom 2 with a short clip.

Kahlief: I mean, I might have to get my tweet in there too, see what I can do.

John Diamonon: I’m probably gonna use a fake account, [Kahlief laughs] put my, you know, put my thing in so I can win it for myself. Just kidding.

Kahlief: So shoutout to everyone who knows how to make a Twitter bot. Don’t do it. [John laughs] We will find you. We will find you for messing it all up for all of us who really want one.

John: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Kahlief: But I’m excited for that.

John: Yeah.

Kahlief: I’m excited for this to be able to finally be in the world, for folks to be able to pull in.

John: For sure.

Kahlief: Happy you’re pulling Justin Wong, the legend, to be able to help you.

John Diamonon: He works for us. He’s the one who– this is his baby.

Kahlief: Oh.

John Diamonon: He’s making sure the emulation, the rollback technology, all the bugs are still in there.

Kahlief: Yeah.

John: All the animations are correct. Justin Wong is…yeah, I’m gonna blame Justin Wong if it doesn’t turn out right, [Kahlief laughs] but you know he’s gonna do it right. So yeah.

Kahlief: Oh. Well, I’m very excited just to see this here, happy that this came along at this moment at EVO.

John: Yeah.

Kahlief: Especially when everybody’s come back with such great energy. It is so cool to see you and the rest of the team building out these kind of cabinets for all of us to be able to really dig into that nostalgia, and thank you so much for being with me.

John Diamonon: No, thanks for having me. Thank you so much.

Kahlief: Appreciate it.

John: It was really great meeting you.

Kahlief: Same, same, same.

John: Yeah.

Kahlief: Everybody in Brookago, nothing but dopeness here, when we get to rock with wonderful folks like this, so.

John: [laughs] Thanks.

Kahlief: Of course, we have more good stuff coming to you for EVO 2022, right after this.