It’s pretty much rule of thumb these days that if a successful Capcom fighting game gets enough fan demand, it’ll be released as a digital download title.  Just look at what the company’s done thus far with its library, with such games as Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike and Super Street Fighter II HD Remix getting the attention they deserve.  And while we await the next big announcements from the company (Darkstalkers: Night Warriors?  Capcom vs. SNK 2?), we have a couple more to look forward to this fall with Marvel vs. Capcom Origins.

Marvel vs. Capcom Origins sounds like one game, but it’s actually made up of two, giving cross-over fans more than enough reason to be excited.  The original Marvel vs. Capcom, the one that inspired the previously released sequel, will be included in the package, along with Marvel Superheroes, a game that bands together some of the best villains and heroes from the comic book pages, putting them into one huge brawl.

Capcom recently unveiled the game to an awaiting public for the first time at last week’s Comic Con International at San Diego, with the game on track for a September release on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade.  Like the good little brawlers we are, we decided to step up and take a few chumps to school with our combo-building skills.

The first thing you’ll notice with Marvel vs. Capcom Origins is how natural the controls feel.  Using a regular controller is pretty good for a game such as this, as you can execute combos and special attacks with ease, while setting up partners to come in and help you throw your opponents off guard.  But obviously, if you have one, custom made fighting sticks and controllers (like Mad Catz’ Fightpads) are ideal for a game such as this, as they’re much better for setting up killer plays and super techniques that will leave an enemy wiped out on the floor.

To show how dedicated Capcom is to the brand, they’ve also packed Marvel vs. Capcom Origins with a whole bunch of options.  First of all, the online play, across both Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, is GGPO supported.  What that means is it’s state of the art, and set up for match play, with competition built in mind.  That means you won’t be running into any lag while you fight with others, a huge plus when it comes to a frenetic fighting experience such as this.  But that’s just the start of the options that await players here.

Marvel vs. Capcom Origins will have a speed adjuster for both games, so you can actually change the pace of the fighting as you go on.  If you prefer a slow, calculative battle against a friend, set it all the way to the lowest.  If you want something fast and frivolous, however, crank it up and get ready for guys jumping all over the place.

The game will also support online lobbies for up to eight people, so you can easily set up an online tournament with others.  Both Marvel vs. Capcom and Marvel Superheroes support the Spectator Mode, where those that aren’t fighting can watch others go at it while they wait their turn in line.  This is a huge plus, as it gives you an idea what your opponents are capable of before it’s your turn to smack someone into next Tuesday with Venom and Mega Man.  You can also save replays, in case you feel like showing off your best fights to those close to you (and gain their envy as a result).

And, like other Capcom games, Marvel vs. Capcom Origins will feature a high definition upgrade on both counts.  While the fighting action will remain crisp and all its original animations intact, the HD polishing will make the games look better than ever on modern televisions.  This is especially good during the super attacks, when boulders come flying at the screen in a flash of light, emphasizing your strength in battle.  It’s really something to see.

Marvel Superheroes is a great game in its own right, but obviously the huge highlight here is Marvel vs. Capcom, featuring a wide assortment of characters from both sides, including some forgotten favorites that enter the picture as a third “jump in” character.  Here’s where Arthur from Ghosts n’ Goblins made a brief return, before jumping on to full duty in Marvel vs. Capcom 3.  If you’re quick enough, you’ll also spot the Forgotten Soldier from Forgotten Worlds.  Remember that game?  Yeah?

For 1200 Microsoft points (or $15), Marvel vs. Capcom Origins is looking like a terrific package deal, one that fighting fans will want to take advantage of once September rolls around.  And with the online set-up options, you’ll be setting up tournaments in no time.  Just don’t cry too hard when we kick your butts…