20 years later, the War for the Gems continues: The 4th Marvel Super Heroes tournament at Mikado Game Center

By on July 29, 2017 at 11:00 am
Marvel Super Heroes at Mikado

Given Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3‘s electric grand finals at Evolution 2017, and Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite‘s impending September release, it is hard for people to look back on the Versus series and not acknowledge the influence it had for the North American fighting game community. While Japan is often glossed over when the conversation shifts to the Versus series, it is important to note that several of the titles in this franchise have sustained decent followings in Japan. Newer fighting game players might be familiar with players like Abegen and Nemo thanks to their appearances in foreign tournaments, but this series has attracted a variety of players from the Japanese scene over the years. It makes sense, given the popularity of American comics in Japan, and more recently, the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Take Men Kaichou, for example. While he is most famous now for being the owner of Pluck Curry Stand in Akihabara (which is essentially a shrine to fighting games in restaurant form) and being one of the early great Johnny players during the Guilty Gear X days, his namesake comes from X-Men: Children of the Atom (Check out his resource page here, and his combo videos here and here).

These classic Versus series titles call to the nostalgia of older players from the golden age of arcade fighting games, but also to new fans as well. With that, let’s enjoy some ’90s nostalgia by taking a look at some Marvel Super Heroes tournament footage from the hottest arcade in east Japan: Mikado!

-The Gauntlet-
On July 23, 2017 the 4th Marvel Super Heroes was held at Mikado Arcade. The above picture features commentators and TOs @ryuganai and @Harumichi_360 ‏
On July 23, 2017 the 4th Marvel Super Heroes was held at Mikado Arcade. The above picture features commentators and TOs @ryuganai and @Harumichi_360 ‏

For the small price of 300 yen (roughly 3 dollars), about 20 people gathered around two Astro City cabinets on a warm Sunday afternoon in this iconic arcade to bask in the nostalgia of a title that made us question reality itself. Mikado hosts events based on a selected CPS2-era title, in addition to the various classic SNK titles, several times a month. This event was particularly busy, with more tourists and visitors than usual. Take Ace, for example. A Virginia-born American who happened to look up the arcade that day and stroll in, only to end up participating in the beginner tournament. “I have always loved these games, and even played UMvC3. Although the recent MvC:I demo did not give me high hopes, I can’t forget the memories I have of games in this series, and I will buy the new game day one.”

This event hosted at Mikado had not only a free play session and a double elim 2/3 tournament, but a cabinet dedicated to beginners as well!
This event had an hour-long free play session, a double elimination 2/3 tournament, and also a cabinet dedicated to beginners!
-The War for the Gems-

The tournament is available to watch in its entirety here:

-To Infinity-


  1. Champion: Momoten (Spiderman)
  2. Runner-up: Dougeki (Psylocke)

With all the controversy surrounding questionable PR responses to troublesome questions, the nature of Disney’s control over the direction of the game, and the palpable drama surrounding Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite‘s release, it is easy for us to forget the precious memories this game series has brought us. From the first time I activated a gem in MSH, to the first time I did a team super in Marvel vs. Capcom, it hearkens back to memories of hearing the Q-Sound jingle, and the flashing lights of the arcade. It is hard to keep back the smile that creeps upon my face when I watch these demo screens, which show off the incredible aesthetic, sound, and design that so tactfully breathed life into characters you only saw on paper. I can’t help but think, “What an incredible era this was.”

The organizers stated that although this was the 4th MSH tourney they have thrown at Mikado recently, they want to continue to improve on advertising and promotion to get more people interested. Regardless, they seemed to have a lot of fun, and I think we can look forward to more from them in the near future.

Source: Amazing Gamers (YouTube)

A fighting game player from New Orleans, LA, now living in Japan. A sports fan and arcade gaming enthusiast, find him in Mikado on Saturday nights!