In 1996, after some flirting with their characters as Secret Characters
in both X-Men: Children of the Atom
and Marvel Super Heroes
, Capcom took the idea and ran with it, making a full-fledged crossover as X-Men vs. Street Fighter
The playable roster is composed of Cyclops, Wolverine, Storm, Juggernaut and Magneto from X-Men: Children of the Atom
, and Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Charlie, Dhalsim, Zangief, M. Bison and Akuma as they appeared in the Street Fighter Alpha
titles. The game also marked the Capcom fighting game debuts of Gambit, Rogue and Sabretooth, as well as Shadaloo-era Cammy.XSF
introduced the tag team fighting dynamic which became the trademark for the Capcom vs. Whatever
series of games: players choose two fighters and switch between them on the fly in the middle of battle, eschewing the usual two-round structure started by Street Fighter
in favor of a one-round fight (the fight ends when both fighters on one team are eliminated). Each character has their own lifebar, and when switched out, the inactive fighter will heal some of the damage they've taken until called back into action. The game also allows players to use a deadly Double Super Combo where both fighters perform a Super Combo at the same time for massive damage.
The story was all but nonexistent, with the chosen team fighting their way through various team-ups before facing down Apocalypse in a slight genre change. (Though Storm's ending implies that Apocalypse has been abducting mutants and street fighters alike for undisclosed reasons.) After defeating Apocalypse, you fight against your tag partner using whatever character landed the final blow during the boss battle. So much for teamwork...
Followed in 1997 with Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter
The game shows examples of: