If you have found your way to this website, you are surely familiar with Marvel vs Capcom 2. Maybe you played it in the arcades or on a Dreamcast, perhaps later down the line on Xbox 360 or PS3 or very recently in the last few months with the advent of Flycast’s GGPO netcode. Experiencing Mahvel goes beyond playing the game though, as the community that is dedicated to its timeless charm brings the hype every single time. How well do you know that community? A very special documentary project is coming at you from an independent film maker to shine a light on the Marvel vs Capcom 2 community – this is VICTORY.
I recently caught up with Brett, better known in the Marvel community as “Romneto” while he was in the middle of filming for his documentary project centered around the people behind the long running MVC2 community in the United States. Romneto’s YouTube channel remains a treasure trove of rare and exciting MVC2 video content recorded in every method from shaky camcorder footage to high definition capture. Many of the best MVC2 clips of all time had Romneto standing somewhere behind it getting a record of it all. With such a wealth of history behind him he recently started traveling around the United States to direct interviews. I asked him to tell me a little bit about the direction of the project in an exclusive interview.
Romneto’s YouTube channel remains active to this day with new MVC2 videos added frequently. He also maintains a Twitter account with clips of his footage posted almost every day. If you’d like to support his work on this project consider contributing to his Patreon page.
Exclusive Interview with “Victory” creator Romneto
Shib: Tell our readers a little bit about yourself and where you stand in the Marvel community.
Romneto: I’ve been playing MvC2 ever since 2000, but I had a passion for film long before I knew about fighting games. I like how films have the power to tell stories and get people to see and understand things that they may not have known about before. My first degree is in film and I am a self-taught video editor. I have been competing in MvC2 tournaments ever since 2001 when I used to go to CF. I also went to 8 on the Break in NJ for a couple ECCs (East Coast Championships), NEC in Philly, a tournament at UGC in Los Angeles in 2015. In 2013 I funded and organized NYC Resurrection which was a major that drew in players from all across the county (Texas, California, Virginia, Puerto Rico) and was a reunion of old school CF players such as Josh 360, Sanford, Smoothviper and more. Some of the players who were at NYCR said it felt like the CF days and that’s exactly the atmosphere I was going for.
This video shows the atmosphere:
In addition to playing and organizing tournaments, I’ve been making videos ever since 2007. I have a wide variety of content including match videos, tutorials, commentary, highlights videos, individual and team combo videos, glitch videos and more. I enjoy teaching elements of the game in a clear way so as to help people perform combos and to bring new players into the community. Many people have told me that my Rom tutorial series (with a picture in picture of my hands and my MAS) has helped them to learn the Rom infinite. I also like making innovative content that pushes the limits of what people think is possible. With highlights videos I enjoy showcasing exceptional players and rarely seen characters in order to represent the complexity of players and playstyles in the community and to give people credit for their performances in the game. Around the time when the pandemic began I organized 2 MvC2 tournaments on XBL, and the second one had 52 players from 5 countries. I also ran a tournament a couple months ago at my home and I started a Ranbat Tournament series here in NYC but unfortunately due to the dangers of the new COVID variant and other complicating factors I had to postpone the Ranbat. When things get better in terms of safety I am going to continue the Ranbat series.
S: How long have you been working on this project?
R: I’ve been working on this documentary in one form or another since 2005. I had the idea to make a documentary about the MvC2 Community in 2005 and I made a topic on SRK about it. Admittedly, back in those days my ideas were less developed and looking back I realize that many crucial events in the history of the community hadn’t happened yet. My initial idea was to travel to Marvel communities across the world (Peru, Philippines, Mexico, Japan) and analyze their communities from a cultural perspective. However, I didn’t have the financial means to do that and so it didn’t happen. As I matured I realized that there is so much to think about and analyze from the US Marvel Community over the past 20+ years that it is more prudent to make a film dedicated to it. Though I am strongly considering making followup films that present international MvC2 Communities and several players from international communities have expressed interest in participating in my future films.
In 2010 I posted a video with a series of questions for the documentary on my YouTube channel and though more than 40 people said they would send in video responses, only 4 people actually followed through. After that I felt disappointed and put the project aside for several years. In early 2021 I felt a surge of motivation to revive the project and I began reaching out to players, old school and new school alike in order to get the wheels in motion. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the majority of players were positive and receptive to participating in the documentary and that solidified my belief that this film is meaningful and has the potential to be impactful and eye opening.
S: The “slogan” of your documentary is: “The story of the MvC2 Community by the players that lived it.” – what kind of content can we expect based on that?
R: The content in this film is mostly the elements of the community that haven’t been shown before, such as stories about friendships, memories of traveling to tournaments, how being in the community as affected people’s lives and those around them, and more. With this film I am focusing on the social and psychological elements of the Marvel community, the human elements. As much as we all love the game I believe it is the friendships and the memories of traveling and competition and camaraderie that inspires players to continue playing the game. Of course the drama and the Hype of money matches and tournaments keep people interested in the game too. There will be content in the film about key historical moments in the community and turning points.
Rather than focusing on only a small group of elite players, this film will present perspectives of players from all skill and experience levels to give a dynamic and complex representation of the Marvel community. This community has positively changed people’s lives in a plethora of ways and this film will show that. Each individual has had unique experiences within the community (and in life) but there are also several similarities between community members and that will be shown too. This documentary is a community effort and though the film was started by me, I couldn’t make it without the help and support of the Marvel community and I am extremely grateful for that.
S: For those of us who aren’t familiar with the MVC2 scene, where did you go to meet the people in this documentary?
R: I traveled to Los Angeles, Chicago, New Jersey, Hawaii and more to meet an interview people for this documentary. All in all I traveled to 9 cities in 7 states in the process of gathering interviews for the film. Truth be told I knew the majority of the players before I interviewed them, but still I found that during the interviews I learned things about them and about the community that I never knew before. I believe that people who watch the film will also learn new things that they may find interesting or entertaining.
Over the past 20+ years MvC2 has received a lot of attention in the fighting game community but it’s mostly been about the game and technical aspects of the game. While that is fun to talk about as a Marvel player, I aim to present the community in a way that makes it resonate with general audiences who have never played MvC2 and may not even have an interest in videogames. Focusing on the human elements of the community will make a big difference in that regard.
S: Do you feel that this documentary encompasses a certain period of time for the MVC2 community? When MVC2 was originally in the arcade, or after the Xbox/PSN releases?
R: This documentary will mainly focus on the years that MvC2 was prominent in US arcades: 2000-2010. The reason for that directorial choice is that there are so many great stories and social interactions that occurred when players played each other face to face in arcades. Online interactions are quite different from a social and psychological standpoint, and while they can be interesting too, I feel that are not as meaningful or relevant to the development of the MvC2 Community.
S: There’s a lot of clips of people gathered around playing MVC2 in the documentary trailer. Can you tell me a little bit about how you got the footage?
R: Some of the clips were provided with the permission of fellow content creators such as Preppy, and others were filmed by me over the years. I am grateful to everyone who has shared archival MvC2 footage with me and also I’m thankful that I made efforts to record community events. Having this type of footage is wonderful during the editing process and I am confident it will contribute to creating an entertaining and powerful film.
S: Do you think this documentary will help expand the audience of the game? Are the people involved actively participating in the community today?
R: Yes I do believe this documentary will expand the audience of the game. Over the past couple years I’ve noticed a surge of interest in the game by new players and I feel that this documentary will make the community more accessible by showing the human elements that anybody can relate to. Yes, many of the people who have participated in the documentary are actively involved in the MvC2 community today by hosting sessions, organizing tournaments, creating video content, running podcasts and more. I am proud to say that I am an active member of this community and I see it continuing to grow.
S: Is there any message you have for our readers regarding playing Marvel vs Capcom 2 today?
R: Continue to learn and progress and challenge yourself to push the limits of what you believe is possible. If you haven’t played the game yet, then just play and see how you like it. There are an abundance of resources for learning the game on Youtube (Magnetro, Romneto, Preppy, Dave The Magician, Khaos, Maddroo) and on Discord. Now is probably the best time to start learning the game because there are so many people who are knowledgeable about just about any character/team and many are willing to teach. I encourage especially new players to play the characters who they like, don’t feel pressured to pick Storm/Sentinel or MSP, just have fun and take it from there.
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