Game Description: Capcom vs. SNK Pro enlists a host of characters, more than 30 in all, from Capcom's Street Fighter line and SNK's King of Fighters series. The game features two different fighting styles and various modes of play. You can set up dream matches like Ryu vs. Kyo or Zangief vs. Raiden.
One of my favorite pastimes as a kid was to get together with a few of my buddies and pontificate on who would win in a fightand no, I don't mean 'my Dad or your Dad'. These muse sessions were a little more esoteric, often involving matches like Spider-Man vs. Batman, Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair, Ash from Evil Dead vs. Reggie from Phantasm, or Darth Vader vs. Boba Fett.
Once videogames became prevalent, our bouts began to adjust to match our newfound hobby. Instead of comic book characters or film villains, the matches became ones like Link vs. Strider, Sonic vs. Mario, or Ryu Hayabusa versus Joe from Shinobi. As much fun as debating who would win was, it was ultimately an exercise in futility. One could argue that Sonic's speed would make him all but impervious to even Mario's most punishing moves, but there wasn't any way to actually prove it.
All of which brings us to Capcom Versus SNK, a fighting game that will allow gamers to determine once and for all which company has the better fightersCapcom's Street Fighter series or SNK's King Of Fighters/Fatal Fury. This match-up is for nothing less than to be crowned the king of the 2D fighters--no small reward for two companies who have kept 2D fighting alive almost single-handedly.
Capcom Versus SNK looks stunning. If anyone out there thinks 2D gaming is dead, they'd be well advised to look at this title, which will almost assuredly make them re-evaluate their stance on the power of sprite-based graphics.
Boasting a huge amount of characters who've all been tweaked and redesigned, and lavishly animated backdrops that should be more than familiar to fans of both series, Capcom Versus SNK is just gorgeous to look at. However, things only get better when the game starts to move. The fighting is fast, furious, and fluid from start to finish with each character featuring a plethora of well-animated moves. The Dreamcast is up to the task of handling the enhanced graphics and effects, and slowdown is never a problem.
However, it takes more than graphics to make a good fighter, and that's where Capcom Versus SNK truly shines. As fans of each series know, both Street Fighter and the SNK fighting games have their own unique approaches to combat. Merging these distinctive styles into a playable format would seem to be the real challenge facing the developers. Luckily, the challenge has been met, thanks to the implementation of a groove system.
The groove system allows the player to choose which style he or she would like to utilize; the Capcom groove will be the groove of choice for Street Fighter fans, while the SNK groove will help those familiar with the Fatal Fury and King Of Fighters series. The primary effect of each groove is that it determines how the super moves are charged. This essentially levels the playing field for the gamerone could fight with a Capcom fighter, but set the groove so that the super move gauge charges in the same way as the SNK one.
Another interesting tweak is the inclusion of a rating system. Each fighter is assigned a number between one and four based on his or her skill. The player can choose a squad with a power rating that adds up to four. This allows for a fair amount of strategizing as the key to victory might involve taking one level four fighter or two level twos, or any other number of combinations.
The combat itself is a refreshing change of pace. While always challenging, the insane combos and juggles of many recent fighting games have been dropped in favor of a much more traditional approach. This is a pleasant surprise, primarily because the game rewards genuine skill and not cheap players who constantly button-mash. If a player wants to unlock everything, he'll have to reach a zen-like state of perfection. Nothing less will suffice.
Speaking of unlockables, there's no shortage of hidden bonuses in Capcom Versus SNK. Unfortunately, in order to unlock everything, the player will have to fight thousands of matches to take advantage of the unforgiving point system. Earning the points to unlock hidden bonuses in the game requires a very high level of dedication and a real understanding of the fighting engine. Sadly, most casual gamers will never unlock the vast majority of hidden goodies in this title.
My only real complaint with the game isn't so much directed toward the title, but more towards the Dreamcast controller. Controlling the fighters is occasionally a little harder than necessary thanks to the Dreamcast pad. To say this controller wasn't designed with 2D fighting games in mind would be an understatement of epic proportions. It's big, it's clunky, and the D-pad is often too stiff for its own good. Trying to pull off a string of special moves can quickly become an exercise in aggravation, as the controller just doesn't want to cooperate on most occasions. If you have access to an arcade stick, that's the best way to play Capcom Versus SNK
Still, even with the control issues, there's no denying that Capcom Versus SNK is one of the best fighting games to come along in recent memory. While it remains to be determined just who, exactly, is the king of the 2D fighters, it's gamers who are the real winners.
I was looking forward to this particular title for two reasons: it would be exciting to see my favorite SNK characters rendered with more powerful hardware and, seeing as SNK has filed for bankruptcy, Capcom Versus SNK could be the last game featuring SNK characters. As an SNK nut, I needed to get this game.
Initially, there were many things that I had found pleasing in Capcom Versus SNK. The production value was there: slick menus, crisp backgrounds, and artwork from both SNK and Capcom artists. The sprites were nice and the SNK characters made the transition quite well. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that a few of the Capcom characters had been redone for the game; Ken, Ryu, Bison and Dan no longer used the old Street Fighter Alpha sprites. As Mike mentioned before, the game is an old-school 2D fighter, and a refreshing change of pace for the Versus series in general. Capcom Versus SNK had everything it needed to get my attentionit could impress in the first viewing. Unfortunately, after I spent some time playing the game, I came away disappointed. While I admit that Capcom Versus SNK was playable, my experience wasnt as favorable as Mikes.
Ironically enough, many of the things Mike enjoyed about Capcom Versus SNK were things that I didnt like very much. The rating system was something I particularly disliked. While I can agree with Mike that the rating system adds a strategic element in character selection, it does so by limiting the possible character combinations available to the player. The selection process is also made more complicated than it needs to be. Its not a fair trade off in my opinion. Unfortunately, there is no alternative to the rating system. There is no option for three-on-three team fighting (a la King Of Fighters), and there is no option for tagging either. The lack of options is particularly frustrating when you consider that the Neo Geo Pocket version manages to have both tagging and team fighting.
Another point of difference between Mike and myself is the question of hidden bonuses. I dont mind the occasional surprise in a game, but the use of hidden bonuses in Capcom Versus SNK is quite obnoxious. A sizable portion of the game is locked away from the outset, and the amount of effort needed to unlock the bonuses is unreasonable. You can avoid most of the trouble of unlocking the bonuses by linking a Neo Geo Pocket (with a copy of SNK Versus Capcom: Match Of The Millennium) to the Dreamcast. The link option speeds up the process considerably. However, the motives behind the link feature do seem questionable. After all, the link option requires the purchase of a Neo Geo Pocket as well as a copy of SNK Versus Capcom: Match Of The Millennium; Capcom could have just eased up on the workload instead.
Gameplay-wise, I will agree with Mike to a point. Capcom Versus SNK is an old school fighter, and thats good. Its slower paced and more deliberate, requiring sound strategy instead of simply charging with an arsenal of long chain combos. Its also less frenetic and less outrageous than the previous Versus games, making a better marriage between the rosters of SNK and Capcom. Unfortunately, there are some minor problems that I thought needed mentioning.
Capcom Versus SNK uses the SNK four-button layout, and while that works quite well for the SNK characters, it causes some problems with the Capcom characters. Capcom uses a six-button layout and that meant some accommodations had to be made. Unfortunately, certain accommodations didnt work as well as others. The biggest problem was the leg sweep, which required the controller to be held down-forward while the heavy kick was pressed. Although that method allowed for two different kicks with one button, it proved to be disruptive during play as many of my combo attacks were cancelled with an inadvertent leg sweep.
The game itself also feels quite limited in its scope. While the groove systems try to incorporate elements from both SNK and Capcom games, it only does so on a limited basis. At its core, the game plays like a limited version of the King of Fighters series, and the groove systems only affect the manner in which super attacks are charged. With such a large number of games from which Capcom and SNK could have drawn inspiration, I was more than a little disappointed with what I got.
Capcom Versus SNK has some good production value and, with the bankruptcy of SNK, a nostalgia factor about it as well. Besides that, I really cant say much more. In all honesty, I wanted to like Capcom Versus SNK more than I actually did, but I didnt. The Dreamcast is home to many, much better fighting games from both Capcom and SNK, and Id sooner recommend Fatal Fury: Mark Of The Wolves or Street Fighter Alpha 3 than I would Capcom Versus SNK.
According to ESRB, this game contains: Animated Violence, Suggestive Themes
Parents have little to fear from Capcom Versus SNK. While the game has garnered a Teen rating, this is an old-school fighting game, meaning there's none of the blood and guts of games like Mortal Kombat. The violence in the game is more cartoonish than realistic, complete with throwing fireballs and the like.
2D fighting fans will want to grab this game immediately. 2D games are a dying breed, and this is easily one of the best ones to come out in recent memory.
Fighting fans will also want to give this title a look. While it's not as technically stunning as something like Soul Calibur, the action here is fast, furious, and fun.
Casual gamers will probably want to adopt a rent before you buy approach. The game is a lot of fun, but requires a fair amount of dedication in order to unlock all of the hidden goodies. Because the point system for the extras can be unforgiving, many will find that core game gets old in short order.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers will miss out on the battle shouts and background music, but sound isn't all that important in this fighting game.