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The PSX for me was the pinnacle for 2d fighters. Sure the SNES and Megadrive is where they found they're fame but for me the 16bit and 32-bit consoles still didn't perfect them. The PSX had so much more power and was able to have these games flow and look better than every before. Although the PS2 is where the 3D fighters were mastered, this was the PSX ballpark for me.
So Capcom v SNK is this title, a 2D fighter which features heavily all your favourite Streetfighter characters such as Chun Li , Ryu and Ken and they take on an until this point unheard of SNK bunch such as Geese among others. There are 15 characters in total for you to choose from in this game.
In true 2D fighting style the multiplayer is great and you can play many exhibition matches againt the computer all you want but the real meat is in the challenge mode where you work you're way past each fighter and it gets harder as you go along.
Overall I really liked this game, it was fast, looked good and played well and is a solid fighter for all to play. Thumbs up.
Given that Capcom supported the Sega Dreamcast until the bitter end, it's quite surprising that they never released Capcom Vs. SNK Pro for Sega's little white box anywhere except Japan, although, despite the rather poor nature of all of their 2D fighter ports to the console, they did translate and bring out the PlayStation version of the game, even going as far as bringing it out in PAL territories, where as far as I can remember, it was one of the last major games put out.
For those wondering exactly what the 'Pro' of the title has been warranted by, it's fairly simple. Dan Hibiki and Joe Higashi are now present in the roster, instead of just making a cameo in the ending. Both characters are ratio-1 fighters(if you are lost by this terminology, I'll get back to it in a minute, don't fear), and are the only differences between this and the standard version of the game, but that wasn't actually brought out on the PlayStation, so if it's your only means of playing the series, then it isn't really much to worry about.
Capcom Vs. SNK: Millenium Fight 2000 Pro, to give it it's full title, although from herein referred to as CvSP for the sake of brevity, is a 2D fighting game, without much of a plot, but how it got away with this was simply by giving gamers an event long debated and hoped for, in that it pit fighters from Capcom's stable,mostly Streetfighter characters, with a Darkstalker thrown in, and rival company SNK's stable of fighters, mostly King of Fighters, with a Samurai Showdown fighter and a fighter not seen since Fatal Fury thrown in. While, to the average joe, that may not seem like something to care about, for gaming geeks long drenched in the mythology of these series, of which I am a proud example, it was the culmination of years worth of childish arguments, especially since the advent of the Internet, and not only that, but we would finally be guaranteed some new god-damn sprites for the SNK characters, because Capcom decided to redo all of them so they didn't clash in style with their own fighters. It should be noted that this is a Capcom game, and SNK's only contribution was in the form of donating their characters and somewhat of the gameplay layout to the game, so those hoping for an SNK style game will be sorely disappointed, this is very much a Streetfighter-style affair.
For those completely lost by the mere nature of the game, it doesn't work in the usual 'best out of three rounds' style that is predominant in fighting games, as you pick more than one character, but unlike Capcom's other 'Vs series' games, this isn't any form of tag-team affair, it actually works more along the lines of King of Fighters, where a character fights as many members of the opponent's team as possible before passing onto the next team member when they are beaten. Only it doesn't even go for a set 3v3 or 4v4 format like the KoF games, the game instead takes on a 'Ratio' sytem, wherein every character in the game is assigned a ratio(1-4) to gauge how powerful they are. You are given 4 Ratio points to build up your team, so you can either have 4 R-1 characters, 1 R-1+1 R-3, 2xR-1 and a R-2, 2xR-2 or a R-4. This means that it's possible to have one fighter squaring off against four, but apparently their weaker ratio makes up for it.
This system is as flawed as it sounds, with character's ratio placement seeming to be more based on popularity or storyline strength than actual use. You cannot honestly tell me that, in general, Balrog(as in the boxer) is a more lethal weapon than either Ryu,Ken or Guile, or that Dhalsim,Blanka,Sakura and Benimaru are in total equal to just Evil Ryu. Thankfully when playing in Versus mode, you can set fights to having a set number of fighters, so it simply works like a KoF game, or even have 1v1 fights like a standard Streetfighter game.
Also in terms of gameplay, Capcom decided to introduce 'Grooves'. Before you select your characters, you choose either Capcom or SNK groove. This affects basically how you charge your super move. Capcom groove does it the way you would expect, moves successfully landed build up the bar, but for some reason, despite the fact it isn't common in SNK games, SNK Groove charges Super Meter by having the player hold down the two heavy attack buttons until the meter is full.
The actual gameplay itself is great of course, but when it comes to a Streetfighter based title from Capcom, would you expect anything less? what isn't so cool is the loading times, and other curses of bringing the 2D fighter to PSX. Now, Capcom struggled before to successfully port games from their CPS2 arcade hardware to PlayStation, so attempting to bring a game designed for the Dreamcast-based Naomi arcade system and expecting a smooth transition would have been folly, and in many respects the game, as well as displaying how good 2D fighters can be, also serves as a wonderful display of how limited the PSX hardware was for handling 2D games.
CvSP has a roster of 38 fighters once all the fighters are unlocked, which as far as I can think, is Capcom's biggest cast in a fighter outside of Marvel Vs. Capcom 2. It's a big pat on the back for Capcom to consider that they managed to fit all of the fighters and all of their moves into the game. Whats not such a pat on the back is why some moves have changed command. Why does this game want a Kick button pressed for Terry Bogard's Buster Wolf Super Move, when everyone knows it's a Punch that should call forth that move? long has it also been pointed out that Capcom handled some of SNK's characters, especially Terry, and to a lesser extend Ryo, although the latter could be seen out of some sort of revenge, in a rather cack manner, leaving them a lot less potent than they should be.
As I said, the loading times are a huge issue, with it taking about 20 minutes to even get a fight going. Inbetween rounds, things just pause for a while as the game loads for what seems like a week before the next fighter appears. This really hurts the game, because nobody likes loading times, and this game has way too many, that last way too long.
The game does have a lot of features to unlock, including characters and Artwork. Now this is a blow, in the Dreamcast port of the original version of the game, there were all sorts of extras to unlock, including an option to replace the soundtrack with music from Classic Streetfighter/KoF/Fatal Fury games, extra costume colours and so on. I realise that the PSX couldn't cope with all of that, but it's still a bit of an annoyance when you are used to it.
Stuff is unlocked via 'Versus Points', which are gained by scoring VS Points during fights. This system ranks how well you fight, adding points for counters and large combos and so on, which translates to lots of VS points to spend.
Graphically speaking, the game looks really good, awesome even, when looked at in stills. The animation, as you would expect, has suffered quite a lot, and several of the characters, especially the newly designed SNK sprites, animate in a very choppy fashion. All the Streetfighters except Bison,Ryu,Ken and Akuma use their Alpha game sprites, which were competant animation wise at best, and the new sprites just suffer a lot. It's not unbearable, but if you've been playing the Dreamcast or Arcade versions at length, it is noticeable. oddly, the projectile pyrotechnics, made to look 3D, have actually survived fairly well, and while background animation has been lost in the stages, they have also recieved a spirited go in terms of recreating them on the PSX. Sadly, the stages have also lost their cool animated intros,although they are still the same pretty cool stages, many of them from actual SF/KOF/FF history.
Sound works fairly well, and while the game is sadly without the classic music, but the tunes there are adequate, if dull standard current Capcom fare. It's hard to believe they hit the wall so badly in terms of music quality, but I guess it was always gonna be a downhill slide after the epic music that accompanied the second Streetfighter game. Voices here are...ok, but nothing great. Most of the Capcom characters use the Alpha games voices, and the SNK characters voices don't often fit, but thank the gods Capcom managed not to alter what made Capcom Vs. SNK such an unintentional comedy hoot, Terry's new voice. "Are you ok? Buster Wolf!" still sounds infamously like "are you a gay? bustaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa voooooooolf".
Controls actually should work ok on the standard PSX pad, because Capcom opted to use an SNK style 4 Button layout, with Light and Heavy punch and Kick being the only standard moves, meaning only 4 face buttons are required. Sounds great huh? yeah, except the PSX/Dualshock D-Pad is the most horrible thing ever, so an alternate form of control is still gonna be required.
On the whole, while CvSP suffers from the same issues that plague every attempt to bring Capcom's 2D fighters to the PSX, I still feel it's a worthy addition to the library of anyone with an interest in fighters for the PlayStation. It's one of the best 2D fighters on the console, and even a poor port can't totally detract from it being a good game. However, even in it's near perfect Dreamcast port, the original game was never a great Capcom fighter, it wasn't on par with the Streetfighter 3 games or anything, and this port not only carries over the problems from the DC game, but also adds it's own in the form of the hardware limitations of the PSX. While I still recommend the game, because it's pretty fun, especially on multiplayer, this is only really to those who are restricted to a PlayStation for fighters, otherwise I would go for the Dreamcast port, or any version of the sequel. The game has enough quality on it's side to ensure that it still warrants 3-Stars, but the fact it's on a console that really can't handle it restricts it to never going above that score.
Capcom vs SNK Pro pits 15 fighters from Capcom's Streetfighter series against 15 from SNK's King of Fighters and Fatal Fury games. Capcom favourites such as Ryu, Ken and Chun-Li can be chosen to battle against SNK's Geese, Terry and Yuri amongst others. Arcade mode features a novel point system which allows players to choose up to four characters to take into each bout; other game play modes include Pair Match mode, which in only two characters to be selected regardless of their point allocation. In Single Player mode points are earned for successful attacks while subtracted for sustaining damage and at the end of the bout these points can be used to purchase hidden characters or upgrade any of the 30 characters available from the outset. All modes allow the players to select either the Capcom or SNK "Groove", or fighting style, regardless of which stable they come from. The SNK groove lets players charge their own power bar by pressing a combination of buttons, whereas with the Capcom groove the power bar fills after successful attacks. Once either bar is filled players can unleash their characters' special moves. In addition, players can select Normal or Turbo play modes. This feature-packed title also offers gamers the opportunity to view a gallery containing original artwork of all the characters and a colour edit mode where the look and costumes of the characters can be altered to suit players' tastes.