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Capcom vs SNK 2 is the lastest release from Capcom's 2D fighting department. This time we get a dream match up as once again they take on characters from the SNK multiverse. As a result, iconic characters from Capcom's Street Fighter, Darkstalker and Rival Schools franchise (amongst others), take on SNK's cult figures from Fatal Fury, King of Fighters and Art of Fighting (to name a few). The result is an absolutely monsterous character roster, with plenty of character variety, and some one to appeal to every sort of fight fan.
You can choose from a variety of playmodes, but you principally fight in a ratio system, where you appoint four points to your fighters. You can choose up to three fighters to be on your team and then share out the ratio points. The more ratio points your fighter has, the stronger they are. Having a beefed up ratio four, one man team, may just decimated a three man team with two one ratios and a two ratio fighter. The decision is yours!
As well as picking your character, you can also choose a playmode. The normal playmode functions as most other Capcom fighters, the d-pad moves you and the buttons perform various attack strengths. Selecting EO mode (Easy Operation Mode) allows you to perform special moves just by using the right joystick, making it much easier to pull them off. Attacks are then carried out by pressing the shoulder triggers. Whilst this does make the game more accessible to new comers, it is detrimental to long term players to rely on this.
You can choose from a selection of six 'grooves' for your team, three are based on Capcom games, three on SNK. These will allow your characters to perform certain unique feats, such as running, parrying, just defending, super cancels, custom combos and the like. If none of those terms made any sense to you, then you may be in for a kicking!
The graphics are a mixed bunch. The backgrounds, although not particularly numerous, are beautifully animated. Dune buggies jump over the fight arena, flames engulf buildings and a stereotypical day in London takes place, complete with toffs and red buses.
The problem lies in the character sprites themselves. SNK have been famed over the years for rehashing their sprites in each new iteration of King of Fighters, but generally their sprites do fit in within the game world. Capcom on the other hand do not always make such an effort to make their sprites match and that is the problem here.
The entire SNK side of the roster has been re-drawn, based upon their original versions and fit in the game beautifully. Unfortunately, Capcom have reused a fair few sprites on their side of the roster. Considering just how many sprites they have created for this game, there was surely no justification for including the million year old Morrigan sprite from the Darkstalkers games. It is a pixelated mess when framed on the luscious backgrounds and is something of a disappointment.
The sound effects are solid, without being spectacular. Similarly, the music is pretty anonymous, apart from the hilarious/amazing song on the London stage. The real highlight for me is the commentator who announces fights and offers over the top comments such as 'Now that's what I like to call BIG DAMAGE!'. This is a superb addition, and amuses me no end!
The game engine itself is pretty solid. Whilst tiers inevitabley exist (Sagat and Blanka in particular are rather beastly), the ratio and groove system adds an interesting twist to proceedings. Playing a character in the Alpha A groove requires different tactics to Samurai Showdown's rage-style K groove.
Single player mode offers the usual fight your-way-to-the-final-and-possibly-encounter-a-secret-boss forumla, but as we all know by now, multiplayer mode is where this sort of game excels. Due to the variety of team combinations available, this game has massive replay value. Unfortunately, the size of the roster is also its downfall as learning all the characters to a decent standard is a huge task.
Whilst casual gamers will know a fair few of the Capcom side, much of the SNK roster will be a mystery due to only recently crossing over to mainstream consoles. Although Capcom's characters retain all of their familiar moves, SNK's characters have been trimmed down in order to make them more balanced as SNK tend to provide more moves for their games. It is a shame that Capcom operated in this way as it would have been far more enjoyable if they had beefed up the Capcom side to make them more competitive instead of neutering the opposition.
The matches themselves can also be a fairly drawn out affair. Each character fights until their health is depleted, there is no best of three rounds here. As a result, the game feels a lot slower paced than the likes of the Marvel series, King of Fighters and Guilty Gear. Although this can provide some tense matches for players, observers may find it a little dry for their tastes.
Overall, this is a welcome addition to any gamer's collection, especially fighting game fans. It is a solid progression of the series, and vastly superior to SNK's reply, SNK vs Capcom: Chaos, which was a huge disappointment.
Capcom Vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium is probably the pinnacle of the entire Street Fighter (and Street Fighter-related) series. There's a massive selection of Street Fighter games out there, so saying this is quite a bold statement. However, I reckon that this game is the one where they really managed to perfect the formula, and the fact that Capcom have thrown in a massive selection of SNK characters too only makes it sweeter. So, so much sweeter.
SNK and Capcom were literally fighting out through most of the nineties, as they were the company behind most of the massive 2D one on one beat 'em ups from that era. With Capcom breaking into the mainstream with Street Fighter II (and later, Darkstalkers) and SNK pleasing the more hardcore elite with Fatal Fury and King of Fighters, they pretty much split the market between them (special mention should go to Midway's Mortal Kombat). It was great news that they were joining forces to make a series of games, even if it was because SNK were going out of business and Capcom were jumping on their characters' rights. The first game was a peculiar (but incredibly fun) card game, but they soon got down to the nitty-gritty with what everyone wanted to see - a 2D punch up.
The selection of characters from this version is massive. Some of the choices are a bit odd, as both companies dig around in their archives from some really obscure combatants. Seeing as SNK Vs. Capcom (this game's sister title, developed by SNK rather than Capcom) went to town and threw in Capcom classic characters like Mega Man and Arthur (and even invented their own, the spooky Dark Ken), it seems unusual for Capcom to want to offer us wastes of space like Maki - a relic from Final Fight 2. Still, familiar faces from Street Fighter II, the original Street Fighter, SF Alpha, Final Fight, Rival Schools and Darkstalkers represent the Capcom crew, while legends from King of Fighters, the Fatal Fury series, Samurai Shodown and Athena are representing SNK.
The game itself is pretty simple - you enter a tournament, which sees you fight through a selection of opponents until you reach the boss. You can opt to choose to fight 3-on-3, 1-on-1, or create your own custom teams using the Ratio system, where you can pick between one and three team mates, and split your combined strength between them. There's also a Survival mode and, yes, the one that'll keep you coming back for me - the Versus mode.
There are no proper endings to the main one player mode, although this is kind of understandable seeing as there are so many characters. It's kind of a let down though, especially considering how much effort Capcom used to put into their endings. There are only a few tiny bad points - the graphical style is inconsistent and some characters look like they've been ripped out of a SNES game. It wouldn't have hurt to have given everyone a new makeover to at least make them look like they're from the same generation of gaming, let alone the same game. That, combined with the lack of story, is pretty much all that is wrong with this superb game.
If you're looking for a 2D fighter, I say get this one. There's not much out there that really matches this in size and playability. The one player game will keep you going for a while, but the real beauty is in the two-player mode. You'll be playing it for years!
(A version of this review has been posted to Ciao)
(Note: This review can be applied to the PS2 version of the game. The only real difference between the versions, is the lack of online play in the PS2 game.) When Capcom Vs SNK 2 hit the Dreamcast (import only) and PS2 last year, it quickly became one of my favorite fighting games of all time. The only thing that I liked better, was Capcom's own Marvel Vs Capcom 2. Capcom Vs SNK 2 was a 2D fighting game fans dream come true. So, when I heard that Capcom was going to port it over to the XBox awhile back, I was quite interested. I had wondered what sort of enhancements they would make over an already amazing game. So, now that its finally hit, is this a half a#sed port with little or nothing new, or is it loaded with extras. Read on and see. Capcom Vs SNK 2 takes the original, and improves on just about everything in it. There's new characters, new grooves, new back grounds. Think of the jump between Marvel Vs Capcom and 2, then you'll get the idea. First up, there's the characters. Capcom Vs SNK 2 now adds a bunch of new characters (all the old ones are still here as well) from each side, bringing the total characters up to around 44. Not
quite as many as Marvel Vs Capcom 2, but still more then 99% of fighting games out there today. So, has Ca pcom added any new faces to the XBox port? Unfortunately they haven't. I really think they should have added at least 2-4 new fighters here. It would have given people like myself, a really good reason to buy this game a second time. Anyway, here's a list of all the new characters added to the line up over the first Capcom Vs SNK. Capcom Side Eagle: Eagle comes from way back in Street Fighter 1, so not many of you may remember him. He plays pretty decent for what i've used of him. He feels sort of like Rolento in a way, with the 2 sticks he fights with. Kyosuki: Kyosuki is from Capcom's underrated Rival Schools/Project Justice games. He has a pretty interesting, and original play style to him. Im assuming alot of people are going to want to use him. Rolento: Rolento is from the original Final Fight game, but has also appeared in The Street Fighter Alpha/Zero series. His style is pretty much a hit and run type. Not many people like to use Rolento, but personally I think he's a blast to pla
y as. Maki: Another rather obscure Capcom character most probably wont recognize. Maki is from the not much played Final Fight 2 on the SNES. She fights with 2 sticks and seems to play fairly well. SNK Side Rock Howard: Rock is from Neo Geo game called Mark of the Wolves. He is crime boss Geese Howard's son, who was trained by Terry Bogard. A really cool character that mixes both Terry and Geese's play style into a nice combo. He's one of my favorite characters in the game. Todo: This is Todo from the original Art of Fighting on the Neo Geo. He's a rather boring character to use, and feel they could have put a better character in his place. Haohmaru: The second character in the game to come from the Samurai Shodown series. Haohmaru is a welcome new addition to the series, and is probably going to be one of the more popular characters in the game. Athena: Athena is from the popular King of Fighters series, and is a great new addition to this game. Ah, if only she did one of her famous Psycho Soldier songs from the KOF games. Chang: Chang is a big Ko
rean fighter, with a large metal ball from the KOF series. This time, he has his KOF teammate Choi fighting by his si de. Chang seems to be lacking abit here, but still remains a very entertaining character to use. Hibiki: Finally, on the SNK side we have Hibiki from the Last Blade series. Hibiki sort of reminds me of Ukyo from Samurai Shodown in the way that she plays. A good characters, but takes a little getting used to. Overall im pretty happy with the character line up. I am however, a little disappointed that Andy and Billy Kane from Fatal Fury didn't make the cut. They are 2 of SNK's most popular characters, and definitely deserve a place here. Also, Dan and Joe Higashi who were added in Capcom Vs SNK Pro are back. Dan remains much the same as he did before, while Joe is vastly improved. In Pro, Joe had half of his moves taken away and just felt like he was thrown in, rather then a serious character. All this has changed for him now. He now has all his moves back as well as 2 new supers. One of the coolest things about the first game, was how it gave you a choice of 2 different
fighting styles called Grooves. There was one for Capcom, which imitated the Street Fighter Alpha/Zero style of play, and one for SNK which imitated the KOF play style. Also, depending on which Groove you chose, your character would get a different portrait drawn by the company of which Groove you chose. All this is back in part 2, but now you are given a choice of 6 different Grooves, plus an option to create you're own Groove. Capcom also carried over the special EO option from the Gamecube version of the game. With it, you can bust out special moves with ease, b simply hitting a direction on the right analog stick. A rather cheap, and useless option if you ask me. C Groove: This Groove is pretty much like the play style in the Street Fighter Alpha/Zero games. You get 3 level supers, as well as air blocks and counters. A Groove: A Groove is sort of like the Custom Combos from Alpha 3. This can be a really deadly Groove, if your good at combos. P Groove: This Groove more or less, feels like play style in Street Fighter 3. It has parrying ability, as well as the ability to short jump and delay standing up. S Groove: S Groove features a play style similar to that in the KOF games. You can counter, dodge, and do unlimited level 1 supers, if your life gauge is at 15% or less. N Groove: I haven't really messed much with N Groove, but from what I understand its pretty similar to the system used in the newer KOF games. With it, you can run, counter as well as short jump. K Groove: K Groove seems to focus more on power then anything, and seems to be based off the Fatal Fury or Samurai Shodown system. Playmodes in Capcom Vs SNK 2 are pretty much your typical modes found in every fighting game. You have your standard Arcade mode, Versus mode, Survival and Training mode. New to the XBox version is XBox Live support. With it, you can play opponents from all over the world to test your skills. While most games online are 90% lag free, you do get the occasionally bit of lag here and there. A small price to pay for the online option I guess. One complaint I found with the XBox version of the game, w as its load time. In the Dreamcast version, load between character was nearly
nonexistent. In the XBox game, you are now faced with about 4 seconds or so, of looking at a screen full of gold s quares. Yeah, I know the load isn't all that bad, but after spending so much time with the DC version, it is a little annoying. Graphics 8: Graphically, this game is nearly the exact same thing as every other version of the game. While the backdrops do look a slight bit crisper then they did on the DC, there's really nothing new here. No new animation, no new backgrounds or effects, nothing. Fortunately, what you do get here is all good. I especially liked the backgrounds. My favorite was the desert background, where there's a rally race taking place. Cars are jumping over sand dunes, and right over your characters throughout the race as they fight. There's also many other cool details in the backgrounds as well, such as hidden characters. In one background, it looks sort of like a London street and in it, are numerous characters such as Billy Kane, Lawrence Blood, Rose and Palum. However, if I had one complaint about the backgrounds, its that there aren't enough
of them. It would have done Capcom good, to add at least 4 or 5 more of them exclusive to the XBox version. Characters look fantastic, and animate ultra smoothly. Not quite as smooth as SF3 or Guilty Gear X, but they still look pretty darn good. Capcom also changed around a few of the character sprites as well. Chun Li's tired old Alpha animations, have been replaced by her newer SF3 look. Sound 9: Like the graphics, there is really nothing at all new about the sound. The sound track is a mix of styles including hip hop, pop and rock, and fits the action perfectly. I just wish they would have used a few of the classic tunes from games like Street Fighter and Fatal Fury. Voices are mostly the same as in past games. The only real difference I noticed was in Cammy's. Cammy now has an ultra annoying voice compared to her perfect one in the last. Then there's the announcer. This guy is a riot. His broken English (AKA Engrish) just has to be heard. When it comes time to put your initials in, you'll laugh out loud as he says "Inscrible Your Glorious Name here." Whe
re in the world did Capcom find this guy? Control: If you noticed, I didn't rate the controls . Thats because it all depends on which pad you're going to be using. I've tried both the original XBox control, as well as the newer Controller S. While both controlled very well, I found that I had a much easier time with the anchor sized original pad. While its bulky size and smaller buttons do take a little getting used to, the positioning of the black and white buttons made all the difference. Those buttons were just too awkward to hit in the heat of battle on the Controller S. Plus, to make matters worse, you are not allowed to config your attacks to the L and R buttons Overall, if you're using the standard pad, then give this score a 9. If you're using the Controller S, then give it an 8. Overall, Capcom Vs SNK 2 is an amazing fighting game that shouldn't be missed by anyone that's a fan of 2D fighting games. So, if you own another version of this game, should you buy this one too? Well, that all depends on how important the XBox Live play is to you. If you have XBox Live and
want a fighter on it, this is currently your only, and best choice to go with. If you don't have your console onli ne, or don't care about online play, then skip this version, as you won't find anything new over the game you already have.
Ask anyone who are the 2 biggest names in arcade beat em ups and if they know what they're talking about they'll tell you: Capcom and SNK. On the surface this game looks like just another 2D beat em up with flashy graphics. delve into the sheer depth of this game though and you'll soon be a convert. Whether you're from the church of Streetfighter or King of Fighters this game has it all. more than 50 selectable fighters from the huge range of different Capcom and SNK games. The game has many different play modes, the main one lets you chose a team of 3 different players and go through several other teams before pitting you against the end boss. All the various styles have been adopted from SNK, you chose your fighting "ism" when you choose your players, which determines what kind of special moves you can do. There are so many options in this game you wouldn't want to try them all. Essentially they are there so you can set the game up exactly how you want it. This is a game made for beat em up fans, true hardcore gamers dissapointed by streetfighter 3 need look no further for the ultimate extention of Streetfighter 2, this is it. The graphics are among the best 2D graphics I've ever seen, and the audio is amazing. The 3d sound is used to full effect and sound effects are carried over from each characters' original games with ease. Backdrops are lush and detailed, from the reflective puddles on one level to the working seaport depicted in another. If you didn't LOVE either one of the streetfighter games or one of the SNK beat em up's (Art of Fighting, King of Fighters etc) then you are unlikely to get anything out of this. But if this type of game does float your boat it is easily the best example of the genre.