Review By: J.
after the release of the first game in the series, the company
that created such fighting franchises as Street Fighter and
Darkstalkers unleash Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium
2001 onto an unsuspecting public. Possibly the final title
of its kind, C vs. SNK2 sets out to be the definitive 2D
fighting game. In theory it does so quite competently, despite
not being wholly original. Considering Capcom's penchant for
superfluous sequels (and tongue twisting titles) you'd think
this fighter was yet another easy release from the gaming giant.
However, this time around enough new (and old) elements come
into the field to make this game a wise purchase for any fan of
the genre, regardless of itís final place in the annuls of
fighting game history.
behind the game is the stuff that dreams are made of. Combatants
from rival SNK and Capcom camps face off in a no-holds-bared
championship to see which side has what it takes to come out on
top. Regardless of what faction youíre partial to having both
companies in one arena is a pretty epic proposition. Gamers will
find much to love in the lineup, and will be hard pressed to not
find at least one old favorite in the crowd. Pugilists from
practically every major release in SNK and Capcomís legendary
history, including all those youíve come to expect, help round
out the 40 + character roster. Some faces, like Eagleís, havenít
seen the light of day in at least a decade, and are a welcome
addition to the characters that seem to appear in every game.
Any fan of
the genre knows that the life-blood of a 2D fighting game is the
Ďfeelí of the fighting system. Luckily the
"Groove" system in C vs. SNK2 allows anyone whoís
played a popular Street Fighter or SNK title in the past 5 years
to feel right at home. In a nutshell each "Groove", or
fighting style, encompasses a particular combat system from one
of Capcom or SNKís venerable franchises. For example, the
C-Groove is the standard system employed in most Capcom games,
complete with air blocking and the classic three-level Super Bar
that fills after successfully landing a move. The S-Groove, on
the other hand, mimics the style of your average Art of
Fighting game, right down to manually charging your super
bar. Use to the Street Fighter III parry system? Use the
P-Groove and itís almost the same game. Instead of having to
adapt to a new feel, the game caters to your area of expertise,
letting you use your old tactics on a brand new crowd. And while
fans looking for the fast and furious action of Marvel vs.
Capcom will be disappointed (thereís nary a single triple
digit super move or 24 hit air combo to offend the eye), the
Groove Edit option does allow you to mix and match properties of
each Groove to recreate practically any fighting game on the
planet, from Rival Schools to Gem Fighter. This
game really goes a long way to help capture the feel of all the
old 2D fighting classics, and help make this game a classic in
itsí own right.
does feel a bit lacking in the modes department. The standard
Verses, Survival, and Arcade are all here, but thatís about
it. The Arcade mode does boast three sub-options, however, in
Ratio, Three-on-Three, and Single, which do add some much needed
spice to the formula. And while the Ratio mode is the real bread
and butter of the game, a Tag option would have been a nice
touch considering the roots of the "vs." series.
aspect of any fighting game is the controls, and while it should
be said that the Playstation controller has never been ideal for
Capcom fighting games, the game handles the same as ever. Moves
are all preformed with the standard "fireball motions"
and the response has never been tighter. It is nice to see
Capcom try to compensate for the four-face button design by
allowing gamers to use the right analog stick to control
character movement. Itís not quite like using an arcade stick
and not quite like using the D-Pad, but itís a nice
combination of the two. And while this takes some getting use to
it definite saves wear and tear on the old thumbs.
visual side of things graphics are well constructed and brimming
with personality. Vibrant backgrounds and flashy effects make
each fight an eye full, characters look and move the way they
should, the frame rate is smooth, and all the animations weíve
come to expect over the years are there. Nice little touches,
like highly active backgrounds and pre and post battle taunts,
are abound, and the front-end has a very clean look. The only
sour note are the character models, which sport a surprisingly
low-res look. Some characters arenít too bad, but others are
covered in jagged lines and distorted details, giving a very
heterogeneous look to an otherwise well-polished game. And when
compared to the drop-dead gorgeous, high-resolution models of Guilty
Gear X the game can be down right ugly at times.
the game shines. Sound effects rock the speakers and catchy
"J-Pop" floods each level. Each fighter has a stunning
array of verbal taunts and sounds that go a long way to help
distinguish some of the more similar characters from one
another. Every "Hadoken!" sounds crystal clear
and all the voices were taken from the original game, so
everything sounds just as it should. The only problem is the
headache-inducing announcer may drive some to turn the sound
down entirely, just to silence his near constant ranting. An
option to turn him off would have been a godsend.
how much is in this game already, it seems almost gluttonous to
ask for more, but it feels like Capcom is holding back on us,
saving material for yet another sequel. Although it feels like a
lot more could have gone into this game, that feeling doesnít
take much away from this solid effort. Capcom vs. SNK 2 has a
long way to go before it can be considered the "final
word" in fighting games, but in the trying it has certainly
set a high-water mark for other fighting games to follow.
the game doesnít have everyone youíd expect, the lineup
is long enough to please just about everyone.
- Game play
is as tight as it gets.
system captures the feel of many past fighters.
mode offers near infinite strategy.
and sound effects are top-notch.
are distinct and lively.
stick support a nice touch.
models are pixilated and jaggy.
is really, really annoying.
sets out to be the pinnacle of Capcom and SNKís long and
illustrious history as 2D fighter makers, and does so. That is,
at least in theory. Combining the systems of nearly every past
fighting game known to man, along with a lineup spanning both
companiesí careers, and enough tactics to brand this a
strategy title definitely gives C vs. SNK2 the formula for the
Millenniumís greatest fighting game. Ultimately it doesnít
feel Ďbigí enough to really do both companies justice
simultaneously. In trying to reach these goals, however, Capcom
has definitely created one of the more enduring fighting games
of the last 15 years. Capcom vs. SNK 2 has enough depth and
balance to make this a welcomed addition to any gamerís
library, even if it itís not as "final" as one would