Capcom vs. SNK

a game by Capcom
Genre: Fighting Games
Platform: Dreamcast
Editor Rating: 7/10, based on 1 review
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Capcom vs. SNK
Capcom vs. SNK
Capcom vs. SNK
Capcom vs. SNK

It's about time someone combined the flagship fighters from the two greatest fighting game makers the genre has ever seen. Capcom melds plenty of trademark SNK features into its trademark 2D mold to create what's arguably their best match-up to date. Those of you who are saying, "Hmm, another Capcom 'vs.' title, that means outrageous combos, one-round tag-team battles, and six fighters on the screen at once, right?"

Wrong! No full-screen laser cannons here, just a refreshingly traditional fighter that marries SNK staples like Fatal Fury and King of Fighters with Capcom's best Street Fighter brawlers. Even the most die-hard fans of either side will find a ton of superb qualities in Capcom vs. SNK.

When the difference between landing a combo and getting waxed by one is a mere split second, control and game speed are of the utmost importance. Fighting moves in CvS are based on a four-button configuration--light and strong punch and kick; which should be familiar to KOF players, but might take some getting used to for Capcom-ites. Special and Super attacks are kept true to their performer's roots, so you won't have to learn a lot of new controller motions, and most of those old KoF and SF combos still work. The game is not as juggle-friendly as Street Fighter Alpha 3, but some moves can be followed up with attacks that will keep your opponent airborne for a while. Unlike previous Capcom hybrids, though, a 10-hit combo actually takes some skill and timing to pull off (sorry all you MvC pros, but you know it's true).

Several player-directed tweaks have been added to cater to the technical dichotomy that Capcom vs. SNK presents, the most critical of which is the "groove" selection. Before fighting, players must choose between a Capcom and an SNK "groove" that determines some of the in-game dynamics. For example, selecting the SNK groove gives the player access to "desperation attacks" (as in KoF) which allow a Super move to be performed repeatedly when the fighter's life meter is near depletion. In the Capcom groove, Super moves are governed by a three-level gauge (as in Alpha 3), and each usage depletes a portion of this gauge. Check out the sidebar for some of the other groove differences.

And as far as extra modes and bonus trimmings, this game has you covered. There are nine stock modes, including training, versus, arcade and even a new game replay mode for recording battles. CvS also incorporates the same "shopping" systems that Soul Calibur and MvC2 use for acquiring goodies. The more you play the arcade, versus or training modes, the more "vs" points you rack up to put toward new outfits, characters and stages. CvS can even be linked to the Neo-Geo Pocket Color version of the game for point-swapping.

Without a doubt, Capcom vs. SNK will be one of the biggest fighting games to close out this year. Whether it will stand as a competition-worthy staple for months to come remains to be seen, since it stylistically favors the less-mainstream SNK crowd, but it's hard to imagine even hardcore Capcom gamers taking a pass on this milestone title.

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