Capcom vs. SNK 2 Review
Think back to when Capcom first released X-Men: Children of the Atom. Technically speaking, that was the first game to feature collaboration between the X-Men and Street Fighter character, as Akuma was a playable fighter in the game. Not too long after, Capcom released X-Men vs. Street Fighter with Marvel's cooperation . And the rest is, as they say, "history." Who would've thought that one little code in a fighting game can influence a whole new trend in future 2D fighters such as Tekken and Dead or Alive? This didn't just spark Capcom's titles, but Namco's and Tecmo's alike. Tag fighting was a great feature, a truly revolutionary idea for fighters. As time went by Capcom would release Marvel vs. Street Fighter, then Marvel vs. Capcom, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Capcom vs. SNK and now Capcom vs. SNK 2 for the Playstation 2.
Visually, Capcom vs. SNK 2 is a stunning fighter with only one flaw to be noticed; the character detail. While some characters such as Ryu, Ken, Blanka and most of the 'Street Fighters' look solid, characters such as Morrigan (Dark Stalkers), Ryo, Joe and other SNK characters look jagged, mainly due to the fact that not enough sprites were put into them. Whatever the reason, make one thing clear, the fighters move great and do look solid overall; it's just that in comparison to Guilty Gear X, they don't quite hold up. On the other hand, the backgrounds are absolutely fantastic. Taking cue from Marvel vs. Capcom 2 for Dreamcast, Capcom vs. SNK 2 features three-dimensional backgrounds which moving objects. It's an excellent presentation to every regard. The special effects, no matter how vivid and bright, never pluck the game away from its consistent frame rate. Never! Capcom vs. SNK 2 really speaks for itself. Take a look at the screenshots and witness the arcade perfect translation. Visually speaking, fans make note: this game is filled with some sweet eye-candy.
By now, we have come to know what to expect from the Vs. series, but the more educated ones on the franchise also know that the "SNK" titles are quite different than the "Marvel" ones. For one, the SNK titles aren't as insane and senseless as the Marvel titles are. Pulling off supers in Capcom vs. SNK 2 is done using the Street Fighter Alpha method of double-motioning and pressing punch/kick. There's also no doubt about it that this is easily the deepest of the Vs. tittles that Capcom has published so far. The "groove" system is a very unique feature, which features various methods of fighting. Some grooves feature fighting skills for characters that other grooves don't have. For instance, selecting groove A will grant your fighters the ability to air-bock in addition to other skills, meanwhile groove C doesn't allow the air-block, but does feature skills that other grooves don't have. It's not as complex as one may think. In fact it adds depth to the whole game and sets it apart from the senseless Marvel based Vs. games, with their 70 hit Shinku-Hadokens and Optic-Blasts. There are six grooves to choose from, C-A-P-S-N-K (and yes it does stand for Capcom/SNK). C-A-P are for Capcom skilled fighters who are used to the Three Lv. gauges, or the custom combo gauge, or the single super combo gauge. The S-N-K are of course those are most familiar with the SNK form of 'super bars', such as gaining momentum by defending, attacking or pressing two action buttons to build the rage manually. The grooves are as follow:
Capcom grooves: Use elements from titles Street Fighter II, Street Fighter Alpha, and the Street Fighter III series.
C groove: Similar to that of Street Fighter Alpha allowing air blocking, counter attacks, dashing, forward evade, and delayed stand up as basic abilities. Contains a three level gauge for super combos and attacks.
A groove: Similar to that of Street Fighter Alpha, however, contains a two level gauge. Abilities include air blocking, counter attacks, running, forward evade, and safe fall.
P groove: Similar to that of Street Fighter III and is considered the most basic of the Capcom grooves. Abilities include air parries, dashing, short jump, and delayed stand up. P level super gauge shows one solid bar allowing for level three super combos only when the entire bar is filled.
SNK grooves: Use elements from titles King of Fighters, Fatal Fury, and Samurai Showdown.
S groove: SNK's classic groove from King of Fighters allows for a desperation-power meter to fill by pressing two buttons. Abilities include counter attacks, dashing, dodge, short jump, and delayed stand up.
N groove: Most technical SNK groove from King of Fighters where three level bars appear. Once all three bars are filled, level 3 combos can be executed. Abilities include counter attacks, counter evasion, running, forward evade, and short jump.
K groove: Elements borrowed from Samurai Showdown and Fatal Fury series. Meter fills when damage is received and super combos are present when the bar fills. Basic abilities include running, short jump, safe fall
The total cast of fighters has reached a little over 45. Fighters such as Ryu, Ken, Evil Ryu, Akuma, Blanka, Sagat, Vega, Bison, Cammy, Guile, and Chun-Li are the highlight of the Capcom list. Meanwhile, Haohmaru, Joe Higashi, Geese Howard, Ryo Sakazaki, and Terry Bogard represent the SNK cast. The gameplay consists of either 3 vs. 3 action or one on one fighting. But make note: fans of the Marvel based Vs. games should know that there is no true tagging on the fly feature in Capcom vs. SNK 2. The fighters are backup fighters in case the primary fighter is defeated in action. Much like Dark Stalkers 3, you can edit the color and name of any fighter in the game, save it onto your memory card, and select the design in any gameplay mode by pressing start while the cursor highlights the character. The game as a whole is awesome, my one and only gripe is that the endings are non-existent, something that has become all too common in fighting games. 2D fighters don't get much better than this! Capcom vs. SNK 2 is the ideal purchase for fighter fans!
I really can't stand the commentators that Capcom has been using for their fighters lately. They either can pronounce words or are just annoying. The announcer in Capcom vs. SNK 2 is both. His pronunciation of Capcom sounds like "Kipcum" rather than "Cap-Com." In addition the comments after matches are just un-necessary and repetitive, on top of that stupid. The soundtrack is average to say the least. Some of the tunes are pretty good, while others just don't fit in with the genre one bit. The music was a complaint of mine in Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and it still is. It seems like X-Men vs. Street Fighter's soundtrack remains untouched by any of the Vs. tittles.
You notice that I have the controls a near perfect score. I did that for a reason. Capcom has finally included the use of Dual Shock 2's left analog stick as a means of controlling the fighter, which of course is great for those who can't stand the thumb wearing digital pad that the Sony controllers have. Everything falls where it should be, the controls are smooth, never bothersome or clumsy, and the Dual Shock gives off a solid vibration. You can of course re-map the buttons to your specific preference. I doubt I should really go any further describing the controls. Unless you're a complete loser who's never played a Street Fighter game in his life, you have nothing to worry about. I would've given the controls a ten, but because the game requires you to pull off super combos only by completing a double motion I was a little bit disappointed.
In the end, PS2 owners who've been craving an excellent 2D fighter must look no further! Capcom vs. SNK 2 is an arcade perfect translation that is very well worthy a purchase. Fans of the genre owe it to themselves to play the deepest of all Vs. titles that Capcom has published so far. Even though the character detail isn't the greatest, the 3D backgrounds and eye-candy effects make up for it. The cast of fighters is huge as there are 45 selectable fighters. The grooves are a great addition, much like the Isms were to SF: Alpha 3. Capcom vs. SNK 2 can be an addictive fighter if mastered, there are few, if any, severe flaws to be found in the game. On top of that it also features a Survival and Edit mode. Capcom vs. SNK 2 is highly recommended.
11/12/2001 Arnold Katayev