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- Dream matches galore

- Great visuals

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- Glaring omissions to the roster

- Confusing method of gaining Groove Points



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Capcom vs. SNK: Millennium Fight

Score: 9.1/10

Okay, show of hands. How many of you were in high school when the Street Fighter II craze was in full swing? How many of you became hopeless fighter fanatics, later drawn in by Mortal Kombat, Art of Fighting, World Heroes, and so on? So after getting hooked on fighting games, which school did you fall into, Street Fighter or King of Fighters? As these two series have grown since the early to mid 90s many fighting fans could only dream of what would happen if these worlds collided. It would be like a Borg Cube facing off against a Star Destroyer. The A-Team challenging MacGuyver. The Looney Toons characters meeting up with the Disney crew. It would be so far beyond epic. Now we have a chance to actually have our favorite Street Fighter and King of Fighters characters lock horns and the end result as an exceptional experience.


Capcom vs SNK Review   Capcom vs SNK Review   Capcom vs SNK Review


This is one title where the gameplay is king. While weíve come to expect this from fighting games where solid controls and complex, but not overwhelming moves are of the utmost importance, everything moves at such a wonderfully fluid, crisp pace. Of note is that the button use has been setup to be more accommodating for the Dreamcastís gamepad. There are only a strong punch, a strong kick, a weak punch, and a weak kick, with mid-power attacks left on the wayside. This is great since it alleviates the need to use the incredibly out of the way trigger buttons on the systemís controller. The button and directional pad schemes for pulling off the moves in Capcom vs. SNK are much the same as the moves for Street Fighter, as opposed to King of Fighters, with a lot of charging back and semi, quarter, and three quarter stick movements. For SNK fans out there that gaff at such a thing the special moves of the SNK characters have remained intact in how they are triggered. Be warned though that not all of the rather hefty library of King of Fighters special moves is readily available to the characters. As new features in the game are unlocked EX versions of all of the characters become available along with their extra special moves, which can be supplemented with other special moves of the particular character. This way players get access to most of the special moves all while the game is kept balanced. Whatís especially nice about the game is that it isnít as over the top as other recent Capcom fighters, as things like 20 hit combos and air blocking are not present. Fighting plays out far more like Street Fighter II and King of Fighters í95. Itís a wonderfully stripped down, back to basics approach that will make many players change their dynamics in order to do well. Rounding out this onslaught of gameplay features is the choice of "grooves" to fight in. Players have the option of either going with the Capcom or the SNK groove while playing. The Capcom groove gives the three tiered power meter at the bottom of the screen that steadily increases with each hit, move, and so on. The SNK groove has the manually charged power meter and also allows rolls/sidestepping. With all of these great features itís very easy to loose hours planted in front of the TV with this game.





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There are some other gameplay features that need special attention, most notably groove points. These are rewarded to the player for landing moves, pulling off special attacks, and so on, and can also be lost for being hit or using cheap shots. After finishing the game the players groove points determine how many Vs. Points they receive to spend on opening up new features. The confusion comes in trying to figure out how the grading system works. Players are grade with Ds, Cs, Bs, As, and Supers depending on what they 


do. There are some obviously logical moments where players get a lot of points for counter attacking a special move, or loss a lot of points for being knocked out. However, many other times it doesnít make much sense how points are distributed as even getting crafty five hit combos will result in getting a D. Itís very strange. The other  gameplay feature is choosing teams, as characters are ranked from one to three. Bosses are ranked three, characters like Ryu, Kyo, Ken, and Mai get two, then warriors like Blanka, Chun Li, and Dhalsim get one. That in mind, players have for points to play with to make their team. They can take a boss and a rank one character, two rank twos, and so on. It makes for some intriguing strategies.

Capcom vs SNK Review          Capcom vs SNK Review

There has also been plenty of sprucing up to the visuals in this game. While the Capcom characters look nice and crisp with plenty of detail, itís the SNK characters that look especially good as they have finally received a long overdue facelift. After years of seeing Terry Bogard and the gang looking the same with their graphical presentation looking more dogged as other fighting game franchises received constant aesthetic improvements it is wonderful to see that they have been so spruced up. The environments for the game look great too, and their intros are quite interesting. There is quite a bit going on in the background on a lot of the levels, and the attention to detail is remarkable. What is particularly striking is how close to photo realistic some of the onlookers appear. While Capcom vs SNK is a 2D game there have been some pretty 3D effects thrown into the mix to spice things up some, with dazzling energy attacks. For dessert players get to see artistic renditions of all of the characters by both the Capcom and SNK artists. Itís really neat to see character sketches of the SNK characters in a heavily anime style, and Capcom characters in a far more realistic style. One other nice touch are the special intros for certain Capcom and SNK characters when they face off, like M. Bison and Geese Howard, or Mai and Chun Li, donít worry I wonít spoil them for you, but they are really good. Capcom vs SNK is a spectacular display of fine 2D gaming.

Even the audio stack up well. The sound effects have been polished quite a bit, making for some very nice, clear thumps, zaps, and battle cries. Musically, there is a lot of electronic music here. This is a very pleasant surprise what with all of the poppy, and "heavy metal" tunes that usually pop up in fighters these days. Itís solid, straight to the point audio in this game.

Of course there are the characters that must be addressed. By and large the selectable characters are those from Street Fighter II Turbo and King of Fighters í95 with a few others thrown into the mix. For many these are the most popular, but there are some glaring omissions like Dan, Joe Hibishi, E. Honda, and a few others. While this is disappointing there are some hidden characters to help make up for it.

Capcom vs. SNK is a fighting game scenario that many fans of the genre have been waiting a long time for. So was it worth the wait? You bet!

Reviewed by Mr. Nash


(December 12, 2000)

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