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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Capcom vs. SNK 2 Review

Original Release:
Japan: September 13, 2001

Game Details:
1-2 Players
VMU enabled
Standard Controller, Arcade Stick
Jump Pak enabled

2001 marked the sequel to 2000's fighting game of the year Capcom Vs SNK. Capcom quickly went to work to hammer out much of the player feedback that was taken from the first installment and addressed just about all issues in one form or another. The fighting roster has been beefed up with about 12 new fighters representing both companies while the entire roster from the first game return intact. No longer are the fighters move lists divided in 2 from the first game (EX versions) and the innovative but restricted fixed ratio system has been modified with a more flexible free ratio system, allowing players to freely tailor 4 points of strength between teams of 3, 2, or even just 1 fighter. The 4 button scheme from the first game is now replaced with a more Capcom traditional 6 button style of play. The groove system has also been expanded from 2 to an astonishing 6 types of grooves to select from allowing your team to fight under similar game rule mechanics from famous SNK and Capcom fighting titles like SF3, SF Alpha, Samurai Shodown and so on. Gameplay wise, the Dreamcast version is as faithful to its arcade version as possible especially when compared to other home ports that were released later on. For the single player enthusiast and score fanatics, the game revolves around a "groove point" system which essentially determines your score in real time based on how well you attack, defend and counter the opposition.

Two monster corporation at war. One solution. A massive martial arts tournament is held to eliminate conflict between both parties...

Visuals are a mixed bag. The high res backgrounds of the first game are now replaced with polygonal 3D ones, thus making those classy 2D sprites seem a bit more pixelated than before. On the subject on 2D sprites, while the SNK roster has been redrawn for the CVS series with much improvement over SNK's Neo sprites, the Capcom cast (save for shotos, Bison, Chun Li, Maki etc, etc.) have sadly been ripped straight out of their Alpha series incarnations making them look older and muddier when compared to their newly drawn rivals. The SNK like visual presentation from the first game has unfortunately been removed with no awesome stage intros to be seen. Overall though the Capcom design team have managed a solid visual upgrade with the aid of flashy collision sprite effects, an improved HUD design as well as solid artwork stills for the entire cast and a very cool news cast-like presentation that really elevates the epic merger between these 2 fighting dynasties. A lot of these positives just mentioned are enhanced even more with the aid of VGA 480p, but at the cost of lower res 2D sprites (Damn that Morrigan looks ubber pixelated!)

This area also makes some changes compared to its previous effort. While CVS1 went for a heavy electro-techno soundtrack that is even influenced into the game announcer, CVS2 throws more variety your way with multiple genres in music representing funky rap, jazzy tunes and then some. The announcer while a bit annoying, emulates that of a TV broadcast commentator that once again compliments that news cast like presentation. Overall the game has solid audio, but somehow fails to have the impact that CVS1 had.

As much as I loved the first Capcom Vs SNK over its sequel, there is no denying the more varied and solid effort executed by the latter. While its obvious Capcom Vs SNK 2 makes less of an effort to please both sides of the fence in favor of the Capcom fight fans, the games newly revised ratio system, team structure, and character expansion makes for an amazing crossover fighting game that is deserving of its long time loyal fanbase.


1 comment:

  1. Far more advanced than CVS1 and CVSP, this game takes many steps forward in game mechanics and a few steps back in visual design and creative expression. It's clearly a more complete game but some of the changes and introductions weren't obvious improvements. Still definitely worth playing in addition to (not necessarily instead of) CVSP.