Standard controller, Arcade Stick
Jump Pak enabled
In honor of Revive DC’s impressive 100th release run, the group is at it once again, making an attempt to outdo themselves with an offering that can only be found within the ambitious efforts of RDC. “Capcom Vs. SNK Millennium Collection” chronicles Capcom’s entire legacy of one of the industry’s most monumental crossovers. On this disc you’ll find the likes of Capcom Vs. SNK Millennium Fight 2000, Capcom Vs. SNK PRO and Capcom Vs. SNK 2 Millionaire Fighting 2001 as well as few little extras thrown in for your enjoyment. Considering that Comrade Snarky and I have already reviewed each of these games individually thru their respective RDC release, I will attempt to shed additional info to the games provided on this collection to the best of my ability.
The CVS series was an attempt to fill the void of the exhausted Street Fighter Alpha series which was making its rounds in the arcade industry prior to the release of the CVS franchise. CVS1 as a whole seems to have a very clear cut, old school approach to gameplay. At its core, the fighting mechanics in this first installment are very barebones and limited in scope to what many became accustomed to in the Alpha series and the Marvel Vs. series. This intentional approach to fighting provided many with a return to basics of fundamentals of the genre, giving it that real nostalgic feel hearkening to fighting games of the early 90’s (gotta love that intentional slowdown as fireballs hit their foes!). CVS1 also appears to take cues from both company rulebooks, opting for an SNK button layout and an emphasis on KOF team structure as oppose to Capcom’s 1on1 or tag team battles, all the while adding some rather interesting features for the tried and true genre. The series trademark “Ratio” system was added to compliment team based battles with some added strategy while providing balance. The 30 plus roster is divided into 4 categories: Ratio 1, 2, 3, and 4. Higher the ratio the stronger the fighter. The kicker here is that a player has a maximum of only 4 Ratio points to build a team as they see fit. While very restrictive in allowing players the freedom of creating their own teams, it certainly calls for interesting decision making and promotes having to learn new characters that perhaps you would never have bothered to if it were not for the constraints of the Ratio system. All these features mentioned are also directly applicable to its successor CVS PRO! Less of a sequel and more of a minor upgrade, PRO is a very minor attempt to further tweak and balance its predecessors shortcomings. Alas it fails to achieve its goals. The only worthwhile additions made to PRO were the inclusion of Dan Hibiki and Joe Higashi which by default are thrown into the Ratio 1 category. With the true sequel, CVS2 took a different approach to just about every feature introduced by the first game. The 4 button layout was thrown out in favor of the more traditional Capcom 6. The games Groove system was greatly expanded with 4 additional grooves which allow you to play in styles similar to other popular fighting titles offered by both companies. The controversial Ratio system of old was replaced with a “Free Ratio” system allowing players to distribute those 4 Ratio points into teams of 3, 2 or just one character. All these additions and changes (as well as an expanded roster) give CVS2 a more up to date approach of the mechanics of the game and provide much broader possibilities than what its prequel could ever offer.
The supposed legend behind the creation of such a dream match was due to a popular Japanese video game magazine which was reviewing at the time SNK’s superlative KOF 98 release and Capcom’s ambitious Street Fighter Zero 3. The publication sported on their front page “King Of Fighters Vs. Street Fighter” in an attempt to pit each respective publisher’s offering against the other in the market. It appears that many readers misinterpreted the magazine header for an actual game which created an uproar of positive reaction among fans everywhere. After witnessing the fan clamor, both Capcom and SNK made a deal which then led to the creation of a handful of titles pitting both companies’ mascots against each other.
All CVS games where developed under the SEGA Naomi hardware tech which led to an assured port on the Dreamcast platform in an effortless arcade to home translation. CVS1 and PRO sport amazing pre rendered backgrounds with some amazing lighting and dynamic effects. All backgrounds are complimented with real cool intro sequences that are reminiscent of SNK’s prior efforts in their past games. The game also sports some real cool monitor and arrow motifs that really elevate the crossover dream match it envelops throughout the presentation! CVS2 feels slightly less ostentatious in this regard over its prequel but by no means a slouch in any respect. CVS2 has a more tournament gathering presentation going for it alongside a news broadcast theme. All backgrounds are redone and put the NAOMI hardware to good use by creating battlegrounds with 3D polygons. While they look nice enough, they appear to visually hurt the character sprites more than the former backgrounds that used a different graphical technique in their creation. While on the topic, the 2D characters sprites are a real mix of good and bad. The entire SNK cast has been beautifully redone from the ground up while the same cannot be said for a majority of the Capcom roster. For the best graphical results I would suggest an S-video connection to retro CRT TV or the purchase of a VGA adapter if you plan to play on at modern TV set or monitor! These games may not looks as gorgeous as say Guilty Gear X, but they still manage to look good enough thanks to some cool looking effects and 640x480 res backgrounds!
CVS series rocks out it this area and hits all the right notes for those that can appreciate the musical genres that are represented in this series! I implore fans of video game music to listen in on some of the tracks for these games via the options menu. You are sure to find some real catchy and downright awesome tunes! Audio effects also impress. Character speech and dialogue is spot on and everything sounds great thanks in part to the hardware’s modest audio capabilities.
The final part which deserves some mention are the extras that are packed into this collection. Much like RDC’s previous compilation, this one also offers some kick ass knowledge for all you young grasshoppers of the genre. All titles contain acceptable “How to Play” tutorials and “Command Lists” although the latter can be also accessed through each respective game via pause screen. Last but not least this dream collection also contains the much useful (and thankfully translated) “Capcom Taisen Fan disc” which was given out in Japan for those who preordered CVS2 for the Dreamcast. In this disc you’ll find some real cool character artwork galleries, VMU save files of some really sweet high caliber matches among Asia’s best “during CVS2s early days” and most importantly, unlockable save content files for nearly every Capcom JPN release on the Dreamcast with exception of Capcom/Psykyo collaborations, Resident Evil titles and a few other offerings that appeared on the platform before this fan disc was originally conceived. Regardless of the fact that these are save files for JPN Capcom releases, a few of them are cross compatible with their respective US versions! Here a convenient list of those games:
Power Stone 2
SF3 Third Strike
SF Alpha 3
Marvel Vs Capcom
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure (use FMS version save and never overwrite!)
While the first CVS has long been forgotten by many, its sequel still enjoys some healthy tournament life in many parts around the globe even after all these years. Regardless of their positions today, these games are well deserved of your attention if you have a passion for fighting games.