Rory On July 1, 2003 at 4:53 pm

Just a few years back a game that crossed over the close rivals SNK and Capcom was nothing but a far off dream. But soon as SNK went into financial difficulties, a new game in Capcom’s "VS." series was created. Yes, it was called Capcom vs. SNK and it is one of the most popular beat ’em ups of recent times. Unless you have lived under a rock for the past 10 years, or are a toothless hick who still plays an Spectrum, you will havce heard of Capcom’s massive Street Fighter series, and probably SNK’s ever-popular Final Fight series. This game blends those two games together, along wiuth a host of other characters from the Capcom and SNK universe to bring you one of Gamecube’s finest fighters.

As the gazillionth 2D beat ’em up from Capcom, the core gameplay modes have remained the same. First up is the standard arcade mode, where you defeat semi-randomly selected foes and challengers in order to win bonuses(characters etc.) to give the gamer more for his money. Also included is a 3 on 3 mode, which means when one of your character’s are defeated, another takes over from where they left off and gets ready to kick some more ass. The only problem with this mode is that it was included in the earlier Marvel vs. Capcom 2, but with the ability to tag in other members of your team before your current one has been defeated. M vs. C2 version of the 3 on 3 mode was fast and furiously fun to play, whereas SNK vs. C2’s just seems like a 3 round fight instead of the usual two. The vs. mode is near identical to arcade mode as you would expect, except another player is essential. The Vs. mode is what the game is all about really, kicking the crap out of a friend on a Friday night is still as fun as ever!

There are a huge number of characters(over 40) from both universes included in this game make it almost impossible to master all the characters, but unfortunately the majority of Capcom characters seem to be pulled from their ever popular Street Fighter games. There are a few characters from other games, but the amount of great Capcom characters that have been left out is terrible. It seems like Capcom went for the cheap way out and never bothered including characters from there other popular licenses(albeit most of the characters that were left out weren’t from fighting games, but it is still dissapointing). SNK didn’t suffer from the same problem though, as they were almost entirely dedicated to producing beat ’em ups(although there are a few exceptions such as the Metal Slug series). The game also consists of many different "grooves", which are alter the special moves which your fighter can pull off. For instance, one could be more focused on defensive attacks, whereas another could be designed specifically for combo attacks. This does add great lasting appeal, and only the most experienced and determined gamer could master all of the grooves.

This game’s problems down’t actually lie in the amount of Capcom characters missing though, it’s the awkward control system, thanks to Nintendo’s idiotically placed and usless D-pad, and the analogue L and R buttons. First is the exclusive Gamecube control system which makes pulling off special moves far too easy(hence the EO in the title, standing for Easy Operation), so there is no skill involved in playing the game and is therefore pointless. The other arcade-style controls work a lot better, but still aren’t perfect, again due to Gamecube’s controller. The control stick just doesn’t cut it when you need to do quick combos or even the simplest of attacks. Although this simple problem can be corrected by simply buying a new controller, having to hand over an extra £20-30 just so you can have a good time playing a game feels a little overboard.

Graphically the game would be pretty good, if it weren’t for Capcom’s lazy job done on the sprites. Surely with all this "Next-gen" hoo-ha about graphics, a wealthy games company could have easily made silky smooth anime style graphics, rather than the blocky mess found here. The animation is mostly very choppy, most of the characters seem very jerky and slow, though some of the newer characters. It seems the art style is very incosistent, with many of the character’s seeming to be drawn in a much more realistic style than others, and there isn’t enough variation in the character designs, for almost every Capcom character there is an similar SNK character, and vice versa, though this flaw is actually due to the companies ripping each other off, nothing to do with the game self. This certainly doesn’t mix in well with beautiful polygonal arenas that surround, which include nice touches such as tourists and rally races going on quietly behind you.

Sound wise, the game is rather outdated, mainly because it seems that most of the sounds have been taken from older games from the Capcom and SNK universes. Though not outstanding, the sounds include some nice crisp clean voice samples and some nicely remixed versions of classic fighting game soundtracks.

Hardcore fighting fans should definately get this, but those just looking for a healthy dose of fighting fun should stick with rather brilliant, Super Smash Bros. Melee.


Great – if you have a third party control pad. Not as fast and furious as the other “Vs.” games, but hardcore fight-fans should love it. Nothing rivals beating the crap out of your friendson a Friday night.


The 3D backgrounds are beautifully rendered, but unfortunately don’t mix well with the 2D sprite characters. Very mid-90’s


Nothing spectacular, but some nice voice samples and some nicely updated Capcom tracks should make older gamers feel right at home.


Although a nice addition to Capcom’s “VS.” series of games, there is no denying that this has been done hundreds of times before. But, if you are lucky enough to own an Xbox as well as a Gamecube, you should hold out for that version. Yes, it will include an online feature for multiplayer fighting over the ‘net!

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