Capcom Vs SNK 2 EO GameCube Review
Ever wanted to beat down on Ryu from Street fighter with Iori from King of Fighters? No I thought not, if like me you have never heard of SNK or KOF the latter part of the name is hardly going convince you to buy this. Or if unlike me and you are a fan of the both series then you will most likely be wetting yourself at the concept of this game. This is the first fighting game of the Street Fighter breed I have ever bought, expecting only to use it for multi-player games I’ve found a compelling, well rounded fighter that will have you coming back for round 2. I also know some KOF characters now…
Not a major plus for the game, nice well presented backgrounds that look rather good and can be quite comical at times. The guys at Capcom clearly have never visited London before which looks more like the outside of a museum with big red buses. Other interesting sights consist of a big beer guzzling cowboy and two giant sumo ninja men staring each other out.
Unfortunately the characters also are quite dire. They don’t look as spectacular as they should, were on the next generation of consoles here people, this should look like a spectacular display of characters that look ripped straight from an anime duelling it out. Instead we are given pixelated computer game characters that were made to hurt each other. One thing that managed to impress me though was the attacks, mainly the energy ones. Ok so they’ve looked good since the PS1 but I just can’t get enough of seeing that bright blue light emanate from my hands as it makes its way towards my opponent.
This is where the game comes into its element, ok so it’s hardly pushing the genre but it still amazes me in the same way it did when I was a child. The basic one on one fights are simple enough, best of three and the winner progresses to a slightly harder opponent. This can become quite tedious at times and very frustrating when you make it all the way to the end just to get bitch slapped to Hades and start all over again. There is also a three on three fight option where you select three fighters each and use them one after the other, it’s a shame that there is no tag option as it really would encourage much more intellectual fights based on switching characters tactically. The third option (and most likely the least used) is the ratio fights; you may pick up to three characters and distribute the damage ratio amongst them. This allows you to have two weaker fighters and one supremely strong one or one weak character and two stronger than average ones etc. I rarely played this mode because it caused many a frustrating moment between me and my cohorts when I would get beaten because my fighter was weaker than theirs.
The game consists of 48 different characters from the Street fighter and SNK brands and six different groove settings, C- Groove, A- Groove, P- Groove, S- Groove, N- Groove and K-Groove. “What the hell?” I hear you ask, well allow me to explain. Each groove has a different power up bar, these bars will fill up and as they do they will allow you to pull off bigger, better and stronger moves. Some bars operate on a timed basis allowing you to pull off a string of powerful moves in a time limit whilst others will drain as you do these moves but will fill up faster. For example the C-Groove bar will fill when you hit you opponent whilst the K- Groove will fill when you get hit (this is a good Groove for beginners). When you select a certain Groove it also adds extra moves to all of the characters using that Groove. Again an example of this would be selecting N-Groove which allows you character to roll by pressing punch and kick simultaneously whilst S-Groove will not, but instead will allow you to use Tactical Recovery. This does add a great deal of variety to the game and allows each player to create a unique combination of characters and grooves, making very interesting battles.
The GameCube version of the game comes with the addition Easy Option (that’s what the EO means). And is basically an altered control option using the analogue stick instead of the D-pad and the C-stick for combos. Not so bad you think but considering a quick flick of the C-stick allows you to perform even the hardest of combos it cheapens the experience.
The major problem for me is the Gamecube and PS2 D-pads (because really these games should be played with the good old D-pad). They are absolutely terrible, the Gamecube D-pad is much too small for anyone to use and the PS2 D-pad isn’t even a real D-pad in my opinion. Because of the way the D-pad is made on the PS2 controller it makes it very hard to do the ‘half circle back’ manoeuvre needed to pull off basic combo moves. If you have a GameCube, import a Hori Pad (available at www.playasia.com) and if you have a PS2 buy a third party pad with a suitable D-pad.
The major strong point of this game is its multi player, again it is very basic but it’s just so much damn fun kicking bucket loads of claret out of your mate. And with style too thanks to the extravagant moves. It is also worth noting that the Xbox version also has ‘Xbox Live!’ connectivity allowing you to play online, not much but good if you don’t get to play with friends often.
The voice-acting of the characters is reasonable, although they do get rather tedious at times it is still great to hear Iori and Kyo slag each other off in Japanese. The announcer however goes beyond annoying and you will swiftly put the game on mute after you hear him say “This is the first dream event of the 21st century” for the fifty first time.
The music is annoyingly repetitive at times but overall it is tolerable and at times catchy, especially tracks such as “The true love we’re making”.
Not very long hardcore Street fighters will blaze through this and those new to the genre won’t get very far any time soon. For your strife you get rewarded with extra options and characters (all four of them). Extra options include Groove edit (one of the better rewards where you get to make your own Groove’s), Colour edit which allows you to change a characters name and colours which does make for more varied fights.
Overall it’s a very hollow gaming experience and it doesn’t push the genre in any new directions, very unfortunate for two brands of such great heritage. This is not to say that it is a bad game, on the contrary it is a very fun game to play, it’s just that’s all it can ever hope to be, a fun game that you play briefly before you go out. Available in bargain bins everywhere and with a great multi player there isn’t any reason why you shouldn’t give it ago. It’s a shame to see no Tag option or the inclusion of any Marvel characters as that would round off the package nicely.