SVC Chaos: SNK vs. Capcom Xbox Review

SVC Chaos: SNK vs. Capcom had hardcore gamer delight written all over it right from the get go. Back in May, fans were ecstatic to hear that SNK NEO GEO Corporation was bringing the hit arcade title, SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos. Even better for the Xbox fans as this would be brought exclusively for the Microsoft home console. With the announcement came excitement as people were told that over 34 characters were to be included and of course the feature that every Xbox fan looks for, an Xbox Live enabled game. So with many dreams being fulfilled of the fighting genre, would SVC Chaos live up to expectations?

Gameplay

In a way, SNK’s rendition of the Vs. series has met all the hardcore fighting fan’s outlooks. It includes a total of 36 characters to choose from across the SNK and Capcom franchises. The number of characters alone should have guaranteed a whole lot of fun as the franchises are among the most popular over here in the United States. Attached to the game are some first time additions. From the Capcom side there is Zero from the Mega Man series and Red Arremer from the Ghouls n Ghost series. While located on the SNK spectrum is Shiki from one of my personal favourite 2d fighters, Samurai Showdown and also Athena from the game Athena which had its life on the NES. You could say that SNK vs. Capcom had a lot going for it to attract those who follow the Vs. series closely.

This is SNK’s version of the Vs. series so a lot of expected features are found within the game. The game is based off a 4-button layout instead of Capcom’s usual 6 button layout. SNK took the liberty to take out some moves that they found unnecessary for the game. While only a handful was removed, there were quite a few that received new designs to make them more modern. Also you can’t expect great computer AI to be tagged along with the game. I often found myself steaming and upset with the fact that the AI is cheap and repetitive. With one fight pitting myself against Goenitz, I soon realized that the AI will continuously use the same move over and over again. Goenitz just loved to use his ‘Shin Yaotome’ move over and over again that this was the first time in nearly months I decided to quit a game due to frustration.

With overcoming my frustration soon after settling down, I decided to give it another go. This time I’d change the difficulty. I would put it on the ‘Very Easy’ setting and see where I can go from there. I found out the hard way that SNK fighters are still as difficult as they were in the arcades when I lost my first match on the easiest setting. When I finally got the feel of the game and figured out some combos, I began to ease through the competition in no time and within fifteen minutes, I beat the arcade mode. That didn’t come as a surprise but was a let down as I have been finding out as of late that the fighting genre doesn’t offer a whole lot of replay value with the single player campaigns.

Graphics

What aren’t impressive though are the horrible backgrounds in almost every level design. They are very uninspiring and lack the true show of effort to please anyone, even those that are still in love with 2D fighters since their height of popularity with the SNK and Capcom series. The sprites/characters in the game are mediocre at best but don’t compare to Capcom’s taking (Capcom vs. SNK) of the series. It’s a shame that graphics are used as a tool to bring down a games overall grade but SNK vs. Capcom is not appealing at all in the graphics department.

Sound

While the graphics are somewhat mediocre, the same can’t be said for the audio division. My very first match with the game I knew that I was in for a treat when I heard the same emotional sounds repeated from the cat like character Vega. The awful sounds and voices allowed me to play better I must say. Every time I heard the screech of Vega’s voice, I knew that he was going to lunge for me from the distance. The voice overs still resemble the Japanese’s version so nothing new with the voices as they surely had me grabbing for the remote to turn it down a little bit. It’s annoying when a game doesn’t deliver any type of pleasing aspect in the audio section.

Lifespan

The replay value is with the multiplayer and you will need Xbox Live to fully enjoy the potential of what this game has to offer. Over online you’ll receive some nice layout schemes for presentation. Though you’ll be stuck waiting for a match to come up to actually allow you to challenge a competitor online, so I had to wait patiently for an estimated ten minutes to actually pull up a match of my own. With taking he fight online I had prepared myself for the same repetitive gameplay that the AI gives you. What I encountered was of course real life counterparts that are in total love of this game. I offered no competition for the first dozen matches to the opposition but as I soon as I figured out my strengths and weaknesses, I went on a streak of victories. People though are often complaining about the lag when selecting characters and I too experienced this lag that often caused lacklustre matches with one of us just quitting saving us the pain of seeing awful stutter steps of lag.

Overall

SVC Chaos shouldn’t be avoided by those who follow SNK or Capcom as it still is a solid game to collect. The online is the saving grace for this title as it’s the best part of the game that kept me from putting it on the rack with other dusty games that were never picked up again to play. If you are a true hardcore fan, I recommend you pick it up but with caution as it will fork out some moments of frustration wondering why you ever decided to buy this game.

6 out of 10
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