Capcom
Capcom
Fighting
1-2
02.11.03

Capcom Vs. SNK 2: EO


Ah, Capcom vs. SNK 2:EO, the sequel to one of my favorite games on the Dreamcast, and it's finally in my Xbox as well. I loved the first game to death, since it was a dream come true to see Capcom and SNK fighters duke it out in a fighting game, now, the NGPC game was nice and all, but I just didn't envision my dream game as having super deformed characters. Thankfully, the console version rectified that nicely. While I loved how the game played, I couldn't stand the needless stuff in there, like the unreal requirements to unlock hidden characters and stuff, it made things a bit of a chore. Thankfully, its successor solves this problem quite nicely, while adding in a very fun, simplified control scheme called the EO control system, that I enjoy quite a bit.

Graphics

The graphics are some of the finest I've ever seen for a 2D fighter, barring some of the low-res characters looking horrid by today's standards (like Morrigan.) The 3D backdrops are better in this game than they were in the first, since they don't clash quite as much with the characters, and they feature far more little details and animation than before. Speaking of animation, the animation for attacks has been spruced up quite a bit. Projective attacks have been given a nice facelift thanks to trails and girth being added to them to make them look flashier and more impactful. It's a little touch, but it works well. Also worth a mention, the diverse art style in the game is nice, especially when you see the characters from one company being done in the art style of the other.

Sound

Ah the sound… every game has a weak point, and this is it for Capcom vs. SNK 2. The music seems quite odd most of the time, given the locales it's used in. On top of that, it's usually pretty generic fare as well, which makes a bad situation even worse, and just compounds the music flaws. Thankfully, the sound effects are better than the music. The effects used for kicks and punches always have a nice bit of "oomph" to them. The projectiles also feature a nice, exaggerated sound effect, which does a great job at getting across the damage done by the attacks. The announcer is much better in this game as well. He's a bit more enthusiastic in tone, which makes for a nice, fun atmosphere for the game when the voice is used.

Gameplay

First and foremost, is the gameplay of Capcom vs. SNK 2, which has undergone some revisions since the first game, barring the control scheme option changes. Now, there are multiple "grooves" for you to choose from, each one representing a gameplay style of either a Capcom or SNK fighting game. These grooves change your fighter's abilities, and alter what they can and can't do in a fight. Some put more restrictions on you, while others don't. I recommend going for the groove that you think suits the character(s) you've chosen the best. Why "character(s)"? Well, the ratio system might limit you to only be able to pick one character, since all of the characters are an assigned a point worth based on their strength in the game.

Top-tier characters have a higher point worth than others, and these characters are the ones that can force you to only be able to have one fighter to go through the game with again multiple teams. You can also just choose to go through the game in a series of one on one battles, which I enjoy quite a bit. The meat and potatoes of the game comes from the team battle stuff though. Much like the King of Fighters games, it's a two out of three elimination-style fight, and the last team with a member still alive wins. No matter how you like your fighting games, Capcom vs. SNK 2 has a fighting style for you.

Also, no matter which fighting style you prefer, you'll get a fun game out of it. The gameplay in Capcom vs. SNK 2 is some of the most fun I've ever experienced in a fighting game. The game's pace is quick on any speed setting, yet it never gets too quick for its own good, even at the highest speed setting. This is the only fighting game I can say I actually like playing on the fastest setting. Every other fighting game I've played seemed to lay the speed on too thick, but in this game, it's balanced. The game's deep roster pool also helps matters out, as you can get a very diverse combination of speed, mixed with power, mixed with a projectile-based character all in one fight just to see how the speed can be used, and how it can be used against, your foes and yourself as well.

Now then, onto the controls of the game. There are two primary control schemes for the game- AC and EO. The AC control scheme is the default one, or the one that is used if you have opted to configure the controls yourself. This is the most complex control scheme of the game, and is the one that I would recommend using against folks in competitive matches. The EO control scheme is the simplified control system that only uses the left and right control sticks for in-game control (barring taunting.) For your fighting needs, it can all be handled via the two control sticks, with the left handling your character's movement, and the right handling your character's attacks (including specials and super moves.) I like using this control scheme just for fun. If I want to have a quick play of the game against the computer, I'll usually use the EO control system, since I'm just playing to have fun, and the simplified controls make the quick play session a joy. While some hate it, I really dig it since it's a nice, refreshing change of pace for controlling a 2D fighter.

Replay Value

Capcom vs. SNK 2 features a nice amount of replay value. The EO control style helps give the game a bit more appeal for casual play, and the color editing mode lets you make some nice cosmetic (and name) changes to the characters so you can add a bit of a personal touch to the game. There is also online play available to those with Xbox Live. The fine folks at Capcom did their best to make a game with lots of replay value, and they succeeded beautifully.

Bottom Line:

In the end, Capcom vs. SNK 2: EO is a fantastic fighting game that is sure to please nearly everyone who plays it in some way or another. The gameplay is tight and well put-together. The diverse controls are nice, and add a bit of replay value to the mix as well. Sadly, the sound isn't all that hot, but that doesn't take too much away from the game, since the announcer helps add a cheery mood to things. If you'd like to get the game, and don't care about ever playing the game on Xbox Live, pick up the Exhibition 2 demo disc, which features the full Japanese version of this game on it. There isn't much of a language barrier for it, which is nice. As someone who owns both this version of the game, and the full game with Live-capabilities, I can safely say that if you're hesitant about the game, just try it out on the demo disc. If you like it, do what I did and buy the full game for about $25 or so.

-Jeremy Peeples




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