Title: Capcom vs SNK
Rom Player: not emulated
Reviewer: Anonymous

Synopsis: This game is a classic 2D fighter combining most of the characters from Capcom's Street Fighter series and SNK's 2D fighting games like Fatal Fury. The game uses old-school Street Fighter movement, jumping and blocking as opposed to the sky-high superjumps and tag-in moves of Marvel/Capcom. But there are some big differences between this and the Street Fighter series.

First, you get four points to pick a team of characters. Characters cost between one and three points to pick. One point characters are the weakest, doing the least damage and take the most damage when they're hit. Three point characters ate their Wheaties, doing massive damage and shrugging off most attacks. Combined, then, your team could have a 3-point and 1-point character, or two 2-point characters, or even four weak 1-point characters. (Many new players were shocked to see themselves facing four-man teams.) You also can pick the order your characters fight, giving you a wide range of possible teams to play with.

Another big twist is that you can select between two play ''grooves'': Capcom Groove and SNK Groove. The groove you pick determines how your characters gain power for their super moves. Capcom groove works like the Street Fighter titles, giving you power every time you attack, with the power meter giving you from level 1 to level 3 super-moves. SNK Groove works like the Fatal Fury games: you hold down both heavy punch and heavy kick to charge up your meter. When the SNK meter is full, you can do a level one super move. Also, with SNK groove, when your health bar gets dangerously low, it starts to flash. The flashing indicates that you can do an unlimited number of level 1 super moves, or you can charge your meter up to do full-blown blistering level 3 attacks.

In both grooves, level 3 super moves do a massive amount of damage, sometimes as much as 75% or 80% of the life bar. You can use either groove regardless of what characters you pick, meaning that you could have Ryu or Ken using an SNK style supermeter, or Terry using a Capcom meter. Which you pick is really a matter of your personal preference (I like SNK groove).

The game controls are identical to the classic ones for Street Fighter or the SNK characters. So if you've played any Street Fighter or SNK fighter, you can easily pick a character you already know and instantly know how to do all his moves. (Note that these are the ''SF Alpha'' motions, as opposed to the simpler Marvel vs. Capcom moves. SNK motions are basically the same as in the original SNK games, making some of the joystick movements particularly twisted.)

One new addition is that you can tap both light punch and light kick to do an evasive roll forward. Your character will dodge forward a few steps, and be completely invulnerable while doing it. This handy maneuver is essential for escaping corner traps and other forms of stinky arcade cheese.

The game uses four buttons: two punches and two kicks. You can, though, do both medium and heavy attacks with the heavy buttons by holding the joystick either back or forward as you attack. Thus all the six button Street Fighter action is retained, despite the missing pair of punch and kick buttons. This will take a little getting used to, though, at least at first.

The graphics and sound are probably the best features of the game. Both graphics and sounds are spectacular, although 2D characters seem more and more dated as time goes on. Even so, there's no question the backgrounds, sound and background music are some of the best I've seen. There are also lots of small details that make watching the game very fun. For instance, there are a number of special match intros unique to certain characters (such as Ken throwing Terry his baseball cap). Each arena has its own special intro before the fight as well.

For players interested in story, you'll get standard Capcom fare. There are two possible endings: one for winning with SNK groove, and the other for winning with Capcom groove. Both have their share of cheesy story and poor English-translation, but it wouldn't be a Capcom fighter without them. (A typical translation error is when a newscaster says ''Up Next: The Whether Report.'')

For all its strengths, the game still suffers from the same weaknesses of all the 2D Street Fighter titles. You can't change characters between fights with other humans, and there's no random select option. The character selection screen looks cool, but in practice is a little cumbersome at times when you're looking for specific characters to play. Players who feel there's too much ''turtling'' and so on will still feel that way playing this game.

But if you're a Capcom or SNK fan, there's no doubt this game gives you some of the best of both worlds, along with a slew of interesting match-ups and teams many addicted fighter fans have been waiting for.

Best Cheats: While selecting a character, hold the Start button, and the normal above the character's name should change to EX. This does not work for all players such as characters with a 4-person evil equivalent, and 3-person characters

At the Title Screen,
Hold down Light Punch and Hard Punch (Buttons A and B)
then press Start without releasing the 2 buttons.
Keep holding down all the three buttons.
At the character select screen, you'll notice that their is now only one line. All character ratios are equal. You will now have the ability to use two Boss Character or even 2 Evil Ryus or Ioris.

Game Play: 8
Graphics: 8
Music/Sound: 8
Originality: 6
Overall Rating: 8


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