Review by GundamMon

"A very, very poorly presented crossover..."

Capcom vs. SNK PRO - 5/10
For Sony Playstation

Introduction:

I'm a big fan of fighting games, especially the long-lived and critically acclaimed Street Fighter series. There have been exceptional SF games: Marvel vs. Capcom 2, X-Men vs. Street Fighter; and some titles that are not very worthy of holding the series name, like Capcom vs. SNK PRO.
The only SNK game I've played (or even seen) in the arcade was Samurai Shodown, so I wasn't familiar at all with 99% of the SNK characters, and yet I was familiar with all of the Capcom ones. There's a wide variety of characters to choose from, from the traditional Ryu and Ken to Morrigan from Darkstalkers. This game had much more potential, but it falls short of even non-Capcom fighters.

Gameplay:

With all due respect, this is where the game really irks me. The controls are not very responsive at all, especially for a Street Fighter game. It's unbelievably difficult to do a Shoryuken, and the ''super moves'' are next to impossible to get to work. The motions can be performed, but the characters just don't respond. You'll try to do Shinku Hadouken super move(which is basically a super-fireball), but 19 times out of 20 you'll receive a standard Hadouken. This should not happen, and in the middle of combat, when you need a certain move to turn the tide, chances are you won't receive it.

The system is set so that you must have an amount of characters that add up to a 4. So you can have 4 Level-1 characters, or 1 Level-4 character. For example, both Ryu and Ken are considered level 2 characters, so they can be on a team, but no one else. This makes for interesting team-ups, but there's no option to switch characters in-match or do any kind of tag-team moves to combine their powers; if one character is defeated, the next round just switches to the next member of the team/ A lot of potential was wasted here. I also have to question Capcom's reasoning for assigning ''Levels.'' Characters like Akuma, a Level 4 fighter, don't reflect being considered ''mighty'' enough to stand alone. In fact, Akuma is plain worthless in Capcom vs. SNK PRO. There are some Level 1 characters like Joe, Benimaru, and King that are far too quick and strong for Level 1, and should be Level 2 to even the playing field.

This is another one of those Capcom games that will ''sense'' that it is losing. That means that most times, when your opponent is near-dead, he (or she) will somehow become a much better fighter. He/she will hide in a corner and play the blocking game until you leave yourself open from pounding away at your foe, and then almost always defeat you (even though you yourself have 3/4ths of your health left). Also, an oddity that seems to happen in this game is that the green energy bar for health will completely be drained, and yet your enemy will still be standing. If he/she has life left, then show it!

There are the two fighting Grooves: Capcom and SNK. Capcom is just getting energy levels for attacking/defending, and SNK requires you to manually charge your energy for super moves. The SNK Groove is too easy to abuse if your life bar is flashing, and you can repeatedly use your super move. The Capcom Groove has 3 levels of super attack, and you can choose to use 1-3 levels to power your attack; too bad the damage that is dealt doesn't adequately reflect the amount of energy used at all.

Story

More of the same big-fighting-tournament nonsense. Some actual story would have helped this game; even a Story Mode would be of benefit to this relatively mindless fighting game. What we receive is some nonsense about Geese (who's returned for the umpteenth time) to see who's the best fighter in the world. The ''crossover'' factor is a complete waste, since those who haven't played either Capcom or SNK fighting games won't be able to tell the difference and why this crossover is a ''cool idea.'' Crossovers work when done right: the Marvel vs. Capcom series worked well, since Marvel was a well-known franchise in and of itself. With all due respect, a lot of people have never heard of SNK.

Graphics:

The graphics fare pretty well for a Playstation fighting game, but it's nothing that the good ol' PSX hasn't seen before. The fighting is the standard animated stuff that everyone's seen before, but some of the backgrounds really shine, like the burning tanker truck level. Most of the energy moves are blocky and choppy, and lack even the charm of earlier Street Fighter games. Some of the rest, which use ''people'' in the background, are very poor, and some are less animated than the 16-bit days. The character sprites look good, albeit slightly grainy. But for some reason, this game takes forever to load, and for no good reason, either; I sure don't see anything groundbreaking on the game screen. Other PSX fighting games: Tekken 2 & 3, Bloody Roar, while 3D, don't even take this long to load. This is the most glaring problem with Capcom Vs. SNK PRO.

Sound:

Basic grunts/groans/attack names. Nothing superb here. Some of the tunes aren't all that bad; they just get lost in the fray and you will rarely(if ever) remember them afterwards. The announcer voice is very annoying, as is the custom for almost every fighting game I've ever played, but the round announcer sounds like a robot built out of duct tape and cardboard: crappy and grating. Some characters also have long dialogues before combat, but almost all in Japanese. Would it have killed Capcom to translate them?

Replayability:

In terms of secrets (hidden characters, stages, etc.) there exists a piddly amount. No hidden stages exist, and only two or three hidden characters that you must ''pay'' for with game points. After you accumulate a few thousand of these points, you can pretty much unlock everything worth unlocking. Most of the good characters you'd like to fight against you most likely never will, and instead get pretty much the same matches over and over again. I hear there are some hidden stages, and you find them depending on the amount of fighting points you obtain or how you finish your foe, but you'll most likely stumble upon them by accident.

The replayability suffers the most because of the end boss, Geese; a level-3 character you must defeat twice, effectively breaking the game. He has to be one of the most unassailable and cheapest fighting game characters I've ever come across. He'll block all of the time, has more than a few ''roll-thru'' moves (meaning that he'll spin through your attacks without harm), can cancel a physical attack of yours and throw you at the same time, and has one of the cheapest Super Moves ever, which is also unblockable since he'll only use it when you're in the air (and there is no air block). On several occasions, I've also seen him use his cheap air-fireball more than ten times...in a row! And even after all of that, he'll taunt and mock you with phrases like ''Predictable!'' or ''Too Easy!'' as he tosses you. Hey, if I was a character that broke the game just by my design alone, it'd be easy for me, too.

Basically, he's one of those computer-controlled characters that if the person beside you played that cheap, you'd probably beat the crap out of him when you were done playing.

Final Words:

All in all, not the most horrible fighting game I've ever played, but Capcom Vs. SNK PRO is short of anything resembling ''special.'' In fact, it's best suited for the ''sub-average'' class of fighting games. If not for the cheapness of some of the characters, the difficulty in pulling off certain moves, and the unforgivable load times, this game would easily receive a 8/10. There are worse fighting games out there than this game, Street Fighter or not, but there are certainly better ones, too.


Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 02/06/03, Updated 09/22/03


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