"As good as the older Street Fighter games..."

I had always been a big fan of the Capcom fighting games, and the SNK fighting games, so when I heard that this game was coming out, I was quite excited. I rushed out and bought it when I had enough money, and I wasn't disappointed.

There's about 30 characters in this game, from different fighting games by both Capcom, and SNK, and each has his/her own strengths, and weaknesses. They range from E. Honda, a sumo wrestler from Japan, to Vice, a member of the military. For each fight, it's 1 on 1 combat with a twist. There is a ratio system that lets you use up to 4 characters for each fight. I honestly didn't find this game too difficult, however, I always have been good at fighting games, so that might be one reason why.

How it works is each character, depending on their abilities, and stats, are equivalent to either 1 person, 2 people, three people, or 4 people. The most the characters you pick can add up to are 4, so you can have, for instance, 2 people worth 2, a person worth 4, a person worth 3, and one worth one, and so on. Also, for each attack [special, or normal] that hits, and taunts you do, you get groove points, which you can use afterwards to unlock new characters, and a stronger version of most of the characters.

The controls are simple enough; you have 4 attack buttons; light punch, heavy punch, light kick, and heavy kick. Light attacks don't do as much damage as heavy attacks, but they are quicker, whereas the heavy attacks aren't as fast as the light attacks, but they do more damage. Also, you can do taunts in the game that don't really do much.

In this game, there are two settings, or 'grooves' that, when built up, let you do a couple of more damaging attacks, called Super attacks. The two bars get built up differently, though, and both have different strengths, and weaknesses, that I won't get into. The Capcom groove is built up whenever a special attack is pulled off successfully, while the SNK groove has to be charged.

Overall, the gameplay, and controls are pretty good, except that there should have been a few more characters, such as Maxima [from SNK] and Rolento [from Capcom].

A lot of the moves still look the same as with older games, but some got a makeover, such as Ryu's Shakunetsu Hadouken, or as it's more well known as, the flaming hadouken. All of the characters, including the SNK characters, were drawn by Capcom artists, and personally, I think they did a great job on them. In the gallery mode, you can look at a picture of each character, in both the SNK style of drawing, as well as the Capcom style.

The sound in this game is amazing, in my opinion. The voices for some of the characters are still there, and if you listen a bit carefully, you can hear the fireballs a little bit as they go across the screen. The main highlight for me, though, is the music. I had been worried about the music at first, because I thought the music would be different from the older games, which I absolutely loved, but they kept some of my favorite music, such as Guile's stage. The announcer's voice gets annoying though.

Replay Value
The main replay value in this game, just like with all fighting games, is with fighting your friends. There is, however a mode that lets you pick different colors for parts of characters outfits, so that could be added to the replay value, if you consider it. I don't really have any friends to play against, so I haven't spent much time in the multi-player mode.

Final Recommendation
If you like the SNK/Capcom styles of fighting games, then this would be a good game for you, or for those that are sick of all of the 3-D fighters lately, and want a good-looking, decent loading fighting game. If you are interested in picking up a copy, then for only $29.99 [If you live in Canada], or $19.99 [If you live in the U.S.A.], you can pick this game up from your local Electronics Boutique store.

Rent or Buy
As with any other game, you should rent it first to make sure you like it, otherwise you might end up getting it, and not liking it, or you might see it at a place for a good price, and not get it because you haven't tried it.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/25/02, Updated 10/25/02

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