Review by MrSkip

""Evolution: A process of change in a paticular direction." (looks around) Nope none of that here."

How long has it been since Capcom made a 2-D fighting game? Three, four years? Well we can't actually blame em since consoles these days have been expanding into new ideas and technology ever since games moved into the third dimensions. Still who says 2-D is dead? Certainly not SNK whose never given up on the genre. Capcom of course decided to response as well with a new fighting game that was to be called Fighting All-Stars, it would be 3-D but at least it would be something from Cap in a long while fighting-wise. However this game was scrapped and it was announced that Capcom Fighting Jam (and then later Evolution), a 2-D game, was in the works. Finally the father of 2-D brawlers was bringing something new to the table and fighting game fans across the world rejoiced. That is until we actually saw what the supposed “new” was.

Skinny: No storyline, which should be no surprise this being Capcom. Just a bunch of different fighters from five of Capcom's past games (Street Fighter 2, Alpha (Zero), 3: Third Strike, DarkStalkers and the never-seen-in-U.S. Red Earth (or Warzard) plus one extra from the scrubbed All-Stars all brought together to duke it out. Nothing wrong with this setup really, the VS. games didn't have much of a story so why should this crossover be any different?

Play Dials: Classic Capcom fighting style, three punches and three kicks. If you've played with these characters before, you should know their movesets by now. If not, have fun experimenting.

Core: Once you get into the game you'll notice the surprising lack of extras on this game: Arcade, Versus, Practice and Options, that's it. “Okay” I thought to myself “It's not much but maybe the gameplay will change that.” Pfft, I was only semi-right, once again I found even more severely lack of fighters in the selection here, 21 at the most. While it nice to play as my girls Karin and Felica again and interesting to use the very odd Red Earth group (as well as Athe…er, I mean Ingrid) a much bigger roster would have been appreciated. Capcom, its good you listen to polls from fans but you can throw in a few of your own favorites! And why just settle on those from your fighting games? You weren't afraid to dig into the well for Marvel vs Capcom so there no reason to get stingy, especially with so many new franchises you have now (Viewtiful Joe, Devil May Cry, Chaos Legion. Heck, you could get Link if you wanted since you help make his recent GBA games! Sheesh!) Anyway after picking two fighters, your sent into battle. The fighting is an okay interesting clash of styles. All the characters keep their respected power gauges from their games (or borrow in the case of the SF2 group and Ingrid) fair enough, though I would've have prefer the much better “groove” system found in CvS2. Next is the switch system taken from Rival Schools, if you've never played that game. It's basically where you pick one character, fight with them, then if you win or lose you can choose to switch with the second fighter. Pretty cool if you playing with a friend since you can keep em guessing, but against the computer whose always switching it gets very annoying as your chosen fighter may be outmatched by someone you can't beat them with. Which brings me to another issue; this is a seriously unbalanced game. I mean really, one class such as the Alpha crew can beat the SF2 gang but will have trouble with the Darkstalkers bunch. The Red Earth crowd is pretty much the odd man out here and the most easy to defeat. All the SF3: TS players are too fast for their own good, Ingrid pretty much useless and…well these are just my opinions. But still more tweaking on the fighting system would have been nice rather then being slapped together and pushed out the door.

Eye-Candy: After the brilliance from seeing the 3-D backgrounds of MvC2 and CvS2, I have to say am a tad disappointed Capcom didn't stick with it. Though I don't mind they've returned to hand drawn art. The settings look extremely beautiful and detailed (especially love the ancient ruins stage and the final boss's level) it the folks moving in the levels that have me frowning. They fill these stages with so many cameos from the above-mentioned games (which I don't to need to tell you I wish was on the playing field rather the sidelines) and yet don't have them do ANYTHING. Say for a few pumping their fists in the air or jumping in and out of view in repeated cycles * yawn *. Needless to say if the environment isn't displaying some electricity then I can't get into much of a fighting mood. And what of those moving that you're playing with? The usual with all of Caps stuff: same animation sprites taken from other games which of course doesn't mesh really well together with others (CHANGE YOUR @!%* SPRITES CAPCOM!). Eh at least the character portraits and endings look good.

Noise: Decent, Capcom decided to go the rock music route this time around. No Guilty Gear but you get used to it. Sound effects? The usual yelling, screaming, and whoosh from special attacks. Liked the smacks when you hit your opponents, very satisfying in a way.

Final Call: Nothing more then a sloppy rush job and a quick cash-in by a very shameless section of the company. The developers should be ashamed of themselves as they have every reason to take their fighting series in a new direction; they were just too lazy to really put their minds into it. What makes this even more disappointing is the fact they had the nerve to put Evolution on the title at the last second when it clearly anything but. Still it's not all bad and a suitable rental if you need your fighting fix. Just don't expect anything out of the usual rut Capcom has dug themselves into. * Sigh * Still, if it happens (and theres a good chance it will) then bring on Fighting Evolution 2. But please Capcom, PUT SOME THOUGHT INTO IT!

Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 12/21/04

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