Im going to say this
right out: if you are a fan of fighting games at all go buy this game now. I was a
complete newbie to fighters, but this game left me as a wannabe hardcore veteran. How? How
did Capcom Vs. SNK 2 do it? Its all in the grooves. You see, before you select your
fighter you get to select your groove. Grooves will increase and decrease certain stats
depending on which you chose. If you choose P Grove, for instance, you achieve a faster
fighting speed, but with a worse defense. That in itself sets this game apart from the
droves of beat-em-ups out there. Its quite satisfying finding a groove that really
works well with your playing style. While the player should definitely experiment with all
possibilities, I found that the best groove for novices is the C-Groove, which is
comparable to a jack of all trades (yeah, yeah, I know, master of none). With it,
youll be able to get a good feel for the game.
But the groove system is a
double edged sword. Part of the appeal of fighters is, well, the fighters. They all have
their own strengths and weaknesses. While that still applies, it is to a much more
marginal degree. When Blanca on P-Groove can get to be almost as fast as Chun-Li on
C-Groove, youve got a problem. Still this problem, like the fighter differences, is
on the topic of the characters, it should be said that if you ever had a favorite fighter
in either Street Fighter or King of Fighters series, you are very likely to see their ugly
mug on the character select screen. I, being the non-fan (but also non-enemy) of fighters,
was just glad to see a few stereotypical favorites, namely Ryu and Bison. So after
choosing those two and hitting the randomizer like I always do for that third guy, it was
off to the races.
heres a tip if youre completely into fighting games: dont buy the game
for the single player arcade mode. The game can easily be beaten in an hour, with about
half of that hour spent on the final boss, on the default setting. Up it a couple notches
though and youve got a challenge. Its still nothing like Mortal Kombat 3 on
normal mode mind you (horrible excuse of a game, but great excuse to play the SNES), but
now that Ive gotten the boring chit-chat about single player mode done (you
didnt even read it, did you?) we can talk about the meat and potatoes of this game:
multiplayer. I havent had this much fun beating the crap out of people since my
friend Rachel made her finger double jointed by playing Tekken Tag Tournament too much. It
almost goes without saying that the majority of playing hours with CvSNK2 will be spent
with a friend. Obviously this means tremendous replay value. The game seems fairly cheesy
and stupid to a bystander, but once handed the controller youll be hard pressed to
take it away from them. When two skilled players fight, its a beautiful thing
combos, reversals, super-moves, the works. When youre controlling this mind-boggling
action you truly feel like a bad ass and the fighting spirit courses through your veins.
Of course, this could be why so many arguments about whos being cheap erupt (Hint:
Only play this game with light hearted friends). But if a game can get you fussed up
enough that you want to introduce your friends face to your foot, there must be
something good going on.
great gameplay, good difficulty, sweet groove system, blood pumping multiplayer, perfect
game, right? Nope. Like all games, this one has a few quirks. For starters, the animation.
. how to put this
ass. Well, its very decent animation, but
nothing to write home about. I figured that since they were on a next generation console
they could finally get 2D nailed. Instead the animation of fighters is as choppy as ever.
I dont want to see four frames representing a flip, I want to see a fluid motion.
Not great, not horrible, but very 2D fighter-ish.
on the subject, the gameplay, even with its groove system, is still typical. I know that
theres not really much room for fighters to evolve, but I cant completely
forgive the fact that this game couldve been made a decade ago. It wouldnt
have been as flashy mind you, but it would have the same basic elements.
another point that is almost unfair to judge fighting games on: control. The PS2 pad is a
great and diverse pad, but it was not made with 2D fighters in mind. That being said, the
developers did an admirable job of trying to convert to the black glob of plastic, but
theres just no substitute for six face buttons. Get an arcade stick if you're really
all, Capcom Vs. SNK 2 is the pinnacle of fighters to date. Hardcore gamers who stood in
lines for countless hours to play someone in the fighting game of the month will find
plenty to love, as will newbies. Just dont expect too many innovations and
youll be set.