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by Capcom

It has always been a gamer's pipedream to find their favorite characters to be coded for a rival console or game. One of those old pipe dreams was to take the pugilists from Capcom and pit them against the many combatants from rival 2D fighting company SNK. SNK is famous for Fatal Fury and Samurai Shodown. A few years ago the dream was snaked from that proverbial pipe. With the success of the first Capcom Vs. SNK it was only a matter of time before a sequel would appear. Well, that was two years ago, and after making stops on the PS2 and Sega’s Dreamcast, Capcom Vs. SNK 2 EO it has graced the library of Gamecube titles. Unfortunately , the biggest flaw you will come across has nothing to do with the game's design, but with the controller's design.

The Street Fighter series has endured countless variations. While you will not find every character in this installment there is a very good chance your favorite does make an appearance. Of course you will find Ryu and Ken as they have become the quintessential characters for Street Fighter. On the other side of the fence are characters you might not recognize, but they are very solid characters in their own right. There are over forty characters to choose from. Each character has strengths and weaknesses to match your style of fighting.

Capcom Vs. SNK 2 EO has the ability not only to match a character to your fighting style, but how the character performs and plays, via the implementation of the grove style. The different groves are: C, A, K, P, S, and N grooves. The C-groove is super combo level gauge system. The character's gauge will build up as players attack, and depending on the how high the levels are, the more super combo's players will perform. A-groove is the custom combo gauge system; it builds up as players attack. Players can use a level 1 super combo by only having 50% of the gauge full. With this system, players can perform custom combos they made with ease. K-groove is the rage system. The gauge will fill up as players attack or just defend the game. When it is maxed out, players can perform a MAX super move. The P-groove mode is the super combo system; when the gauge is full, players can perform a level 3 super move. S-groove is the groove gauge system. Holding the HP and HK buttons will charge the groove gage. When it is maxed out, players can use many different super moves. Finally the N-groove is the advanced power gauge system. When the gauge is full, players can use one super special move. Once it is all the way powered up, they can perform a MAX super move

A new addition to the series is the ability to perform the special moves with a simple flick of the c-stick. While it helps a little, it still cannot mask the odor of the crappy control setup. The new setup is called the GC-ism. This is a control scheme best suited for players who do not know how to play fighting games. It almost levels the playing field for a cheap AI that can pull of any charge move without the need to hold back for two seconds; now the stick does it all. Purist will hate this mode, because it waters down the experience of playing the game.

Capcom Vs. SNK 2 EO can be played in the following modes: Arcade, Survival, Training, Verses. Arcade is where one to two players fight against CPU players to advance in the game story. Survival mode is a one-player mode, where players fight hordes of enemies, seeing how long they can last. Training mode lets players become familiar with the game, practice super moves, and creates their own combos. Verses mode is what the game is all about. It is where you and a friend will fight it out to see who the best is!

If you’re feeling nostalgic, use the Replay mode. This mode lets players watch replies of previous fights. You will not only be able to gloat now, but have the evidence to back it up. Don’t like the colors of your combatant? Feel free to turn them green using the Color Edit mode. This will let players modify the sprites that comprise each different character color, allowing them to fit your own preferences.

Considering that technology has been improved since this game was in a stand up arcade cabinet, it should be no surprise that it is a faithful conversion in both graphics and sound. While it is true that Capcom Vs. SNK 2 EO is a two dimensional fighting game there are still some polygons to be found. They are found in the background comprising the scenery. The fighters themselves are composed of sprites moving at very acceptable speeds. Colors are bright and vivid that can be used to your advantage by creating a very bright color scheme to distract your human adversary. While it is a perfect conversion, it is a conversion of outdated technology.

Capcom Vs. SNK 2 EO does everything that is expected of it and gives one final bow to characters from a dead company. With plenty of characters to choose from and various ways to play, it should have a higher ranking. The reason it doesn’t though is due to the poor setup of the Gamecube controller for fighting games--especially ones that rely on the use of the tiny D pad. So, it can’t be too surprising that there are really not many GC games in this genre. If possible, play it on one of the many consoles it is already on. If you have no other alternative, find a controller that will lend itself more to a fighting game and enjoy this game as it should be.

Jake Carder   (11/28/2002)


Ups: Perfect arcade conversion; plenty of options.

Downs: Gamecube controller is lame for fighting games; outdated technology.

Platform: Gamecube