Capcom Fighting Evolution Hands-On

We tear into the Xbox version of Capcom's crossover fighting game.

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Ryu is stoked about beating up Guile while Sagat looks on in disgust.

Capcom's 2D fighting games have included a number of memorable crossovers involving the characters from the Marvel Comics universe. While the license to those characters may not be available to the fighting game designers anymore, at this point, Capcom has a good enough variety of fighting games that it can, very easily, crossover with itself. And that's the basic idea behind Capcom Fighting Evolution, which brings together fighters from five different Capcom fighting games.

The roster is broken up by game, with each game having four representatives. The Street Fighter II series brings us Ryu, Guile, Bison, and Zangief. Street Fighter III delivers Alex, Chun-Li, Yun, and Urien. The Street Fighter Alpha bracket contains Guy, Karin, Rose, and Sakura. Demitri, Felicia, Jedah, and Anakaris are here from the Darkstalkers games, and finally, Hydron, Kenji, Leo, and Hauzer appear courtesy of the game Red Earth, a little-known CPS3 game that's called Warzard in Japan. You'll also see an extra character in the center of the select screen. This character, Ingrid, is a little anime girl that came from an unreleased fighting game called Capcom Fighting All-Stars. You can also unlock Pyron from Darkstalkers, as he serves as the game's boss.

Fighting is handled in the traditional Capcom six-button style, with three buttons for punches and three for kicks. The characters are designed to handle roughly like they did in their original games. This means that Ryu retains his moves from Super Street Fighter II, while Chun-Li has the standard Street Fighter III move set. The Alpha characters retain Alpha-specific moves, and the Darkstalkers can pull off their powered-up special moves, and so on.

Evolution has a pretty bare-bones look to its menus and features. You're given the standard complement of a short arcade mode, versus, and training mode. The real draw here, and the feature that sets it apart from last year's PlayStation 2 release, is that the game has support for Xbox Live. The Xbox Live support is pretty standard and will look familiar to anyone that's played Street Fighter Anniversary Collection. All of the standard Xbox Live features are present, and a number at the top of the Xbox Live menus lets you know how many players are waiting for an opponent at any given time.

After like 20 years, you'd think Ryu's skills would be pretty well honed.

The look of the game is on par with the PlayStation 2 and arcade versions. The character sprites are large and, as you'd expect from a Capcom fighting game, recycled from other fighting games. The backgrounds, however, are new, and you can expect to see cameos from numerous other Capcom characters in most of the settings.

Sometimes all it takes is an online mode to make a game more interesting. Since fighting games thrive on an active player community, perhaps Capcom Fighting Evolution will be a more interesting game on the Xbox than it was when it was released as an offline-only PlayStation 2 game last year.

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