We recently had a chance to try out the online capabilities of Capcom vs. SNK 2, which will be released for the Xbox in early February. Like all of the other Xbox Live-enabled games, Capcom vs. SNK 2 EO lets you select from a few different options, including quick match, optimatch, and create a match. Both optimatch and create a match essentially let you change options to your specifications, so if you want to play a game without letting your opponent use the EO fighting system (which lets you perform special moves by simply tapping the right analog stick in any direction), you have to select arcade rules. Conversely, the console and beginner options will let either participant select the EO or any other fighting system as well as let you use characters that have been edited using the game's character-edit feature. The game also features an EO option for newcomers who aren't incredibly familiar with Capcom's fighting games.
The Xbox Live portion of Capcom vs. SNK 2 EO also lets you look at your friend's list, view a list of players that you've recently played against, and see the current rankings, which are broken down into weekly, monthly, and total rankings. Admittedly, it's pretty cool to see how you rank against other Capcom vs. SNK 2 players from around the world. It's also worth noting that you can restrict your game to domestic opponents as opposed to challenging players from around the world.
The few matches that we've played were completely lag-free--something that's obviously crucial for any fighting game to work well online--though there is some load time right after you connect with another player. All of the characters responded much as they would if you were playing against the computer or against a friend sitting right next to you. If one player happens to get disconnected from the network for some reason, the other player can continue to play, and it won't count as a win or a loss for either participant. Both at the end of a match and before connecting with another player, you can view each other's win-loss record, points, and grade and see how many matches each of you have participated in. Overall, we're pretty pleased with the online aspects of the game.
Capcom vs. SNK 2 EO is scheduled for release on February 11.