In a noble effort to preserve the hallowed 2D fighter tradition, SNK Playmore will release a port of its latest arcade brawler, SVC Chaos: SNK vs. Capcom, on the Xbox and PlayStation 2 this September. Amazingly, after years of milking the same sprites throughout a litany of "versus" games, SVC Chaos will actually feature a good deal of new character art that gives it a unique and somewhat more-cohesive look than most of its forebears. We just got a new build of the Xbox version in our offices and tossed it in to find out what's new with the game and how the port is coming along.
Not much has changed with the core gameplay in SVC Chaos since the last time we played the game. It's still essentially an arcade-perfect port of the original, since matching the NeoGeo hardware isn't a great feat for the Xbox to handle. For those not in the know, SVC Chaos once again pits fighters from SNK's and Capcom's respective fighting series against each other. There are 12 from each side, including such notables as Iori, Mai, Earthquake, and Terry Bogard for SNK, and Ryu, Akuma, M. Bison, Chun-Li, and Tessa (or Tabitha in the US) representing Capcom.
The controls in SVC Chaos map to the Xbox controller nicely, with the four main attacks--strong and weak punch and kick--assigned to the four face buttons and with the white and black buttons and R trigger holding various combinations of the basic attacks. The L trigger lets you perform a taunt (it had to go somewhere), and we didn't have too much trouble pulling off the standard array of dragon punches, hurricane kicks, sonic booms, and so on with the default Xbox S controller, although purists will surely want to use a stick to complete the arcade experience.
Since nothing much has changed here from the arcade, and the core gameplay will be eminently familiar to SVC Chaos fans, let's look at some of the new modes that have been added for the home version of the game. A standard practice mode is included that lets you beat up a defenseless-but-invincible opponent ad nauseam, and you can define parameters such as opponent behavior and character change so you can bone up on different skills.
There's also an art gallery available in which you can look at various character concept art and so on, after you unlock it by playing the main game. Survival mode, as you'd expect, pits you against as many opponents as you can take out on one life bar. Finally, the "coloredit" mode breaks up a character sprite into its component color values and lets you change each one with RGB sliders to effectively color the character any way you want (and you can rename your creations as you wish, too).
Overall, it looks like SVC Chaos: SNK vs. Capcom is coming together nicely and should offer a good amount of value for fighting fans. Any diehard fan of the arcade game who doesn't actually own the arcade game ought to give this port a look. It will essentially re-create the experience of the original in the comfort of your home. The game is scheduled for release in September. Look for more soon.