TGS 2003SVC Chaos: SNK vs. Capcom Impressions

SNK Playmore's recent NeoGeo fighting game crossover is in arcades now, but it's also coming to the PlayStation 2.

SNK Playmore recently released SVC Chaos: SNK vs. Capcom into arcades around the world. A NeoGeo home cartridge is still on the way, but for those who lack the dedication required to spend $300 on a cartridge version of the game, SNK Playmore is also developing the game for the PlayStation 2.

SVC Chaos follows the same basic principles of Capcom's crossover counterpart, Capcom vs. SNK. It's a 2D fighting game containing characters from different fighting games made by both companies. On the Capcom side of the fence, the game features a lot of obvious favorites like Ryu, Ken, M. Bison, Guile, Sagat, and Chun-Li. The SNK roster contains a handful of the company's more popular characters, such as Kim Kaphwan, Terry Bogard, Mai Shiranui, and Kyo Kusanagi. The game features 24 characters right from the start, and you can access 12 more by using codes at the character-select screen, including Demitri from Darkstalkers and Geese Howard from Fatal Fury.

The control is basically the same as what you'd expect from a NeoGeo-based fighting game, with two buttons used for punches and two for kicks. Some of the Capcom fighters, which come from a six-button universe, can access their medium attacks by holding the joystick in a certain direction, such as using low medium kicks by holding down-back on the controller while pressing the heavy kick button. Most of the Capcom characters' move lists are intact and have maintained the same properties. For example, Ken's hurricane kick will hit multiple times while Ryu's will knock an opponent down in one hit. Ken's dragon punch reaches out a bit further than Ryu's, but his range is less than you'd expect after playing other recent Street Fighter games. Actually, a lot of move ranges seem slightly off. The game's timing also gives the game a pretty different feel, since it seems a bit slower than what you might expect, especially if you've played the most recent games in SNK's King of Fighters series.

The game's super meter has three levels, but instead of maxing out at level three, topping out your meter puts you in maximum mode. In this mode you can execute super moves, guard crushes, and other moves that chip away at your super meter and only see the maximum meter drain slightly faster. Upon draining, it will fill back up most of the way. Each fighter also has an "exceed" attack that can be used when your life bar is under the halfway point, but the catch is that you can use it only once per match. Many of the game's exceed attacks are taken from existing super moves. Ryu's exceed, for example, is his level three super dragon punch.

Graphically, the SNK characters seem to have gotten the short end of the stick, since most of their sprites have been recycled from previous SNK products while the Capcom characters have all been redrawn or retouched. The new looks for the Capcom characters are OK--Guile, in particular, looks slightly more menacing--but overall, the differences are pretty minor.

The PlayStation 2 version of the game is currently incomplete, but the gameplay appears to be intact, and there's no reason why it won't carry over from the original NeoGeo version just fine. The NeoGeo home cartridge will be available later this year, and the PlayStation 2 version will be released afterwards. We'll have more on both versions of the game as it becomes available.

See more of GameSpot's coverage of the 2003 Tokyo Game Show.

Written By

Jeff Gerstmann has been professionally covering the video game industry since 1994.

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