SNK vs. Capcom Preview

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Ever since Fatal Fury and Street Fighter 2 were released, gamers have been debating the possibility of an SNK vs. Capcom game. Thanks to the nepotistic nature of game development, the release of an SNK vs. Capcom title has looked like a reality for some time. And in March of 1999, representatives from both companies made it official when they announced SNK vs. Capcom titles for the arcade, the Dreamcast, and the Neo Geo Pocket Color.

Though originally scheduled for an early 2000 release, the Dreamcast SNK vs. Capcom title has seen delay after delay, mostly due to the amount of tuning that a melding of two stylistically different series requires. Indeed, Capcom's development team has had to retouch and animate thousands of frames of animation just to make the merging of the two character sets look appropriate. It is because of these requirements that the arcade version is only now nearing 90 percent complete and why the Dreamcast waits for its own port of the game.

SNK vs. Capcom will feature 16 characters, the choice of either SNK or Capcom fighting systems, and all of the obligatory combo action both genres are known for. The obvious characters will be included: Ken, Ryu, Iori, Kyo, and Terry. But fighting fans will rejoice in the knowledge that Blanka, Rayden, Leona, and Benimaru will also make their way onto the battlefield. Capcom is working hard to render all-new 3D backgrounds for the game. Thus, while the game will still offer standard 2D fighting on a 2D plane, the backgrounds will animate and scroll in a manner similar to SNK's recent King of Fighters DM '99 and King of Fighters '99 Evolution titles.

Since the game is being developed on Naomi arcade hardware, the DC port won't differ greatly from its arcade counterpart. Oddly enough, the major delays aren't related to design or programming, but are related to marketing and practicality. SNK just released Mark of the Wolves in arcades, and KOF '99 Evolution will be out soon for the Dreamcast, while Capcom is putting the finishing touches on Marvel vs. Capcom 2 for both the arcade and the DC. Since neither company wants to impact sales of its current efforts, SNK vs. Capcom may be pushed back so as to avoid glutting the market. Latest word has the arcade version coming out in June, with a Dreamcast Japan release around September. While no US date has been set, a late fourth-quarter release isn't out of the question.

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