SNK vs. Capcom: Match of the Millennium Review

The two giants of the 2D fighting-game industry joining forces to create, perhaps, the most highly anticipated fighter ever.

Here's something we thought would never happen. The two giants of the 2D fighting-game industry joining forces to create, perhaps, the most highly anticipated fighter ever. SNK (of King of Fighters and Samurai Shodown fame) and Capcom (of Street Fighter and Darkstalkers) have combined resources to create a mini-glimpse of the upcoming, Naomi-based SNK vs. Capcom. The game, appropriately, is titled SNK vs. Capcom: Match of the Millennium. MotM is undoubtedly the greatest handheld fighting game to date. There is a large selection of the greatest fighters from each company. Combined with the fact that you'll finally be able to pit Ken Masters against Terry Bogard is absolutely incredible. The opening animation resembles Capcom's Alpha series, except with a smattering of SNK characters, but the actual in-game fighting looks and plays practically identically to King of Fighters R-2. Featuring a tourney mode, which breaks down into single, tag, or team battle, allowing one-on-one battles, tag-team matches like Marvel vs. Capcom, and team battles a la the KOF series. Even after a selection is made, style choices are possible that govern the way your super combos work. You can choose from a Street Fighter Alpha style, or venture into SNK-land with two modes that, for the most part, act like the advanced and extra modes in King of Fighters '98.

Beyond the traditional tourney, training, and versus modes, there is also an Olympic mode, which offers a slew of minigames. Depending on how well you do in the minigames, you'll unlock extra super combos for the various characters. The game also allows data to be exchanged between the SNK vs. Capcom Card Fighters Clash game, King of Fighters: Dream Match 1999 for the Dreamcast, and the upcoming Dreamcast version of SNK vs. Capcom.

Control is excellent, despite the two-button scheme, and the response time is right on the money. The Neo-Geo Pocket's D-pad is easily the best handheld D-pad yet and this game makes good use of it. The graphics in SNK vs. Capcom are the best in any of SNK's handheld fighting games to date, with extremely detailed character portraits, fluid and precise animation, and beautifully rendered backgrounds loaded with little animations (check out the flock of doves in the church level). Mai Shiranai even features her patented bounce. Sound is less than inspiring, with whitenoise punch and kick sounds being the effect of choice, but if you can get past the typical sound-clash, and the world's most hilarious win quotations, then this is the must-own game for the NGPC.

The Good

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The Bad

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