Review by Andy787

Reviewed: 10/08/01 | Updated: 10/08/01

This game is better than hamburgers

Yes, this game is better than hamburgers. Many hamburgers even. Hamburgers smothered in good hamburgery sauce, with delectable burger toppings, and even a side of fries. This choice cut piece of code encompasses all food stuffs, condiments, and beverages... well maybe not pizza... but still, it's better than a LOT of food. ''Food can't judge a game!'' you say? Why yes it can, when a game is this good, you can even judge it by food. I can't say it makes sense, but that doesn't matter, it's my review, and I can judge whatever I want by food, and I will. What does matter, is that this game ownz j00. Not just owns you, but OwNz j00! Now sit down and start readin' so you can learn just why you too need a bite o' this pie!

'We'll give you cookies if you win this grueling, life threatening tournament!' 'Really?! Sign me up!'

I'll assume that if you're reading this to help you decide to import the game or not, that you know this is a 2D fighter. I'll also assume you know Capcom is making this game (I mean come on, it is Capcom vs. SNK). Anyway, if you know anything about Capcom, you know their stories are rarely better than a Britney Spears song, and let me assure you, this game is no exception. The story simply says that Robert and Ken (two of the fighters in the game, you probably know them) sponsor a tournament, and any fighter willing to risk their life to enter has the chance to win, say, a box of chocolates. Or something. Not too ingenious on Capcom's part, considering what they could've done with all these characters. Then again, that's one mighty expensive box of chocolates.

Balance is like a fine whine, it.... ah screw it

First thing's first. Capcom vs. SNK, as many of you remember, was a good, but limited effort. The CvS games rely on a system called ''grooves'' to let you choose the style you want to play as. Each groove lets you play a different style, from a different game, each with different technicalities and each with different strategic moves (dash, dodge, air-guard, safe fall, ect). The groove system in CvS was really limited, and that's only one of the things CvS2 improves upon completely. This game, seriously, gives you the ability to play the style of almost ANY 2D fighter there is. Right from the beginning you're given 6 grooves to choose from -called C, A, P, S, N, and K, each letter representing a different style- all of which represent a different fighter from Capcom and SNK (Street Fighter Alpha, King of Fighters, ect).

Right there you've got plenty of depth to work with. But what may be the game's most ingenious addition -the groove edit mode- lets you customize your own grooves to your personal taste! The groove edit mode can be unlocked a few different ways, and once you've got it, you can literally make the style from ANY 2D fighter. Wanna play like Real Bout? You can do that! Guilty Gear X? You got it! Last Blade? Sure! Mortal Kombat?... erm.. sorry 'bout that one. Anyway, the catch here, is where the game's real replay value comes from. In order to use the groove edit mode's different options (and there are loads!) you must have enough groove points to ''purchase'' them, so to speak. And to get groove points, you've gotta FIGHT! And fight! And fight some more! And once you think you've fought all you can fight, you've gotta get back up, and.... eat some cake... then fight some more!

Next, another very important feature that was extremely neglected and unbalanced in the first episode -the ratio system. The ratio system was intended to make gameplay more varied, but since all of the characters had pre-set ratio points (each character could be from ratio 1 to 4, the higher the stronger), making teams was really more a matter of what you're given, instead of what you can do (if that makes sense). In the sequel, all of this is remedied however, because now you have the option of dividing a set number of ratio points between your team. It works like this; after you pick your team, you're given 4 points to divide throughout your team, so if you pick 2 people, you can give them both 2 points, or you can give one 3 points and the other 1 point. Likewise, if you pick a single player, he's a 4 ratio, and if you pick 3 players you get two ratio 1s and one ratio 2. It sounds somewhat complicated, but in practice it's easy as pie. Finally, if you don't like playing with the ratio system, you've always got the option to play 1 on 1 ala Street Fighter or 3 on 3, like King of Fighters.

The amazing thing about the groove and ratio systems though, is how incredibly balanced they are. I mean, that's really one of the main reasons CvS went from an awesome game at onset, to a mediocre game once you dug into it. Capcom really learned their lesson this time, and the improved upon everything superbly. (I'm sure that violent spanking I administered upon them had something to do with it) This game is sure to go down as one of the best games ever for arcade play, as it's extremely balanced, and extremely fun, and combined, that's a beautiful thing (sorry if that sounded a little too much like an Olive Garden commercial).

Oh, and before I forget, I should talk a little on the other two modes, Survival and Training. I don't think I need to be too detailed here, because most of us have seen these modes many a time before. Survival, is basically, taking a single fighter and seeing how many guys you can have your way with before you fail to perform once. Um... please don't read that last sentence too deeply. Training mode is well... training mode. You select your fighter and various other options, then you face off against an opponent of choice to try to better learn your moves. You can set the opponent's CPU level to do a multitude of different tasks in repetition so you can keep practicing with one move, or you can just have him idle so you can pummel him however you choose. Neither mode is going to save a game, but without them they can really hurt a game. They're really just icing on the cake for vets though.

Caution! Dreamcast D-Pad may sever thumbs, rob old ladies, and take candy from babies

Let's get one thing straight pertaining to 2D fighters. You hate the Dreamcast D-Pad. I hate the Dreamcast D-Pad. The Dreamcast hates the Dreamcast D-Pad. We agree, right? Okay, now that that's behind us, I think it's safe to say that if you play with such fighters like Geese or Zangief, you're going to have some trouble with the control. Quarter-circle combos aren't too hard with the DC D-Pad, but half circles and full circles (!!) are really a pain. That's not too mention the analogue L and R buttons, which make hard punching and kicking even more annoying.

Since people who buy this game for DC are importing it though, I think many of you know of the ASCII pads and sticks, which really more than make up the control issues. If you don't know of them, I suggest you do some research fast, because these things are extremely useful, but will likely become very rare soon. As a matter of fact, ASCII actually made special versions of their ASCII pads just for Capcom vs. SNK 1 and 2 (no difference from the normal pads except colors though). Personally, I use a Total Control 3 Plus, it's an adaptor that lets you use your Sega Saturn controllers with your Dreamcast. It's very nice, to say the least. Anyway, this category varies. If you own an ASCII pad/stick, or something of the like, you should have no problems. However, if you're stuck using the DC controller, you may not get the full enjoyment out of things.

Are those giant samurai balloons fighting in the background?!

Do you like 2D graphics? If you've read this far, I assume so. I just want to know, because it's kind of hard for me to rate a game's graphics on 2D games. See, for me, when I think of 2D and 3D, I think of them as two separate things. So when I comment on a 2D game, I compare it to other 2D games, likewise with 3D games. It's just really hard to compare two things that are really so different. That's why I ask if you like 2D graphics or not, because if you do, then I can compare and you'll have an idea of what I'm talking about, if not, well, you probably wouldn't like this game ;)

Anyway, the graphics in the game, are simply gorgeous. You can easily tell that the game is designed for the Naomi arcade board. A lot of the actual fighting takes advantage of Naomi's 3D effects, for example, every time you hit your opponent, a beautiful little power shock type thing happens (think Tekken). Also, moves that set the opponent on fire, such as Ken's dragon punch and Iori's money shot take advantage of the Naomi for great effect. The menus and backgrounds are also all rendered in beautiful, clear, smooth, aliased, Naomi 3D (I should make adult novels, eh?). Speaking of the backgrounds, there are really some great ones here. They range from the tops of sky scrapers with helicopters in the background, scenic hillsides with windmills rotating, a beautiful Chinese castle top where rain comes down in buckets, even a stadium filled with onlookers. And yes, there is a level with huge fighting samurai balloons in the background.

Now on to the actual fighters. On the SNK side of things, most of these fighters have never looked better (aside from the few in Garou: Mark of the Wolves, like Rock Howard). Most have been redrawn for this game (or in the original CvS), and have added animations (the SNK characters now have a medium punch and kick). Now on the Capcom side, most of them are still great, but they REALLY should've given Zangief and Morrigan new sprites. I mean when you play against Morrigan and you're, say, Haohmaru, it kind of looks a little weird. It's not bad, but it's a little distracting.

The roster of this game though is really phenomenal. The only fighter I can really think of that packs more characters than this game is Marvel vs. Capcom 2, which I doubt will be dethroned for quite a while. This game takes many of the star characters from most of Capcom and SNK's titles, with characters representing from Street Fighter, King of Fighters, Mark of the Wolves, Darkstalkers, Last Blade, Samurai Showdown, and Final Fight. They really chose some oddballs for the new fighters though. I mean they put in Dan and Joe from CvS Pro, and added some really good characters like Haohmaru, Rock Howard, Kyosuke, and Hibiki, but also added some fighters that NOBODY remembers such as Maki and Eagle. They left out a few that would've really been nice though and rightfully should've mad appearances, like Andy Bogard and Billy Kane for example. However, this game still packs 40+ characters, and STILL manages to keep everything very balanced, so it deserves mucho credit for that.

''I'm going to bug you until you throw your DC out the window. Yes I am, you can't stop me. Blah blah blah blah blah. See? I can do this all day!''

Yes, that's what the announcer in this game sounds like. He will talk your ear off! And Capcom PAID him to do it! Those Japanese really are lucky they can't understand him (he talks in English). Have you heard the Street Fighter Alpha 3 announcer? Well prepare for him, with DOUBLE the talk. I mean he talks the whole time while when you start up, while you're picking a fighter, when you do a super, when you pick a groove... He just LOVES to talk. If you've ever talked to an old lady, it's like that. I will say one thing though, his voice is a lot less irritating than the SFA3 announcer, even though he talks twice as much. It's bearable, but it certainly isn't good.

The actual sound effects here are very very good. The graphics and sound really work together well when you hit your opponent. More so than any other fighter I've ever seen does the sound effects combine with the on screen action so well that each hit looks so powerful. I'm not talking MvC2 super duper Power Ranger stuff, I saying the actual punches and kicks make it look and sound like you're really beating the crap out of the unfortunate individual on the other end. The music is also very well done. From slower, more atmospheric tones akin to SNK, to the generally up-beat tunes of Capcom. The BMGs fit each level very well, and fit the menus excellent too.

Groovalishious Arcadious

No game lasts forever right? Well, we'll pretend Tetris isn't a game just so I'm not an idiot ok? Anyway, this game won't last forever sure, but provided you have some friends that like 2D fighters or an arcade you like to go to, you're going be playing this sucker for a long time to come. As I said before, this has to be one of the most perfect arcade games ever. Everything is meticulously balanced, and combined with the huge amounts of gameplay options, that spells G-O-O-D. Other than multi-player and playing at the arcade however, this game will still keep you playing. There are only a few unlockables, but after you unlock to two secret characters (who really aren't very secret) and the Groove Edit mode, you can still play to earn more and more groove points. The game really is just so much fun that you'll probably play long after you've done everything possible (which is the true test of a 2D fighter).

Story: 0.9/10 Hamburgers
Gameplay: 9.8/10 Hamburgers
Control: 6.9/10 Hamburgers (9.1 with ASCII Pad)
Graphics: 9.2/10 Hamburgers
Sound: 9.1/10 Hamburgers
Replay: 9.0/10 Hamburgers
Final Verdict: Gigantor, triple patty, pickles, lettuce, tomato, special sauce and sesame seed bun hamburger

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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