Capcom vs. SNK 2: E.O. Review

Developer: Capcom Publisher: Capcom
Release Date: September 24, 2002 Also On: GCN, PS2 and Xbox

There comes a time in the life of any gamer when he buys a game that he expects to be like another game that he likes, only to find out that the differences between the two are more significant than he anticipated. That is my basic relationship with this game. I got it virtually the day it came out because I expected that, even though it was a traditional fighting game, it would not be significantly different from SSBM. Boy was I ever wrong. This game, however, has still managed to win me over in what time it has had to do so, but the time I can spend with it is limited by the fact that the college I attend didn’t pass it to be played there. But I am home on Spring Break this week, and this game is one of the few I was looking forward to putting some time into between the two games that are my major project for the week.

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Let’s begin my commentary on this game with the graphics. No, these graphics do not maximize the capabilities of the GameCube, but this is a game from fairly early on in the GameCube’s run and, for its time, the graphics are pretty good. The characters are easy to tell apart just by looking at them, and the attack and defense maneuvers all function nicely with very little if any slowdown to be seen.

The sound seems to be pretty standard fare for what I have seen in what exposure I have had to traditional fighting games. Punches and kicks sound like they normally do in this kind of game. The announcer has a tendency to get on my nerves sometimes, but that is a minor gripe in all reality. Overall, the sound does what it needs to do, and little more.

There’s not really anything creative about this game. Capcom stole fighting styles, characters, and most everything else in all likelihood, from previous Capcom and SNK fighting games. There is nothing new to the best of my knowledge.

The gameplay, however, has enough options that, even with a lack of creativity, the game will last a while. This game boasts over forty characters, which is almost double that of most traditional fighting games, including two unlockable characters. I will admit that with forty-some characters, I wouldn’t have minded more than two of them being unlockable, but that is a minor gripe. But, to add to that, each of these characters has six grooves, which vary in their abilities and limitations that they can fight in. Add to that two distinctly different control styles, and you’re going to be at this game quite a while before you’ve tried everything.

Now, when I say there are over forty characters, one has to understand that, like SSBM, some of these forty-some are clones, but, even with those few clones, there are still at least thirty-five or so unique characters. And, like SSBM, where there are clones, the two do have different attributes in some areas. I have no major complaints in how many fighters there are, nor do I have enough experience with Capcom and SNK fighting games to know of anybody not included that I would have liked.

Each of the six grooves has its own attributes, like I said before. For instance, one or two of them allow your character to run, while the rest don’t. Other variations include the ability to block in the air, or the ability to counter. The first thing any player of this game would need to do would be to try out all six grooves and figure out which one they are comfortable with.

The actual gameplay takes place like any other traditional fighting game, where you have two characters with life bars and they go at it. Each character has three punch levels and three kick levels, and in the normal controller style, each of these can be assigned to A, B, X, Y, L, R, and Z, with the seventh being a taunt button. If you like, you can even set more than one button to do the same move, but there is little reason to do so. However, in this controller style, I sometimes find it difficult to control and to find buttons. The GCN controller isn’t really made for traditional fighting games unfortunately. To add to this is the fact of the fancy movement and button combinations necessary to do a character’s special moves. I still haven’t gotten that down completely, but those of you with traditional fighting game experience will likely find it the same as in other such games.

However, the makers of this game knew that, and they included a special controller style for the GCN called a GC-ISM (as opposed to the more traditional AC-ISM). The way that the GC-ISM control style works is that all the punches and kicks are controlled by the pressure sensitive L and R buttons and all the special moves are done with the C stick. Basically, this means that you can do special moves in situations where it would be impossible to do them in the other controller style, and, in fact, your battle scheme will likely rely more on the special moves than the punches and kicks. This style also includes an auto-guard, meaning you don’t have to press a button to defend, but if you are playing against the computer, it won’t have to either since it generally uses whatever controller style you use, although its groove may be different.

The replay value in this game is high, considering how many characters and grooves there are to experiment with. If you have a friend to play with, it can last even longer than it would for one person. I still think SSBM is better for multiplayer, but only because this game supports two players and not four and is slightly more complicated to understand than SSBM.

I only have one other complaint about this game, and that is in the translation of the written out dialogue. The translators evidently don’t know the difference between an “n” and an “m” because all the “mâ€?’s appear as “nâ€?’s. Don’t ask me why. This is, however, a very minor gripe and is just something you’d have to be aware of if you are going to read the dialogue in this game.

My recommendation is this. I bought this game for full price when it came out, and I don’t feel that that was a mistake. At this point, the game is $20 or below, and any fan of traditional fighting games, or even of SSBM with the GC-ISM, would likely find much to appreciate in this game. I’d suggest getting a copy if you are a fan of fighting games at all.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 3
Replay Value/Game Length: 9
Final: 7
Written by Martin Review Guide

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