Monday, 1 March 2021

SNK VS. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium Review (Switch)

SNK has been releasing a number of its chibi styled Neo-Geo Pocket fighters on Switch but this is the first time the company has ventured into its crossover relations with Capcom. The home console versions of Capcom VS. SNK 1 and 2 are both much loved and would surely garner a lot of interest were they to reappear. With that in mind this release is a tantalising hook for fans hoping it may lead to companies working together again in the future.

As adaptations to handheld consoles go this is pretty impressive. There are a ton of characters to pick from and the tag and team based modes also make the cut. The single player mode even has story scenes and plot to it and there are extra modes present such as survival, time attack and a host of mini games. In terms of options you’ve got them in abundance as well with a full suite of display and control configurations to play with.

The game also looks massively impressive with iconic stages from various SNK and Capcom fighters shrunk down and recreated in the distinct visual style. The music is also recreated to the best of the systems capabilities and fighters are easily distinguishable in their more pocket style. In terms of presentation there is little to fault here and many will be charmed enough by this alone to justify the purchase. It really does look lovely.

The biggest issue comes with how the game actually plays. With only two buttons to work with the move sets have obviously been adapted. It actually works out quite well and still offers a range of punches, kicks and special moves of varying strengths. The main problem here though is the input for the special moves. The original hardware never made this the easiest thing to do but trying to pull off chibi fireballs and dragon punches using the Switch controls is a whole new level of inaccuracy. Thankfully using a pro controller works better but using a pro controller for a portable port of a portable console game is not really ideal.

Though it can be frustrating, the game still works well enough to be knock about fun. It has a good pace to it and will certainly provide an enjoyable distraction. Chances of players sticking with it long term though are fairly unlikely. There just isn’t enough depth here and the moves are just a touch too annoying to pull off to make this a regular go to when other fighters are available and much friendlier on the hands.

Overall, SNK VS. Capcom is an enjoyable game and one that fans of the genre and retro collectors will certainly have some fun playing around with in short bursts. The added weight of the license attached to it makes it the most likely of the Neo Geo Pocket games to catch peoples eye and we are very glad that SNK’s portable console is getting a new life for a new audience. The care and attention the port has had put into it is also commendable.

The truth is that the market for this version of the game (or any of the Neo Geo Pocket Fighters), is somewhat niche. With games such as BlazeBlue, the numerous ACA games and the Street Fighter Anthology it’s hard to see anyone coming out with this as their favourite fighter. It’s like playing Killer Instinct on the Gameboy – Yes, it may be very impressive but given the option you’ll always go for the bigger brother.

Overall 7/10

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