Capcom on your Neo Geo
by Tibe (2014)
With the rise of the Fatal Fury and Street Fighter series in the early nineties, many players fantasized about a hypothetical confrontation between warriors of Capcom and those of SNK. Object of all fantasies, the possibility of a crossover has long been remaining for both companies. SNK realized its own, with KOF having Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting together, while Capcom bought some Marvel rights to give birth to X-Men vs Street Fighter... and some others. Finally, SNK and Capcom clash in Capcom vs SNK: Millennium Fight 2000, released for the arcades and the Dreamcast. It was not until three years later and after the demise of the historic SNK firm (and after its mutation into SNK Playmore) that the editor produces its own interpretation of this crossover on the Neo Geo, with SVC Chaos. Capcom's production wasn't bad at all, although not reaching the tenors of VS fighting. This port on the 16-bits will it live up to our expectations ...?
SVC Chaos borrows sprites from KOF for SNK heroes, while those of Capcom are redesigned in this very style: not bad at all! The protagonists are big-sized, detailed and faithful to their original appearances. If there's twenty-four warriors basically available, this number can be increased to thirty-six with a code or universe bios. And there's great people : Terry, Iori, Kyo, Mai, Kim, Takuma, Ryo, Geese are the top of the basket at SNK, while Ryu, Ken, Guile, Chun- Li, Sagat, M. Bison, Vega are Capcom's VIP present in this roster. And all others, where are they ? Exit Joe Higashi, Andy Bogard, Big Bear, Robert Garcia, K', Athena, Daimon, Rock Howard, Tung Fu Rue, Blue Mary... disappeared in favor of characters ridiculous or inappropriate such as Genjuro (katana against bare hands...?) , the "Mars People" from Metal Slug, Earthquake, Choi Bounge, Shiki... What a mess! And on the side of Capcom, it's not better: farewell Honda, Zangief, Blanka, Cammy, Fei Long, Dudley, DeeJay... get ready to embody Dan Hibiki, Zero (Megaman), Red Areemer (Ghouls'n'Ghosts ) , Tessa (Red Earth), or the anemic Hugo...
The backgrounds of the game are ten total. While some are a bit dull , a few others are very nice, like the church or the forest. All have in common to be very lively and rich in detail (waterfalls, chandeliers swaying, wind in the trees, moving platforms...) but in the end, we say that there is no coherence between all these stages, as if they had been randomly selected by the designers. To end with graphics, portraits of the fighters are pretty "special" : the designer responsible for this task is the one who officiated on Kof 2001... no need to draw you a picture, I guess. SVC Chaos makes up a bit with the animation. Action is dynamic, the characters' moves are fast and well decomposed. At this level, our soft rises almost to the level of the best titles in the genre. Meanwhile, the sound part is much more commonplace. The compositions are not what we could call melodious, and most are totally uninspired. The sound effects are nothing special too, with impact sounds not too convincing, voices that aren't faithful enough to the original ones and a range of background noise and effects pretty dispensable.
Despite this realization lacking a bit luster, SVC Chaos strenghts remain its huge roster (despite some questionable choices for characters...) and the pleasure of seeing SNK heroes confronting those of Capcom. The gameplay, if it borrows its bases to KOF, however, moves away a lot. The tempo is very particular and combos are not too easy to perform, and not to improve the picture, the impacts are a little inaccurate. The characters are not balanced at all, some quickly appear totally ineffective, while a few others are too strong. Some technical choices are questionable: the throws are performed by pressing A+B or C+D and lower the power gauge if you miss, while pressing these combinations during guard triggers a recovery or counter. However, the dash and backdash are too short and there is no basic dodge. It's no longer possible to run nor perform rolls, and the powerful strike (C+D) disappeared. In short, with SVC Chaos, you feel playing KOF with a hand tied behind your back. In the end, the game is disappointing for several reasons: a few questionable choices for the roster, a half-tone realization, and above all, a second-class gameplay.
|The game packs ten backgrounds which are a little dull for some, but all showing a fine draw. Concerning characters, it's pretty satisfying: nobody was disfigured!|
|Decomposition is good and action is dynamic. SVC almost matches a KOF on this chapter, which is a nice performance.|
|The various themes are nothing special, just doing the job without having you remind them. The effects are perfectible and vocals are average.|
|Once unlocked the hidden characters, the roster becomes huge: thirty-six warriors! Let's say that the versus will last hours between SNK and Capcom players!|
|SVC Chaos' gameplay is a bit disappointing: the mechanics are inferior to any KOF episode, but also less fun than a Real Bout, for example. There's enough to have fun anyway, but nothing that will mark the spirits.|
Better not compare SVC Chaos to Garou or Kof 98'. However, our crossover still looks good, with a decent realization and huge roster.
VALUE FOR MONEY (2014)
A game mixing SNK and Capcom's fighting stars on the Neo Geo? Some time ago, people would have killed for that! SVC Chaos obviously have what it takes to charm any VS fighting aficionado. Besides, the result is not as fabulous as one could have expected, and the price is high: more than 200 euros whatever the version.