The highly anticipated sequel to the original
Capcom VS SNK crossover, CVS2 stormed into arcades and
consoles in 2001. Capcom VS SNK 2 added a
generous amount of new characters from both companies, and didn't feel so much
like "King of Fighters VS Street Fighter," as the first game
did. Capcom VS SNK 2 branched out much farther into both universes,
bringing in fighters from fan-favorite series such as: Samurai Shodown, Rival
Schools, Garou: Mark of The Wolves, The Last Blade and Final Fight.
Not only did CVS2 feature all new artwork (drawn by both Capcom & SNK
artists), a new soundtrack, and exciting new stages... but the gameplay system received
a much needed overhaul, resulting in a much more dynamic, more fun gameplay
Love that selection
In CVS2, there
are six different "grooves" to choose from after selecting your
characters (instead of only 2 in the first game). Each
groove represents a different Capcom or SNK fighting game power gauge and has a
variety of unique mechanics. On Capcom's side, there's C-groove
(Street Fighter Alpha 3 style), A-groove (Street Fighter Alpha 3 V-ism style), and P-groove
(Street Fighter III style). On SNK's side, you can choose from S-groove (KOF/AOF style), N-groove
(classic KOF style), or K-groove (Samurai Shodown style). The cool thing is
character from either company can use any of the grooves, making for tons of
possibilities and gameplay strategies.
system from the first Capcom VS SNK was also greatly improved upon. CVS2
introduces the "Free Ratio System," allowing players to assign ratio points to
their team of characters in several different ways. Basically, characters with
the most ratio points will dish out higher damage. Like in CVS1, you still assign your points 2 + 2 (for a team of 2 characters), 1 +
3 also 2 characters), 1 + 1 + 2 (a team of 3 characters), or simply 4 (and fight
with a single all-powerful character).
The default ratio system of CVS1 was very "restrictive"... but CVS2's
ratio system is actually a really fun and strategic element of the game.
Obviously, the ratio system also provides more balanced gameplay that what we
saw in the
prequel. Finally, if the ratio
system isn't to your liking, the home console versions also include a
traditional 3-on-3 match with no ratios assigned.
Freakin' Kyosuke &
Haohmaru... in the same game!?
CVS2's traditional 2D graphics
are sharp overall, featuring nicely drawn sprites set in front of well-rendered 3D
backdrops. The stages offer decent variety... some are action packed with a
lot going on in the background, some are more more quiet and serene - a good mix overall. The BGM's are a mixture of R&B and
techno, and there are definitely some memorable and catchy tunes in the mix
(although some others seem uninspired). The character voiceovers & sound
effects are also top notch,
which was a real "hit or miss" with a title such as this. The new characters introduced are
also represented exceptionally well. Clearly, the Capcom artists put a lot of
effort into making the SNK characters look as AWESOME as possible.
Furthermore, returning characters were given more of their classic moves and
combos (which were sadly missing in the first game). No doubt the SNK characters
more like did from their original games (and then some)... another massive improvement over
New characters like Haohmaru, Hibiki, Kyosuke, & Rock bring some much-appreciated variety, all packing
convincing fighting styles and flashy super moves. Unfortunately, the balance of
this game is slightly thrown off by certain characters, particularly those from
the Street Fighter Alpha series (like Sagat & Blanka (due to their
ridiculous priority). Nonetheless, all characters can be played effectively, and
your success or failure can heavily depend on your chosen groove. I personally like P-groove for the parrying, even though it's much
more difficult to parry than in 3rd Strike... but with some practice,
there are some awesomely stylish parry counters. The other classic Capcom &
SNK grooves are also incredibly fun once you learn different strategies and
combo possibilities. Simply put, CVS2's groove system allows you to play
the game how you want to play it. Can you say innovative? Indeed.
CVS2 was ahead of its time and still holds up as a solid fighting game
over a decade later.
Panty shot FTW.
The arcade version of Capcom VS
SNK 2 paved the way for some exceptional ports on Sega Dreamcast and
Playstation 2. As an owner of both versions, I have to give the edge to the
Dreamcast version for slightly better graphics and a closer "feel" to
the arcade version. A year after the PS2 & Dreamcast release, a Gamecube
version of CVS2 titled Capcom VS SNK: EO was released. The "EO" stands
for "Easy Operation" which allows novice players to perform attacks
simply by moving the right analog stick in a particular direction. CVS2: EO also
removed the infamous roll cancel glitch found in earlier versions. CVS2: EO was
also released for Xbox, featuring online player and progressive-scan (480p)
Playstation 2, Gamecube, Xbox, PSN
CVS2 isn't the most amazing-looking or
"flashy" 2D fighting
game around, but the dynamic gameplay options and brilliant character roster
make it one of the best fighting games of its time. As a lover of "traditional" 2D
fighters, there's a lot that I love about CVS2.
While CVS2 is a lot of fun in casual or semi-high level play, the game is
more-so a "mess" in high-level, tournament play. In a nutshell, some pokes are
simply overpowered and
"easy to use" grooves, combos & poke-friendly characters are commonly picked to
dominate... come on guys, stop picking Sagat.
Then there's "roll canceling,"
another flaw in the gameplay which allows players to dodge enemy attacks and
quickly counter, causing certain attacks to have unintended invulnerability. As
previously stated, CVS2: EO fixed the roll cancel glitch.
From an artistic standpoint, the new character artwork of CVS2 is a definite
improvement over CVS1's. Shinkiro & Kinu Nishimura simply showed off this
In-game, the art style translates well for "new" sprites... but some of the older
character sprites (SFA / Darkstalkers) don't always match. As far
as stage designs go, I wish there were more stages... and perhaps some classic,
reimagined stages instead of only new ones.
The imperfections can easily be overlooked, because CVS2 is an amazing, solid and very competitive fighting game on all
levels. And, needless to say, a massive fan service to those of us that
love both Capcom and SNK fighting games. Worth mentioning, CVS2
deserves an HD online-enabled remake! C'mon Capcom... make it happen!