After SNK's original SNK VS Capcom:
Match of The Millennium on the Neo Geo Pocket (1999), Capcom held up their
part of the crossover deal with Capcom VS SNK (2000) and the excellent
sequel, Capcom VS SNK2 (2001). Now in 2003, it's SNK's turn once
again to reunite the iconic companies in SNK VS Capcom Chaos.
Chaos hosts adefault roster of 24 characters from both companies,
with 12 additional mid-boss or "secret" characters, making for a
pretty impressive and interesting roster. Chaos uses SNK's trademark
"King of Fighters style" gameplay and graphics, which certainly
brings the nostalgia to old school 2D fighting game players. That said, SNK borrowed many
character sprites from the King of Fighters series, but also created a
some brand new SNK sprites for the game (such as Shiki & Earthquake). Of
course, all respective Capcom characters are drawn in "KOF style" for the first
time ever... and immediately mesh well with the SNK icons.
SVC Chaos's full selection
screen, complete with secret characters.
To start things off, let's be honest... SVC
Chaos's graphics look pretty ancient from the start. Many of SNK's characters are just old
rehashed sprites... and when I say old, I mean OLD, like King
of Fighters '95 old... *cough* Lookin' at you Kasumi *cough*.
Considering many other fighting game titles of 2003 (and earlier), SVC Chaos
is definitely lacking in the visuals department. Players who thrive on
"flash" in their 2D fighting games will probably be disappointed, as
Super Moves many of the particle effects just don't "pop" like in
other 2D fighters.
Most of the backgrounds in SVC Chaos lack color, detail, and excitement... to say the
very least. Surprisingly, no "classic" Capcom or SNK battlegrounds (or
even BGMs) make the cut, which is pretty disappointing in a title like this. As
far as character sprites go, SNK
paid homage to Capcom's characters pretty well. The Capcom favorites look pretty
spiffy in SNK's
style and are well-animated for the most part. The awesome in-game artwork also
does them a lot of justice!
Players familiar with classic King of Fighters
gameplay will feel right at home, because SVC Chaos feels very similar to
the most recent KOF title, King of Fighters 2002. The staple
4-button layout remains the same, but the team system has been replaced with a
classic 1-on-1 format. Pulling off a Shoryuken or a Yoga Flame will be easy for Capcom
veterans, but the gameplay
mechanics may take some getting used to, as they are slightly more "stiff" and
arguably a bit faster than most Street Fighter games. Aside from that,
most of the typical KOF gameplay elements and fighting game fundamentals
are in place.
Chaos uses a "Capcom style" 3 tier Super Gauge called the
Groove Power Gauge, which fills as the player attacks or guards. When the gauge
reaches level 1 or 2, players can perform Super Moves, and use Guard Cancel
Attacks or a Guard Cancel Front Step maneuvers. When the gauge is full, a MAX
Activation occurs, turning the gauge into a timer. The player can then freely
cancel any of their attacks, special moves, or super moves at will. Each fighter
also has an "Exceed" technique which can only be performed a single
time when the player has half life. A new technique called the Front Grand Step
is also in place, allowing the players to leap towards the opponent and cancel
into a basic attack. The player can perform this technique while guarding from
an opponent's attack, which will consume one Power Gauge level.
The in-game dialogue
brings the fan service... and lols.
Die-hard 2D fighting gamers can definitely have
some fun with Chaos, and I suppose that's
whom the game is intended for. One of SVC's unique attributes is the personalized
dialogue between all characters, which is something long time Capcom and
SNK fans will appreciate greatly! Before each battle, every character has something
to say to their opponent (all of which is character-exclusive), and there are
definitely some cool and funny ones to see (in addition to some other ones that
make absolutely no sense due to another SNK trademark - Bad translation).
Although SVC Chaos features a solid character roster and a badass intro, the
overall package definitely seems rushed. The character dialogue intermissions are
an appreciated fan service,
but the game just doesn't manage to impress on several levels.
SNK should have taken more time with the backgrounds and overall visuals. For such an epic cross-over
game, I think using the graphics & gameplay engine from Garou: Mark of the Wolves
would've been SNK's best foot forward. Yes, that project probably
would've taken a lot more time to complete, but I think it would've been
worth the wait.
At its core, SNK VS Capcom Chaos an "average" 2D fighting
game at best... but can be enjoyed by traditionalist SNK & Capcom fans alike.
Personally, my favorite part of the game is the official artwork and the
"art direction" in general. The team really went all out with the
character artwork, especially. Check out some of the game's badass artwork