Capcom VS SNK 2

REVIEWThe 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 as much like "King of Fighters VS Street Fighter" as the first game did. Capcom VS SNK 2 branched out deeoer into both universes, bringing in personalities from more fan-favorite series, including: Samurai Shodown, Rival Schools, Garou: Mark of The Wolves, The Last Blade and Final Fight.

Like the first game, CVS2 presents an amazing 2D art style (drawn by legendary Capcom & SNK artists, Kinu Nishimura & Shinkiro). For old school fighting game players, seeing these new takes on classic characters is worth the price of admission alone. CVS2 also presents a catchy new music style (awesome OST), interesting new stages with 3D elements, and many more ways to play with a total Groove system overhaul. Most importantly, the gameplay and Groove system is a huge improvement over the prequel, making for a much more replayable and competitive fighting game over its predecessor.


Love that selection screen. Forever.


In CVS2, there are six different "Grooves" players choose from after selecting characters (in the first game, only 2 were selectable). Each Groove is represented by a specific Capcom or SNK-style power gauge and has a variety of unique mechanics inspired by those classic games. On Capcom's side, there's C-groove (Street Fighter Alpha 3 A-ism style), A-groove (Street Fighter Alpha 3 V-ism style), and P-groove (Street Fighter III style, enabling parrying). On the SNK side, players can choose from S-groove (KOF/AOF style), N-groove (classic KOF style), or K-groove (Samurai Shodown style).

The cool thing is... any character in the game can use any of the grooves, making for essentially limitless possibilities and different gameplay strategies. (Of course, some are far more effective than others, but that's for long-term players to discover.) Even casual players can enjoy experimenting with different character / Groove combinations, meaning everyone can find a team and gameplay style that they enjoy using (perhaps far more than one). Personally, my go-to Grooves in CVS2 are C-Groove (because I love SFA3) and P-Groove (because I love parrying).


Freakin' Kyosuke & Haohmaru... in the same game!?

While innovative, the Ratio System from CVS1 had flaws and was greatly improved upon. CVS2 introduces the "Free Ratio System," allowing players to assign ratio points to their team of characters to choose who will be the strongest (and in which order). Basically, characters who are chosen to have the most ratio points will dish out higher damage and have more health. 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). Seriously, it's fun to experiment in this game.

The ratio system of CVS1 was very "restrictive"... but CVS2's ratio system is the total opposite, making it hugely strategic element in the game. Feel more confident about 1 particular character in your team of three? Make that character ratio 2, with the other characters a ratio 1. Competitively, it works very well. However, if the ratio system isn't to your liking for some reason, the home versions of CVS2 include a feature to disable the ratio system and offer a basic 3-vs-3 mode. Fair enough, but I personally think the ratio system makes CVS2 more fun. (I love seeing a proper 3-vs-1 ratio match, with that all-powerful single character holding their own!)


Epic pre-fight interactions for days!


Capcom Vs. SNK 2's
traditional-style 2D visuals are sharp, featuring beautifully drawn 2D sprites and decently rendered (mostly) 3D backdrops. The stages offer decent variety... some are action packed with a lot going on... others are more quiet and serene - a good mix. The BGM's are a somewhat weird mixture of R&B and techno, but CVS2 definitely features some timeless, catchy tunes. The character voiceovers & sound effects are top notch (some borrowed from CVS1), and while some characters have a laughable "Engrish" sound to their voice, all characters' personalities and charm come through.

The new characters introduced in CVS2 also represented exceptionally well, all around. Seeing fan-favorites like Haohmaru, Rock, Yun, Maki, Eagle, and Kyosuke make their CVS debut was definitely exciting for returning players. Clearly, the Capcom artists put a lot of effort into making the SNK character sprites look as AWESOME as possible (and they certainly do). Additionally, returning CVS1 characters were given more of their classic moves and combos (which were sadly missing in the first game), making them more fun to use in CVS2.

While CVS2 is a great competitive fighting game, it's not the most balanced. Any player who actually entered a CVS2 tournament would tell you that characters from the Street Fighter Alpha series (like Sagat & Blanka) are overpowered (due to their ridiculously long-reaching priority moves). Roll canceling and other "cheap" tactics can also overpower more technical aspects of the game in mid-to-high level matches, decreasing some of the fun. Nonetheless, ALL characters can be played effectively in CVS2... and your success or failure can heavily depend on your chosen groove, and skill level. Whether you go for the cheap wins, or the more skill-based technical wins (AKA parrying / more difficult combos)... CVS2's Groove system allows you to play the game exactly how you want to play it. 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. The console ports include a Color Edit mode, allowing artistic players to create several their own color palettes for every character in the game. As an owner of both versions, I have to give the edge to the Dreamcast version for slightly sharper and smoother 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) support.


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Click Here for all Character Art!

Page Updated: October 22nd, 2020
Developer(s): Capcom
Publisher(s): Capcom
Designer(s): Hideaki Itsuno
Artwork by: Kinu Nishimura, Shinkiro
Platform(s): Arcade, Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, Gamecube, Xbox, PSN
Release Date(s): August 2001                      Arcade
Sept. 13th, 2001                PlayStation 2 / Dreamcast
Nov. 6th, 2001                    PlayStation 2
Nov. 30th, 2001                 PlayStation 2
July 4th, 2002                      Gamecube
Aug. 30th, 2002                  Gamecube
Sept. 23rd, 2002                Gamecube
Jan. 16th, 2003                   Xbox
Feb. 11th, 2003                  Xbox
Mar. 7th, 2003                    Xbox
September 2012                PSN
July 2013                                PSN
Characters Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Guile, Dhalsim, Blanka, Zangief, Sakura, Cammy, Balrog, E. Honda, Bison, Sagat, Vega, Morrigan, Akuma, Kyo, Benimaru, Terry Bogard, King, Yuri, Ryo, Mai, Raiden, Iori Yagami, Kim Kaphwan, Yamazaki, Vice, Geese Howard, Rugal, Nakoruru, Yun, Rolento, Kyosuke, Maki, Hibiki, Eagle, Dan, Haohmaru, Rock, Todo, Chang, Joe, Athena Asamiya, Evil Ryu, Orochi Iori, Shin Akuma, God Rugal

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Related Games: Capcom VS SNK, Capcom VS SNK: Pro, SNK VS Capcom Chaos, SNK VS Capcom: Match of the Millennium, Capcom Fighting Evolution, Card Fighters Clash, Card Fighters Clash 2, Card Fighters Clash DS, King of Fighters '98, King of Fighters '99, King of Fighters 2000, The King of Fighters 2001, The King of Fighters 2002, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, Rival Schools, Darkstalkers 3, Street Fighter Alpha 3, Samurai Shodown, Fatal Fury, Neo Geo Battle Coliseum

Gameplay Engine  9.0 / 10
Story / Theme  8.0 / 10
Overall Graphics  8.5 / 10
Animation  8.0 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  8.0 / 10
Innovation  9.0 / 10
Art Direction  9.0 / 10
Customization  9.0 / 10
Options / Extras  8.0 / 10
Intro / Presentation  8.5 / 10
Replayability / Fun  9.0 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  8.0 / 10
Characters  9.5 / 10

 8.9 / 10

 Review based on Arcade / PS2 versions     


Final Words: In the year 2000, I attended my first major fighting game tournament (in Orlando, Florida at a place called Rocky's Replay), to compete in CVS1 and MVC2. The legendary Duc Do came all the way from California to attend the event. There were over 150 players there. Seeing CVS1 revitalize the fighting game scene, at that time, was something special. At the event, I remember talking with some of my friends from the SRK forums about how CVS1 "could be better". It's like Capcom read our minds, because CVS2 remedied all the issues we had with the prequel, giving us a far more customizable and playable fighting game. At the time, CVS2 really felt like "Capcom at its best"... alongside MVC2.

Even in 2001-2002, Capcom Vs. SNK 2
wasn't the most "flashy" or impressive-looking 2D fighter around. However, CVS2 has a strong foundation built around the original 2D fighting game fundamentals many of us in the Fighters Generation fell in love with all those years ago. CVS2 innovated with a gameplay system that players could customize to their liking, against other players. Very few other fighting games offer this level of customization. The gameplay customization, the amazing roster, and the honest 2D gameplay make CVS2 a fighting game worth playing, still to this day. As a lover of more "traditional" 2D fighters, there's much to love about CVS2. As the theme song suggests, "This is true love-makin'!"

While CVS2 is definitely fun in mid-to-high level play, I've heard many top players say or suggest "CVS2 is a mess" / "is broken" at the highest levels (AKA in tournaments). In a nutshell, pokes from characters like Sagat & Blanka are indeed overpowered... and "easy to use" Grooves, simple combos, and poke-spam-friendly characters are commonly picked to dominate the rest of the roster (and arguably, some of the more fun / more technical, skill-based aspects)... come on guys, stop picking Sagat. There's also a technique / glitch called "Roll Canceling," which allows players to easily dodge and quickly counter, causing certain attacks to have unintended invulnerability. CVS2: EO on Gamecube fixed the roll cancel glitch (but most pros don't play on that version).

From an artistic standpoint, CVS2 is brilliant... with a gorgeous 2D sprite style and stunning 2D illustrations by Kinu Nishimura & Shinkiro... Kinu & Shinkiro were simply "showing off" in CVS2. The artwork still holds up to this day as some of the best ever. In-game, the art style translates well for the "newer" 2D sprites made specifically for this series... however, the older character sprites (ex: SFA / Darkstalkers) don't mesh very well, giving CVS2 an undeservingly dated look when those characters are onscreen. As far as stages go, I wish there were more... and perhaps some classic, reimagined backgrounds from past games, instead of only new environments.

CVS2's imperfections can easily be overlooked. Overall, CVS2 is a based, mostly-honest, and very enjoyable 2D fighting game for players of all levels. Most of all, CVS2 is a love letter to those of us who grew up with Capcom & SNK fighting games in the late 80's / early 90's arcades. CVS2 is a massive fan service and one of the most epic, timeless crossovers. Worth mentioning, CVS2 deserves an HD online-enabled remake! Hey, C'mon C'mon Capcom... make it happen! 
~TFG Webmaster