Written By Shaun McCracken

For some reason, fighting games seem to be in short supply on the Gamecube. Currently, you're only choices are Super Smash Bros. Melee, Bloody Roar: Primal Fury, Godzilla Destroy All Monsters Melee and the recent Mortal Kombat V. The PS2 doesn't have this problem, since there's many more to choose from. But there was another GCN fighting contender released back in October 2002. Capcom Vs. SNK 2 EO is a part of the long-running series of Company vs. Company games released by Capcom, but with a couple new elements that is exclusive to the GCN, which may or may not be a good thing.

Capcom Vs. SNK 2 EO (or Capcom Vs. SNK 2 Mark Of The Millennium as it says on the title screen) really has no formidable story or plot line behind it. Unlike other fighters such as the Tekken or the later parts of the Mortal Kombat series, Capcom Vs. SNK favors ass-kicking without a point for a story that may motivate you to go on. But it does have a certain charm. It's old-school game play and old-school characters that will appeal to those who enjoy classic fighting games of the mid-90's. Even the game's look is old-school, with 2-D characters, just like the 90's. Capcom Vs. SNK does feel like it was ripped from the arcades, but at what price?

There's a big difference when a fighting game is in the arcade, and when it then gets ported to a console. Mainly, it's the controls. Arcade fighters such as this thrive on skill of the stick and button mashing to execute special moves and combos. But when it comes home, some of that frantic pace dissipates, unless you own an expensive arcade controller (and I have no idea if the GCN has an arcade stick), but some controllers can still deliver the fighting experience. The PS2 is a perfect example of this, with accesable buttons and a easy to use D-pad. Unfortunately, the Gamecube's controller was NOT designed for fighting games of this nature. Maybe for some fighters, but in Capcom Vs. SNK 2 EO, the way too small D-Pad and the arranged button configuration is way too confusing to execute combos and moves properly. But Capcom came up with an interesting solution. They created a scheme called the GC-ism, which lets you use your C-stick to perform special moves. Depending on where you point it, you can access a special move or a super move. This is good for people like me who hate to bother with complicated move schemes and blisters from the D-pad, and allow to create easier combos with the special moves. You can still punch and kick using the L and R buttons, and get stronger the more you depress it, but sometimes you may wonder why you need to use these moves anyway. The face buttons (A, B, etc.) are used to evade and to access the power-up charge from the N-Groove. But using the GC-ism does have it's concenquences. For one, you really can't block. You can perform a counter-move, but blocking isn't easy, and I never really seen it happen. Second, it does become a little one-sided at times. You may feel like you can breeze through some opponents without much skill. But, you still can lose fights. The GC-ism doesn't play the game for you, but it really just simplifies the moves. And this may not appeal to hard-core fighting game fans. If you want to show off your skills by executing a really tough move, the scheme and even the game may not be for you. The controller is mapped out in such a way that it could turn off gamers. But for those who are looking for a simpler angle to fighting games, especially casual gamers, the Capcom Vs. SNK 2 EO may be up your alley.

Now, let's get into the grooves. There are six of them to choose from, and they are all pretty different. You find the groove to match your style. One groove will enable you to execute super moves that deal out more damage the stronger they get. Another will allow you to execute as many super moves as you want when you have 1/4 of your health left. It depends on what your strategy is, and it does liven things up a bit. It's a good way to screw with an opponent who has never played this game before, and get them stuck with a grove that they don't know what to do with.

The graphics are a matter of taste. All the characters are in 2-D, while the backgrounds are in 3-D. It does look a bit strange at first, but it doesn't hurt much. As for the characters, theres a bit of harsh edges on some of them, and the art style seems to change with a few characters. You can really tell which ones are from Capcom and which ones are from SNK. At least the frame rate never lags, and provides a fast moving fighting experience. But why do some of the special effects look pixelated?

The sound, well, it's there. Not superb, but not awful. There's not too much to take in since this was in an arcade, and arcade games sounds are usually drowned out by other games. The voices are all in Japanese, which is nice for a touch of ethnic flavor. But then there's that announcer, who is Japanese, but speaks English. This sounds very ... odd. Let's just write the sound off as average.

Capcom Vs. SNK 2 EO does fill in the near-absent fighting genre on the Gamecube, and it is some pretty good fun for those who want a simpler fighting experience. But the controller was not meant for this game, and for those who enjoy executing the combos the way they should be (like a half circle on the pad followed by a few buttons), this may be a pass. Until there is a controller that is a little more friendlier to these types of games (and the Mad Catz Cubicon does have a large D-Pad), this is a game reserved to a select few. But I did enjoy this game, and my opinion does glare over the shortcomings. As long as you have a good time, who cares about some of these things, right? Hopefully in the future, there will be bigger and better fighters (Soul Caliber 2 is one) for the GCN, but for now, take what you can get.


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ESRB Rating:
TEEN [13+]



It gets the job done, but there's not enough options to keep this one going longer.

I'll find something better eventually...

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