One of the biggest tragedies in western gaming is the overwhelming amount of negativity from “core gamers” (hate that term) towards traditional 2D fighters, and in particulate SNK fighters. A lot of us have the tendencies to look at HD, and 3D rendering as “standard”, sometimes so much so that we miss out on experiences.
My Favorite fighting franchise hands down is Street Fight, not a single game has been released where I didn’t pick it up. However I always had a secret fondness for SNK fighters, I remember making fun of the people who said Art of Fighting, or fatal fury was better but when no one was looking I would play them for hours. Something about the difficulty, the grit, and the characters have always pulled me in. The tie in references and pseudo story line not normally available in fighting games was always refreshing. When Capcom and SNK announced that they would be releasing a cross fighter, I have to be honest I think it excited me more than even Smash Bros. The idea of having ken challenge terry was reminiscent of a teenage boy’s discovery of “repetition”.
Later SNK announced that they would be making there own iteration using there famous MVS system, SNK Vs Capcom: SVC Chaos. Unfortunately this game slid under the radar, not because of any particular failure in the game itself but because of bureaucracy in SNK, and Capcoms versions were so well made that to some, a SNK version seemed unnecessary.
So what is it?
This game feels like what street fighter 2 and King of fighters would have been if the clash, cross over was made during the two series best days. Every thing about it screams 1994, including the endless quarters! From the intro to the first fight you’re immediately told “this is serious, you WILL lose,” The game begins in the classic 16bit style fighter. A neat gif style animated scene of Ryu squaring off against Kyo soon to be interrupted by the beautiful Mr. Karate!! After pressing start and jumping into arcade mode you thrown into the classic neo geo brief tutorial of how to play… unfortunately this will not help you. The game is brutal and does not make way for the inexperienced, true to the SNK way. As you go you will be given clever dialog between the characters, surprisingly good music, and FANTASTIC environments! Special characters like Orochi Iori, and Violent ken (think evil Ryu X10!) make boss appearances along with unexpected characters like Mars people, and Dan Hibiki. The controls are designed for the SNK layout so it is a bit frustrating if you’re a street fighter such as my self, things like sweeps and medium kicks are cleverly included by using direction to compensate but it’s… Different. Lastly, like any other fighting game you end with an end boss fight. Capcom is Shin Akuma, and SNK is Serious Mr. Karate, if you do well you are gifted with special bosses, Athena and Red Arremer (Ghosts n’ Goblins). ALL of these bosses hate you!! They hate your children, they hate your face, and they think your mom is ugly! They will beat you over and over while mocking your every continue with SNKs signature handicap wheel that lets you chose from things like lower difficulty or ½ health for the round. Once you beat the game you are treated to a generic ending changing slightly depending on your character. Credits, score, and initials to mark your success and end the game. (Rinse and repeat)
What did i feel coming back to it?
Coming into this game I was expecting something similar to the Capcom experience, washed with the SNK grit and control style. I came in expecting the same production value with a high end engine similar to Capcoms. My bubble wasn’t necessarily “popped” as several lost feelings came back while playing. I never thought I would get the feeling of 1994 arcades fighting in a Madden and halo generation. I was reminded of my brothers and me arguing and fighting for controllers, making fun of each other and laughing when we lost. A great and missed feeling that consoles have forgot about. (Except Nintendo) None the less current things like leader boards and online play have become normal features, and the console versions lack of content was a bit disappointing. Online play of course I have no problem with missing simply because its still not perfect, but compared with games like DOA extreme which is packed with content I wished there was more. The art style in this game was fantastic and I would have loved a pallet edit system similar to Capcoms version to edit the characters costumes. However that service was and is only available in those games and never resurfaced so it’s not like an empty promise was made, visually the game is gorgeous! The unique characters and art style alone makes this a must have for fans of the series. No, it’s not HD or even 480p textures but the style and look/feel comes through very nice. SvC chaos may not be as sharp as street fighter 3 or guilty gear, but I really REALLY love the grit of this game.
Thoughts/opinion and recommendations
Overall, this game as a throwback has everything a naturalist of 2d fighters would ever want, chip music, 16bit sprites, and viscous fighting. As a VS series for these two giants, we certainly have the characters and the right feel/environments, and I personally feel this is SNKs swansong for the MVS system, however would you? Would everyone else? Well… I don’t feel this game was made for every one else, it was made for us who dropped quarter after quarter into mortal kombat, street fighter II, killer instinct and fatal fury. In my opinion SvC was a courtesy for the fans, there are a lot of technical issues and it does affect the fight. Hit boxes tend to disappear, timing seems to be random luck, and combos feel stiff and locked down. To enjoy this game you have to be a glutton for punishment, a lover of Capcom/SNK fighters, and the patience not to throw your controller, because while I was playing this game everyone around me and anyone who talked to me was wrong and I hated them. However, I LOVED this game, I was absorbed into my youth and when it was over and time to put it away I was sad.
Like Super Mario, or Pac-man this game represents fully the days of old and stands completely with the games today. Its like grandmas’ recipe, you have had it so many times, you think you’re done with it, but as soon as its in front of you, well… you cant get enough.
I will say this however, if you’re looking for a simple button smasher, or expecting a deep oblivion style experience, you won’t get that here. Substance is replaced by difficulty, and play time is substituted with continues. This game was the ultimate way to end the MVS Neo-Geo system; it was taken to its limits and delivered fan homage to both the company’s’.
I’m not an X/10 kinda guy, i’m about the experience. I have had month long play sessions every year with this game since the day it came out on arcade; I imported it for my ps2, and later picked up for my Xbox. I did the review from my Xoom (android tablet) hooked up to my TV on a MAME emulator. I used a Wiimote Bluetooth, with the classic controller. This is a lot of effort for one game, but to me… this game is worth it every time.
Latest posts by King Koopa (see all)
- Skyward Swords, ::Improved:: Dolphin tutorial. - May 11, 2013 3:07 AM
- New school games, With old school heart. (games that depend on YOU) - May 4, 2013 4:16 AM
- Silicon knights is back! (kind of)… And still have love for Nintendo! - May 4, 2013 3:40 AM