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Capcom vs. SNK: Millennium Fight 2000 (Arcade) artwork

Capcom vs. SNK: Millennium Fight 2000 (Arcade) review


"Dream match of the (previous) century"


Capcom vs. SNK: Millennium Fight 2000 (Arcade) image


If I were to amass a list of games that should've been great, Capcom vs. SNK: Millennium Fight 2000 would be on it. Both companies revolutionized the 2D fighting genre, so a crossover starring their respective combatants should be a battle royale for the ages. Imagine Chun-Li's feet colliding with Mai Shiranui's fan. Or Felicia's claws digging into Gordon Bowman's flesh. Or perhaps a team battle pitting Ryu and Ken against Terry Bogard and his brother Andy. Truly, this mashup could've been every fighting game nerd's wet dream.

Unfortunately, the real thing falls several notches short of amazing. For starters, its title should've been Street Fighter vs. King of Fighters, as almost every name on the roster hails from one of those two series. Morrigan from DarkStalkers and Nakoruru from Samurai Showdown make appearances as hidden bosses, but their inclusion doesn't render the cast list any less disappointing. Where's Strider Hiryu? Marco Rossi? Elta? Mike Haggar? Can you imagine Haggar getting his meaty fists on Rugal or Geese Howard and driving either of them head-first into the concrete? That alone is a missed opportunity.

And don't give me that "Haggar is just American Zangief" noise, either.

Capcom vs. SNK: Millennium Fight 2000 (Arcade) image


Thankfully, Capcom assembled a proper team from the two franchises. Ryu, Ken Masters, Terry Bogard and Ryo Sakazaki all appear, to no one's surprise. Cammy, Vice, Kim Kaphwan, Guile, Sagat and Rugal also join the foray, as well as a laundry list of the two brands' most beloved A- and B-list battlers. Even Sakura from Street Fighter Alpha 2 and Rival Schools gets in on the action. Honestly, I can't be too miffed about the myriad snubbed names when Capcom at least got the roster mostly right.

Besides, the game's lineup isn't my main issue with Capcom vs. SNK. When I think of solid 2D arcade fighters, near-punishing difficulty rating springs to mind. Long before Dark Souls existed, arcade rats told losing players to "gid gud" on a regular basis. Personally, when it came to the coin-op versus titles of yore, I initially couldn't make it past the fourth competitor. However, I progressively honed my skills and learned to power my way through some mean fighting games. Unfortunately, I shelled out an unreasonable amount of money to accomplish this non-feat. With Capcom vs. SNK, I actually managed to finish the campaign on a couple of occasions with just one credit and minimal training. I am by no means a pro, and yet I made that cabinet grovel during several lunch breaks.

The problem is that Capcom vs. SNK's cast isn't well balanced. For instance, Ryu's and Terry Bogard's move sets offer a handful of cheap advantages, including nearly unavoidable anti-aerial maneuvers, quick sucker punches and projectile blasts. In previous installments, the developers restrained these moves enough to prevent players from cheesing them, while still maintaining their effectiveness. Unfortunately, Capcom vs. SNK removed the limitations from some special strikes, such as Terry Bogard's Crack Shoot, which turns it into an unstoppable attack. Where before the maneuver possessed a low arc, the Capcom. vs. SNK version sweeps across the screen, vertically. It prevents most aerial maneuvers from coming to fruition. For good measure, you can easily follow it up with a swift Burning Knuckle before your opponent can get his bearings.

Capcom vs. SNK: Millennium Fight 2000 (Arcade) image


It doesn't help that the computer's default AI isn't stellar, either. Your opponents fall into the usual traps, like the aforementioned combination. Worse than that, they often mill about through the first half of the campaign and allow you to kick in their teeth. It's as if Capcom aimed to reach a broader audience rather than selling Capcom vs. SNK just to fans, and thus developed it to be more accessible. Such a decision makes no sense when you consider that crossovers mainly appeal to longtime fans.

To top it all off, Capcom vs. SNK bears few standout features or anything else to separate it from the rest of the genre. It leans too heavily on selling a crossover, and not enough on presenting a memorable fighting experience. Ultimately, it's an average fighting game, which is the last thing I would expect from the union of Capcom and SNK.

I've badgered Capcom vs. SNK enough, though. After all, it's not a terrible piece and can be entertaining at times. Its mechanics are swift and smooth, allowing for speedy, action-packed multiplayer battles. It's also neat to check out both the Capcom and SNK fighting systems (called "grooves"), as each of them showcase a divergent means of powering up super combos. Capcom's bar fills based on your performance, while SNK's requires a manual charge. They both enable players to utilize devastating multi-hit techniques that dazzle as much as they destroy, especially if you end a match with one. There's nothing more satisfying than capping off a grueling bout against a buddy with a firework-like display of Capcom vs. SNK's visual power.

Capcom vs. SNK: Millennium Fight 2000 (Arcade) image


I'm of two minds, however, about Capcom vs. SNK's soundtrack. It sports vibrant, electronic tracks, but simultaneously sounds dated. The worst part is hearing random voices throughout some of the cuts, including lines like "dream match of the century." There are also a few cheesy, inaudible vocal noises that don't enhance the music at all. One of the pre-fight screen BGM selections, for example, constantly says what sounds like "Joe Pesci, Joe Pesci." Obviously, Capcom couldn't have known that music relevant to 2000 would have aged poorly, but that doesn't change the fact that the game's score is slightly outdated.

Capcom vs. SNK: Millennium Fight 2000 is not the dream match of the century. It's a good start to a series, but it begs for more content, balanced characters, improved AI and standout features to separate it from its contemporaries. It also wouldn't have hurt to include other non-Street Fighter or King of Fighters names. This game should have been a celebration of its genre: a raw, unbridled powerhouse of a fighting game to which other series would later aspire. Instead, it feels like a formality. It's as if the two giants knew this team up was inevitable and decided to just get it over with so they could move on to more important projects.

3/5

JoeTheDestroyer's avatar
Staff review by Joseph Shaffer (January 19, 2017)

Rumor has it that Joe is not actually a man, but a machine that likes video games, horror movies, and long walks on the beach. His/Its first contribution to HonestGamers was a review of Breath of Fire III.

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