For years Capcom and SNK were competitors in the tough arcade fighting market. Street Fighter II is really what brought the genre to the fore and of course that game is credited to Capcom while the SNK main franchise is King of Fighters. Recently they have collaborated on a number of games and early next year, the next game will hit the home consoles in SNK vs Capcom Chaos which again is a collaboration between the two companies. We recently went hands on with a preview build to check out how its shaping up.
As you would expect the game will be a complete arcade port with a number of additions to try and increase the replay value which has not always been the best in this style of game. In terms of plot development each of the characters just really smack talk each other before fights, which can be skipped, but otherwise there is hardly any from what we have seen. This is not a major issue with the build as it has never been the strongest genre for plot development as it's the gameplay which is crucial and most people who like the genre are probably going to really get into this game.
The first thing we noticed when playing is how vastly different the game will be in comparison to Street Fighter II and more specifically the recently released Anniversary Collection. While the game is still very fast paced, the addition of the characters from SNK games has changed the game up a bit. Where as in the past, the Capcom characters have really relied on special moves, this game seems to focus a lot more on realistic moves rather than the special moves most people are accustomed to. They are there, but we found ourselves punching and kicking more than usual. The combination moves are back and the highest we have seen thus far is a 10 hit combo but we expect this to improve when some true fighting veterans get the game upon release.
The game is a lot more basic than more recent fighters and this, for some fans, will be welcome. The focus is very much on getting the moves and predicting the opponents correctly rather than choosing the right discipline of fighting and coming up with an unbeatable combination. The presentation is looking very much like the Street Fighters of old where you choose your character (The Capcom and SNK characters appear on different sides of the screen) and then the game really just begins. Progressively you meet up with characters, and to finish the game you won't have to fight every character. Also the combination of opponents, bar the last character, is not the same giving the arcade mode some replay value.
Modes on offer in the final game will include survival (defeat as many characters as you can without your health being regenerated fully), training, and others but really the focus is on the arcade mode as you would expect. In the home version you can change the difficulty level and a few other parameters on how the game behaves for fights meaning that basically anyone will be able to finish the game no matter their skill level. The presentation of the game is very much true to the arcade format with characters facing off in smack talk, without voice acting and then getting down to fighting before leaving some parting comments.
The game in terms of its graphics will be very much like the arcade counterpart and therefore, of course in a 2D format. These games are all about gameplay over graphics and SNK Vs Capcom Chaos does not change this one bit. The game is fast paced and the focus is all about the action. The voice acting at the current time is all Japanese and we expect it to remain that way for the final European build.
SNK Vs Capcom Chaos will continue the Capcom and SNK tradition of making quality 2D fighters and fans of the series have yet another game to look out for in Early 2005.