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[ Writer ] = BAD
[ 08/20/03 ] = SNK VS Capcom - Chaos Impressions .02

I've had a few more chances to play SNK VS Capcom again and have a few more observations. Having been able to play the game without having to fight Iori and Shiki constantly like before, I was able to see a bit more of the game. Thankfully I didn't have to go up against Iori and Shiki bullshit the last few times I went to play the game, and seeing the other characters in the roster was a real treat. Again, the comments below are comments (not tournament tier material) on SNK Playmore's recent fusion of fighters...

First up, I've finally seen a few more of the characters (most notably Zero from the Megaman Zero series) in action. Holy shit. Zero is awesome in this game. His animation is fluid and stunning; SNK Playmore did one hell of a job on every visual aspect of the character. I watched every beautiful swing of the Zero saber in amazement as it cut me (and various other challengers) down to nothing in a matter of seconds. I can't remember the last time I lost matches that fast to such a cool character. Not only is he drawn and animated well, but Zero has also been respectively built to kill. With a plethora of useful normal and Special moves, Zero has lots of setup possibilities and a good amount of other options in case the setups fail. Most of his setups seemed to start by utilizing a Fairy move based right off one his most useful assets in the Megaman Zero action series; these pests litter the screen and clog things up so tightly that breathing room is somewhat scarce when fighting Zero. Adding to that is Zero's token weapon - the Blaster. Also straight from the MMZ action game (because SNK Playmore knows their shit), Zero's Blaster is essentially a solid projectile with generous speed and startup time. After giving up on fighting Zero anymore (have to pay the rent), I watched him perform a rather nasty corner trap with the Blaster against a few unfortunate opponents. And as briefly mentioned before, Zero's ground Saber Special Move is one serious move; so serious in fact, that the three already devastating hits of the move can be put into combos with ease. If you want to get revenge on the Iori and Shiki copies, learning to use Zero's Saber well is a healthy start. Still, one of the Super Moves Zero has can not only go under various projectiles in the game, but has great priority and recovery time. Fighting Zero is almost as stressful as fighting Iori and Shiki. Is he just as bad? Not really, it seems like Zero's combos and traps take a lot more to master than that of the insanely strong Iori and Shiki madness I've seen previously.

I also had the "privilege" of not only seeing Evil Ken in action, but also fighting him as well. Let me tell you this - the Evil that proceeds his name is there for a reason. He's fast, has rotten moves, and sports cool new purple flames when he does Special and Super Moves. Shit. Watch out, because he'll have you flat on your back if you rush in, and likewise thrown far for turtling. Sweet fucking Christ; I hadn't had a battle that hard since Shin Akuma in Capcom VS SNK 2 EO. Evil Ken set aside, I also played as Genjiro from Samurai Shodown; what an awesome character he is! Aesthetically straight from Samurai Shodown III and IV, Genjiro looks fantastic among the other characters, and fits in perfectly. Feeling like Capcom had pulled a fast one when they had chosen to add Haohmaru into Capcom VS SNK 2 over Galford, Ukyo, and Genjiro, playing as Genjiro in SNK VS Capcom made me feel a lot better. Sure, I would've liked to see scumbag Terry and/or asshole Kyo left out of the SVSC roster, but hey, they put Genjiro in the game! Anyway, along with stunning animation Genjiro comes packaged with some nice priority in his Special and Super Special Moves; the Sanren Satsu has been carried over faithfully from Samurai Shodown, and it does big damage. I found myself using the Sanren Satsu often, taking advantage of the rather good priority the move has been given in SVSC. Genjiro has good ground attacking ability by mixing the Sanren Satsu and Ouka Zan, which is complemented by the anti-air Touha Kouyoku Jin Special Move. By far though, the Sanren Satsu was his most effective Special Move; most of the time opponents were surprised by or confused as to how to block the move. Cheap? Well, some may think so, but compared to the advantages of the multi-hit ground Special Move posse (Iori, Shiki, Kasumi), I don't think so. A rather pleasant surprise, I also found out that Genjiro's trademark Ura Gokou Super Special Move was carried over to SVSC, and can be used as a counter attack particularly against incoming air-attacks.

Next stop, Kim. What can I say? Although the "polishing" of tiers will probably eventually tell me that Kim sucks in this game too, I thought that in SNK VS Capcom he was pretty good. Kim may look like he has in past KOF titles, but his priority seems to have been tweaked. The most noticeable thing about Kim was his newly acquired air defense with the Hangetsu Zan Special Move; of all the moves he has, I least expected this move to be useful against incoming air attacks! Several times I was able to get many characters out of air attacks with the Hangetsu Zan (almost of exploitation in some instances). The Hien Zan, Kim's age-old anti-air Special Move from previous SNK titles, strangely seemed like it had lost priority in keeping incoming airborne attackers at bay; however, it could just be me (but I really did get hit out of the attack too often). The Hou Ou Kyaku Super Special Move was especially useful in air priority and in keeping the opponent out of the air. I'll have to play Kim a lot more to figure out any other changes that might have been made to him, but as far as first impressions go, he seemed like a solid fighter (compared to what they did with Ken and Ryo). Needless to say, I'll be using Kim from here on out every time I pay the arcade a visit.

My second observation was the common usage of characters in SVSC that have standing multi-hit Special Moves. Having had a good amount of time to watch who people have been choosing to battle with, it was apparent that characters like Iori, Shiki, Zero, and Kasumi had something in common. They have multi-hit ground Special Moves that require only one two-in-one hit to connect, which then leads into the sometimes long and powerful combos you'll fall victim to quite often. In other words, it allows the player to really gain a significant advantage just off of one single hit by using any one of the mentioned characters (or others in the game with similar ground moves). Putting characters that haven't been blessed by these multi-hit ground Special Moves up against their more fortunate counterparts seems to be lopsided at times. Although SVSC ultimately reminds me of Street Fighter II, I can't help sometimes to look over at the MVSC2 machine while I am being defenselessly being comboed to a pulp and wonder if I am really playing a different game. While there are matches where things are a bit more fair, those who are not preparing to use characters with multi-hit ground Special Moves will essentially have to work a lot harder.

My third observation was of SNK VS Capcom - Chaos in general. Even though I think the game plays like Fatal Fury with a dash of KOF, when I play the game with Capcom characters it reminds me a lot of Street Fighter II. The characters of SVSC, in the way that they are drawn and animated, remind me of Street Fighter before the Alpha series was born. The Alpha series introduced bigger and more vibrantly animated characters than its Street Fighter II counterparts, and the animation of the Capcom characters in SNK VS Capcom are very similar to that of the latter. Good or bad? Good, of course! What fan can deny the fact that even amongst the stunning animation of the Alpha and Three series that the animation of the games before them still shine to this day? Ken, Ryu, Guile, and Sagat are among the characters that will bring back the fond memories of the days of old (before gaming was about making money and pimping hoes). If there's one thing that I noticed about SNK VS Capcom last time that I hadn't noticed the first time I played it, it's that while longtime fans of SNK fighters will appreciate the game's animation and execution, those who play games for fame and/or money will not.

Despite its already questionable balance, this is a game for fans. The game is particularly for the fans that have been waiting for the game since after SNK VS Capcom - Match Of The Millennium and before the fragmentation of SNK. The game wasn't meant solely to impress, but to please fans by bringing to the table never before seen matches between characters of the two fighting sides. Who would have ever thought that the Mars Alien from Metal Slug, Red Demon from Ghouls N Ghosts, Zero from Megaman Zero, Chun Li from Street Fighter, Ryo from Art Of Fighting, Earthquake from Samurai Shodown, or Tessa from WarZard would all clash in the same game? As said before, only in the minds of fans was such a battle fought, and SNK Playmore has brought it to life with SNK VS Capcom - Chaos.