Preview of SVC Chaos: SNK vs. Capcom

SVC Chaos: SNK vs. Capcom Box art

SVC Chaos: SNK vs. Capcom

by Stephen Cameron

August 31, 2004
When gamers speak of great fighting games on the Xbox, often left off is Capcom’s Capcom vs. SNK 2 EO, which is something of a tragedy considering it’s one of the more solid fighters available. Rather then give up on the series, SNK Playmore has decided to take another chance with SVC Chaos: SNK vs. Capcom, one of the last games available on the NeoGeo arcade format. While this title may not be as graphically enhanced as games like Soul Calibur 2 and Mortal Kombat Deception, it makes up for it in gameplay and old school charm, which goes a long way in my book.

Don’t simply write of SVC Chaos as another button-meshing fighting game. The key to this one is power moves and multi-hit combos. Simple random button hits can result in a four or five hit combo, which will maybe take away five percent of your opponent’s health (if you’re lucky). This time you are going to want to spend some time in training/practice mode getting to know your fighter and how to perform fifteen hit combos and special moves that will take away anywhere between twenty and thirty percent power. Having never played in the arcade, I can imagine going through about twenty bucks or so in the first hour just getting the moves down pat, otherwise you’ll spend a major chunk of time slowly taking little chunks of life out of your nemesis, and he (or she) isn’t going to just stand there and take that kind of crap.

If you’re a gamer like me, your jaw probably dropped when you heard there were players who wanted to make Ninja Gaiden more difficult (freakin’ psychos, those people). Something tells me SNK Playmore overheard these pleads for harder gameplay when they created what I have deemed “Super Psycho Impossible Hard” mode. No matter what player you select, if you’re not ready this is going to be like Butterbean taking on a third grade Girl Scout (guess which you are). You’ll want to switch over to easy mode until you get your act together. SVC Chaos was definitely designed for players of all skill levels.

So it plays smooth, but what about cosmetic appeal? As you friends ask “Dude, she hot?” What about the sound? Does it make you wanna break out the surround sound? The answer to these questions all depends on who you ask. If you ask someone who just invested six hundred dollars into their computer so they could play the really high settings (not the highest because that is impossible at this point) on Doom 3, then they’ll probably laugh at the simplicity of the sound and sights of SVC Chaos. However, for those of us who have a deep appreciation for all things old school, then SVC Chaos is a wonderful experience that’ll take you right back to the days of feeding quarters to arcade machines. There is no dummying down from the arcade version here, in fact it looks like a carbon copy of the NeoGeo machine version. This is a game that relays on gameplay and difficulty, not on sights and sounds, so keep that in mind when this one hits shelves.

We finally enter the part where I dive deep into the best feature of the game…the old school feel (that’s right kids, he’s talking about the good old things in gaming once again). SVC Chaos has the feel of old school greats like the Street Fighter and King of Fighters series, while keeping in mind that the difficulty to keep today’s players begging for more punishment. The graphics and sound are kept simple reminding you of the purism of the fighting game and that cosmetic features are meaningless if you have solid gameplay. For the true arcade fan, look into one of the arcade control setups and you’d swear you were back at the mall in the ‘80s (minus that guy standing around begging for a quarter saying something like “Dude, I had to have that Poison record, you understand…I’ll payback tomorrow”).

As it stands, SVC Chaos: SNK vs. Capcom should make ripples in the fighting game lake where many gamers sit on lilly pads waiting for something to jump at. SVC Chaos will present a challenge to the hardcore enthusiasts and a visit down memory lane for older gamers. You’d be hard pressed to find such solid gameplay in another fighting game available on the market. While a series like Mortal Kombat finds ways to look prettier and gorier, SNK remains steady in there commitment to make a fun fighting experience, graphics be damned. In a time when graphics have become such a deciding factor, it’s refreshing to see a game like SVC Chaos hit that is worried more about fun then appearance. Bless you SNK Playmore, you magnificent people.

From Deep Inside, Keep the Game Alive!

Screenshots

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

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