Is this game a true match by today’s standards? or does it lose by KO?
INTRO – A SNK Cult Classic Returns to Handheld
SNK vs. Capcom: Match of the Millennium launched in November 1999 for the Neo Geo. It’s a crossover 2D fighter featuring 26 characters from various Capcom and SNK games, including the Art of Fighting, Fatal Fury, King of Fighters, Samurai Shodown, and Street Fighter series. It just recently got ported to the Nintendo Switch. While we wait for news on whether The King of Fighters XV Comes to Switch or not, lets see if this game is a crossover dream come true, or a nightmare that never should’ve came about.
STORY – A evil SNK-Capcom team up from 2 Dimensions
Now, crossovers having stories is nothing new. However, the story for this game is rather light in comparison to modern crossovers like Blazblue Cross Tag Battle. Basically, a tournament is organized by Geese Howard and M. Bison to determin which character(s) will serve as members of their Shadaloo pan-dimensional army. Their efforts are rebuked, Geese and M. Bison are beaten, Evil Ryu/Orochi Iori serves as the final boss, and the rival character of whoever you picked saves you twice over from Vega before the credits roll.
The story is simple, and I like it for its’ simplicity. It’s not complicated like Blazblue Cross Tag Battle, or any fighting game for that manner. One clicheI’m surprised they didn’t go with was the whole “Villains team up only to argue and then backstab one another when cornered” cliché. Geese and M Bison instead worked well together and fought well together. With that said, how does the gameplay holdup? Let’s find out.
GAMEPLAY – Two-Button combat returns
In this game, you have the 4 directional buttons for moving and jumping, and the A and B Buttons for attacking. jumping up then pressing down and A/B at the same time as you reach the apex of the jump executes your down attack.
You also have a special meter which fills up as you land and take blows throughout your battles.
Speaking of battles, your character’s opposing series rival will save you from Vega in Stage 5 before challenging you to a battle that’ll determine your ending in advance. Winning secures your character’s good ending, and losing secures the bad ending.
In terms of characters, you have 18 at the start, and 8 to unlock. You get get 1-3/4 puzzle pieces at random when you beat the game’s final boss (depending on the outcome of the rival fight in Stage 5).
Repeatedly playing the same mode with different characters over and over is the only option on the switch to unlocking these characters as far as I know, since there doesn’t seem to be a transfer option for points earned in the Olympics mode.
The Olympics mode features characters from other SNK and Capcom properties such as Ghosts ‘N Goblins and Samurai Shodown for example. The soundtrack and graphics are very well down for a Neo Geo game. However, the 1 vs 3 guards fight was easily the hardest in the game for me, regardless of difficulty. It took me 3-4 tries to beat, which is why my first playthrough took me nearly 30 minutes. Also, who goes first in that matchup as well as who’s used is random.
CONCLUSION – A Timeless SNK-Capcom Classic
This game may be short, but the features, hidden characters and supers, Olympics Mode, and adjustable difficulty settings will keep you coming back for more and more. It’s a true, and very timeless, classic gem. It truly lived up to its’ title of Match of the Millennium (heh!)