[ Writer ] = BAD
[ 10/24/02 ] = Capcom VS SNK 2 EO

Similar to Street Fighter II Special Champion Edition, Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold, X-MEN VS Street Fighter EX Edition, or to Street Fighter Alpha 3 Saikyo Dojo, Capcom VS SNK 2 EO is essentially an upgrade on the huge success that was Capcom VS SNK 2. Powered by the TriForce (or GameCube) hardware, Capcom VS SNK 2 EO features loads of extras and new play modes, a few tweaks, and new fighting system as well. Finally, I've had a chance to play the game (special thanks go to Evanich), and I must say I am thoroughly pleased with what Capcom did. Though Capcom VS SNK 2 EO doesn't have nearly as much as Street Fighter Alpha 3 Saikyo Dojo has, the game still holds its own in its many options. For people who get bored of fighters easily, CVSS2EO should keep even the the most picky players busy for a long time (yes, this goes to the guys who always say fighters have "low replay value"). Capcom has thrown in some great play modes and other modes to customize the game to almost anybody's liking; the game seems to often walk a thin line on having a set gameplay style, due to the level of customization Capcom has allowed the player. What's new? Well, read on for my impressions on the title thus far.



The biggest change from CVSS2 to CVSS2EO is the addition of an ISM system similar to that of SFA3SD and Vampire Chronicle; though CVSS2EO is an upgrade, the implementation of an ISM system changes the gameplay in a few ways. There are two ISM's: AC-ISM and GC-ISM. AC-ISM refers to the gameplay of the first CVSS2, which allows the player to use all six attack buttons, perform Special, Super, and the various Counter Moves, as wells as Rolling and Dodging, manually. AC-ISM can be generally classified as the gameplay of that which many of us who have played CVSS2 have adapted to, without any changes or tweaks (that I can see); moves come out the same, Rolls and Dodges seem to be the same, and Super Jumps and Small Jumps also come out as they did in CVSS2. So what is the second ISM, the GC-ISM?

It's a bit hard to explain, but the GC-ISM deviates from the standard six button layout of CVSS2 and utilizes a special analog button called the C Stick. Because the C Stick is analog, every direction of the C Stick is assigned various Special and Super Moves that can be performed instantly. Not only have Special and Super Moves been mapped to the C Stick, but the attack buttons themselves have also been remapped to their own analog buttons, while the Roll/Dodge technique has also been given its own button. The C Stick itself, being analog, allows the player to not only pull off a move, but also choose the strength or range of the move depending on how much pressure they put on the C Stick when pressing it in the direction of the mapped move. It's not as easy and simple as you thought now, is it? So, if you think about it, the C Stick has three levels of sensitivity, allowing the player to perform not only just a move, but the JP/SK, SP/FK, or FP/RK version of the move, as well as a Level 1, 2 or 3 versions of the Super Moves. How do the normal attack buttons work? Well, the buttons are also analog and respond to how hard you press them, which determines the strength of the attack you throw out.



For example, if you tap the Punch or Kick button, you'll get a JP or SK; if you slightly press the button, you'll get a SP or FK, while pressing or holding the button throws out a FP or RK. The most controversial aspect of the GC-ISM is that because moves are mapped to analog buttons, the player cannot perform them manually; performing Special and Super Moves manually only exists in AC-ISM. Why? Well, my guess is that Capcom wanted to make the player use it as an actual fighting style, rather than just something to fall back on if you can't do one of your favorite character's hard moves. Using analog buttons for Normal Attacks, Special Attacks, and evasion moves may seem either too simple to some, or too complex to others. Though it may seem like an "easy" way to do Special and Super Moves in CVSS2EO, performing moves using the C Stick requires a certain prerequisite knowledge to efficiently use the GC-ISM. Also available in the GC-ISM is the Auto Blocking feature just as it was in the other Capcom fighters.

The GC-ISM is a very effective play mode for beginners or casual players; the mode allows the player to have just about any Special Move or Super Move at their disposal, but there is still the skill and timing that has to be considered (as opposed to just hurling out moves in an disorderly fashion, one after the other). Definitely for those who don't play the game every day...or every week, the GC-ISM is a great alternative to stand up a bit against the higher level players out there. After all, it's about getting everyone to play the game, right? Many have a profound hatred for the GC-ISM because moves are mapped to buttons and because the player can't perform Special or Super Moves manually, but I have to disagree. Sure, the GC-ISM doesn't allow players to pull off the moves manually, but at the same time there is a certain depth in how to use the mapped moves (the right way). Sure, you can get a beginner in the match with no experience, just firing off Special Moves and Super Moves like it's his job, but will he get anywhere? No. The other player can sit back, block every one of the attacker's mistakes, and capitalize. So, is it just for beginners? Is it as easy as they say it is to pull off moves? Well, not really, considering the buttons in the GC-ISM are analog, reacting to pressure, and during intense fighting sometimes a heated battle can result in slightly harder button presses than anticipated.



CVSS2EO's character roster includes that of CVSS2's; SFIII veterans Ken, Yun, and Chun Li, among Final Fight 2 stars Maki and Rolento, as well as SNK bad boys Haohmaru, Geese, and Kyo. None of the characters from CVSS2 were taken out, but I sure would have liked to see Andy make an appearance in CVSS2EO. Anyway, Shin Akuma and God Rugal are the secret unlockable characters in CVSS2EO; Shin Akuma is very weak, and takes damage like a bitch, but looks cool. God Rugal is strong, but isn't nearly as strong as when the computer uses him and his bullshit throws that are absolutely ridiculous. A good Shin Akuma player might be able to kick some ass in CVSS2EO, but with the large amount of damage that Shin Akuma seems to take, lots of practice might be needed. I don't really know so much about God Rugal, except for the fact that just as Shin Akuma, he seems to have been slightly toned down and takes some damage. One of the most rotten teams on CVSS2EO is Shin Akuma, Akuma, and Evil Ryu. An absolutely rotten team. Just as in CVSS2, my favorite character is probably Maki, and it doesn't seem like they tampered with her in CVSS2EO.

As far as character balance, Capcom actually addressed the players' cries of imbalance in CVSS2 and made changes. In an interview with CVSS2EO's chief development director, he said that powerful characters were left unchanged, but weak characters were actually made stronger. He also added that while dramatic changes are few, changes in the characters are noticeable. However, even with the balance changes made, if time proves that Blanka, Sagat, and Bison are just as they were in CVSS2, the balance might scare off potential fans. On the subject of characters, CVSS2EO features mostly the same moves as CVSS2, and some seem to have been slightly altered. Ryo's FP Fireball seems a lot faster than in CVSSP and CVSS2; you can just pound your opponent with his fireballs they're so damn fast! Dan's Gale Kick also seems tweaked - now the RK Air Gale Kick is very fast, and gets Dan across the screen quicker. In addition to character balance, P Groove and S Groove have also been strengthened slightly from that of their weak CVSS2 counterparts. This tweak is one of the things particularly like about CVSS2EO, because in CVSS2 it felt like P Groove wasn't as strong as it should have been. I'm glad Capcom took the time to fix the Groove problems, and especially glad that they chose to fix P Groove and S Groove, since they weren't used enough in CVSS2. Not sure how much of the gameplay these tweaks change, but hopefully it will eradicate the endless lame Blanka, Sagat, Bison matches that we have all seen too often.



Capcom VS SNK 2 EO may not feature any completely new characters as some had hoped, but the game is packed to the brim with extra and modes of play and many customization features. Capcom added new special colors made by the designers (or fans?) for each of the characters that are accessed by pressing Start. When the new colors are chosen, your character's name will be followed by an exclamation mark or two; for example, if Guile's first special color is chosen, under his lifebar his name will read "Guile!" or "Guile!!" if his second special color is chosen. In addition to the new colors Capcom put in CVSS2EO, you can also make your own character! The Color Edit Mode in CVSS2EO lets you change every color on your character by toggling the red, green, and blue color values for each section. This mode is one of the best points to CVSS2EO, because if there was ever a default color that you thought would look cool if it had a few tweaks, the Color Edit Mode allows you to change as much or as little as you want! The mode also lets you name your character, so even though you are using the game's original characters, the character is still unique to you. Since Street Fighter II, have you been hell bent on seeing Balrog renamed "Tyson" in at least one Capcom fighter? Well, with the Color Edit Mode in CVSS2EO, you can change Balrog's name to Tyson! Just an example of the many things you can do with the Color Edit Mode in CVSS2EO. The possibilities this mode offers are endless, and one of the coolest things is saving your characters to a memory card and battling it out with the custom characters your opponent. Awesome. There's just so many things you can do with this feature, and I hope Capcom puts it in more of their fighters. I know once I have everyday access to this game I will be spending hours on end making colors and naming every character in the game. After this game has settled in a bit, I'd like to see some of the cool characters people have come up with. However, once you design your own character, your newly designed character will take the place of the special colored (! or !!) character the game originally had.



Taking customization even farther, Capcom VS SNK 2 EO also features the Groove Edit Mode, which is loosely similar to the World Tour Mode in Street Fighter Alpha 3 Saikyo Dojo. The Groove Edit Mode allows you to make your own Groove (called the EX1 or EX2 Groove), giving you a set amount of points (2000 or 4000 I think) to put towards different abilities you can combine. For example, it's similar to how in SFA3SD you can start a World Tour character, and depending on the path you take through the World Tour Mode, your character has abilities like Super Combo Cancels, Easy Guard Breaks, No Blocking Damage, etc.; CVSS2EO is almost the same, but you use the points to buy abilities instead of fighting for them, and there is no level system. For example, my EX1 Groove had a 3-Level Super Bar, Air Blocking, Alpha Combos, Alpha Counters, and a few other small abilities, but didn't have the Roll or Dodge evasion moves. The points are used to get every ability, even abilities like Super Jumps, Rolls, Dodges, Alpha Counters, and Air Blocking; there are also some other strange ones, but I can't remember them all because there are so many, and because they are actually categorized. Combined with the Color Edit Mode, the Groove Edit Mode allows you to almost completely customize your the characters you play with. The Groove Edit Mode is also so deep that it would take a really, really long time to get sick of it or to do everything there is to do with the many combinations of abilities. Plainly put, if there was something you wished Capcom would have put in CVSS2 from other VS or SFA games, CVSS2EO's Groove Edit Mode allows you to add in the missing piece(s). Wish you could Air Block in P-Groove instead of just Air Parrying? Well, create your EX1 Groove just like P-Groove but with the added technique of Air Blocking. The customization of Grooves makes CVSS2EO even deeper, because now there are even more possibilities during the fight.



For example, when I had the Linking ability as part of my Groove, it was nice to be able to pull off some nice ground combos without being in A-Groove; it was also cool to use some of the Super Moves with the Linking ability as well (there's some fairly high hitting combos to be found). The Groove Edit Mode is the most interesting, most intricate aspect of Capcom VS SNK 2 EO. Those who learn the intricacies and many possibilities of the Groove Edit Mode in CVSS2EO will appreciate it for all its worth, but those who do not give it a chance will be missing out on a very important part of the game. If you are bored with the gameplay of CVSS2, get CVSS2EO and refresh your experience by experimenting with the many different Grooves you can create with the Groove Edit Mode; this should get your heart back into the game. With the ability to create completely unique Grooves to each player, it is virtually impossible to dissect CVSS2EO, which results in a more diverse player base. Like Street Fighter Alpha 3 Saikyo Dojo and Vampire Chronicle, the immense amount of options within the game diversify the player base because of the difficulty in establishing tiers (this is a good thing).

As in Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold, X-Men VS Street Fighter EX Edition, Super Street Fighter II Turbo Revival, Street Fighter Alpha 3, and Street Fighter Alpha 3 Saikyo Dojo, Capcom VS SNK 2 EO features a Survival Mode to fight your way through (or die valiantly trying). In CVSS2EO there are two Survival Modes; "All," and "Infinite." The Survival Mode is fought in Single battles, feeling a bit like an original Street Fighter or Fatal Fury game. I was really at home during my play in the Survival Mode because the system reminded me of the older generation of Capcom and SNK Fighters; matches like Ken VS Ryu or Mai VS Terry almost made me shed a tear. However, it must be said that the matches go quick; on more occasion than one, I found myself out cold wondering what happened. The CPU isn't easy, but I have to note that its not really cheap either, because most of the hits the CPU will land on you will be clean ones. Another good thing about the Survival Mode CPU AI is that it is slightly different from that of when you battle your way through the standard game. I saw the CPU pull out things I never saw in the standard mode of play. Since SFA2G, I've accepted with open arms the inclusion of a Survival Mode in Capcom fighters, and CVSS2EO is no exception. CVSS2EO's Survival Mode is yet another aspect of the game that shines.

Some other, minor additions to Capcom VS SNK 2 EO include faster game speed, a slightly different intro, and some new background music tracks. Every time I've played CVSS2EO, the game speed seems noticeably quicker than that of the original CVSS2; sometimes I find myself having to retry combos and moves to keep up. In a way you can compare this somewhat with the speed difference between Super Street Fighter II and Super Street Fighter II Turbo. After the game's introduction cinema rolls, the Capcom VS SNK 2 EO logo (obviously looking a little different than Capcom VS SNK 2's) appears followed by white tracking marks. Just a very minor detail in the game I happened to notice. In addition to the mixed reaction of background music in CVSS2, Capcom was generous and added several new tracks, including Ryu and Sagat's stage music and the intro from Street Fighter II, the music of the first stage of Final Fight, Nakoruru's Samurai Shodown stage, and the music of Geese and Terry's Fatal Fury stages. Cool. Playing the game with these tracks in the background gives the hardcore a sense of security. Hearing the original theme of Street Fighter II is great to have in a newer Capcom fighter.







Capcom VS SNK 2 EO, like all of Capcom's other fighters, is a must-play, but not without the flaws that seem to come with almost every new VS game. Don't get me wrong, I really like the game, and I can play it for a very, very long time because there's just so much to do, but seeing how Sagat, Blanka, and Bison might be abused just as much as they were in CVSS2, the experience is somewhat watered-down. Hopefully all of the new gameplay additions and balance tweaks can defeat the dilemma of imbalance; but then again, they can also work in favor of the imbalance problems like water thrown onto a raging grease fire. In any case, hopefully time will prove CVSS2EO to be cleaned up from CVSS2 like XVSSFEX was from XVSSF, or like MSHVSSFEX from MSHVSSF. Overall though, Capcom VS SNK 2 EO is a good fighter, with tons of animation, a few tweaks here and there, good design, and lots of options to keep you playing. Play it.

[ Extra ] = Features
[ 1 ] = Capcom VS SNK 2 EO Teams