By Steve Baltimore / February 25th, 2021
|Title||SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium|
|Release Date||February 17th, 2021|
|Age Rating||ESRB – Teen|
The Neo Geo Pocket classic SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium has finally landed on Nintendo Switch. This game packs a huge lineup of your favorite fighters from two of the biggest names in fighting games: SNK and Capcom. Now you may think a fighter released way in 1999 on a handheld system wouldn’t pack a punch in 2021, but I think you may be underestimating its chances here. Let’s find out how well this one held up.
Much like other fighting games of this era, the story here is pretty straightforward. M. Bison and Geese have teamed up in a duo of evil and are having a fighting tournament. The ending, of course, will change depending on whom you finish the game with, and if you defeated your rival during that fated battled. I was really impressed with the character endings and the exchanges between the rivals pre-bout. There was a lot of love put into this game for fans of both SNK and Capcom.
The roster of fighters here has a ton of depth, and there are some fantastic gameplay modes as well. The roster starts out with 18 of the best SNK and Capcom have to offer, and you can unlock 8 more for a total of 26 fighters. In addition to the standard Tournament Mode, there is an Olympic Mode. Here, you will choose a side and compete in a series of challenges and mini games. These mini games are a ton of fun, and include things like having Arthur jumping across pits for treasures, Felica has a rhythm game and there is even an alien shooting game that is Metal Slug themed. The points you earned were used to unlock things in Capcom vs. SNK: Millennium Fight 2000 on the Dreamcast back in the day, but now you basically use them to see the Master Skills. Those tell you how to do the super moves you can find in the manual. Nonetheless, these mini games are a blast and fun to play on the go.
Gameplay here hasn’t changed a whole lot from other Neo Geo Pocket Color Selection titles. You have the two button setup with a short press being the smaller attack. Each character has a variety of special and super moves at their disposal. The one big change here is you can have three distinct Command Styles plucked right from other SNK and Capcom fighters. Average, which is your standard two stack super meter that fills when you attack your opponent; Counter, this one gives you access to some amazing counter blows and critical attacks; and finally Rush, which increases critical damage with chain attacks. You get less power with that one, but three stacks for your super move.
This one has probably the tightest combat of all the Neo Geo Pocket Color Selection titles so far. Add to that the wide range of characters, Command Styles and Tournament Mode, which can be played with one to three characters, and you have yourself one of the most impressive little fighters I’ve seen to date. The only real beef I have here is difficulty levels are bit unbalanced. On Easy, most folks will destroy the CPU like it’s nothing. On Normal, the CPU will beat you mercilessly, especially the game’s real final boss. I feel like they needed a difficulty level between Easy and Normal here for balance.
Graphically, SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium looks amazing on Switch. The chibi style characters have plenty of personality, and it’s always fun to see your favorites presented in a new way. The backgrounds are all nicely done as well, and you notice many famous locations such as Morrigan’s stage from Darkstalkers, among others. Seeing these backgrounds in this colorful 8-bit form was great, and I really think the team outdid themselves here. Character animations are fast and fluid, making this one a pure joy to play as well.
On the sound front, this game is simply 8-bit perfection. If you love chiptunes, this OST is one of the best I’ve ever heard. Hearing all these classic SNK and Capcom themes in their retro glory just puts a huge smile on my face. I know they had done a great job with all the other releases in this area as well, but the sound team really knocked it out of the park here. The soundtrack here is worth the $7.99 alone!
No long, drawn out conclusion here, the Neo Geo Pocket classic, SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium, is the best Neo Geo Pocket Color Selection title released so far. Fun gameplay, great music and tons of extra content make this one a no-brainer for fans of either SNK or Capcom. Even if you are a casual fan of fighters, I highly suggest giving this one a shot. It’s pretty easy to pick up and play on the lower difficulties, and the amazing mini games will keep you busy for hours on end. I went into this one expecting it to be pretty good, but I was blown away by how well this title has held up over the years. This one is a true treasure that I’m glad SNK has dug out for us on Nintendo Switch.
Game copy provided by the publisher.
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