|SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters’ Clash
|January 12th, 2022
SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters’ Clash is the newest release in SNK’s NeoGeo Pocket Color Selection library of titles. This title originally released as two separate games, one being the SNK version and the other the Capcom one. Players would have to trade cards back and forth in order to collect them all. Here, thankfully, they combined the two games into one, so players get to battle it out until they get all their favorites without trading. While that is great, the most important part of any games is if it is fun or not. Let’s find out if it is.
There is no real story to speak of here, you just travel around the map winning card tournaments at various locations. When you win, you collect badges that prove you are the best card battler. While walking around the maps you can also challenge random opponents, interact with some games to win prizes, and even have a dinosaur come to life! This is pretty basic, but, it gives players a few things to mess around with and sets up the card battles.
While SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters’ Clash is one of the most basic card battling games I’ve played, that doesn’t mean it’s not fun. Players draw some cards at the beginning of the game and you are able to play one character card each round. These cards allow you to attack and use some abilities during play, and you can have up to three of them in play at once. Each card will have a BP (attack points) and SP (soul points) value listed on them. BP is exactly what you probably figure, it is how much damage you will do to an opponent when this card attacks. If the card is not blocked, the damage will go straight to player. If it is blocked, damage is dealt at the same time to the attacker and defender. If you ever played Magic the Gathering, it works basically like that. You can spend SP to use ability cards out of your hand for various buffs and to deal some direct damage to pesky character cards. These points can also be used to perform unison attacks. You can attack with up to all three of your character cards at once, but your foe will only be able to block with one defender. Any damage that goes over the defender’s BP will be dealt directly to player.
Overall, I think card battling here is just OK. It is very simple to pick up and play, which I think is a good thing. Sometimes I just want a game I can fire up, play a few rounds to kill time, and then move on to my next project. SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters’ Clash scratches this itch for me, and it is fun to collect all the cards with my favorite characters from both companies. The only thing about card battling I didn’t care for was once you have three character cards on the field, they are basically stuck there until one of them falls in battle. This is because once there are three character cards in play, you can only use ability cards or use them for backup. Certain characters can backup other characters while they are in play, giving them a nice stat boost. Each character has a very limited list of who they can backup, so most of the time you never have who you need. This leads to you building way too many cards in your hand and the battles drag out longer than they really should.
Just like the other NeoGeo Pocket Color Selection titles, the emulation here is top tier. The game looks fantastic with all the same graphical options the other releases had. The soundtrack in this one wasn’t really my cup of tea, but it is what you would expect from a game in this genre. I always point this out, but I love the full color manual scans they translate and include with every release. This is just a nice touch, and something other companies should do when they port their older titles to new hardware.
SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters’ Clash is an average card battler. It is really easy to pick up and play with a little depth, but I feel like some of the mechanics here hold it back a bit. At the $7.99 price tag, I feel like it is a good deal for those looking for something to just pick up and play on the go. I played right around eight hours and there were still plenty of cards left for me to hunt down on this one. I feel like fans of card battlers will have some fun here, even with the flaws. Hardcore SNK and Capcom fans will likely want to snag this one up as well. If for nothing else than to see the pixel art of their favorite characters battle it out.
Game was provided by the publisher.