The MagicBox Forums  

Go Back   The MagicBox Forums > General Topics > MagicBox Member Reviews

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-23-2004, 04:32 AM   #616
Icarus4578
Deal with it.
 
Icarus4578's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,550
I will bop you!

The Match of the Millenium ~ SNK vs Capcom - Neo Geo Pocket - Rating 5
First of all, pay little attention to my rating for this game, reason being that I judged it against other fighting games and not based on its own merits as a singular entity as I usually do. Why? Because, I figure, the people who purchase(d) this cool little fighting game would find out for themselves how everything is put together and would enjoy it based solely on the merits of what it is and what it provides. For a handheld fighter with SD characters I'd say that SvC does a resplendent job of accurately mimicing the play mechanics of Capcom's SF/DS titles and SNK's KoF/FF/AoF/SS titles, if sacrificing something along the way (I'll leave it to you to figure out what all those abbreviations stand for ;)). Whatever shortcomings SvC suffers from in the face of the 2D fighters it represents it more than compensates for by offering things which other fighters don't normally offer, like say.... portability, an Olympics Mode (more on that later), and plenty of other nifty ideas which work in its favor.
First up - the game itself. It begins with a nice opening sequence (of which there's actually two) and then you'll obviously go to the Set-Up screen where you'll optimize the game's options such as Level (difficulty), Time, Auto Pow Off (if you set it to on the game shuts off by itself after 20 minutes of inactivity), etc., and within Set-Up is Battle Config which holds more options like Disp Cut, Provoke (turn on/off taunts), Able (simplifies special move commands), Winning Point, and more. When you enter the actual game you'll be given six options: Tourney, Vs Mode (for when you're playing against a friend with another NGP & SvC title), Olympics, Entry, Sparring, and Record. Tourney is the regular game, and what's cool is that you can select from Single, Tag (think of Capcom's vs titles like X-Men vs SF), and Team (just like KoF). From there you can select from one of three command styles, then you select your character(s) and the fun begins. So throw away the pacifier, grab your fighting gear, and let the super-deformed tournament ....begin!
Initially there's 9 characters per side which you can select from, and there are four more characters per side waiting to be unlocked, bringing the total count to 26! Quite a feat for a handheld, wouldn't you agree? You'll see Kyo, Iori, Mai, Athena, Terry, Ryo, Haohmaru, Nakoruru, & Leona initially on SNK's side, and Ryu, Ken, Chun Li, Morrigan, Sakura, Zangief, Felicia, Dan, and Guile initally on Capcom's. The first thing you'll notice when the action is about to begin is how everything looks nicely detailed, especially some of the backgrounds which, mostly, are taken directly from the various games which the cast represents. There's Terry Bogard's stage from Fatal Fury 2 where you're both fighting on top of a moving train, Chun Li's Great Wall of China stage from Alpha 1, Bison's forest stage with the thunderstorm and the huge Shadowloo Skull from Alpha 3, and more. The detail on the characters is not as polished as the backgrounds, but those are mostly still anyway with few animations. All of the characters animate very well, even though they're just miniature incarnations. Every character has an opening animation in which they say something (typed underneath) before the fight begins, and there's special animations for when certain characters are about to have at it (Ryu and Kyo being one of the more obvious ones). The animation on character moves is very good, and I am especially fond of how well-animated Haohmaru's standing animation is. Then again, Samurai Shodown titles usually look and animate extremely well, don't they? Controls are responsive and easy to master. From executing Ryu's Dragon Punch to performing Ryo's Haoh Sho Koh Ken, SNK gets the job done. When you quickly tap a button once you'll perform a weak attack and by holding the button for a slight moment you'll perform a strong attack. Combos are especially easy to perform, such as Ken's jump-in Strong-Uppercut-Tatsumaki Senpukyaku, and there's dashing, dizzying, taunting (A+B), juggling, etc. Cross-ups are much harder to perform and therefore I didn't really utilize these nearly as much as I would in something like Street Fighter II. Then again, this isn't the kind of thing you study the way that you would something like, oh, KoF '95 or SFA, and is more an object for personal portable enjoyment and, if I may say so, instant gratification, though that's not to say there isn't any depth to it.
The Olympics Mode is divided into two sections: SNK and Capcom. Gee, didn't see that coming, did ya? Representing SNK's camp is Rimururu and representing Capcom is Karin (neither of which you can play as). In Olympics Mode you'll compete for points (called 'vs') which are used to purchase hidden special moves for every character. There's seven different events total, including Survival, Time Attack, First Blast (take on 10 consecutive opponents in one-hit battles), Target 9 (SNK) which is a lame shooter where you as Marco from Metal Slug (so it says; you cannot actually see him from a first-person perspective) move the target around shooting the enemy Mars People which, incidentally, was later made into a controllable fighting game character in SNK vs Capcom for Arcade, etc., Blade Arts (SNK) in which you control Jubei and slash straw dolls whenever they appear, Ghost Trick (Capcom) in which you 'control' Arthur from the G&G series and have him jump to collect treasure with the A button (jump left) and B button (jump right).... woooow, how fun.... :thumbdn: And finally there's Cat Walk (Capcom) in which you must make Felicia dance by imputting the proper commands whenever prompted. Two of these mini-games suck-Target 9 and Ghost Trick-and don't really add anything to the game. But the other two are cool, especially Cat Walk when trying to win using the harder songs.
The songs are replications of the characters' actual songs. Ken's song comes straight out of his dock stage in SFII, and when you make it to Wolfgang Krauser's 'concert hall' you'll hear Mozart's 'Dies Irae', only an obviously lesser-quality version of it. (*Note* You never actually see Krauser in the game, only his stage, Krauser's Old Operation Base, which features a great opening sequence in which the camera descends down a frontal view of his cathedral-like palace compounds while birds flutter by; you old-school SNK fans should recognize this. :cool guy: ). Sound effects are rather weak, as you'd expect from a handheld like this, but who cares? And yes, there is a sound test.
So there you have it. The Match of the Millenium ~ SNK vs Capcom is solid portable fighting action that'll surely keep you busy for many hours. This game represents the pinnacle of Neo Geo Pocket fighting games, but, unfortunately for SNK, people who buy handhelds don't want to play fighting & card game titles all the time. Honestly, they tried to cover ground with other titles like Metal Slug, but without a strong third-party backing there's nary the possibility of them ever succeeding in the portable market. So blame the NGP's death on all of the third-parties if you want to. I was upset to witness SNK's departure into what I thought would be the gaming afterlife for companies that couldn't survive this dog-eat-dog industry, but was ecstatic when Playmates helped resurrect and reconstruct the fallen giant.
Here's hoping for a long resurrection.

(Oh yeah, I'd better explain it.... You see, SvC cannot realistically hope to match most of the fighting titles it represents, such as SFA titles, KoF titles, Darkstalker titles, etc. Therefore, it must be ranked lower than those games. But that doesn't mean the game isn't enjoyable; it is, just to a lesser extent -- more along the lines of something like Capcom's Pocket Fighter.)

Here's another review with some screenshots. This guy obviously loves his SvC ~ http://www.j-fan.com/neogeo/neogeo.c...on=snkvscapcom
Here we have an Italian page with some more shots ~ http://utenti.lycos.it/NIHAO/SnkvsCapcomNgpc.html
Kinda interesting ~ http://www.8bitjoystick.com/archives...mited_time.php
And more screenshots from the same site ~ http://www.8bitjoystick.com/archives...geo_pocket.php

No one's stronger than me, fool!

BTW, how come most third-parties also ignored the Neo Geo? It's a great system!
__________________
Turn on the difference.

Last edited by Icarus4578; 05-10-2004 at 11:22 AM.
Icarus4578 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2004, 06:46 AM   #617
Joe Redifer
Olé!
 
Joe Redifer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 20,128
Actually what I would have done is ranked it against other handheld games. I enjoyed this game and many others on the Neo Geo Pocket Color. SNK died before the batteries that came with the system did! Anyway back to this game: It is fun, I played and beat it many times with each character to see all the endings, etc. I felt it was a wee bit easy, but I had great fun anyway. If I were to rate this game against other handheld games, I'd give it a 7.5. Maybe, just maybe an 8.
Joe Redifer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2004, 12:28 PM   #618
Vicviper
Hello handsome!
 
Vicviper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 3,082
I agree. I would give MotM atleast an 8.
How about KoF for the pocket color? Will you review this fighter as well?
Vicviper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2004, 01:51 AM   #619
Icarus4578
Deal with it.
 
Icarus4578's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,550
I have a KoF title for NGP, but I'm working on other stuff at the present time. Maybe next week I can do that.

P.S. SvC only deserves a 5. I'll bet one day you'll agree with me.
__________________
Turn on the difference.
Icarus4578 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2004, 02:14 AM   #620
Vicviper
Hello handsome!
 
Vicviper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 3,082
I don't know. I played the crap out of that game a couple of years ago and it's still fun to go back to and keep playing every now and again. It does have a fair amount of replay value.
Vicviper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2004, 02:19 AM   #621
Icarus4578
Deal with it.
 
Icarus4578's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,550
Yeah, it's a fun little handheld fighter, but, seriously, how long can you sit there playing that when there's many better fighters out there?
__________________
Turn on the difference.
Icarus4578 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2004, 05:08 AM   #622
Joe Redifer
Olé!
 
Joe Redifer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 20,128
Many better fighters on a portable system?
Joe Redifer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2004, 09:30 AM   #623
Icarus4578
Deal with it.
 
Icarus4578's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,550
Does it even matter? I judge games based on whether they're fun or not, and while SvC is a fun little handheld game it gets old after awhile, and in no way does it stack-up to the bigger, better fighters available. So if there were two RPG games for a handheld and one was better than the other, in what way does that fact in and of itself warrant giving the game a high rating?

So it's a handheld fighter. Ummm, and...?
__________________
Turn on the difference.
Icarus4578 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2004, 01:45 PM   #624
Joe Redifer
Olé!
 
Joe Redifer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 20,128
Yes, it matters. Unless you plan on strapping your DC to your back like they do in Typing of the Dead to carry it around with you on the go.
Joe Redifer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2004, 03:33 PM   #625
Vicviper
Hello handsome!
 
Vicviper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 3,082
I agree. I think portable fighters and console fighters shouldn't be compared to each other.
Vicviper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2004, 10:16 AM   #626
Icarus4578
Deal with it.
 
Icarus4578's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,550
Well I disagree. It's supposed to be a fighting game, and portable or not it gets judged on the basis of whether it's as fun to play as the others, and SvC just isn't, at least to myself.
__________________
Turn on the difference.
Icarus4578 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2004, 05:52 AM   #627
Icarus4578
Deal with it.
 
Icarus4578's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,550
Passage to the bizarre

Heavy Unit - PC Engine - Rating 6
Once in awhile you come across a game that you're not expecting to be exceptionally crafted but come away pleasantly suprised. You believe that you've been there and done that, and that there's no way the game you're about to witness is going to change the situation. Taito answers back with Heavy Unit, a bona-fide appetite of side-scrolling shooter mayhem and delight. You would've guessed that this would turn out to be just another shooter amongst the already heavily populated PC Engine crowd of shooters. Guess again.
This brings back memories of when I had watched the very first TurboGrafx 16 promotional tape (which I still own). The end of the tape showcased a myriad of titles from Japan, most of which never were released in the US. This was one of those titles; it's the one where it shows a spaceship shooting at these grey elongated alien creatures in a dark area. That's actually the very first part of the game. I had thought upon first viewing this game on the video that this was some PC Engine CD game, but it was actually a HuCard title. I've also got two other promotional tapes from NEC, one for Lords of Thunder (a very entertaining tape to watch I might add :cool guy: ) and another demonstrating the TurboDuo & assorted games.
Heavy Unit is so strange, so utterly bizarre, that it seemingly defies explanation. Let me give you an example by trying to describe the first stage to you. You begin as stated before, battling six of those elongated creatures, then you must take out three guns mounted on the ceiling, followed by avoiding some huge thing that keeps slamming down and blocking your path. After that, you're greeted by three dragon-like heads spewing flames at you, and then you move up the screen only to be confronted by small winged dragons and what appears to be mechanized archers(?) shooting at you. Then there's this huge skull face and then you have to rapidly fire at these strange obstructions to make them move and zip past fast enough before they retract. After all of this you fight the boss -- a huge robotic monstrosity that lets loose two of these red centipede creatures from two compartments on the top half of it, and these things are of course shooting at you. Meanwhile, the mouth in the middle fires really fast shots, so if your gun is powered-up so that it spreads you can comfortably take the position just south of being in alignment with the mouth and fire away to defeat it. Guess what though? It took me two continues just to get past the first stage! Each stage is divided into sub-sections, and if you should die in one of them (and believe me - you will) then you start from the beginning of that section. There's unlimited continues and for that I'm thankful because it would be a beyond-furious challenge without it. You know that Taito means business, and since there's no difficulty settings you already know that that's because it's already set on 'super hard'.
You'll see things like alien factories/industrial areas, glowing cavernous areas, a strange alien-glob stage that should remind you immediately of the first stage to the Konami-powered Life Force, etc. The enemy design is something else - you'll see mad hopping green robots, mech-like creatures that fire homing missiles that resemble carrots(!), and other strange goodness. And, very importantly, the way they are placed throughout stages is both logical and often-times irritating. You'll think you're in a safe haven when all of a sudden these ships start forming randomly around the entire screen and once they've formed (which takes approx. 1 second each) they aim directly for you. The bosses stand amongst the freakiest encounters that I've ever encountered. You know how Taito has a knack for the unorthodox what with their Darius series of shooters and all? Well... let's just say that this one is at least as bizarre! We're talking about fighting a huge dog/alien-like creature on all fours with a sack of red balls on its top that hops around the screen throwing these balls everywhere, and then it jumps away only to shoot a bunch of shots directly at you. We're talking about some freaky mech-like robot with guns mounted all over it shooting spread shots at you, meanwhile new arm-guns(?) keep flying onto it to shoot at you some more, and then the head arrives, zips around the screen, and places itself on top of the mech. What the hell is that about!? And it only gets more strange.

Good job Taito.... I think....

The graphics are detailed if a little murky in some areas but overall Taito does very nice job. You will not find parallax scrolling like you will in something such as Gate of Thunder, but this isn't a problem as far as I'm concerned. This is a conversion of the arcade by the same name which I don't believe was ever released outside of Japan. You gain power-ups just like in virtually every shooter there is, one of which allows you to transform into a mech which is slightly bigger than your standard ship. This aspect reminded me of Hyper Duel (Sega Saturn import shooter/arcade). However, you'd be hard-pressed to stay alive for long in this form seeing as it makes it even easier to collide with enemy firepower or something else.
The soundtrack, like the game, is utterly bizarre! It truly does fit the game to a T, but it's not suited for listening pleasure - that is, listening pleasure for us normal folks. The sound effects are kinda weak. I've certainly heard much better out of a TurboGrafx 16/PC Engine HuCard.
....I guess that's all there is to it. It's by no means one of the greatest shooters that I've played but that in no way makes it any less enjoyable to play. It's unique, it's (very) challenging, and it's weird! If you're into shooting games like me, try and locate a copy if it's not too much trouble. If this isn't your style then it's probably best to keep your distance. And I'm out.

Here's a couple of screenshots. This guy obviously isn't too thrilled with how hard this game is ~ http://www.geocities.com/pcehucard/reviews/hun.htm
Here are some arcade screenshots of various Taito titles, including Heavy Unit ~ http://www.system16.com/taito/hrdw_licensed.html#hu
And here's screenshots from the opening of the first stage ~ http://www.vgmuseum.com/images/04/heavy.html

__________________
Turn on the difference.

Last edited by Icarus4578; 06-11-2004 at 12:32 PM.
Icarus4578 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2004, 03:54 AM   #628
Joe Redifer
Olé!
 
Joe Redifer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 20,128
I saw this game on display at Power Play Games way back in the day when they existed here. It was running on a TurboGrafx 16 with a board that was at least a foot long sticking out of the card slot. The first pin converter! Ug. I may have played it for a few seconds but I don't remember. They didn't rent PC Engine games like they did with Mega Drive and Super Famicom games unfortunately. It was just a used copy they were trying to sell. I don't think I owned a Turbo yet when I played it, and I'm sure I criticized it due to the lack of multiple layers of scrolling (the Turbo has only 1 background layer whereas the Genesis has 2 and the SNES has 4).
Joe Redifer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2004, 04:08 AM   #629
Icarus4578
Deal with it.
 
Icarus4578's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,550
Yeah, it doesn't have the parallax scrolls like those other games do, but it's still a worthwhile shooter with some unusual designs. It cannot hope to match games like Gradius III or Gaiares (hence the lower score than those two). However, I did find the challenge to be worth my investment for while it lasted.

I've gotta do that article I was mentioning before, then I'll put Onimusha 3 through the paces for a review.
__________________
Turn on the difference.

Last edited by Icarus4578; 05-10-2004 at 11:35 AM.
Icarus4578 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2004, 07:33 PM   #630
gearhound
Versus the World
 
gearhound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: can't tell you
Posts: 3,061
Quote:
Originally posted by Joe Redifer
(the Turbo has only 1 background layer whereas the Genesis has 2 and the SNES has 4).
WHAT ABOUT THE duo 1 and 2 meg cds/super cds?
__________________
I do not have a signature.
gearhound is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:42 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.