The scoring set up is also completely revised. Now your score is more connected to your actual performance. You’re score goes up as you successfully connect attacks, special moves, and combos … but falls if you get hit or waste too much time. The score also connects to who you will fight and the quality of your eventual ending, awarding you for learning how to play (and not just smashing buttons).
The grooves are all new too. Unlike the original, Capcom vs. SNK 2 features not two, but six different grooves (C, A, P, S, N, and K, respectably) each different from the last. The C-Groove plays more like Super Street Fighter II, while the K-Groove is strictly Samurai Shodown 2. Regardless of which groove you pick, there is plenty of depth and advantages for each, and will likely have you playing for months just to master each..
And if that wasn’t enough, Capcom has added customizable grooves so you can make your own. While that might not seem like much compared to the rest of this impressive game, I ended up spending way more time customizing than I’d care to admit. For real SNK and Capcom aficionados this option allows you to make the game play like any 2D fighter of the last ten years … a mighty impressive feat.
When the GameCube version was introduced in late 2002, gamers were shocked and dismayed that Capcom had actually dumbed down the controls by added a new EO mode. This “Easy Operation” way of playing allowed you to do special moves by simply flicking the right analog stick, instead of learning the moves and doing them with button and stick combos.
This mode was something completely left out of the PlayStation 2 and Dreamcast versions, and frankly, many Capcom purists had hoped it would be absent from the Xbox port, as well. But there’s no such luck, as this version is almost identical to that of its GameCube brother. Thankfully, it’s something you can turn off, and probably won’t affect your over all experience. But I would have preferred the game have been called anything other Capcom vs. SNK 2 EO.
Of course, it’s not really these grooves, or the EO mode, or even the 48 person roster that is pulling the people in on this game. Instead it’s the Xbox Live support. Capcom vs. SNK 2 marks the first fighting game to go online in the United States, not just on the Xbox, but all next generation systems.
For the most part the game runs extremely well using the Xbox Live. It’s a tad slower than it is offline, but after you’re second or third game, it feels pretty natural. For the most part there isn’t much lag, and I never really felt cheated by a bad internet connection.
There are a few inherent problems with playing it online, though. For one thing, since it’s a one on one game, it’s sometimes a little difficult to find rooms just waiting around. I had more luck just doing the quick match, and even that took a few tries to get to work. I also found that people would disconnect from the game the moment I won, robbing me of a win on my overall ranking system. Hopefully these problems, as well as a few other minor issues, are resolved in an update of some sort.
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