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SNK vs. Capcom: Match of the Millennium

Score: 100%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: SNK Playmore
Developer: SNK Neogeo
Media: Cartridge/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Fighting

Graphics & Sound:

For a portable system, the graphics in this addictive fighter just don’t get any better. The animation for SNK vs. Capcom: Match of the Millennium is handled wonderfully with each character, the backgrounds are beautifully drawn in great detail, and just about all 146 colors available for the NGPC are utilized.

The sound and music are nothing to sneeze at, either. All of the great character themes from the arcade titles are here (in all their cheesy ‘bleep-bloop’ glory), and the sound effects are just right. Fortunately, SNK didn’t make the same mistake they made with Fatal Fury: First Contact, and decided not to add sound effects for the characters’ voices -- music and attack-related sounds are just right for this one.


If you’ve ever played any of the Street Fighter and/or King of Fighters installments, you should be very used to the way this game works. Each of the 26 (!!) playable characters has his/her own unique fighting style, complete with an array of special attacks and super moves (or ‘Methods of Mayhem,’ as SNK commonly calls them) with which to destroy the opponent.

One of the great features about Match of the Millennium though is the option of playing in either Tag mode (two-character tag-team style from Capcom’s famous ‘versus’ games) or Team mode (SNK’s three-character King of Fighters style), allowing for a welcome sense of variety in this already mind-blowing game.

Off the bat, the player has a choice of 18 familiar characters, including Kyo, Terry, Mai, and Haohmaru on the SNK team, and favorites like Ryu, Morrigan, Dan, and Guile on Capcom’s side. If that isn’t enough to satisfy you, though, eight secret characters can be acquired with some hard work and determination. And these aren’t crappy, predictable secret characters, either! I won’t give away too many surprises in this review, but you can find some of these characters in the Darkstalkers, Fatal Fury, and Last Blade series games. Happy hunting!

In addition to Sparring and Entry (similar to Street Fighter Alpha 3’s ‘World Tour’ mode where you can develop your own special team of characters through training), SNK vs. Capcom has a VERY cool Olympics mode where the player has some fun in a variety of mini-games in order to build up experience points, which can be exchanged for hidden Level 2 Methods of Mayhem to be used by each character in combat. On the SNK team, games like Target 9 and Blade Arts (starring Marco from Metal Slug and Jubei from Samurai Shodown 2, respectively) are available, while the Capcom team features Ghost Trick and Catwalk (where you can play as Arthur from Ghouls ‘N Ghosts and Felicia from Darkstalkers); both teams share the Survival, Time Attack, and First Blast games. What does this all add up to? Replay value out the wazoo, that’s what!

Linkplay is a blast, too! Just hook up with a friend using the NGPC link cable (sold separately), and get ready for hours of competitive fun.


Six levels of difficulty are available: Novice, Easy, Normal, Hard, Brutal, and Gamer. At Novice level, the computer barely even fights back, but in the Gamer-level, opponents will kick the crap out of you in the first match of the game unless you’re REALLY good. Hell, I fancy myself quite the fighting game connoisseur, but I’ll admit that I’ve been smacked around a good deal when playing on Gamer, even with my best team (Zangief/Terry/Akuma), so prepare for some frustration if you’re planning on stomping with the big dogs, my friend.

The levels of difficulty for Match of the Millennium play a bigger part than you’d think, though. After you beat the game, a certain number of pieces covering the silhouette of a secret character will be removed; at Novice level, one piece will be removed, while six are removed on Gamer. Once every piece is removed, the secret character is then yours to control in combat. Unfortunately, the pieces are blown up at random, so expect to scream obscenities at your NGPC a few times as it removes every piece but that last one that you’ve been trying to get rid of for the past three days. I guarantee it will happen.

Game Mechanics:

Believe me when I tell you that this is the smoothest-playing fighter to ever exist for a portable system. The controls are like butter, and with the NGPC’s neat little rotating joystick, potentially tricky moves like Zangief’s 720-degree Final Atomic Buster are just a couple of thumb-presses away. Of course, with such sensitive controls, you’re bound to accidentally perform a wrong move every now and then, but after playing for a while and getting accustomed to the control system, you’ll be in heaven.

The computer A.I. is almost identical to that of SNK’s King of Fighters series, and that’s a very good thing. It’s almost impossible to predict the computer’s moves on the higher levels of difficulty, and the wide variety of available characters keeps the game fresh in the replay value department for a long, long time.

If you’re a fan of fighting games and you own a Neo Geo Pocket Color, you MUST have SNK vs. Capcom: Match of the Millennium. Get up, run to your local EB, and buy it NOW. And if you don’t own a NGPC yet (jeez, what’s taking you so long?), this is the perfect reason to get one. So go already, man! You’ve got some money to spend!

-Ben Monkey, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ben Lewis

GameBoy Color/Pocket Toonsylvania GameBoy Color/Pocket Space Invaders

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated