SVC Chaos

Neo Geo

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 7

Sound: 7

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 7

After Capcom had their shot with the awesome "Capcom vs. SNK 2," SNK Playmore got theirs. Though not up to par with the previous entry in the series, "SVC Chaos" offers enough to keep fans of this great genre going. It's also a pleasure to see the Capcom characters on the Geo hardware.

Starting off with a massive roster of 24 characters after a brilliant opening cinema, "Chaos" lets gamers choose characters from each of the major franchises and mixes them in with lesser knowns. To go along with the Ryu and Kyo's of the world, players can take hold of Tabassa and the classic arcade version of Athena. It's a great mix and fairly well balanced, but the boss characters are completely overpowering (though some can't be unlocked without a BIOS chip, like Athena).

The game doesn't do a lot to advance the genre in any major way, but the new "exceed" maneuvers are insane. Once a players life has been drained half way, these brutally difficult maneuvers can be launched to put the nearly defeated fighter right back into the match... or end it with a press of a button. The "front guard step" allows a player to attack in the middle of a dash, easily catching opponents off guard. You can also guard cancel with the dash.

While multi-player gameplay is the way to go, the multiple endings and various extras make the single-player mode worthwhile. Specific conditions must be met to fight certain characters or see certain endings. Some of these will take quite some time to find especially with the rather cheap AI. Each character match up also has some pre-fight chatter, though some of it is not translated well.

With the switch in the hardware, all of the Capcom sprites have been redone, and the result is nothing short of masterful. Ken and Ryu have never looked better than they do here, and Dhalsim is just incredible. Hugo is based off of his "Street Fighter 3" sprite, and although the animation has been severely trimmed, his size makes him a close second to Earthquake (who's head if cut off by the life bars).

Sadly, the SNK sprites do not receive the same treatment and are simple carry-overs from the respective series. The backgrounds also suffer a cruel fate. Stages like "Station Obsolete" are so monochromatic, their ugly. A few impressive ones like "Power Generator" don't make up for it. There stages are few in number as well, so be prepared to fight in the same locales often.

The soundtrack is largely a miss. No music has been carried over from either company's franchises. There is some outstanding music in the otherwise ugly "Station Obsolete," but that's pretty much the end of the great music. "Nude Place" is the only other stage with anything even remotely memorable. Any and all character voices are crisp and clear thanks to the ridiculous cart size (a record 708 megs).

Though likely to go down as mostly forgettable by the hardcore crowd, the more mainstream fans that still love this genre have nothing to worry about with this entry. The controls are great, the new character sprites are much better than expected, and the gameplay is solid enough to keep people playing for some time. If you can't afford the insane price of the home cart, upcoming ports on the XBox and PS2 should work just fine.


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Last updated: Sunday, October 31, 2004 08:08 AM