Street Fighter EX Series

a.k.a. SNK vs. Capcom: Choujou Kessen Saikyo Fighters (JPN)
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 (10 / 10) Pinnacle of Handheld Fighting
by ExMortis on 6/19/2009 12:00:00 AM

Match of the Millennium was the first game I got for my NGPC and I was instantly assured of SNK's coming market dominance. Well, we saw how that turned out. Regardless, this game is an absolute triumph.

You can play in single, MVC-style tag, or KOF-style 3-man teams. There are three "grooves" to choose from as well, although they don't directly correspond to any particular games.

In spite of the small screen and sprites, the game plays fluidly. None of the characters have been neutered, in fact many of them have more robust movelists than in a lot of "full size" games. Input is loose yet responsive, and works great on the Pocket's stick (spinning piledrivers come out like a dream).

Graphically it's quite good. Even though the characters are three colors and tiny, they're animated with love and attention to detail. The backgrounds are well-rendered versions of favorites from SNK and Capcom's history (Krauser's cathedral seems out of place, but I'm not complaining). Sound mostly consists of scrapes and chirps, basically all the Pocket's synth is capable of. The music however is all pretty great.

Apart from Tourney (story), link versus, and training, there's "Olympic Mode" which contains challenge modes and cute minigames. You can earn points to spend on unlocking a new super for each character; most of these are kind of wacky and non-essential. There is a LOT to do in this game.

The only complaints I can level at it are relatively minor. It probably has the "safest" cast of any of the SNK/Capcom crossovers and is very heavy on shoto-types. Only a problem if you're a fan of oddball characters like myself. Secondly, they chose to go with Sakura's rather awful SFA3 theme instead of her lovely/iconic SFA2 theme. Most of the other music choices are solid.

Overall a great deal of care went into this production. It's a contender for best game on the short-lived NGPC and it breaks my heart the same amount of glowing fan-love didn't make it into CvS or SvC.

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