SNK AGAINST. Capcom: Card Fighters’ Clash Review (Switch eShop)

This is a result that we never dared to hope for before. When SNK vs. Capcom: Millennium Match dropped on Switch nearly a year ago, the fruits of the two fighting game companies’ all-too-brief alliance have once again been deemed “potentially in play”. But when “Volume 1” labeled marvelous Neo Geo Pocket Color Selection came out, we were a bit disappointed that the opportunity was not taken to showcase what is arguably the best game on the system, Card Fighters Clash. We were skeptical that the first reported volume would ever be followed by a second – as much as we love the Neo Geo Pocket Color (and we love it, that’s brilliant), it doesn’t have the largest library, and most of the already localized essentials were in that initial batch. Now, however, all bets are off because – thank goodness – Card Fighters’ Clash has arrived on Switch. Calloo callay, it’s a fabulous day!

Originally released in 1999 (close enough to the Japanese release of Pokemon trading card game to dispel any concrete biting-style accusations), it’s a card battle RPG par excellence, with incredibly simple mechanics that make the game — yes! – extremely easy to get into, but with enough depth to make it a long-term commitment to achieving mastery.

Indeed, it is no different from the perennial Magic: The Gathering, with each side allowed to place a maximum of three character cards, drawn one at a time. Cards will attack each other first, then the “player” behind them (you or your opponent). For example, let’s say you played Terry Bogard against your opponent, who played R. Mika. This showdown would see your 1000 BP Terry remove the 200 BP R. Mika from play, but his 200 BP would be subtracted from that thousand leaving Terry with 800 BP, which would then be subtracted from your opponent’s overall health. Once said health hits zero, you win, so it’s all about keeping the pressure on.

If it was just this Top Trumps thing then of course it would be too simple so wrinkles are introduced with certain cards containing special abilities that can activate in play, during your turn or after playing a other card. It’s also possible to combine (“Unite”) linked character cards to really press the attack to the potential disadvantage of leaving you open to a counter.

Additionally, drawing and playing a character card from your hand grants you SP, which can then be spent to use action cards that will help you turn the tide. Think Pokémon TCG trainer cards or – uh, Community Chest. It’s in a wise spending of your limited SP, a clever application of the different abilities and BP scores of your various character cards, and a solid line of defense from which emerges a very enjoyable, deeply tactical and incredibly addictive game. The only downside is that games can sometimes drag on a bit due to the many counters, and sometimes if you can’t get a decent footing (so to speak) on the match, it will be a frustrating and losing battle. attrition.

Of course, it helps if you’re a fan of SNK and/or Capcom – with 300 cards to collect, each brilliantly illustrated with super-distorted classic manga art rich in character and color, while imparting everything you need to know like as concise as possible. It’s all pretty wonderful, actually, with crisp visuals and great transport. All the information you need is always available. Choosing cards, modifying decks, and simply moving around the map are all intuitive and enjoyable.

Ah yes, the map. The RPG side of this RPG map is, again, simple – and familiar to Pokemon fans – but it’s packed with slightly wonky Neo Geo charm. The translation is exuberant and a bit strange, but in a deeply nostalgic and quite charming way. Traveling through Capcom and SNK’s various themed areas, challenging other players in card battles, and earning boosters…it’s both relaxing and compulsive as you build your deck with SNK and Capcom heroes and villains fan favourites.

A brilliant game, then, but we must also talk about the port. Originally there were two versions of this game – Capcom and SNK, natch – and here you can play either one. Even better, though, you can swap cards between the two versions, making collecting all 300 of them much less of a chore than before. You can also play versus mode using one system – each player holds one end of the Switch which obviously isn’t ideal but the fact that it was included at all is a bit of a testament to the strength of the port. Other features of Neo Geo Pocket Selection are also present, of course – rewind, manual, customizable display area.

Conclusion

As good as ever and now incredibly valuable, SNK Vs. Capcom: Card Fighters’ Clash is still a must. Obviously, the card-based gameplay won’t appeal to everyone, but at this asking price, we’d say it’s worth a try even if card games usually turn you off, especially if you dig the lists. of extended characters from SNK/Capcom. Many, many series are represented here and everything you need to learn how to play is available in the digitized manual as well as in-game via tutorials. Let it hang on to you and you’ve got a bit of a masterpiece here, and we’re absolutely thrilled that it graced the Nintendo Switch with its excellence.

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