Capcom Vs. SNK 2 EO

Capcom Vs. SNK 2 EO

The melding of Capcom and SNK’s separate and distinct fighting game universes, the videogame equivalent of Spider-Man teaming up with Batman, shook the firmament. Players could now pit Guile, Ken, and Ryu against Ryo, Geese, and Mai to see which game company had the best brawlers. And now, as Capcom vs. SNK: EO comes to Xbox with online play through Xbox Live, well, we expect that heaven, or a reasonable facsimile, has made its way to Earth. Truly, all is well for those craving videogame conflict, but who are too lazy to put on pants, leave the house, and go searching for an arcade.

For those who lost track of who’s who in the world of Capcom brawlers, EO takes the company’s most treasured characters and pits them fist-to-mouth against pugilists from the now-defunct SNK, most famous for its cult-favorite King of Fighters series. The result, as you can imagine, is a wild collage of martial styles, character designs, and imaginative anachronisms. Those of you hoping the added EO would bring a secret cameo by Michael “Nose Rot” Jackson himself will be sorely disappointed, as the added subtitle simply stands for “easy operation,” a novice control scheme allowing you to dish out special attacks with the slightest push of the right analog stick.

In single-player, EO deviates little from past 2D fighting games in its play, except that this time, offline play serves as practice for the real thing on Xbox Live. Once you do hop online, EO presents you with flexible customization options, including the ability to create your own costume colors, search for friends, issue a challenge for a match based on your criteria (arcade or EO rules), or simply check rankings to see where you stand nationally. The whole interface is straightforward and well-executed, if a bit spartan.

Of course, the real test here is how the game plays out online. Sadly, performance is spotty thanks to ever-depressing and intermittent network lag, which serves as an absolute buzzkill. Thankfully, the game rates and displays the connection quality of your opponent before you enter a match, so at least you know what to expect. It’s entirely possible these latency issues have more to do with Xbox Live’s beta-test network (which isn’t hosted on the same servers as final retail accounts), and less to do with EO’s network ineptitude; if this is the case, then this is indeed one of the best Live games out there. But if, by the time you read this, the game still suffers from slowdown, then it’s a failure in our book and you can knock two points off our score.

Copyright © 2004 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in Xbox Nation.