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PlayStation Game and Hardware Reviews

Developer: Capcom OPTIONS: S.SHOT
No.1   No.2   No.3
Distributor: Capcom 1-2 Player
Game Type: Beat-em-up Memory Card
Review Date: June 1998 Standard Joypad

Setting the Scene

It's a fight to the finish!  It's battle to the death!  It's franchise
vs. franchise!  It's... well actually, it's just a game.  Capcom brings
us yet another in a series of long and distinguished 2-D fighters, this
time in the form of their mighty Street Fighter franchise in a brawl
against the Marvel Comics cash cow; X-Men.

If you ever wondered or bet a friend who would win in a fight -
Wolverine against Akuma or Juggernaut against M. Bison - well wonder no
more.  Now you can pit these two awesome factions against one another in
a war for ultimate supremacy... or maybe just bragging rights.


Capcom's legendary 2-D fighting games continue with this newest
installment.  Marvel (no pun intended) at the X-Men in all of their
colorful glory or drool as Chun-Li flawlessly performs one of her split
kicks.  It's a 2-D fighter that holds no punches.


Boy, after reading quite a few other reviews on this title which detailed everything from how the graphics just plain suck to the choppy
animation and horrendous slowdown, I was really expecting the worst
from this title.  Well guess what... don't believe everything your
hear... or in this case read.  Well, scratch that... you can believe what
you read here... phew, glad I cleared that up!

The graphics in SF vs. X-M are of the hand-drawn sprite animated
variety.  If you are familiar with the Street Fighter games (and who
isn't), this game will treat you to more of the same, only now the
characters are a good deal larger on the screen.  

The animation is pretty typical of what you have come to expect from
these types of games.  The action is extremely fast and the characters
flip and jump in a most unrealistic manner... but hey, how many people do
you know that could shoot laser beams from their goggles.  Hey, it's all
in fun and games... anything can happen.

I did experience a bit of slowdown on the fights between some of the
games largest characters, like Juggernaut and Zangief for example.  I
should also note though that there were also a whole lot of special
effects / animation's happening both from the characters and in the
background when this slowdown occurred.  So yes there is the opportunity
to experience a dip in frame rate, but it doesn't slow to a crawl by any
stretch of the imagination and doesn't adversely hamper the overall

All of the backgrounds seem to have been meticulously drawn and
animated.  To give you an example, one of the backgrounds is that of a
city street complete with ambulance and squad cars complete with their
lights flashing and coppers hiding out behind the open car doors.
Building lights glow in the background, there is even a police dog busy
barking at all the commotion.  It's a beautifully rendered scene and one
that could become distracting during a fight.   

In conclusion, I believe that Capcom should be applauded for doing the
job they did with this title in the graphics department.  Remember,
there is no memory upgrade used here, just the 2 meg of PSX RAM being
squeezed to the extreme.  The characters and backgrounds are beautifully
drawn and presented..  Yeah, the animation may be missing one or two
frames out of a hundred, but that shouldn't stop you from appreciating
the overall care that obviously went into creating the graphics in this

Sounds and Effects

Both the sound effects and music are standard Street Fighter fare here.

As always, the sound effects are brilliant.  Nice character noises and
taunts coupled with explosive sounds as your character lands kicks and
punches upon your hapless opponent.  Of course you can never make out
just what the heck the characters are saying, but who cares...that makes
it all the more hilarious.

The music is synthesized techno pop crap that populates virtually all of
the SF games.  It's got its moments, but for the most part I tend to
tune it out and focus more on the sound effects and the gameplay.


I have always had mixed feelings towards 2-D fighters.  I like to play
them sure, but it wasn't until the polygon 3-D fighters came out that I
really got hooked on the whole fighting game genre.  Now when I play a
2-D fighter I can appreciate the care that has went into the character
details and the totally different style of fighting strategy that must
be used to become consistently successful.  Yeah, polygon fighters are
indeed my overall favorites, but 2-D fighters will always have a place
in my cold, dark heart...

With that said, X-Men vs. Street Fighter is a game that has seemingly
been in development forever.  I remember hearing the first inklings of
this title coming to the Playstation almost two years ago.  I had pretty
much given up hope of ever getting the chance to participate in some of
these fantasy match-ups, when all of a sudden Capcom brought the title
to life.

The game includes 17 characters, 8 from the X-Men and 9 from the Street
Fighter series.  It also marks the return of Cammy who hasn't been seen
or heard from since Super Street Fighter II.  In addition, this is the
first time that Marvel's Rogue, Sabretooth and Gambit have ever appeared
in a video game...period.

Your options include Battle, Vs., Training and Survival modes.

Battle mode is a one against the CPU or two-player battle.  You go to
the character select menu and choose your primary fighter and then you
select a support character.  This is pretty cool...if you are getting
pummeled, start blocking and your support character will come out and
automatically start dealing out some damage to your opponent.  One other
way to get your support character into the action is to get your Hyper
Combo Gauge up two full meters and both you AND your support character
will simultaneously attack your opponent, dishing out a world of pain
and suffering...

Versus mode pits you against a friend and also allows you to select your
battle stage and set handicaps.

Survival mode is your standard last as long as you can mode.  1 round
each battle, no time limits and as many CPU opponents you can handle
until you are finally brought down.

Training mode allows you to practice against a docile computer opponent.
This mode helps you to brush up on all of those special multiple hit
combo's that become so damn important during actual gameplay.

Finally in Option mode you can select the difficulty, time limit,
rounds, turbo speed, sound and effects volume and your key

What Street Fighter would be complete without some type of super duper
combo system.  X-M vs. SF is certainly no different.  We are now given a
super hyper combo system known as the EX Combo System.  This system
allows players to link together a series of special moves to create
awesome and original super combos.  I actually had Gambit string
together a 39-hit super combo!  It took my opponent from a full health
meter down to the danger zone in one shot...well, 39 shots to be exact!
It's also pretty damn cool to watch it being executed.   

The game handles and performs just like all Street Fighter
games...responsive control to button presses and often comical moves.
Aerial Raves for instance are a blast to pull off...use a move that
flings your opponent into the air and then perform a super jump.  If you
time it just right, you will follow your hapless opponent into the air
and be able to continue to pummel him.  

All in all I found X-Men vs. Street Fighter to be a very nicely rounded
2-D fighter.  It's a lot of fun to play and when set on higher
difficulty level and with turbo cranked up a good challenge against the

Value for Money

With 17 selectable characters, massive super combos that change
depending on the types of super moves you execute and match-ups that
you won't get a chance to execute anywhere else, this title offers a
good deal of value for your money.   If you are a fan of the Street
Fighter series, this one is a no brainer... get it now, you won't be
GRAPHICS: 18/20 X-Men vs. Street fighter is a nicely conceived 2-D slugfest. Where else can you go to get match-ups like Chun-Li against Storm or Ryu against Gambit. Of course you can also pit Street Fighter against Street Fighter or X-Men against X-Men to get those classic Ken vs. Ryu or Wolverine vs. Sabretooth match-ups.

The graphics are some of the best yet seen in a SF title with brilliant colors and background animation. There are also lots of special effects and explosions to round out the mix. The graphics aren't perfect and surely could have benefited from more RAM in the Playstation, but they definitely don't suck either!

I know a lot of people keep asking why Capcom continues to put out this style of 2-D fighting game. Well, all I can say is that someone out there (actually lot's of "someone's") must be buying and enjoying these games or Capcom certainly wouldn't be putting the development time or licensing fees into making these fighters. I for one am glad they do, it's a nice change of pace form the poly fighters and allow you to employ a completely different fighting strategy. Now I just wonder if they can make a Street Fighter vs. Star Gladiators...Sprite vs. polygon... now that would be something!
SOUND: 7/10
VALUE: 17/20


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