|Playstation > Whats New > PlayStation Reviews > Staff Review|
|A.P.I Review:||STREET FIGHTER vs X-MEN|
No.1 No.2 No.3
|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 gameplay. 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 title.
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 configuration. 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 CPU.
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 sorry.
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.
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!