SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium Game Poster Image
Classic fighting crossover loses some punch with age.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

This is a straight-up fighting title, with watered-down plot tossed in mostly as an excuse to bring characters into conflict. While different characters might have a higher purpose for fighting than others, it's never really touched on.

Positive Role Models

The game has a surprisingly robust roster of fighters. That said, while players of the SNK and Capcom games might be familiar with the characters' pre-existing backstories, there's not much character development in the story here. 

Ease of Play

Overall controls are simple, keeping in line with basic capabilities of original Neo Geo Pocket system. While the game might boast a deep roster of fighters with different styles of play, each character's actual move set is relatively shallow.

Violence

The bulk of the main game is a typical fighting experience: Players duke it out with a variety of special abilities and martial arts moves, making violence a constant part of the game's DNA. Still, the cartoonish and pixelated artistic style and lack of blood or gore help reduce the impact of the violence on younger players.

Sex

Some female characters are presented in a sexualized manner with revealing outfits, suggestive poses.

Language
Consumerism

The game is not only a crossover title, bringing together characters from both SNK and Capcom libraries, but it's also the latest entry in SNK's line of classic Neo Geo Pocket Color games re-released on the Nintendo Switch.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium is a fighting game available for download on the Nintendo Switch. The game is a direct port of the original 1999 release for the Neo Geo Pocket Color. It features a roster of 26 available fighters from across various SNK and Capcom fighting game franchises, competing in one vs. one, two vs. two, and three vs. three martial arts-style battles. There's no visible blood or gore, and the game's retro and cartoonish style helps to soften the impact of the on-screen violence. Some of the game's female fighters are presented in revealing clothes and suggestive poses.

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What's it about?

Worlds collide once again in SNK VS. CAPCOM: THE MATCH OF THE MILLENNIUM as the classic 1999 Neo Geo Pocket Color game finds a new home on the Nintendo Switch. With a roster of fighters featuring 26 characters from such hit franchises as Street Fighter, King of Fighters, Darkstalkers, and Samurai Shodown, players can create their dream matches in 1v1 Single, 2v2 Tag, or 3v3 Team battles starring all of their favorite fight game superstars. You'll choose your fighter and take them to tournament victory in Story mode, test their endurance in Survival mode, or beat the clock in Time Attack mode. Or you can step outside of the arena in Olympic mode and earn special rewards by competing in unique mini-games inspired by other classic SNK and Capcom titles.

Is it any good?

SNK's classic brawler returns to the fighting arena with this re-created title, but it's hard not to feel like this is something that's a bit stuck in the past. SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium was one of the most impressive games for the 16-bit Neo Geo Pocket Color system back in 1999, when SNK tried to carve out a niche for itself in the handheld gaming market. Now, more than 20 years (and a new millennium) later, the game has been given a new portable home on the Nintendo Switch. While the game is a near pixel-perfect re-creation of the original release, time hasn't necessarily been kind to the once former fighting game powerhouse.

One immediate issue that comes up when playing this port of SNK vs. Capcom is a simple matter of screen real estate. The bulk of the screen is taken up with a re-creation of the Neo Geo Pocket Color system, leaving only a small virtual display to view the action. Also, while the graphics might have been pushing technical boundaries on the once mighty handheld, it's hard not to notice the basic color palettes and stiff animations on the Switch these days. Gameplay is a cinch to pick up and play, thanks to a simplified combat system that doesn't require complex actions to pull off characters' special moves, some of which need to be unlocked to access. While fans of the original are sure to appreciate the authenticity and nostalgia of the game's faithful re-creation on the Switch, SNK vs Capcom: The Match of the Millennium also serves as a testament to just how far the genre has evolved over the past two decades.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium affected by the lack of realism? What are some of the different ways that violence is portrayed in video games? Can some games, such as fighting games, even inspire kids to get involved with actual sports such as martial arts?

  • What's the appeal of replaying classic games or reintroducing them to a new generation of gamers? Which games can survive the test of time, and which suffer from the evolution of technology?

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