When it comes to epic crossover game speculation lists, Super Smash Bros. reigns supreme. And when it comes to Capcom versus games, it’s the ones with Marvel that always get all the shine. This time, however, I want to do something for a different versus series that hasn’t seen an entry in fifteen to seventeen years.
My entry point into the Capcom-SNK versus fighting games was Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millenium 2001. It was—still is—amazing. It also played a major part in making me a music fan.
Capcom vs. SNK distinguished itself from the ridiculous speeds, power level scales, and comic-book or anime crossovers with the likes of Marvel and Tatsunoko, by virtue of showing off and playing like a proper hardcore Street Fighter/King of Fighters-scaled crossover game. Within those slower, more footsies-heavy parameters, it was absurd levels of fun; seeing competitive play for it was highly entertaining as well.
This is the shit for people who go crazy for E. Honda or Yamazaki, or the chance to go buck-wild with mostly impractical but still awesome Street Fighter Alpha 3 V-ism-esque combos with multitudes of characters. Also, for relative neophytes like me who didn’t know all that much about SNK games, this was my first exposure to a big chunk of that company’s stable of characters.
It always makes me legit mad that there hasn’t been a proper sequel to it since the last decade. Sure, there was the SNK-developed SVC Chaos, way back in 2003, but apparently that one was unremarkable? Come on, guys, both of you have been doing solidly enough in the fighting games spaces recently ever since surviving the mid-2000's 2D fighter drought, it’s about time you bring the band back together for another solid go!
In the dream scenario that they DO indeed make this true, here’s a list of two Capcom and two SNK characters each that I’d personally want them to introduce to the party.
Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike
Back in Capcom vs. SNK 2, the only SFIII character they put in was Yun. Maybe it was too new of a game at the time, so they didn’t want to disturb the waters too much by over-representing it?
That’s a damn shame, because it introduced some pretty great new characters. And hey, it’s no longer a too-new game by any stretch of the imagination, so there’s no longer that excuse for making it hardly ever show up. Alex, Elena, and Urien would be good runners-up in this category as well, but I’ve always personally had a soft spot for Makoto.
Her concept is great, for one. She’s an interesting riff on the “Sakura character,” where a lot of the same elements are present but subverted. She’s in a gi? Yes, but don’t be fooled, she is far from a shotokan character. A teenage girl who chases after a fight with Ryu? Sure, but she’s far more tomboyish, and isn’t there out of admiration but instead in service of her struggling dojo.
And with a repertoire that includes dash punches, an in-air spin kick, and a command grab where she takes five seconds to administer a single choke for minuscule damage, just for the sake of messing with the enemy, she’s also fun as heck to play. Being able to not just one, but all of her super combos would be a revelation as well. She would probably be an absolute monster once K Groove fully kicks in.
The King of Fighters ‘99
I have to assume this game got the same short shrift that SFIII did, being released so soon to CvS2. Well, it’s about time to officially cut into its roster. So give us K’ (K-prime), guys.
Before touching a single KOF game, I saw a combo clip from King of Fighters 2001, I believe, performed by K’, and instantly fell in love with his style. It was enough to make me seek out whichever KOF game was available to play in America that had him in it, and that led to KOF ‘99 for the first Playstation.
The concept of a projectile that could only be launched after performing a previous special move that conjured up the fire for it—with that same setup also having the option to instead lead into a fiery kick—was novel and mind-blowing to young me. He’s a bit distinct overall from the Kyo/Iori/Terry ground-projectile set of SNK major characters, from what I remember, so I think he would add some nice variety to the roster. Plus, how bananas would his A Groove combos get?!
I’ve actually never played either of the Rival Schools games before. But Kyosuke was awesome in CvS2, and I think his series deserves to have a bit more representation than solely him.
Why Natsu above all others, though? From a series of game that I know basically nothing about except for watching the odd video playthrough? To that, I offer, two words.
What more needs to be said?
I rest my case.
The Last Blade
He’s the main protagonist of the whole series, though I’ve only played The Last Blade 2 myself. With CvS2, they only left one slot open to represent SNK’s Last Blade games...and it didn’t go to Kaede! To my pleasant surprise, rather than the obvious route, they put in who was actually my favorite character (and best girl) from the second game, Hibiki.
Well, a decade-plus has passed. It’s about time Kaede get his due with the chance to join her. More than getting some deserved recognition, though, I also think he’d be worthwhile based on what he could bring to the table His uses a significantly different sword style from the other weapon users that have been in a CvS game so far, so he could add some good variety on the roster, especially as a counterpoint to the katana-wielding Haohmaru.
Capcom honorable mentions: Rashid, Karin, Batsu, Nash, Ibuki, Sean, Necali
SNK honorable mentions (still don’t know them nearly as well; apologies): Shingo, Whip, Kula
And that’s the list!!
Though it still feels...incomplete. My heart is not completely full just yet.
Some-one is missing.
Ahh yes...I know what it is. A bonus pipe dream character!!
That means we ought to talk about the Street Fighter EX series.
It’s on the far more obscure side than mainline Street Fighter, but I was always intrigued by the EX 2D-to-3D spinoff series, and Street Fighter EX3 in particular was my jam as a kid. Beyond the novelty of the 2D -to-3D transition, one of the biggest hooks was that along with many of Street Fighter’s usual standard bearers, the EX games also had their own array of characters exclusive to these spinoffs. Impressively, they weren’t slouches, either; in terms of design and playstyle, a good number of these EX-originated characters absolutely hold a candle to Street Fighter’s usual standard bearers.
Throwing some of them into some fighting game crossovers would be incredible. Only thing is, however, those EX-exclusive characters are owned not by Capcom, but instead the EX series’ developer, Arika, and who knows if Capcom would be up to putting in who would technically be external characters?
That said, maybe it’s not entirely impossible? I just found out very recently that on Capcom’s website for Street Fighter V, the Shadaloo Combat Research Institute, they have a bunch of EX-specific characters in their character profiles. And if I’m interpreting things right, Darun Miser apparently even has an important plot connection to SFV??
Regardless, that still seems like a far-fetched idea in what is already a speculative post for a seemingly far-fetched sequel idea in the first place. But if dreams are going to come true, then I’d absolutely want this to happen, even if they only give us one solitary spot to represent the EX games.
And, in truly selfish fashion, I would hand off that single spot to...
Street Fighter EX
I absolutely love this guy, in all of his stupid edgelord glory. This dude was Reaper before Reaper even existed as the fragment of an idea! He has a Scorpion-like wire attack with the choice to either GET OVER HERE the opposition or just make them explode!! Hell, more to the point, he has a Mortal Kombat ninja mask!!!
Doctrine Dark is pretty close to a Mortal Kombat character, pretty much. With a far more cartoon-ish face and causing far less gore, sure. But I’m willing to bet he would not be as out of place as one might assume within the context of numerous other Special Forces or relatively mundane human characters like Sonya, Jax, Stryker, or new Mortal Kombat X additions like Cassie and Jacqui.
Impressively, however, even with all that outside-the-Street-Fighter-box stuff, his depiction still fits in aesthetically with the rest of the Street Fighter cast as run through EX’s lens. However, those touches still make him so fundamentally different from almost everyone else, and do so in a way that’s captivating. He was also, crucially, one of the most insanely fun characters to play as in-game.
Going therefore even further, the mine-laying explosives, opponent-stunning wire moves, and variety of super combos under D. Dark’s belt could translate excellently to a Capcom vs. SNK fighting system while also distinguishing himself from the rest of the cast. Most of the Capcom and SNK stables of fighters (at least as represented in CvS thus far) just do not have moves which work like his, after all.
Arika honorable mentions: Skullomania, Hokuto, Kairi
That finally concludes things, for real. If you have any other dream additions to a new CvS roster, post ‘em! And feel free to slag my choices if they so offend your sensibilities.