Developer: SNK/Code Mystics
Medium: Digital Download
Nostalgia is an interesting thing, oftentimes making one remember only the good things and not necessarily the bad. I say this as prior to playing SNK vs Capcom: The Match of the Millenium on the Nintendo Switch via the Neo Geo Pocket Color Selection, I would have screamed from the mountain tops that this was the definitive fighting game to ever be put out on a portable system. A robust roster, assortment of modes, excellent controls paired with the ?clicky? stick of the NEO GEO Pocket Color made it a dream to play. Yet when I revisited this title via this excellent port I?m reminded of the horrors I?ve surely suppressed in order to live as normal a life as I could lead.
The game has a roster of 26 characters, 8 of which have to be unlocked. Nowadays you would think these unlocks would be gated behind paid DLC, but given the way the unlocks worked in this title you wish you could pay to have these 8 characters. For you see, unlocking the characters requires repeated play of the arcade mode, with each completion will remove some random tiles on a tile puzzle. This seems like a nitpicky complaint, except sometimes the tiles revealed are tiles that were previously opened, rendering the character unlocking process a completely random chore. After this revelation, I immediately dug up my original cart copy of the game to check how many characters I?ve unlocked. To my surprise of the 8 unlockable characters, my cart only had 4 unlocked. So clearly I was not fond of this method of progression 20 years ago?
That esoteric rant aside, the game is still a fantastic fighting game featuring characters from two of gaming?s finest fighting game creators. Gone are the ability to earn points for the Olympics mini-game by connecting to SNK vs Capcom: Card Fighters Clash and KOF 99, system link play is eschewed and replaced with a split screen cocktail mode where players can a single joy con each to head to head. While I lament not being able to do single screen multiplayer I?m sure the reasons for this are sound. A welcomed update is the rewind feature for those who want to save scum (rewind scum?) their way to a perfect record. I?m going to assume this and some of the other under the hood features (background skins, digital manuals) are par for the course for other titles in the Neo Geo Pocket Color Selection.
Overall the game still looks and plays fantastic (although to maximize your experience, please look into using a controller that isn?t the joycons, I would recommend anything from 8bitdo). My only hope is that this collection somehow finds its way to other platforms and that SNK vs Capcom Card Fighters Clash will eventually enter this line up. It?s always good to look back and thankfully SNK is willing to give some love to a platform who couldn?t surmount Nintendo?s portable juggernaut.
Note: SNK provided us with a SNK vs Capcom: The Match of the Millenium Switch code for review purposes.