Title :SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash
Platforms :Neo Geo Pocket Color
Publisher :SNK
ESRB Rating :Everyone
Game Rating :8.5
Review by :Robert Boyd

SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighter's Clash is, as the name suggests, a Card/RPG, a game of strategy played with collectable cards similar to such popular games as Magic: The Gathering and the Pokemon card game. 

As Card/RPG games go, SNK vs. Capcom is fairly straightforward. Two players each have a deck of 50 cards made up of the game's 300 different card types. Each player starts with a point total (usually 2000 or 3000 points). The first player to lose all their points loses the game. 

Most of the cards are character cards which have a BP (battle point) and a SP (special point) value, and possibly a special ability or attribute. Once a character card is in play, it can attack the opposing player or counterattack any of the opponent's attacking character cards. Combat is resolved through simple subtraction. For example, say you have a character card with a BP of 500 and you attack with it. If your opponent doesn't counterattack it, then his point total will drop by 500 points, bringing him that much closer to defeat. If your opponent does counterattack, say with a character card with a BP of 300, then the two cards attack each other (in this example, your opponent's card would be destroyed since 300-500<0, while your card would have it's BP reduced since 500-300=200). 

The game also features action cards which can be used for a variety of effects and require SP (which is obtained through playing character cards). SP can also be used to perform special group attacks which allow multiple characters to attack as one, which can be useful at times. 

Thanks to the well-written booklet, the game's rules and basic strategies are easy to learn. And though the game isn't as complex and deep as some games, there are enough strategies involved to make playing enjoyable. Thankfully, the interface is well designed, making playing the game a breeze. 

The cards are all based on various Capcom and SNK games and feature excellent art. The music is good for a portable game and even including a couple speech samples. The game also has a nice feature that lets you turn the system off in the middle of a match and continue later from where you left off. And of course, there's a fun two player mode if you happen to have two systems and two copies of the game. 

Unfortunately, the game has a few noticeable flaws that keep it from being more than a very good game. First, the matches are a little slow – not so slow that they become frustrating, but it's a little annoying. Secondly, in the game's one player mode (which is similar to Pokemon), cards are obtained mostly at random, which makes creating a great deck more troublesome than it should be (you have to repeatedly fight the same enemies and hope you're rewarded with cards you want). However, the game's biggest flaw is the AI; I noticed several instances where it made stupid mistakes that no decent human opponent would ever make. Despite this, the game can be fairly challenging as the computer opponents usually have powerful cards. 

Despite these flaws, Capcom vs. SNK: Card Fighter's Clash is a fun game. If you like strategy card games, it's worth picking up, especially if you're able to take advantage of the two player mode.

This article is copyright (c) 2000, 2007 by Ken Gagne. All rights reserved. Not to be distributed without permission.

Original publication: Sentinel & Enterprise, 17-Apr-00