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SNK VS Capcom Match Of The Millenium Switch Review
Source: Screen capture

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SNK VS Capcom Match Of The Millenium Switch Review: Tiny Fighting

Not one for handheld games of yesteryear, SNK VS Capcom Match Of The Millenium has been a delight.

Is it cool to say that I’ve enjoyed every minute spent on SNK VS Capcom Match Of The Millenium – a NeoGeo Pocket Colour title from Code Mystics that’s now being replicated on another handheld all these years later? 

I’ve never been one to follow trends, which should make me cool, right? Without knowing anything about the game other than the characters and respective developers/publishers, I was unsure if this is a beloved title for handheld fans.

King Of Fighters 2020 Unlimited Match was covered only last week, and that was a triumph, but we’re talking a handheld game with – ack! – handheld bezels and two or three colours. Well, the opening line was pretty optimistic: SNK VS Capcom Match Of The Millenium is brilliant fun.

SNK VS Capcom Match Of The Millenium Switch Review

No doubt you don’t want to be told how to suck eggs, but SNK VS Capcom Match Of The Millenium is a beat ’em up featuring one-on-one, duos or teams. The goal, yes, I’m spelling it out, is to beat your opponent in a fight, and depending on the mode, complete a story, stay alive as long as possible or whatever.

SNK VS Capcom Match Of The Millenium Switch Review - Ryu
I’ll bust you like a nut! Source: Screen capture

There’s not exactly that much to see here; the colours are limited, but the graphics are nice within context – it’s clear who you are controlling. One of the game’s greatest achievements is the accessibility and jumping straight to one of your favourite characters, and pulling off a Hadoken. Yes, I’m a Ryu man. He’s dreamy.

Play with the analogue stick or d-pad, it’s a preference thing as either one worked fine, and it wasn’t long until showing off more skills than a skillfully skilled person. But you’ll have phantom button moments as there are only two buttons – no fast or heavy modifiers.

One of the game’s greatest achievements is the accessibility and jumping straight to one of your favourite characters, and pulling off a Hadoken

This simplicity works in SNK VS Capcom Match Of The Millenium’s favour as my kids joined in and proved that my beat ’em up Kryptonite is button mashers or non-gamers. They’re a mix of unpredictable and incompetence, but that doesn’t stop them from winning. My three-year-old beat me enough that I had to start playing properly – following up with a quick patronising “you were really good” before they started crying.

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Chirpy Characters

There aren’t that many characters, but it’s enjoyable enough with the ones on offer. As mentioned in the KOF review, I’m not familiar with the SNK characters and preferred to stick with Street Fighter II characters and other Capcom legends from Darkstalkers. Though I would have liked to have seen Arthur – or how about Leon Kennedy?

Admittedly, not everything was enjoyable, and the soundtrack was pixelated chirpy nail scratching at best, and for the most part, I played my own music over it. If you like the sounds of handheld, then you’re in your element. Me? I’d rather listen to someone throwing a washing machine packed with loose spanners down an empty lift shaft.

SNK VS Capcom Match Of The Millenium Switch Review - Rude boi
Rude boi. Source: Screen capture

While we’re talking of spanners, the dialogue is absolute nonsense and had me laughing aloud. I couldn’t help myself reading it out in a Golden Harvest/Police Academy style (ask any geek in their prime). Granted, the screen real estate means that the developers don’t have the luxury of a gaming site to waffle about tosh, so they have to be concise. Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a joke, but we aren’t here for the story.

Modular

Back to the fisticuffs, and it’s bloody good fun. The game modes included are:

  • Tourney – Story/Arcade mode with some silly dialogue and rivalries.
  • Vs Mode – Erm… singles, tag and team.
  • Olympic – Choose to play as either SNK or Capcom completing survival modes, time attacks and what-not.
  • Sparring – Practice mode.
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In addition, you have a few more bonuses, such as choosing your prefered skin for your favourite characters and completing their finishing line. I had Ryu say ‘Bum’, but alas, it didn’t crossover to the Tourney mode. Other features include stats and swapping out the skins of the NeoGeo Pocket, zooming in and adding scanlines. Phwoar!!

For completists, Tourney is a good starting point not only for the sheer fun of it, but to unlock puzzle pieces for new characters. It takes a bit of time, which makes for a more rewarding experience. Fights are relatively quick depending on which of the five(!) difficulties you have it set to.

Spinning Bird Kick

Playing with just two buttons really does feel counterintuitive if you’re used to six, but honestly, it works great. Considering the screen’s size, characters, and evident limitations, SNK VS Capcom Match Of The Millenium is an enjoyable game.

SNK VS Capcom Match Of The Millenium Switch Review - Nuts
Nuts. Source: Screen capture

Coming from the viewpoint that handhelds suck, that’s a compliment. I don’t think handhelds suck, but except for the Switch, I skipped over handhelds over the years, so missed countless titles other than Tetris.

There’s enough variety within the context of this being a beat ’em up, but don’t expect anything revolutionary. I’m still so pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable this is. While I didn’t play this in tabletop mode, the screen split into vertical ones to play one another, but we played it on the telly, which helped considering the sprites’ size.

SNK VS Capcom Match Of The Millenium Switch Review Summary

Anything else I say would just be padding this out. Sure there are three fighting styles I skimmed over and the other characters, but the skinny is, SNK VS Capcom Match Of The Millenium is a surprise and recommend to any fight fans willing to play a handheld game within handheld mode. Kind of.

The score totals a 8 out of 10

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