Review – Capcom Fighting Evolution

This is backed up further when you take a look at the features present in Fighting Evolution. Rather, I should direct one to the lack of such things. I do not joke when I say that this is the most barebones fighting game I’ve seen this generation. Your only options are arcade, versus, practice and options. Hell, even the Mark of the Wolves port had bloody time attack and an art gallery. The menus and in-fight interface are almost completely ripped off from Capcom vs SNK 2 (as are most of the in game special effects), and the music is amazingly generic that I can only remember the goofy tune that plays at the character select screen.

As for the backgrounds, they generally hit or miss. There aren’t many of them, and most of them are drawn in a strange, murky, watercolor style that you’ll either loathe or enjoy. Personally, I also found many of the backgrounds to be a little too reminiscent of ones from previous Capcom games, though as always I do like the stages that take place in the streets.

Overall, it seems that a bare minimum amount of work was put into this game. The only thing about it that is remotely original is the team feature. You get to pick two fighters for each battle, and before each round you can choose which one you will fight with. This kind of system gives the player a great deal of freedom. They can play the entire game straight up with one character, or they can switch a little to mix things up. Plus you don’t have to worry about your characters being eliminated upon defeat, like in King of Fighters.

Easily the most frustrating part of Capcom Fighting Evolution is that despite being such a rush job, it can still be fun to take a simple, no nonsense Ryu and pound the crap out of all those fancy pants Alpha characters, or to try out a new face like Jedah or Leo. This just makes me realize how much better the game could have been if it had been given some more love and care. While CFE may take some cues from Capcom vs SNK 2, it is more like CVS1 in execution; a good idea that is just poorly implemented.

If there were a sequel with about double the fighters, some old-school unlockables and sharper presentation, then we would have ourselves a definite winner. After all, if they won’t give us Street Fighter 4, then at least toss us fanboys a bone. However, the odds of that happening are slim to none, and as it stands I can’t recommend this game to anyone, unless you’ve burned through the rest of Capcom’s PS2 library and are desperate for more. While it is sad to see 2D dwindle in the States, if this is the evolution of the genre, then it would be best for natural selection to take its course.

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