SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters' Clash Review — Living Out an Age-Old Debate

SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters' Clash holds up well from a gameplay perspective and is a great dive for fans of either publisher.

SNK vs. Capcom Card Fighters' Clash brings back a game I personally had long forgotten but very much enjoyed at the time of its release on SNK's Neo Geo Pocket Color. One of a smattering of hidden gems on the platform, SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters' Clash was a must-have for anyone that owned the handheld in the United States at the time.

Over 20 years since the title's release, Card Fighters' Clash still holds up from a gameplay perspective. A collectible card game in an RPG-lite package, none of the experience is a particular encumbrance. Those familiar with CCG-RPGs of the time, most popularly Digimon Card Battle or Pokemon Trading Card Game, will find themselves right at home with SNK's own entry to the genre.

SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters' Clash Review — Living Out an Age-Old Debate

You don't have to be an expert on retro CCG video games to enjoy SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters' Clash, though. This is one card game that's just as easy to get into as it is to master, and it's got just enough content not to overstay its welcome. Plus you get to live out the old debate over whether SNK or Capcom was better  in card game form!

In Card Fighters' Clash, you'll get to decide whether you want to start with a Capcom-centric deck or an SNK-centric deck. The one you choose your first time around, of course, will depend on which publisher you like the most. It's much more convenient than the original, which released in two separate versions a la' Pokemon.

Card fighters come from an array of franchises from both companies. SNK fans get characters from classic SNK series like Metal Slug, King of Fighters, and Samurai Showdown. Capcom fans get Street Fighter, Darkstalkers, and even Resident Evil characters as cards.

The flow of card battles is relatively simple. You can place one character card on its own and one as a backup (increase their offensive value) to an already placed card on a turn, as well as play an ability card as long as you have the SP.

Some character cards have abilities, and all of them have a shortlist of characters that can back them up. Though some characters can be backed up by cards of the opposing faction as well, meaning some SNK characters can be boosted by Capcom characters and vice versa. This means you do not have to stick to a single faction to make a successful deck.

Like other CCGs of its time, SNK vs. Capcom Card Fighters' Clash isn't particularly difficult. Once you grasp the battle system and how to get cards by willing battles and trading across the game's arcades and other locations, you should be able to handle most of its content from start to finish provided you keep your deck updated as you rack up cards of B rarity or higher.

The most cumbersome part of the game is still the deck editing UI, just as it was back when I played it 21 years ago. Messing about with your decks is a bit of a pain thanks to the rudimentary UI, but it's not remotely a dealbreaker, particularly if you're a fan of either SNK or Capcom's '90s releases.

This Switch port starts by default with a mock Neo Geo Pocket Color HUD surrounding the playable portion of the screen. It's a nice touch for SNK fans, and especially those who used to have the handheld platform. Though I found myself just enlarging the playable portion of the screen as soon as I could.

SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters' Clash Review — The Bottom Line

Pros

  • Intuitive card battle system that's just as fun as it is simple.
  • The chibi pixel art for each classic character and their variants is a treat.
  • Very solid port that runs great and changes nothing.

Cons

  • Aspects of its UI may be troublesome for players expecting something more modern.

SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters' Clash was a game I loved dearly at one time and have had a wonderful time coming back to in 2022. Fans of both SNK and Capcom can find plenty of enjoyment here, whether in the gameplay itself or just in the card art — just don't expect the bells and whistles one might expect from a modern CCG video game.

[Note: SNK provided the copy of SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters' Clash used for this review.]

Our Rating
9
SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters' Clash holds up well from a gameplay perspective and is a great dive for fans of either publisher.
Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch

Associate Editor

Ashley is pretty lost in most things, but not the FFXIV smol life. Oh yeah, there's someone impersonating me. Trust me: I didn't email you.

Published Jan. 27th 2022

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