Preview: SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters DS

Ah, my beloved Card Fighters Clash. You are one of three games (along vs MotM and Faseli!) that make the Neo Geo Pocket Colour my favorite handheld system of all time. I generally hate TCG games. Doesn’t matter what it is. Magic: The Gathering, Jihad, Rage, Phantasy Star Online III, and even Pokemon TCG = craptastical to me. Yet there was something about Card Fighter’s Clash that made me love it so very very much. Perhaps because it was so excellently done in terms of story and gameplay. Perhaps it was because I got to pit Demetri against Duck King. Maybe it was because there was both a SNK and a Capcom version ala Pokemon Red/Blue. Who knows? All I know is that i love both versions of the game and pop it into my NGPC every so often. I have to say I’ve been happy with ever SNK vs Capcom game, but this is one of my favorites. So it should come as no surprise that I’m been foaming at the mouth for the Feb release of the final ever cross over game from Capcom and SNK.

Where the original game consisted of simple card battles as your main character attempted to become the best CFC player around, this game appears to have stepped up the gameplay options and given you even more strategic options to build into your deck.

In the original game, who ever went first was chosen randomly. Here, you’ll be rolling dice. In the original, you could lay down any one card per turn and have a maximum of three fighters per side. Here the max has gone up to eight cards in play, ranging from characters to power ups! Characters still have hit points, do a specific amount of damage and sometimes have special abilities, so certain characters will be more beneficial to your deck than others. Finally, like in both games, the object is to bring the other player’s health down to 0. When their health is depleted, you win! Once you’ve won, you can get new cards for your deck, and so you’ll be on a twofold mission to collect all the cards, as well as building the best deck you possibly can.

The biggest change to gameplay is in the fact that cards now have a casting cost. It seems Playmore has decided to tweak CFC to be more like Magic: The Gathering than the original game, which was more chaotic. Each player starts off with three points of “white force.”Each turn you gain one more point of white force. You can also gain one of four other coloured forced (Red, yellow, blue, or green) if characters on your team generate them. You then use those force points to put cards into action and to activate special abilities. The game also has you tap your cards much like one does in M:TG. The other big change that I’ve noticed is that BP (Battle Points) and HP (Hit Points) have been seperated and are no longer the same thing. They also appear to have done away with soul points.

Of course the best thing is seeing all the well known, and even the obscure, characters both companies have put into this game. On SNK’s side we have everyone from Andy Bogard to the almighty Geese Howard. Capcom gives us characters like Dr. Wily, Stryder, and even Lilith from Darkstalkers. The real question is going to be how off the wall or unexpected are the character cards we will see. Will Viewtiful Joe or Nemesis be Capcom cards? What about the Metal Slug gang or the new characters from the KoF: Maximum Impact series? Only time will tell.

SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters had a flexible release date of February 1st, 2007. It might be best for you to preorder the game as the original CFC has a cult following that dwarf most games. It’s been over six years since the original hit North American shores, and if history repeats itself, CFC on the DS could be one of the biggest handheld games of the year, if not for the lifespan of the DS.