There’s been a push toward rediscovering the wonders of the Neo Geo Pocket Color. The “what?” you ask? Well, it’s basically a Game Boy Color without the rock-solid game library of Nintendo’s handheld but with a rock-solid library all its own. We’ve seen a fair number of these games hit the Switch lately, with the newest contender being card-battle RPG SNK vs Capcom Card Fighters Clash. Yes, that’s card-battling and not arcade fighter…but it’s still great!
There’s a big card game tournament coming up! You’re going to enter and win it via a top-down RPG adventure where you’ll sometimes play cards! That is, well, basically the entire plot. SNK vs Capcom Card Fighters Clash is an early example of the card battler genre and it doesn’t really need to go much further than that. Select your game version: SNK or Capcom, with each focusing on their respective company’s characters’ cards, and get to battling.
As card games go, Card Clash is pretty simple. You’ve got a handful of characters and Action Cards and you’ll use these to try and defeat your opponent. Characters have a BP score that counts as both their attack and defense – when you attack, your opponent can block, which causes characters’ BP scores to be compared with the higher score character winning out and the lower score character being destroyed. Since BP is subtracted directly, even the most powerful fighters can be worn down over time. If the opponent has no blockers (or chooses not to block) they’ll take hits directly. Depleting your opponent’s LP total in this fashion is the goal of each battle.
Additionally, characters have an SP score that they apply to your SP stock. This SP can be used to play powerful Action Cards that change the state of the game, such as by letting you draw additional cards, or in some cases it can be used to pay for more impressive characters. Along with that, it’s possible to pay SP to combine characters’ attacks into a single, more powerful Unite attack, which stacks all the characters’ BP values into a single, powerful hit that can pierce through to the opponent’s life total.
That’s…pretty much it, really! If it sounds like the key to winning lies in playing beefy characters and further enhancing them with Action Cards, well, that’s pretty much right. Slay the Spire this ain’t, but it’s a great time regardless, especially given the format and when it was originally released. There’s a fair amount of cards to collect and you can fully customize your deck, so it’s possible to create a deck that really suits your playstyle.
What’s more, this collection includes both the SNK and Capcom versions of the game. You’ve got access to different sets of cards and can trade directly between each version, allowing you to form a truly impressive collection. There’s even the ability to play the Japanese version of either game, though the value of this is kind of up in the air.
All in all, it’s a pretty enjoyable adventure that serves as an example of where digital card gaming used to live. Graphically, this is still a Neo Geo Pocket Color game, so don’t expect miracles, but everything is still perfectly clear and the cards look pretty cool all things considered. You’re able to zoom the screen, add filters, select backgrounds and so on, allowing you to reach the right level of comfort playing an older title like this on the Switch. Sound-wise, see above – it’s fine, if old, and completely workable for what this game is. There’s even multiplayer available!
For its pittance of an asking price, SNK vs Capcom Card Fighters Clash on Switch is a pretty enjoyable take on the genre with plenty of characters you already know and love. It’s also likely a game that many Westerners missed out on. If you’re one of those folks, well, here’s your chance. Drop your Hamilton on the eShop and give it a shot. My advice: get used to seeing plenty of Zangief. He’s great. Russian wrestling forever – Bolshoi pobeda!