SNK Vs. Capcom: Card Fighters’ Clash (Switch) Review

When SNK released the Neogeo Pocket Color Selection Vol.1 on Switch and later on Steam, there was hope that eventually a Vol.2 would become available.  Until (if) that day comes, NGPC fans now have one additional game to enjoy, SNK VS Capcom: Card Fighters’ Clash and Code Mystics once again worked their magic to create an almost perfect version of these fan favorite games.

I said “games” as there was originally a Capcom version and an SNK version, similar to how Pokemon games are released in pairs – essentially the same game only with different creatures, or in this case, cards.  If you want to collect them all, players would have needed to play both versions and use a link cable to swap between them. Here, both versions are available in one digital download and are selectable from the main menu.  Players can even trade and battle between save files but unfortunately cannot connect to other Switch systems, basically the one and somewhat minor flaw with this port. Also, to be clear, both versions are included and is the same price as all the other NGPC releases on Switch.

Like the other NGPC work by Code Mystics, players have access to a bunch of quality of life features like rewind, zoom and border options, the ability to change the button layout, and multiplayer on one console.  Even the box art and original instruction manual is viewable at the press of a button, something fans will highly enjoy.

Even if you don’t enjoy card-based video games, Card Fighters’ Clash is well made, addicting, and approachable.  Reading the instructions can seem a little intimidating but once you play a round or two for yourself, it is easy to understand the ruleset.  In summary, you place up to three cards from your deck one at a time, then use those cards to attack your opponent’s cards or opponent’s hit points. The ultimate goal is to reduce your opponent’s hit points to zero and the winner is rewarded new cards.  Some cards have special abilities but use a different pool of points and cards can be combined to deal bigger damage. This might sound complicated but it is easy to grasp, strategy is involved, and there are hundreds of cards to collect and tons of rivals to best. If you get a bunch of common cards, they can be traded for a chance to earn rare cards too.

In summary, the gameplay is fun, the rules are easy to understand, and pretty much all the quality of life features you want are here (the occasional typo and translation issues are still here, adding to that nostalgic charm). In fact, there is one feature that mostly goes overlooked because barely anyone took advantage of it when it was released in late 1999. What is this obscure feature?  Card Fighters’ Clash actually connects with SNK Vs Capcom: The Match of the Millennium, the fan favorite fighting game (and is probably the best handheld fighting game of all time).

Collecting cards in CFC unlocks content in MoM!  To do this, play CFC, unlock cards through normal gameplay, then save your game and exit. Boot up the Switch version of Match of the Millennium (available as a stand-alone game or in the Vol.1 compilation), click on the VS option from the main menu, then choose the option to connect to CFC. After a moment, the game will scan the CFC save file and unlock the bonus content in MoM!  Barely anyone took advantage of this cool feature as it required both copies of the game, two NGPC handheld systems, and a link cable.  Here, just tapping a few buttons allows players to view this special content. This is a very cool and much welcomed feature Code Mystics added to this Switch version.

I can honestly say CFC is a fun card-based RPG and this is coming from a guy who hates card games. The quality of life features are there. The card portraits of each character are goofy an entertaining.  And the bonus features like playing multiplayer and linking with MoM provide extra replay value that fans and dedicated players will enjoy.  This is another must-own and a low-cost way for players to experience one of the best games on SNK’s handheld hardware.

SCORE: 9/10

Don’t Forget About: Crush Roller, the one unique game found in the Steam version of the Vol.1 compilation  
Also Download: the Metal Slug 1st and 2nd Mission Double Pack on Switch
Wait For It: Faselei! to make its way onto Switch, or an English translation of the NGPC version of Ogre Battle

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief
Twitter: @ZackGaz
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