Capcom Fighting Evolution is definitely an obscure Capcom crossover. I may have seen the cover once or twice back in the day, but only briefly and I instantly forgot about it. Some of the roster decisions for this game were very odd, but I’m still surprised that it is not more popular. It’s a fun enough game although there is nothing really unique about this title. It just fills the bill as a fighting game and doesn’t try to do anything more with itself.
There is no story mode of course although every character does have an ending which is great. That’s something I used to take for granted in a fighting game, but with some titles not bothering with it anymore, it is fun to see. There are no openings for the characters, but I’ll settle for the endings. This game uses a tag team system so the beauty of this is that you unlock both endings for every time you do Arcade Mode. It allows you to see all of the endings a lot quicker than you would have otherwise.
Normally this is the part where I’d say that there is pretty much no replay value, but Arcade Mode is typically the only thing you expect from a fighting game. That’s still not a great excuse, but multiplayer mode is where you’ll find the replay value at. Find someone to play this with and you’ll have a blast picking from the various characters. The series that are represented here are Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter II, Street Fighter III, Red Earth, and Darkstalkers. I have to say that it is a little iffy to have Street Fighter represented three times. Especially when there is one big Capcom franchise left out here. Need I mention which one? The Mega Man franchise!
Capcom has a very bad track record of leaving this franchise out to dry whenever they come out with a big crossover. Mega Man’s absence in Marvel vs Capcom 3 speaks volumes and the fact that Mega Man Volnutt/Trigger made it into Tatsunoko vs Capcom over the other Megamen is also odd. It’s a shame because a Mega Man rep being in the game would have guaranteed 3 more since each franchise got a full block of fighters. Yes, this is definitely a pretty big missed opportunity if you ask me. Another odd character exclusion is Morrigan from Darkstalkers. She’s the face of the franchise and yet she was skipped over. It’s very strange to say the least. I can’t say that I’m a fan of hers at all, but she still beats Felicia, who somehow got to be playable in this one. Also, what about Ken from Street Fighter? Surely he deserved a spot here given his iconic status.
There is also an original character for this game. The mysterious Ingrid, whose abilities are quite lethal. She seems to be a cosmic being who may be above all of these street level fighters, but we’ll need some more appearances to prove that she’s not just all talk. This character does have a lot of potential though and her powers are a lot of fun. We can always use more magical fighters even if they can be a little hard to control at times.
This is a retro fighting game that uses sprites so it is hard to really say how the graphics are. The character models are essentially ripped straight from the respective titles. The models all look pretty good, but they aren’t exactly new either. You won’t really be looking at the sprites much while you’re fighting either since you’ll need your full concentration. Regardless, the graphics definitely aren’t bad. I’d say that they’re totally standard and are up to snuff for this fighting game.
As for the soundtrack, it is good. It’s always fun to hear the Street Fighter themes although the Darktalker/Red Earth ones were very forgettable. In a way, it’s probably good that Street Fighter counted as three different series since it meant that we got more themes from those series although, once again…Mega Man themes would have been beyond hype. Those are the themes that we deserved. Still, the music works for the fighting.
I totally skipped over the actual gameplay angle, but I assume that everyone knows how this plays when I mention the words “Street Fighter” This is a 2D fighting game that is very bread and butter. You can kick, punch, and mix those attacks for various combos and super attacks. Yeah, that’s really all there is too it. This game uses the 2 vs 2 system, which is a blast since I always liked that way to play. My personal favorite is when you don’t die until both of your fighters are gone like Marvel vs Capcom, but any kind of tag team play is still pretty neat. I’m waiting for Super Smash Bros to implement something like that. Now that would be really awesome! Seriously, Super Smash needs to get on that!
Overall, Capcom Fighting Evolution is a fun fighting game. If I was a more dedicated Street Fighter fan then I may be upset at the wasted potential that is here. The character roster is very small and there wasn’t a whole lot of effort put behind the gameplay. The American cover is also pretty sketchy, but that’s more of a nitpick than anything else. It’s really just your standard Street Fighter game with a few broken guest stars. The big dinosaur feels so out of place, but I suppose that’s part of the appeal. It’s like having Sentinel in Marvel vs Capcom 3. It’s hilarious just how big he is. If you like Capcom then I definitely recommend getting it. It may not be fancy, but this is still a crossover. You’re bound to have some fun with it.