As any product driven by niche demand goes, Capcom vs. SNK Pro
isn't as much about the 'What' as the 'How.' People like it for the fighting, and people play it for the fighting. Everyone knows walking in exactly what they can expect, but saying Capcom vs. SNK Pro
is about fighting is like saying Jackie Chan is about martial arts. The execution is the art.
All your favorite characters are here, enough of a sampling of human, non-human, man and woman to keep any fighting fan happy. The moves for each character and the sheer volume of characters (30+) ensure that nobody plays this over a weekend and decides they're done. No, there is enough variety here to last most folks a lifetime. Hold that up against the number of games in this series and you may wonder how many lifetimes the average fighting game fan has, which makes for part of a problem. The first part is the overwhelming number of games released, and their variants, which basically offer a very similar experience. The second part is a transition from complete market dominance the Street Fighter games held years ago to a backseat position against a new generation of high-profile 3D fighters like Tekken. Any fan will tell you it's a Ford/Chevy thing, because 2D doesn't mean the action is any less intense. But, if you're looking for ragdoll physics and next-gen graphics, be warned that Capcom vs. SNK Pro, while totally great at being a hardcore fighting game, is decidedly old-school.
Like any old-school venture, you get some pretty simple gameplay options. One or two players can compete in Arcade Mode, or go up against stronger enemies in Pair Match Mode. You can compete against another human player in Vs. Mode, or do some Training to learn special moves and devise a winning strategy (or program those macros!). Other non-fighting modes include Price Mode, where you cash in points to buy special characters or view images of characters in the game. Finally, for the hardest of hardcore, a Color Edit Mode lets you modify the standard palette a character is drawn from. This last may seem a bit frilly to newcomers, but once this game became 'arcade perfect' the only thing left was the bells and whistles. Like any old technology, plenty of people have had plenty of time to get this right, but the little additions make Capcom vs. SNK Pro well worth it for fans.
The Groove Point Gauge is a little bar at the bottom of the screen showing exactly what you're accomplishing, tracking results in real time. If you pull off specials or perform in a round particularly well, the rating will rise. Try to be a button masher or fall on your face consistently, and your rating goes down. Keeping the rating up will have some unexpected results on your game, including special characters who'll drop in to test your skills. But the biggest reason for this gauge is that it allows you to trigger Super Combo or Special Attacks. These are devastating, and can mean the difference between winning and losing a battle.