Back at the turn of the millennium, Capcom and SNK came together for what was then an unprecedented collaboration. Under the deal, both companies would produce a number of crossover fighting games: the Capcom vs. SNK and SNK vs. Capcom titles.
The crossover projects looked like a natural fit on paper, yet in terms of aesthetics, some work needed to be done. While both companies had started out using the typical art style seen in most early ’90s games, but by end of the decade, both had developed different distinct looks.
Capcom, after the success of Street Fighter: The Animated Movie, had developed a flatter, more anime-styled look for the Street Fighter Alpha and Street Fighter III games. SNK on the other hand, having to work with the limitations of the aging NEO GEO hardware, went with further evolution of the old early-’90s style, featuring more detailed shading than their counterparts at Capcom. This also applied to their promotional art, with the former’s artwork looking more stylized and anime-esque than the latter’s more realistic style.
All of this meant that when it came to to do their crossovers, each company had to redo the other sprites, or even create them from scratch to match their own artstyles. This is something we can clearly see in the videos below from VCDECIDE, which puts the artwork of each company side-by-side.
As the sprite comparison illustrates, in addition to the differences in shading, each company’s interpretations of the other’s characters also received subtle differences in terms of detail and animation. The result is that each company’s take on the other’s characters can clearly be identified as their own.
Meanwhile, each company’s artists also went on to put their own stamp on their counterparts’ work. Toshiaki “Shinkiro” Mori did his first official work on Capcom characters in these games (before eventually jumping ship to said company). Meanwhile Kinu Nishimura and Daigo Ikeno did their own takes on SNK’s characters.