Before I start let's get this straight: CvS is a great game, and gives you plenty of bang for your buck, despite what may seem like an overwhelming list of cons. With that off my chest, here we go to the graphics. Now here's a message to both Capcom and SNK: with the current generation of hardware, MAKE THE TRANSITION TO HIGH-RES! I love 2-D as much as the next guy, hell even more, but it's time to bump up the resolution on the characters. When the stages are more detailed than the characters in a fighting game, you know something is wrong. As Guilty Gear X has shown, high-resolution 2-D fighting games are possible, and much more impressive. The resolution on the characters has barely changed since the Genesis, and is identical to that on a Saturn. Sure, this doesn't hurt the game, but it could help it a lot.
The next big problem with CvS is the ratio system. The idea itself is great, allowing you to tailor your team to your personal preferences, but many of the characters are poorly classified. Dhalsim should be a ratio two fighter, not a puny one. Also Iori is far over-rated, and should be a one. There are quite a few poor classifications, not all are very noticeable, but this does detract quite a bit from the gameplay. Luckily, there is a solution as there is one cheat you can unlock that allows you to edit these stats, but Capcom should have paid a little more attention to this. Also, some characters are missing, and while I personally don't mind this some hardcore Street Fighter or King of Fighters fans will be pissed.
Despite the abundance of flash and fireworks, Capcom vs. SNK is not a novelty fighter as the other Vs. games.
Come to think of it, when it comes to fans being pissed some SNK fans will be furious. All the SNK characters have less moves than before so that they wouldn't have any advantage over their Capcom bretheren. This unfairly balances the game in Capcom's favor since a good bit of the SNK crew is too crippled to use their best techniques and play like the fighters they should be. Even though the four button setup may be annoying to Street Fighter fans, they at least still have access to their middle attacks depending on which way the D-pad is pressed with unleashing a strong attack. Handicapping the SNK cast, whether intentional or otherwise, is really inexcusable. If you're expecting to get a full, accurate merger of Street Fighter and King of Fighters, this isn't it.
A small note on the side is that Capcom vs. SNK can be a bit unforgiving to the mainstream gamer. Button mashing, though possible, will get you nowhere as this game requires very precise control. Anybody who enjoys fighting games and plays them often will be fine, but those less avid among us may find CvS boring. True, this doesn't detract whatsoever from the game when it comes to the rest of us, and isn't a bad thing, I just believed it would be worth mentioning. This probably wouldn't be the best game to buy for eight-year-old Johnny this Christmas.
The final problem with CvS is that sometimes I find it to be a tad repetitive. I understand that fighting games aren't usually filled to the brim with variety, there is a bit of a problem here. The control scheme, to be frank, borders on the mundane. Sure, every move may look different, but in reality many of them not only require the same button presses to perform, but also have the exact same effect.
Despite my criticism, Capcom vs SNK is a great 2-D fighter, one I'd call the best 2-D fighter in the Dreamcast library. Watch out though: if you're looking for an accurate match-up between the two companies, forget it. For the rest of us though, Capcom just delivers some good, old-school 2-D fighting action, and we all need some of that.