Review: SNK Arcade Classics Vol 1

SNK Arcade Collection Vol 1The important thing I needed to remember while playing the titles in the SNK Arcade Classics Vol 1 collection is that they were first and foremost arcade games.  The fighting games are purely quick brawls, the adventuresome titles are very short in length, and the sports titles are fairly simple in their controls.  That said, I had a great time playing a group of NEOGEO games I had never experienced before.  Unfortunately, the menu system is a bit clunky since it didn’t seem to recognize the Classic Controller automatically (like pretty much every Wii game).  I didn’t think the medal achievement system would be that interesting to me, but it was always neat to see a medal show up at the bottom of the screen when you accomplished something.  It’s also nice for some games (like Metal Slug) that the system would automatically set resume points for you to come back and play after you die.  It sure was fun to play some of these games and the $30 price tag is definitely worth it for some games like Shock Troopers, Metal Slug, and World Heroes.  (Of note, you can find this same collection online at a price of $15 for the PS2 version.)   It’s a great treat when you have a friend to play these games; highly suggested if you and a room mate want to spend a night blasting bad guys in multiplayer.  Read on past the break for my take on each title.
Easily the trippiest of all the games in this collection.  There were some bizarre bosses and quirky power-ups.  Fun game, if for any reason but the randomness of it all.

Baseball Stars 2
Very arcadey with funny animations and power up ability when batting.  Good for a laugh for nine innings.

World Heroes (Unlockable)
This was my favorite of the many fighting games featured in the collection.

Magician Lord
You’re a wizard who can transform into a variety of characters like a ninja, dragon warrior, samurai, etc.  Not a bad title in its day as a NEOGEO launch title, but didn’t hold my attention for long.

Fatal Fury
One of many fighting based games in this collection.

The King of Fighters ’94
My favorite fighter game has always been Street Fighter II.  The fighting games from SNK seem to take a less is more approach where you might not make as many hits, but when you do they count.  More tactical than the usual button mashers.  The neat aspect of this game was the three-character teams.

Art of Fighting
Same comments apply to this games as do the other fighting games.

King of the Monsters
This one was a bit different than the other fighters.  I’m always a fan of giant monster movies and this one didn’t disappoint.

Last Resort
This one was a surprise since it’s completely unlike all the other games.  It’s a side-scrolling shooter, sort of like R-Type.  Seemed pretty tough to me in the early levels, so I backed off since I’ve played plenty of other more interesting shooters.

Metal Slug
I had never played any Metal Slug games before, but now I’m a fan.  This game was the first one I played in this collection and was easily my favorite.  Having an endless supply of virtual quarters made it easy for me to keep blasting away until I defeated the final boss.

Neo Turf Masters
I guess before Golden Tee, this is how you’d play golf in an arcade.  Not bad and the character art is actually rather funny.

Samurai Showdown
Another fighter and I can see why it’s a big cult hit.

Burning Fight
Fairly similar to Double Dragon, but presented with quite a bit of graphical polish.

Shock Troopers
The other game that I really enjoyed.  This one is awesome and is sadly unavailable on Virtual Console (so far).  You get the option to play as a single character or as a team of three.  The characters all have unique and humorous traits.  I quickly blasted through this game in a little over an hour and I would definitely play it again.

Super Sidekicks 3
Arcade soccer that really didn’t work for me.

Top Hunter: Roddy & Cathy
Another side scrolling adventure fighter.  You have to jump from one path to another which is a weird game mechanic, but made for some interesting fighting tactics.  Not bad, but I grew tired of it quickly.

Overall score for the collection:  Three out of four stars