SNK Arcade Classics vol.1 (PS2)

I hit it Old Skool, apparently with my review of a medley of Neo Geo games all lovingly compiled onto the PS2 in DVD discy format.
Read all about it at Square Go.

SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1

SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1

Did you own a Neo Geo? No? Know anyone who did? Unlikely. There was a time when it was seriously considered to be one of the great consoles. The Neo Geo was released in 1990—the same year as the Super Nintendo Entertainment System—and was a home arcade game machine. For the next 14 years, developers churned out New Geo games. Sadly it was only huge in Japan, and despite creating a shedload of classics, they’re pretty rare today.

For all these reasons, it’s an absolute dream to get many of these classic games on a single PS2 release, including all the genres that made Japanese developer SNK great.

Some of the games have come out as downloads on the latest Gen consoles, but they’ve been pricey for what you get. By comparison, this neat little package has enough entertainment at a relatively cheap price that should suit any fan of old school fun. The epochal fighter games make up the largest chunk, with the classic Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting included to sate anyone’s bone-cracking needs. There are platformers and sports games, as well as the scrolling undead-killer Sengoku and the timeless Metal Slug.

Each one of the 16 titles released is a faithfully ported version of the original arcade releases. This version has a new interface that you can easily use to navigate through the games, even if it does get a bit slow at times.  In addition, each game comes with a load of unlockable content, artwork, and in some cases, even complete games. World Heroes can only be opened by winning medals, much like the XBox Live Arcade version. Sometimes, you even have to complete one game to unlock stuff in another.  This is a clever, if slightly underhanded way to make players try out all the titles.

Despite the good sides of the package there is one noticeable problem: the occasional slowdown when playing. Presumably, this is because it’s an adaptation from another console, but it’s a pity that the games which ran so well on the arcade are let down by superior technology.  In any case, one wonders how long it’ll be before Volume 2 comes along, and if it will manage to bring something new. If a second installment can live up to this package, rest assured it will be another slice of fried gold for retro-fans to eat up.


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