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SNK Arcade Classics: Vol. 1 (Wii) artwork

SNK Arcade Classics: Vol. 1 (Wii) review

"Just like a bag of pick n’ mix or a greatest hits compilation CD, you’re not going to like everything on SNK Arcade Classics Volume 1."

If you look back nostalgically on your childhood years spent dropping coins in the arcade, SNK Arcade Classics Volume 1 might be worth a punt. Sixteen titles from the early-to-mid nineties for a budget a price is an appealing proposition, but a fair few of them you might not remember (or care to play today).

Metal Slug will be the name that jumps out at most people, and it’s still a fantastic scrolling shooter. Updated versions appearing on recent line-ups have more bells and whistles, but the same satisfaction and notorious challenge synonymous with the name is still very much present here. Playing co-op Metal Slug with a buddy is probably the most fun you’ll have with this collection.

None of the remaining titles will be as universally enjoyed, but everyone should be able to find a few favourites. There are a couple of decent fighters in Art of Fighting and Fatal Fury, and sports fans are covered with the particularly charming trio of Baseball Stars 2, Neo Turf Masters, and Super Sidekicks 3: The Next Glory (to clarify, the latter two are golf and soccer). Last Resort is a cool (and very challenging) side-scrolling shooter in the style of R-Type, but know that you can play with infinite continues for all the games. And for the record, the remainder of the collection consists of…

Burning Fight, King of Fighters ’94 (a pair of beat ‘em ups), King of the Monsters (wrestling with giant monsters), Magician Lord (fantasy platforming), Samurai Showdown (sword slinging fighter), Sengoku (yet another beat ‘em up), Shock Troopers (run ‘n gun action), Top Hunter (more platforming), and World Heroes (another fighter for good measure). As you can see there is an overbalance of fighting games, which means you’ll probably stick to the one or two you like most.

The full range of controller options is available for every title, but the implementation is very clunky. You need to select which input device you’re using for each individual game; while this may be less of a bother for people who like different controllers for different games, it’s a bit puzzling why the game doesn’t just recognise which controller type is plugged in. Continuing with questionable design decisions, the medal system (inspired no doubt by achievement points and trophies) is a little bit odd. Achieving certain goals will net you bonuses like concept art and move-sets for the fighting games, but it’s all jumbled. Getting a medal in Metal Slug doesn’t mean you’ll be rewarded with a Metal Slug-related bonus.

Just like a bag of pick n’ mix or a greatest hits compilation CD, you’re not going to like everything on SNK Arcade Classics Volume 1. And when you consider that the majority are obscure early-to-mid nineties coin-eaters, you might not find a whole lot to get excited about. Much of the younger audience will have been too spoiled on the HD-visuals and complex designs of recent times to appreciate a lot of these games, but for those who can, there is potentially a lot of fun here.


PAJ89's avatar
Freelance review by Paul Josua (April 04, 2009)

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