While not on the level of a gaming company like Sega or CaPCom, SNK has a nice collection of older games in their own right. With titles like Metal Slug and King of Fighters 94, SNK Arcade Classics Volume1 has just enough quality to slightly elevate it above mediocre. SNK Arcade Classics Volume1 isn’t better than something like Sega Classics Collection or CaPCom Classics Collection Volume 1 and 2, but it is better than a game like Namco Museum.
Some games in this SNK collection actually still play quite well now. Titles like Shock Troopers, King of Fighters 94, Baseball Stars 2 (when it’s not being cheap), Metal Slug, and Last Resort hold up great against the test of time and technology. Other games like Samurai Showdown, and Sengoku are just average, while everything else is pretty much a pass.
Gameplay is hit-and-miss. If you play SNK Arcade Classics Volume1 on the Wii do not play with the Wii remote. The control schemes for fighting games in particular are very awkward and difficult to get used to. Another problem I had was SNK making the odd choice to unlock move lists in games. This is mind boggling to say the least. To unlock a list of moves in one game you may have to complete a “goal” from another game, this title’s built in version of Achievement Points. I would guess someone thought it was a bright idea to make one game unlock some key piece of information in another game, but they’d be wrong. When I choose to play a fighting game I don’t want to have to play a totally unrelated side-scrolling shooter in order to know the moves in the fighting game. This misguided strategy of trying to get me interested in the other games just backfires and irritates me to the point of wanting to take the disc out of my Wii and use it as a coaster.
The audio category fairs the worst. The sound effects and music just don’t compare to today’s standards. Voices are garbled, effects are generic, and the music sounds like it was made with a child’s old busted electronic keyboard. Yes, this is because these are older titles, but the quality of sound its as high as I would like it to be.
Replayablity is rather high with the better games in the collection. If you buy or preferably rent SNK Arcade Classics Volume1, you should be able to find something you like no matter if you’re revisiting an old favorite or if you’re like me and trying most of the games for the first time. Games such as Top Hunter and King of the Monsters are forgettable, but games like Shock Troopers, Baseball Stars 2 are definitely worthy of repeat visits.
If you’ve already played the better volumes of older games from other game companies, giving SNK Arcade Classics Volume 1 a weekend rental is a good way to find some hidden gems of years past. None of the games are of Street Fighter II or Golden Axe quality, but that shouldn’t discourage you from seeing what SNK has to offer, you might be surprised.
Click here to read our review of the PS2 version of this SNK compilation.