SNK Retro Compilation Roundup • Page 2

World Heroes, Fatal Fury, SNK Arcade Classics.  

SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1

We've saved this until last because it's got sixteen games in it and we wanted to put them in a list. This will make the page layout go wonky, so we thought we'd hide it until now:

  • Art of Fighting
  • Baseball Stars 2
  • Burning Fight
  • Fatal Fury
  • King of the Monsters
  • Last Resort
  • Magician Lord
  • Metal Slug
  • Neo Turf Masters
  • Samurai Shodown
  • Sengoku
  • Shock Troopers
  • Super Sidekicks 3
  • The King of Fighters '94
  • Top Hunter
  • World Heroes

Since you're an astute EG Retro superhero, you've undoubtedly noticed that this list has Fatal Fury and World Heroes on it, and you're wondering if this is yet another reason to pass over the Battle Archives and Heroes Anthology. Well, yes, probably, although there are small but noticeable differences in playing speed and there's a bit of slowdown in these versions.

Arcade Classics has some top notch titles on there, with this superb R-Type clone - Last Resort - being a particular Eurogamer favourite.

This dragging of programming heels seems to run to the menu system, too, which takes its merry time switching between games - probably comparable to pulling a cartridge in a Neo Geo, putting it away and stuffing in the next one. But there's something about playing arcade games that demands immediacy, and unreasonable or not, it gets right up your gaming nose when it's not there.

As steady as it might be in loading, however, getting into games like Last Resort (an excellent R-Type clone) and King of Monsters (not unlike a free-roaming Rampage) helps you realise the depth of competency the Neo Geo really had. We've been inclined to remember it for fighting games, but Arcade Classics speaks to its greater versatility.

There's something of an achievement system built into the compilation too, with a host of unlockable content laced throughout from artwork and info to extra characters and special moves. The way it works might wind you up though. Extra content for Samurai Shodown, for example, has to be unlocked by finishing Burning Fight on a certain difficulty. You also have to question the price (again), although it's easier to let it go.

There are flaws, then, as there are with all these PS2 releases, but it's a promising enough start, and if this is a path SNK continues to walk we'll be there to meet it at the other end with cracked knuckles next time around.


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