SNK Arcade Classics: Volume 1 Review
It's always amazing to me that game technology constantly advances to the point where games that played on systems that were considered state of the art in their day can be packed together into a single collection for play on today's systems. Take SDK Arcade Classics Volume 1, for example. You get sixteen games that used to require an arcade cabinet or a really expensive home system to run crammed onto a little UMD for portable play. As with most collections of classic titles some of the sixteen have not aged very well, but there are a few gems included here and a few lesser known games awaiting discovery.
The sixteen titles included in Arcade Classics are: Art of Fighting, Baseball Stars 2, Burning Fight, Fatal Fury, King of the Monsters, Last Resort, Magician Lord, Metal Slug, Neo Turf Masters, Samurai Showdown, Sengoku, Shock Troopers, Super Sidekicks 3, The King of Fighters '94, Top Hunter, and World Heroes. The games are accessed via a game browsing menu that gives you a little info on each game such as genre, number of players, and original release year. While a variety of genres is represented here the library definitely tilts towards fighting games. I'm not a big fan of fighters myself, but I still found fun to be had with games like King of the Monsters. Since all of these titles were available in arcades the gameplay lends itself well to portable gaming. On the downside this also means that the games were designed to eat quarters, meaning that they can be difficult and are all pretty short. Metal Slug is a lot of fun, but it's impossible to get very far in the game without using continues - and if you do use them you'll reach the end of the game in one short gaming session. Outside of the inherent gameplay issues there are a couple of other things that help to take the luster off of this game collection. The first is the load times, which seem excessive for older arcade titles. The second is that the Ad Hoc multiplayer has lag issues which impact your enjoyment of the games. With all of the fighters here and arcade sports games like Baseball Stars 2 multiplayer play should be a big part of the title's value, but the technical issues torpedo this aspect of the collection. Lastly, the developers have made a strange decision regarding the game's unlock reward system in which you must play one game to unlock rewards for another. This is an issue because that content can include moves lists for game characters. It's questionable enough that moves lists should be locked in the first place, but just plain odd that you need to play another game to get that information.
If you're a fan of SNK games, it will probably be easy for you to look past the game's quirks and shortcomings. You get a lot of games for your money here. However, if you have no emotional ties to the games, the simplistic by today's standards gameplay and archaic graphics will probably keep you from spending too much time with Arcade Classics. Sixteen games on one disc is not much of a bargain if none of the games are all that appealing to you.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 68%. SNK fans will enjoy the stroll down memory lane, but others should stick to the classics that they already know and love.