SNK Arcade Classics: Volume 1 Review

A few months ago, SNK Arcade Classics Volume 1 was released on PS2 and PSP. SNK has now released this classic game collection for the Wii console and it comes to us with the usual Wii controls and a slight price increase ($10) that is expected on the Wii console. Much like how the PS2 had some of these classic games already released in other collections, the Wii has some of the games available in its online Virtual Console via the Wii Shop Channel store, so not all of these games are new for Wii owners either. All of them together for the price of $30 is still a better deal than having to dish out 900 points each for the Wii Virtual Console versions if you plan to buy all the ones available on the Wii Shop Channel however.

SNK Arcade Classics still has all the games that were released for the PS2 version: Art of Fighting, Baseball Star 2, Burning Fight, Fatal Fury, King of the Monsters, Last Resort, Magician Lord, Metal Slug, Neo Turf Masters, Samurai Showdown, Sengoku, Shock Troopers, The Next Glory, The King of Fighters '94, Top Hunters and World Heroes. If you are interested in my opinions of the full game lineup then be sure to check out my SNK Arcade Classics PS2 review since my thoughts still remain the same with this version.

The collection still takes advantage of the Goals system in which certain tasks performed in each game will unlock extra content under the main menu. Most extra content comes in the form of move lists (for the fighters), artwork and music tracks. World Heroes is the only game that must be unlocked through earning a certain number of medals. Much like Xbox 360 achievements, the Goals system gives the player something extra to strive for in each game besides a simple playthrough.

Each game in the Wii version may be played with the Wii remote and nunchuk setup. You can choose to play games with the remote and nunchuk together or they can be played with the remote by itself. Games may also be played with a Gamecube controller or the Wii classic controller. Control options may be changed through the main menu in each game and they can be set up to where each game shares the same control setup. Normally a game that is released on Wii has some type of motion controls that may be used, but this game does not carry any. The motion controls that were used in Metal Slug Anthology for the original Metal Slug are no longer an option. Playing some of the games with the remote and nunchuk setup works fairly well, but most SNK fighting fans will likely prefer to use the classic controller or Gamecube controller to play the fighting games included therein. Even without the motion controls, this version has the best control options out of the three versions that are available thanks to numerous control setups.

One might think that SNK Playmore simply ported the PS2 version over to the Wii version with a simple implementation of Wii controls, but that is not the case here and the Wii benefits strongly from that fact. The Wii version's games are much better emulated and play noticeably better in the process. Samurai Showdown no longer slows down in between hits, Sengoku controls much better, Metal Slug has much smoother animation and gameplay and King of Fighters '94 plays much faster without the addition of extra slowdown. These are only a few examples of the better emulation of the Wii version. Every game in this collection benefits a bit from running smoother. Some games appear to have additional sound effects that were not implemented from the original in the PS2 version. Even the main menu can be scrolled through faster on the Wii version.

As one might expect, the load times are basically cut in half from the Wii version when compared the PS2 version as well. If you are trying to decide between the PS2 version and the Wii version then I would recommend paying the extra $10 for the Wii version since the games are more enjoyable thanks to the better emulation. The Wii version is definitely the ultimate version for any SNK fan. Even though SNK Playmore did not add any extra motion controls to take advantage of the Wii controller, the control setup is still better than the other two versions and this version runs much smoother as well.

The Good:
+ Goals system places some drive into beating each game and performing certain tasks to score unlockables
+ Cleaner, less loading, less slowdown, few missing sound effects from PS2 version were added. It's an overall better emulated collection.
+ Overall good selection of control options

The Bad:
- No motion controls

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 72%. SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1 moves onto the Wii with some better emulation and control options over the latter two making it a slightly more enjoyable experience.


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