The console scene in the early 90s was dominated by the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, however there was another, less popular, console out there by the name of Neo Geo. The biggest problem with the console was that it was very expensive compared to the Genesis and Super Nintendo. The only way most people got to play Neo Geo games was by going to the arcade. For its time Neo Geo games were graphically superior to the Sega and Nintendo systems and the Neo Geo arcade versions were even better yet.


SNK has decided to released 16 of their classic Neo Geo based games on one disc. The included games offer a wide range of games from fighting, to sports, to action and even a side scrolling space shooter. The PS2 has seen a lot of video game compilations released, so is SNK Arcade Classics: Volume 1 worth the $19.99 you will spend on it when there are so many other compilation choices out there? Lets take a look.

It’s hard to grade the visuals for a PS2 game comprised of 16 games that were released in the early 90s. All of these games looked spectacular by the standards in 1992. Today they look exactly like 15 year old arcade games.


The emulation of the games was pulled off fairly well, all of the games look clear and don

The sound emulation is handled very well. The sounds themselves are clear and free from static and other interference. Once you get into the games I recommend cranking the sound up because it can take you back to the days when arcades were loud and filled with people playing games. I was especially giddy while playing Baseball Stars 2, because the sound track had clearly been designed for loud one-liners often heard in the arcade. Don

Most of the games in the collection require the use of three buttons at most and you have your choice of using either the directional keypad or the analog stick for character movement. I found myself switching back and forth from the directional keypad and analog stick depending on what game I was playing.


All of the games were very responsive to the buttons and I never had trouble figuring out the control scheme within a couple of minutes of playtime. It also helps that the loading screen maps out the buttons for you to look at while each game is loading.



 



 

With 16 games to choose from you have a mixed bag gameplay wise, the disc offers the following games all unlocked from the get go:



  • Art of Fighting

  • Baseball Stars 2

  • Burning Fight

  • Fatal Fury

  • KOF 94

  • King of the Monsters

  • Last Resort

  • Magician Lord

  • Metal Slug

  • Neo Turf Masters

  • Samurai Showdown

  • Sengoku

  • Shock Troopers

  • Super Sidekicks 3

  • Top Hunter

  • World Heroes

The first thing you will notice about the list is that there are a lot of fighting game offered on the disc. The standouts in the bunch are King Of Fighters 94 and King of the Monsters. Both games are a lot of fun with a friend. King of the Monsters reminds me a lot of what an early Smash Brothers game would have been like.


SNK Arcade Classics: Volume 1 offers three sports games. Baseball Stars 2 is a fun arcade style baseball game that is high on flash and action. Neo Turf Masters is a golf game that plays a lot like most other golf games from the early 90s. Super Sidekicks 3 is a soccer game that is a fun multiplayer diversion.


There are a couple of games that play a lot like the Streets of Fury and Final Fight series. As well as a couple of platforming games that most people have probably never played, including Magician Lord and Top Hunter.


Last Resort is included on the disc and it was a surprising game for me because I had never heard of it prior to playing the SNK Arcade Classics: Volume 1 and it was actually pretty fun. Last Resort is a side scrolling space shooter much like the R-Type series. The game is extremely challenging and will push the skills of most gamers.


The best game in the collection is Metal Slug. The Metal Slug series has seen several sequels and has been released on a couple of different compilation discs. The game is a lot like the Contra series, but the graphics are more cartoonish and the game has a good sense of humor about itself that will leave you smiling as you set about shooting everything in sight.


While most of the games are difficult and deaths come fairly easily SNK has included unlimited continues for all of the games. This makes it much easier to enjoy the games and play all the way through them.

SNK Arcade Classics: Volume 1 features a total of 16 games with a wide range of game types. Most gamers will be able to find at least two or three games that they enjoy on the disc. For those people out there who are fans of arcade games SNK Arcade Classics: Volume 1 is a must buy. At $19.99 it won

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