As a big fan of many Neo Geo games, it’s great to see some compilations coming out. I spent many hours on Neo Geo machines in the arcades and, currently, I enjoy them via emulation. However, for the many without a Neo Geo machine or the desire/ability to emulate, the SNK Classics are a big step in the right direction.
Volume 1 brings you 16 games:
- Art of Fighting
- Baseball Stars 2
- Burning Fight
- Fatal Fury
- King of Monsters
- Last Resort
- Magician Lord
- Metal Slug
- Neo Turf Masters
- Samurai Shodown
- Shock Troopers
- Super Sidekicks 3: The Next Glory
- The King of Fighters ’94
- Top Hunter
- World Heroes
With the preview build I have, pretty much everything was accessible and nearly all the games ran as well as I remember their arcade counterparts. Only one game seemed to run a bit slow and that’s Samurai Shodown. As this is an early build, you can figure on some more optimization being done.
The new medals system is a great addition. It’s basically the same as the Xbox 360 achievement system – you complete certain tasks to unlock bonuses such as artwork, video clips, move lists, and sounds. It’s nice to see that each game was given this slight make-over and the awards are decent enough to warrant going through each task.
My only concerns are:
World Heroes 1 is on this compilation. Why? There is a World Heroes Anthology that contains all four World Heroes games, so this doesn’t make too much sense.
- The selection of games is somewhat random. It’s a bit odd to see Baseball Stars 2 and Super Sidekicks 3, since the rest of the games on here are the first in their respective series, when applicable. I was hoping to see compilations based on release dates. It would be cool to see a volume of early Neo Geo games, another with later games, then yet another with ‘newer’ games, or perhaps collections based of genre. As it is, some fans may be a bit put off by the somewhat random assortment.
- Pixelation – It’s definitely there and is understandable. However, it would be nice if an option existed to smooth out all the pixels. I don’t consider this a major issue.
If you are a Neo Geo fan, you’ll definitely want to keep an eye out on the SNK Classics. Keep checking in for a review of the final version.