PSP Video Game Review: SNK Arcade Classics Volume 1

For those who enjoyed the SNK arcade hits such as “Fatal Fury”, “King of the Monsters”, “Art of Fighting”, “World Heroes”, “Metal Slug” and “Samurai Showdown”, “SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1” features 16 games of popular arcade hits that will definitely satisfy true SNK fans!

TITLE: SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1


CONSOLE: Playstation 2

ESRB RATING: T – Teen (Alcohol Reference, Blood, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence)


This first collection of SNK’s all-time greatest hits brings you 16 arcade classics games on one disc!

Volume 1 features:

  1. Art of Fighting
  2. Baseball Stars 2
  3. Burning Fight
  4. Fatal Fury
  5. Kings of the Monsters
  6. Last Resort
  7. Magician Lord
  8. Metal Slug
  9. Neo Turf Masters
  10. Samurai Shodown
  11. Sengoku
  12. Shock Troopers
  13. Super Sidekicks 3
  14. The King of Fighters 94
  15. Top Hunter
  16. World Heroes

Once upon a time, way back in the early 1990’s, arcades were filled and packed with people wanting to be the best in “Street Fighter II” or “Mortal Kombat”. People would wait in line for almost an hour just to play and during that time, there were other games in the arcade to play while you wait.

For me, it was the SNK fighting video games and while everyone played and enjoyed the other fighting games, I focused a lot of my time on the SNK NEO-GEO related games and spent a lot of quarters in the arcade.

Well, here we are over 15 years later with “SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1” which features a total of 16 video games based on the actual arcade games.

Within the past year, there have been a good number of SNK collections and I have heard or read reviews from reviewers saying “wait for SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1”. First of all, that is NOT true!

It’s one thing to play your favorite fighting game, especially those that had console releases. But it’s a whole different story with SNK because it is based on the arcade releases.

Also, for those who were buying the SNK fighting collections, I would expect that those purchasing them, are those who have had played and enjoyed those games and were probably nostalgic like I was in owning those collections.

I look at this collection also as a way for those not familiar with SNK games, to receive a good introduction to play “Samurai Showdown”, “World Heroes” and “Art of Fighting”.

But also a collection where you don’t have to spend on money for eBay for the imports or originals because SNK plans to release them in the US. For me, if anything, just the fact that “King of Fighters 94” was included was more than enough reason for me to buy the collection.

The only thing though is that because these are arcade versions of the games, remember that arcade games were there to earn money and thus to keep people from plopping more quarters in the arcade game, that meant difficult challenges.

For SNK, difficulty and challenging is not just relegated to the bosses of the fighting games but for all of games released by the company.

And no, SNK Playmore did not dumb things down for this console release. SNK games have always never been easy in the arcade version and thus, I never expected it too be easy on console.

Fortunately, for gamers, no quarters are being spent to replay a game and the cost of this collection is quite cheap (I paid only $14.99).

One of the cool things about collections is that there are some incentives and SNK did include some interesting options. One benefit is that their is an inclusion of autosave for certain games, so you don’t have to start from the beginning.

At one point, I was getting frustrated with “Fatal Fury: King of Fighters”, that I played other games and when I came back to play, I was able to continue where I left off. So, that was a pretty cool addition. Although, that doesn’t happen on all games though.

And similar to other collections, by beating a game or accomplishing goals, you can unlock some goodies.

Earn ten medals and you unlock “World Heroes”. You can also earn medals to unlock videos, artwork, video and music. Also, movelists can be unlocked as well.

With that being said, my first game to take on was the 1991 arcade game “Fatal Fury: King of Fighters”. I’ve played this game so many times and played Terry and Andy Bogard for so many years, that I have my own strategy with them. But I was amazed of how challenging the opponents were that it was a bit frustrating. I put it on easy level after losing many times that I was surprised how hard it was. I was also upset that I was unable to pull of the moves as easily. Maybe it was a sign of the times for the type of game and its controls, not sure.

The next game is the 1992 space shooter “LAST RESORT”. What an insane game that is not too forgiving. I was a bit frustrated by how difficult the game was that I just turned off my PS2 machine.

I then played the 1992 game “Baseball Stars 2” and similar to another SNK favorite titled “Little League Baseball”, you can do so well but the opponents always find a way to come back. I played the game several times to be ahead in points but later to lose the lead by control issues. But the game was very fun and I figured, once I put more time to learn the mechanics, I could probably do much better in fielding.

I then went to the next sports game “THE NEXT GLORY: SUPER SIDEKICK 3” which is a soccer game featuring 64 Intl. teams. I would do so well the first round of the tournament and then losing to opponents the next round. I played this game over and over and as much fun as I had, I would rather be playing FIFA or Winning Eleven and have a better experience.

I then spent time playing the 1997 SNK game “Shock Troopers” and similar to “Metal Slug”, is definitely fun to play. Not easy and expect to go through many, many, many continues.

And I played several other fighting games that I enjoyed and after playing it for a day, all in all, I’m not disappointed.

I came into buying this game and knowing the difficult and challenges ahead. SNK games are like that and that is why it appeals to gamers who refuse defeat and learning the overall strategy to beat the game.

Graphic-wise, sure many people may have problems with playing an older game and its sprite graphics but for me, the graphics were what I remember from that time and I could imagine that the PSP version would look much better for a smaller screen.

As for audio, the games are old, so I was not expecting a lot. But playing “Fatal Fury: King of Fighters” and hearing the music based on the land of where the opponents are from, the music was pretty cool to listen to. I can’t comment if the music is the same as the exact arcade version.

As far as controls, I’m not sure if the experience would have been cooler if I used my joysticks but I just played them on a PS2 controller and I had some control issues for some games.

For example, “Baseball Stars 2″… I would try to catch a pop fly but then the ball would go elsewhere. I never had this problem before fielding or catching a pop fly. So, having this type of problem was a bit frustrating.

But so far, I’ve played a good number of the games and had a great time playing them, it’s just that the challenges were frustrating. But that was the point of learning the game, playing it over and over and finding ways to beat it.

So, no surprises on difficulty but for others, it might be too difficult.

As a collection, you can’t beat 16 games for $14.99. Granted, other collections on the consoles and portable devices have far more games included but for those who are familiar with SNK or NEO-GEO games at all, the games were expensive to begin with and to collect these games now, are still expensive. So, $14.99 for 16 games is cool with me!

For $14.99, you really can’t go wrong with a collection that features sixteen classic SNK arcade games. Although, I do question the $29.99 pricing for the PSP version (but still, the portability of playing these games would be fun, although exact precision on fighting with a nub stick, not sure how that would be).

For me, I love SNK games, especially the fighting games. So, I’m glad to know that SNK Playmore is releasing these collections. But the question is if most would enjoy those games because of the sheer difficulty of them.

Even with the difficult challenge, I could only imagine how many quarters were spent by gamers trying to beat the game on the arcades. Insane!

But I did have fun playing many of the games so far, it’s just beating them is the frustrating part.

All in all, it’s a pretty cool collection worth the $14.99 and I can’t wait for volume 2!

+ 16 Classic SNK arcade games in one collection

+ Only $14.99

+ Unlike the arcade, you can set difficulty levels. Also, some games you can save and also medals that you can win to unlock goodies

+ The thrill of beating a hard and challenging game

– The sense of impossibility of a frustratingly hard and challenging game

– Compared to other collections, there are less games on SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1

– Not for those who don’t like older fighting games, picky about graphics and those looking for easy challenges

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