SNK 40th Anniversary Collection Review
Release Date: November 13, 2018
Developer: Digital Eclipse
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Like many, I grew up in the era of arcades. There were home consoles of course, but you really wanted to spend time in the arcades with friends. Playing together, beating each other’s high scores or pounding on each other in a fighting game. Those days are long gone, but recently arcade and retro games have been making a comeback. There are NES/SNES Classic, the One Up Arcade Machines and Sega collections just to name a few, but now we also have the SNK 40th Anniversary Collection by Digital Eclipse and published by NIS.
This isn’t a collection of Neo-Geo games that has been released on the Nintendo e-shop. This is a collection of some of SNK’s hits that spans from 1978-1990. 13 games are available in the collection, with 9 more being added as a patch and 2 as free DLC. You can select between the US or Japan version, as well as the home console version, if the game had one. For most gamers, these games will be more a nostalgic collection to play than anything else. There are top down shooters like Ikari Warriors that would be called twin stick shooters now, beat’em ups like POW and even shooters like Prehistoric Isle. Crystalis, originally on the NES, is included in the collection and is a great standout game that is deep and fun to play. As with any collection, there are features to help you along like a rewind feature, as well as difficulty adjustment and you can up the available lives. There is a watch mode where you start the game and watch the AI play through the game.
Probably the best feature of this collection is the Museum mode that includes an interactive SNK Complete Works 1978-1990 timeline that walks you through all the key releases of the company’s first 12 years. The guided tour includes information, screenshots, and artwork for over 70 games, many of them obscure works that never made it out of Japan. Included is art work and marquee art, as well as complete soundtracks to all the games.
Overall, I can't say anything bad about this game. If you are a SNK fan or a fan of arcade games it’s a no brainer. For anyone who has an interest in game preservation, this is an excellent collection to own just for the museum mode.
Rewind feature and save states
Museum mode is the hidden gem of the collection
Not all games hold up well
Some games can be difficult solo
Thanks to NIS for providing a code for review