SNK 40th Anniversary Collection review for Xbox One, PS4, Switch

Platform: Xbox One
Also On: PS4, Switch, PC
Publisher: Other Ocean
Developer: Digital Eclipse
Medium: Digital/Disc
Players: 1-2
Online: Yes

SNK has been a staple in Arcades and home consoles across Japan and the USA since the Early 1980’s. Fans today know them from such hits like The King of Fighters, Metal Slug and even games like Windjammers and Fatal Fury are all SNK classics! This year marks the 40th anniversary of the arcade giant and they are celebrating with a fantastic collection of games from their past. You won’t find their standard Fighting Game series, or anything that has been on other compilations. This is a celebration of SNK’s past dominance in arcades and consoles around the world.

SNK 40th Anniversary Collection contains over 25 games from SNK’s historic past. Each game is faithfully ported to look, feel and play just like the original game. A fantastic selection of hits including, Vanguard, Psycho Soldier, Ikari Warriors and exclusive to the Xbox One version, Baseball Stars, are ready to keep you glued to your TV for a long time! If you are unsure how to play a particular game, there is a handy “watch” feature where you can view a video of the game being played. The best part about this feature is that once you got the hang of it, you can actually pause the video and start playing from that point in the game. It’s like you have an instructor showing you the basics and then handing the control to you. I’ve used this feature many times as there are a few games on here that are a little before my time. Its a super awesome feature that I would love to see in other classic game compilations.

Some of the titles such as P.O.W. and Athena (just to name a few) also contain the home console versions of the game, so you can experience the differences from their Arcade Counterparts. In some cases, things were drastically changed or completely redesigned to be playable on the home consoles of that era. Take for example, Ikari Warriors, where the arcade version used a dial type controller to aim your gun. For the home market, they had to completely redesign this due to the control scheme of the original NES, thus making a completely different play experience.

Once you are done with the actual games, you can explore a visual history of SNK in the the Museum Section. this is a very detailed history, including screenshots, manuals and even arcade flyers of SNK’s classics. I usually don’t spent too much time with features like this, but this one, however, was very fascinating. I learned about games I’ve never heard of, and learned more about games I had. The Museum also has a great soundtrack option that gives you access to many of the games soundtracks. Listening to some of that music really brought back memories of classic arcades for me.

This collection was first released on the Nintendo Switch but the emulation wasn’t perfect. Some screen shimmering and stutters were noticeable, but really didn’t diminish the overall fun factor. I am pleased to say that these issues seem to be fixed (or at least minimized) on the Xbox One version. Games also seem to load a bit quicker and look brighter overall.

Controlwise, you have many options to fit your play style. The best example of this would have to be the Arcade Ikari Warriors, which originally used that dial control I mentioned. You can set it up you you can use the Left Analog for movement and the Right Analog for Aiming, while using the L and R triggers for the Gun and grenades. If this is too difficult, you can set the aiming and movement to the stick, making it more like the Home Console version. No matter how you set it up, every game controls like a dream, and you can only blame losing all your lives on your own ability.

With the selection of games you get, the fine emulation, detailed museum and the great control options you really cannot go wrong with this 40th Anniversary Collection. What a fantastic way to celebrate this iconic company and the many great games that they produced. Some games I’ve never heard of previously, and after “discovering” them here, I can’t stop playing them! You also cannot beat the $39.99 price tag, that’s an absolute steal! I highly recommend picking this collection up if you are a fan of classic games, or just gaming in general. You can also get this on The Switch (as mentioned earlier), and the PlayStation 4 if you have either of those systems. This might be the best classic game compilation I’ve played in a long time.

Note: Other Ocean provided us with an SNK 40th Anniversary Collection Xbox One code for review purposes.

Grade: A+