I will be reviewing this one a little different than how I usually do, since this is just an arcade compilation as opposed to a fully fleshed story release.
The visuals are fantastic, they did a good job with the conversions keeping HDTV screens in mind. With choices of native with borders, zoomed with borders, and fullscreen (it does stretch it a bit) it gives a decent amount of choices for how you want to play. Unfortunately the problems also start in the visuals too. The screen filters do not work as intended, with monitor and CRT filters creating a murky or blurry mess and sometimes the video driver used to drive the (I assume) emulator they designed for the pack crashing and forcing you to restart the game fairly often, it can kill a fun game session as you switch between titles.
The sound is great. All of the titles in the pack feel like they sound 1:1 in terms of replication, but I am also not an arcade hobbyist, so someone with a more refined ear might think differently. Things blip and bloop as they should, guns go bang, and barrels go boom to cartoonish and comedic effect. Psycho Soldier has a pretty good soundtrack (a real vocal track on an arcade game!) if you play the Japanese version. The English singer was a tad lacking. But everything feels just like it should.
There is a lot of variety in this pack. With around 30 games, you would be hard pressed not to find something to latch on to. You have your sidescrollers, top down shooters, and a few experimental games in there like an RPG called Crystalis. There is even a guncon game called Beast Busters that is really fun but really needs an actual light gun of some kind to play as it would be impossible to beat if you didn't have infinite lives. The only issue with the games is occasionally your input can freeze. You will be moving or pressing an action button and they will do nothing but go in that direction or keep doing that action, not listening to any other input. Unfortunately, the only way to fix this issue is again to do a hard reset on the game, which is another issue I hope they patch.
Tons of it here. I spent hours playing Athena, Beast Busters, and Munch Mobile. There is so many games on offer that I just kept coming back to play when I was done playing my much more complicated or in-depth games. And that is what SNK is good at, designing fun pick up and play games.
Additionally, the bonus features menu with little bios on all of their games and such had me occupied for an hour or so as well.
There is word of more games being released as content for the pack as well, so that should add even more play to the set.
Every game has its own controls, but as they are arcade games they are super easy to just jump into and play. And if you ever need to know any inputs the controls are always labeled right in the pause menu. Easy access and I like it.
But as these were all designed as quarter eaters. get ready to be hitting that continue button over and over and over, just a design from another age and it adds to the charm.
The flaws stand out pretty bad in this one but could be easily patched. And they do not break the game as much as just stop your experience momentarily. If you loved the days of the crowded arcades, scrounging for quarters, and beating those high scores. I would give this a try.