Celebrating The Early Days of SNK

I got some new movies and video games to share with you all. I don’t have a whole lot of either on my wish list these days. It’s been a combination of having most of what I’ve wanted since I started collecting in 2004 and a lack of time to play what I already have. Regardless, I do get interested in some newer things these days.

One of those new things in a genre I quite enjoy is the compilation of older games. The SNK 40th Anniversary Collection that was originally released on the Nintendo Switch has now arrived on the PlayStation 4. What I like about this collection is that it forgoes the notion that it has to feature popular or well sold titles. While that’s all well and good, Digital Eclipse decided to spotlight the overlooked or forgotten games in SNK’s archives. Sure they don’t always play wonderfully, but these games are worth experiencing as more of a history lesson of SNK’s early days. I love that concept and bought it for that reason alone.

I also decided to get Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. It’s a rare used copy that I don’t bother with much as of recent. I bought it because I enjoyed Uncharted 4 well enough that I wouldn’t mind a little bit more of the same thing from two other characters.

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Now for the movies. I usually watch these ahead of time and only buy the ones I absolutely know I’ll watch again. This is the case with all four.

First up is the Blu-rays. The Founder is about exactly what you think it’s about by the look of the cover. Michael Keaton is amazing in this film and I completely recommend it. My Cousin Vinny features Joe Pesci in this comedy from 1992. I remembered it from back then, but didn’t think much of it. I finally watched it again a few weeks ago and I found it much more entertaining than I did as a 13-year old.

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Lastly are the DVDs. The WWE likes to mainly put content on this dated format over Blu-ray. It’s most likely because they just want you to subscribe to their network for today’s picture quality standards. The discs focus solely on NXT Takeover matches and doesn’t include any of the fantastic bouts from their weekly TV. This means it doesn’t have the amazing match between Ricochet and Pete Dunne for the North American and UK titles.

Gotti is a HBO film about mobster John Gotti from 1996. Excellent performances from Armand Assante and William Forsythe along with other actors from similar mafia movies round out the cast.

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Check back soon for a new episode of Space Suplex!

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X-Men & The Devil Inside

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Since my last blog post of almost a week ago I partook in playing quite the number of quick pick up and play games.

First up was the pinball game Devil’s Crush via the Virtual Console. It’s a bit more difficult to score high when you don’t know the exact rules of the game, but I’m slowly understanding them. My current best score is 11,436,200.

After a quick game of NBA Jam Tournament Edition on the SNES against Usagi704, who easily won, we played a number of matches over the last few days in Street Fighter II Turbo and Super SFII on the same system. I used an old ASCII controller which still works great except for the Start button. I get around that by flicking the slow switch on and off quickly. I thought our best matches were Usagi using Sagat vs. my Guile. He also gave me some excellent tips for using Vega which I was able to put to use right away.

However my favorite game of the week has to be when I bought the newly released X-Men arcade game from the PlayStation Store. This 6-player 1992 Konami beat-’em-up classic is a bit shallow when compared to other games at the time within the same genre, but it’s a bunch of fun when playing it with friends!

The X-Men game also comes with trophy support of which I was able to get all 12 in the matter of the first 24 hours. It’s easily finished (making for my 42nd game this year – full list) in around 25 minutes, but the whole playing with friends thing really makes the $10 price tag money well spent. If Konami plans to release more of their arcade games this way, I’m hopeful they’ll eventually make their 4-player G.I. Joe arcade game available.

Lastly I bought two games meant as gifts for my niece and nephew. The former will get Spyro: Season of Ice for GBA since I don’t know what games you get for girls. A collect-a-thon seems good enough.

The latter chose nothing over Sonic Rush last year, which was fine by me, but he didn’t need to whine about it like he did. Hopefully the GBA game Justice League Heroes: The Flash will go over better this time. However I will have my revenge. I’m planning on making him think he’s getting Sonic Rush again and inside will be this game instead. A hearty laugh it shall be indeed. I’m evil, I know.

Happy holidays!

Now Playing: April 2010

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Hey guys! Welcome back to another edition of my Now Playing feature. It returns from its January vacation to fill you in on what I’ve been up to as of more recently.

As you know, I’ve already finished Donkey Kong (WVC – NES), Klonoa 2 (PS2), Final Fight One (GBA), both games making up Final Fight: Double Impact (PSN), and Gungrave (PS2). That’s one more than the whole first quarter of 2010 combined. Well, now I can add two more to the list making it 13 total finished for this year.

Twisted Metal III was one of those two games. It’s as advertised in that it’s not as good as the previous game with lackluster arenas to battle in. However, overall I wasn’t that disappointed with it. It still had the fun I’d expect from a Twisted Metal game though I could do without the speed missiles. They’re weak and the only positive about them is that they move faster.

The last game beat was simply another version of Final Fight. This time it was on the PSP via Capcom Classic Collection Remixed which I happened to go through just yesterday. I also played a bit of the block breaking game Block Block and the shoot-’em-up Varth. The latter which had Ryu from Street Fighter II show up doing a Dragon Punch. That was pretty amusing.

The two unfinished games that I mentioned last week, Rage Racer and Ratchet: Deadlocked, will, at least for now, stay unfinished. I wasn’t getting into those games as I was hoping to. At least I was glad that the fortune cookie of Backloggery.com selected Sly 2: Band of Thieves. Now that’s a great game. I really like the structure of each mission divided into several smaller activities. The only problem is that the left and right panning of the camera is reversed from how I’d prefer it. Otherwise, the game is good so far with a great art style.

I’ll now end this blog post with my four recent purchases. You already know about Final Fight: Double Impact. I’m just making it a formal announcement. I also picked up a Classic Controller Pro (black) and locally found Super Mario Kart. SMK was a long time coming. I’m glad to have that one out of the way. It was one of those games I traded away many years ago.

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The final one I made this morning. I was going to get it at the same time as FFDI, but decided against it. I’m glad I did because Revenge of the Wounded Dragons was on sale at half price. I didn’t know about the $5 sale price until I watched DeVeAn’s current video blog. I snatched it up right away. :)

That’ll do it for me. I hope you guys got a kick out of it. Until next time!

Game Version Showdown

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Substance TV is doing a little giveaway this month with both versions of Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. To enter they simply want you to let them know what and why a certain version of a game, any game, is your favorite. Below are my responses.

Street Fighter Collection 2 vs. Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 1
Back on the PS1 and Saturn, Capcom released the first three versions of Street Fighter II in the form of Street Fighter Collection 2. These were arcade perfect outside of some loading that took place.

Seven years later these same versions were included in the first volume of Capcom Classics Collection. It even included the deluxe vs. mode from the previous collection.

Which do I prefer? I’d have to go with SFC2 for the sole reason of sound. In CCCV1 the sound seems an octave higher than normal which drove me crazy since I’m so used to how it originally sounded.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time
Despite the numerous changes in these two games, they really can be considered the same game. I like both for a number of reasons, but the simple addition of the run button made The Hyperstone Heist the more entertaining game of the two for me.

Main Event: Triple Threat Match!
Fatal Fury – Neo-Geo vs. Genesis vs. Super NES

Back in the day I, like a lot of people, couldn’t afford the costly Neo-Geo AES. So we were instead playing ports of SNK games that were pretty good, but still had their problems.

Since at that time all I had was a SNES, I was okay with that version until I saw the Genesis version. That version let you choose from any character in vs. mode where only player two was allowed to do so in the SNES version. An odd decision for the developers to make to be sure.

Another problem with the SNES version was the controls being too stiff. Pulling off special moves was one hell of a chore.

Of course the arcade perfection of the Neo-Geo version can’t be overlooked. I finally played it again last year on the PSP via SNK Arcade Classics Volume 1. The vs. mode in the original only allows for the main three characters to be chosen, but the controls were spot on and beating the game on every difficulty doesn’t hurt either.

The winner: Fatal Fury on Neo-Geo

Now Playing: April ’09

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Out of the 11 games I’ve played in the last 30 days, seven of them were finished. With those stats some people may think that I try to beat as many games as quickly as possible. I assure you that it’s definitely not my intention, though I do take advantage of it whenever possible. Here’s the list of those seven games.

* Street Fighter II (SNES) with Game Genie air moves as Zangief on level 8.
* OutRun (GEN) via emulation on Super Easy with score of 1,552,330.
* Metal Slug 3 via Metal Slug Anthology (PSP) on Normal with limited continues until final mission on Easy with unlimited continues.
* Viking: Battle for Asgard (PS3)
* Saints Row 2 (PS3)
* Captain Commando via Capcom Classics Collection Remix (PSP)
* Final Fight 3 (SNES)

Other games that I played briefly were Super Street Fighter II on the Genesis and Samurai Shodown II against Usagi, as you didn’t figure already.

I spent some time also playing The Ninja Warriors Again on the Super Famicom and the North American version via emulation. That’s one game that’s really fun and each of the three characters are unique in their movement, attacks, and special moves.

My main game currently is the one that was voted on more recently in Castlevania: Circle of the Moon. My character is at level 27 with 54.1% of the castle explored in 6 hours and 27 minutes of game time.

Before I forget, my Game of the Month was Saints Row 2. It’s just the right length with great things like online co-op and Steven Seagal style ponytails that make the game awesome on many levels.

My next game I plan to play as a supplement to Circle of the Moon will be the other big vote getter, Half-Life 2.

That about does it for me. Until next time, you guys take it easy. :)

Now Playing: July ’08

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I’m going to start off with my Game of the Month this time. It was the short, but oh-so-sweet God of War: Chains of Olympus. It only took me about 2-3 days to complete, but it’s still worth buying if you’re a fan of the series (as I am). As much as I like this game, I can’t recommend it even at $30 because of how short it is. However, at $20 or less it’s a better value.

Another great PSP game that should be played if you’ve ever liked shoot-’em-ups is Space Invaders Extreme. It’s fairly difficult, but, at the same time, “extremely” fun to play. Taito did an excellent job at reimaging this classic game with boss fights, bonus rounds, power ups, and different types of invaders to fight. $20 is the perfect price for this brand new game. :)

On July 10th, Burnout Paradise received the Cagney update which added more online challenges, new game modes, custom soundtracks, and more. I’d play this game anyway so it’s not surprising that I was excited about this update.

I also played a number of other games which included: Taito Memories 2 Vol. 2, Pinball Hall of Fame – The Williams Collection, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Capcom Classics Collection Remixed.

Kill Switch was a game that I’ve been hearing about from Usagi704 for some time and he was all about saying how good it was. I remember the PC demo from years ago and I didn’t really care for it. However, once I started playing the game on the PS2, it actually was pretty good. I won’t be writing home about the experience, but it still a solid shooter with a really good cover system. The story, though, doesn’t make any sense to me. I guess that’s well enough that I’m not continuing to play this game for that.

See you next time on Now Playing!

Now Playing: June ’08

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Welcome to a mostly retro edition of Now Playing. This will cover a total of seven games. Here we go.

Recapping a few games left over from last month. Orcs & Elves for the DS continued to be as good as before only I got stuck on a boss. I briefly played Ultimate Mortal Kombat for about a day. Finally, I had finished the story in Grand Theft Auto IV and played quite a bit of multiplayer for most of the month.

In the middle of the month I played some PSP games with and against Usagi704. First up was the fantastic Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX. The problems with the d-pad of the older systems are totally remedied with the newer models. Top notch controls as always from Capcom.

The next game we played was Capcom Classics Collection Remixed. This was where we co-oped on four arcade titles: Final Fight, Captain Commando, Mega Twins, and Magic Sword. We finished the former two games.

Over on the NES, once I got it working, I played some of Metal Storm. It’s a difficult game, but I never felt that the deaths came in a cheap way. I always knew that I just wasn’t that good yet.

Indiana Jones’ Greatest Adventures, on the other hand, felt like many of the deaths were cheap. The gameplay is fine and is of the same great quality of the Super Nintendo Star Wars games, but, just like those games, it was still frustrating.

So with all of that said, what’s my Game of the Month? It would have to go to Orcs & Elves. It’s a casual game in nature because of its origins as a mobile phone game. You’ll enjoy it as long as you can get past the not-so-great visuals. If you ever liked the look of Doom, then you’ll have no problem having a fun experience with this game.