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!

Ninja Commando Masters of Combat

A few more games this time around for the collection. Not all were necessary, but it’s how these things go sometimes.

The first game is very much in that “not necessary” category. I already have Legend of Kay on the PS2. It was one of those games I didn’t know about, but ebbderelict had fun with it as he’d mentioned in his review of the game he did six years ago. As usual I’ve yet to play that one and bought the PS4 rerelease Legend of Kay Anniversary anyway.

In Neo-Geo news, I picked up Garou: Mark of the Wolves and ADK Damashii on PSN when they were on sale for around 50% off. These both are PS2 imports for play on PS4. ADK Damashii is a compilation of five games: Aggressors of Dark Kombat, Ninja Combat, Ninja Commando, Ninja Masters, and Twinkle Star Sprites.

I also bought a recent disc release of Dariusburst: Chronicle Saviours by Limited Run Games. This is the first time I’ve shopped with them and I also plan to do so for the rerelease of the Sega CD game Night Trap that they’ve announced is coming soon.

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Finally, I picked up the Harrison Ford movie, The Fugitive and the great 1980s series Cosmos by Carl Sagan. This latter is a DVD set since there hasn’t been a Blu-ray version made as of yet. I also have another DVD on the way of Best of the Best 2. Wayne Newton is fantastically cheesy in this film and I loved it.

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Super Combo of Revenge

Recently I had bought three new games. One was a retail release of Mirror’s Edge Catalyst for the PlayStation 4. The other two were from the PlayStation Network. Those were Fu’un Super Combo, consisting of the fighting games Savage Reign and Kizuna Encounter: Super Tag Battle. This was originally a PS2 compilation released in Japan in 2007.

The final game purchased was Double Dragon II: The Revenge. This is the Hamster emulated arcade game original.

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Sudden Strife

In the last month I have acquired more games and movies. Here, let me show you.

Since the movies are the most obvious in the photo below, I’ll start with those. Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story was a random VHS pick up around 15 years ago. I heard about the film from the commentary track on Rush Hour. I liked it quite a bit, but I only had that format as an option for quite some time. Thankfully a DVD version did eventually come around. The purchase this time is an upgrade to a 2015 Blu-ray release.

The other two films, Sudden Death and Universal Soldier, are also 2015 releases along with both starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. I enjoyed both movies quite a bit and thanks to a review on YouTube I was finally convinced to give the former a watch.

Now it’s time for the games. I didn’t have anymore I wanted for the Game Boy Advance, but I dug through a floor bin at Warp Zone to come up with these five titles. I didn’t know anything about them beforehand. Only after some quick info via the Internet did I make a purchase.

Island Xtreme Stunts is a sequel to a Lego game. You wouldn’t know this by just seeing the cartridge by itself as I did. Stuntman and SSX Tricky are, of course, portable versions of their console counterparts. American Dragon: Jake Long – Rise of the Huntsclan is based on a Disney cartoon that ran for two seasons. This game was developed by WayForward. Ans finally Tak 2: The Staff of Dreams is a platformer by THQ and Avalanche Software.

I also bought The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match and Strife during the big Steam discount sale recently. I got the former because it’s the only way to play it in North America. After the PS2 version of The King of Fighters ’98 Ultimate Match this was released, but it never made it outside of Japan. The latter is the 1996 FPS/RPG hybrid by Rogue Entertainment. I loved me some Doom clones back then and this one always stuck around in my mind because it was very unique for the time. 20 years later I still would recommend it.

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Playmore of SNK

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A recent PlayStation Network sale was ongoing in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the launch of the original Playsation in 1995. As a result of this I purchased five of SNK Playmore’s “minis.” They consist of their early pre-Neo-Geo arcade titles.

I picked up shoot-’em-ups Vanguard (1981), Ikari Warriors and its first sequel, Victory Road (both from 1986), Guerrilla War (1987), and Ikari III: The Rescue (1989).

All of my experience with any of these games was with their ports released onto the NES. Ikari Warriors, Ikari III, and Guerrilla War, mostly. Vanguard wasn’t released at home outside of Atari platforms. I played the game via emulation after seeing it in the SNK episode of G4’s Icons show (season 3; episode 12).

I remember playing Guerrilla War on NES when renting it at the time. We finished it during our first time playing it because it had unlimited continues. I have this version today, but I don’t think I’ve played it since then.

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HART & USAGI PODCAST #69 – August 24th 2015 (@HartandUsagi)
Matt and Mike chat top SNES games, cancelled Jak 4, Mafia 3, and more.
https://hartarchive.wordpress.com/2015/08/24/hart-usagi-69-the-super-snes/

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SPACE SUPLEX #22 – August 27th 2015 (@SpaceSuplex)
Anthony and Matt chat SummerSlam 2015 and more.
https://hartarchive.wordpress.com/2015/08/27/space-suplex-22-summer-takeover/

Trilogy of Anthologies

trilogy-of-anthologies

A trilogy of anthologies has arrived. My history with each series is quite limited.

Most all of my time with any World Heroes game was the Takara published Super Nintendo version of World Heroes 2. Survival matches were the draw of that game. The full set of games included in World Heroes Anthology is World Heroes, World Heroes 2, World Heroes 2 Jet, and World Heroes Perfect.

For the many Fatal Fury games, the ones within Fatal Fury: Battle Archives Volume 1 are what I’ve played being Fatal Fury, Fatal Fury 2, and Fatal Fury Special. However, other than the arcade version of the first game, the SNES once again was where I played those three. Volume 2 is the Real Bout titles which I’ve never played, but I can’t wait to GET IN THE RING!

The final PS2 disc is the Samurai Shodown Anthology. This crazy batch has a total a six games. It could’ve had seven, but this set forgoes Samurai Shodown V Special. All of them I didn’t play except for the first game with the help of, you guessed it, the SNES.

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PSP XTREME!!! (shhh… GameSpot likes it quiet)

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Since my Now Playing blog post I finished the final few stages of Ragnarok mode in Kamen Rider Climax Heroes OOO and unlocking the rest of the characters. This included running through the arcade mode once to unlock Kamen Rider W in Cyclone Accel Xtreme form. I felt this character to be unnecessary since this form of W never happened in the show. It was only an idea of Shroud in a thought bubble.

While over at a friends place earlier in the week I played some of Baseball Stars 2 on SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1 via my PSP. I’ve always had trouble with pitching to the correct base on games of this era. I hit the throw button while my character is running in the direction of the base, but ball instead goes to the base as corresponds to the d-pad (1st = Right, 2nd = Up, 3rd = Left, Home = Down). It makes sense, but I hardly seem to do it correctly when under pressure to make it before the runner. I lost in extra innings as you probably guessed.

I’ve mainly been playing on the PSP since the visit. I’ve mostly played Gradius Collection and it’s reminded me why I like the series so much. Shoot-’em-ups don’t attract me all that much, but I like these games. I started with Gradius III and can get quite far. I just haven’t been able to finish it yet.

In my first session with the original Gradius, I finished it. It’s overall a much easier game with bosses that are very repetitive and easy. Gradius II, on the other hand, is the most difficult out of the three. I can’t pass stage 2 yet. The collection also has Gradius IV and Gaiden (a PS1 game), but I didn’t want to start them for now.

I plan to start playing GoldenEye: Rogue Agent next. Usagi704 just recently played through it fairly quickly on Xbox. I’ll be breaking out the PS2 version.

GAMNG STATS:
Kamen Rider Climax Heroes OOO – All characters unlocked (#12 finished for 2011)
Gradius – Score: 450,000 (#13 finished for 2011)
Gradius II – Score: 114,600
Gradius III – Score: 244,210

A Good Deal + Embarrassment

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The recent games I’ve acquired are as you can see from the above photo.

I didn’t have any plans on getting NeoGeo Battle Coliseum, but when I saw it at $5 when at Toys-R-Us more recently I figured I would get it. It was the only game I found that I wanted during their buy one, get one half off sale. Saving a mere $2.50 would’ve not been worth it for another game I didn’t want.

Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Operation Resurrection was the purchase I mentioned in my last blog post for $2.25 complete. It was from Glyde.com. They have some pretty good prices at times. In fact, I’ve ordered another PS2 title Urban Reign for $3.25 from them also complete.

I kind of made a mistake going back to Stickman’s for the next two games. The prices aren’t exactly great and the games aren’t cleaned. This can be easily seen on cartridge games without a box and on Genesis cases. They also have never given out receipts for any purchase I’ve made with them yet think they can complain about product that’s stolen. How can they even tell the difference when I don’t have proof of my own purchases is amazing.

Speaking of stolen items, I felt I was taken when I bought Road Rash 3 and Gaiares. The latter game was even missing the manual. Stickman’s Video Games = embarrassing.

The final game I got was Riot Zone off of the Virtual Console. It’s a TG-16 Super CD beat-’em-up. I’m a big fan of the genre and it was good enough for me. For those that aren’t much of a fan of the genre I actually don’t recommend it for you. The gameplay doesn’t seem to have anything special to make it stand out and the animation for the two playable characters is the worst I’m seen in quite some time. Also to top it off it doesn’t offer two player co-op.

Finishing The Unfinished

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Fairly recently I decided to make up a list of games that have left unfinished and mostly focus on getting to the finish line. I would list them here, but I keep taking some games off of the list because I either find out that they’re too frustrating to continue (ie: Urban Chaos: Riot Response) or barely started to even count as being played in the first place (ie: Sonic Rush).

Four games that I’ve now completed are as follows: Retro Game Challenge, Biker Mice From Mars, Metal Slug, and TMNT.

RETRO GAME CHALLENGE (DS)
I purchased this game when it was released back in the early part of this year. I kept at it until I got to the last challenge which was to beat all of the eight games included. I had only half left, but for whatever reason I didn’t get back to it.

Once I did get back into it, I quickly beat Robot Ninja Haggleman 2 , Rally King, and Rally King SP. Guadia Quest was the lone RPG left and I’m sure that most people leave this one until last since it does take up a majority of the time to get through.

It was very satisfying to beat and I can’t recommend this DS game enough to those that are willing to relive the older days of gaming’s history; the good, the bad, and the difficulty.

BIKER MICE FROM MARS (DS)
This game may seem strange to some, but those that grew up during the time that I did will probably remember a cartoon by the same name in the early ’90s. This DS game in particular is from the 2006 series revival that came to North America last year.

Instead of just racing, like on the SNES, this game is also the typical licensed fare of action-platforming. A single level sometimes feels like it goes on forever and the enemy groupings can be pretty cheap causing frustration to set in. Despite that the final boss was very easy to beat.

METAL SLUG (PSP VIA METAL SLUG ANTHOLOGY)
I don’t really have much to say about this game. All I had left was the final mission and it was really short especially when compared to the one in Metal Slug 3. That one was way too long.

My main complaint was that the cheapness of it originally being an arcade game made for many deaths. Otherwise it was fun.

TMNT (PS2)
Oh my. Where do I begin?

The combat in this game is completely and utterly boring. No matter what’s happening or what moves are at your disposal, it’s the same from beginning to end.

The platforming is fun when you can get on a roll, but usually this is interrupted by a bad camera angle or zoom position. My biggest problem is that because of the bad camera you’ll have times where you’ll jump too close to a wall and because of this you’ll do a wall run to your death. It’s also bad when you have to deal with moving platforms as you will likely fall off a lot when making a jump to the next one.

As far as where I was in the game. It showed 51% complete, but that was referring to unlocking everything, which I don’t care about. I think I played about three levels and then quickly finished off the few bosses at the end.

I feel the same about this game as I do for the movie of the same name. It looks pretty good, but has little substance to keep you coming back for more.

Thanks for reading what I guess can be considered mini-reviews. Later!

Now Playing: August ’09

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Here’s the quick list of what I’ve been playing.

Jackal (NES)
Ninja Gaiden (NES)
Retro Game Challenge (DS)
Fracture (PS3)
Sega Genesis Collection (PSP)
The King of Fighters ’98 Ultimate Match (PS2)
The Punisher (PS2)

For the usual details check out this video.

I want to thank everybody who voted in my last blog post for the game that I’ll look for to purchase some time in the next month.

The winner is Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge!

9 – Castlevania II (GB)
7 – Einhander (PS)
6 – Double Dragon II (GB)
4 – Wild Guns (SNES)
3 – Resident Evil Gaiden (GBC)

Not to worry for those that may still want to cast their votes. You can do that in the comments section for this post.

Again thanks for voting and watching the video. Later!