It’s hard to believe that SNK has been around for 40-some years churning out some pretty amazing games in their prime, including the legendary (and expensive) Neo Geo system that changed arcades and home gaming forever. While it was released for the Nintendo Switch last year, the SNK 40th Anniversary Collection makes its way to the PlayStation 4 with all 24 games the Switch version had (with some being added to the Switch via DLC) along with loads of historical information behind each title that gives players the ultimate SNK experience.
Starting with some late 70’s fare such as Space Micon Kit (one of the staff working on the collection had to find at an old arcade specialty place in Japan in order to add it) and going into some of the 80’s hits that made the company famous such as Athena (long before she dominated in the King of Fighters titles), Vanguard, and the Ikari Warriors trilogy (two guys who also made their way into the KoF universe), Digital Eclipse does a great job polishing up these old gems and presenting them here with nice amounts of history behind each one as well.
Some even let you select between the arcade and console ports which is an added bonus, and there’s the usual “collection” fare such as screen editing effects, a rewind feature if things get too difficult, and most unusual is a “watch” feature that allows you to watch a game play by itself until the end.
While it was fun playing a lot of these (especially Iron Tank for the NES which brought back a lot of deep memories for me), I have to give Digital Eclipse props for their museum section, as you can tell so much work and love went into making it as they’ve included advertisements from magazines, concept and box art along with pages of original development documents that they personally scanned to give players all the info they could ever want on SNK just before they unleashed the beast that was Neo Geo.
There’s a lot of “collection” titles out there, but the SNK 40th Anniversary Collection is hands down one of the best I’ve played. With so many classic hits to play where you can edit settings to your taste, along with in-depth historical information on each title and the company itself, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more fun and informative set of games than this one.