SNK 40th Anniversary Collection

Official website here.

I thought I’d make a thread for this game as it seems there’s a lot to discuss - the games, the SNK archives, the trivia, the bonus material.

This is the better of the two anniversary products I think. The NEOGEO Mini is a nice bit of kit and all, with a beautiful screen, but I’m finding the 40th Anniversary collection to be fascinating. I think it’s a mixture of the games included - stuff from the conception of S.N.K. through to before the NEOGEO, and the sheer amount of historical content that’s lovingly presented alongside those games.

Every time I boot up or resume my game I’m learning something new, or discovering (or at least appreciating when I’m rubbish at the game) something really cool. The folk at Digital Eclipse did a wonderful job researching and archiving SNK’s legacy from the late 70s to the early 90s and it’s all presented in a terse-yet-meaningful manner.

For instance, I had no idea that the earliest occurrence of the term “boss” likely originated from Sasuke Commander’s sales pamphlet (and that’s a game I only just realised was at the arcade Natsuge Museum when I last visited! Had no idea what it was then). Or that the idea for a twisting stick (Loop Lever) controller came about by a tester using a film canister to protect their hands. Or that the decision to include a co-op mode in Ikari Warriors was business-led by a crackdown on game centers opening 24 hours a day. OR that the composers on T.N.K III couldn’t read music. Some of the trivia is super informative, others form the basis of embellishments to complement the experience of playing these games.

The emulation seems great too. While I can’t assess its accuracy, I like how they handled the two TV and monitor filters, and there’s an option to watch an expert player play the game and drop in whenever you want. That emulates the feeling of being in an arcade, seeing a brand new game that you have no idea how to play, and learning the ropes by watching over someone else’s shoulder. Brilliant.

Here’s an interesting look into how some of the historical material was researched:

Creative director Frank Cifaldi might have also shared something, but I haven’t found it.

So yeah, this has so far been an unexpected delight. Even though I’m rubbish at most of the games! Kudos to SNK and Digital Eclipse, and NIS America for bringing it to retail.


I have this but am yet to give it a whirl, been a bit distracted by Pokémon :sweat_smile:

Thanks for the write up, I’ll definitely try and have a go at it sooner rather than later.

Awesome op

I talked about it in the what are you playing thread. It’s a fantastic package of games. It does have some shortcomings. I actually had it crash on me twice tonight in the menus which was weird. That said, there’s so much great information in there and of course some really enjoyable and playable games.

The emulation seems right on from what I can tell. I really like the dual stick implentation of the Loop Lever. It makes these games playable in a way they haven’t been at home.

How’s the latency? Digital Eclipse screwed the pooch with the Mega/Rockman ones right?

I have not noticed any latency problems. This is an atypical Digital Eclipse release IMO because it does seem to represent the games extremely well with no obvious issues. I was concerned too when I preordered the Collector’s box eons ago, but I think it’s one of the best retro collections I have seen. It celebrates SNK’s pre-Neo output in unique and enjoyable ways.

The few issues I’ve had were those crashes tonight in the menus and I noticed some of the artwork in the history was out of place, but overall, it’s solid, especially when it comes to the games and how they play.

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I’m a big fan of SNK, but the pre-NG era was eh. I got the M2 ports of the good games (Prehistoric Isle, Street Smarts, POW, Ikari 3, Psycho Soldier and Alpha Mission) for PSP.

Digital Eclipse makes me wary of the collection, but good to know that the emulation is OK.

I haven’t noticed any latency problems either so far. Yesterday I finally finished reading through the museum mode. I hope they add more to it with the upcoming update in early December. It seems like that patch will add more games, but future additional games will just be downloaded from the eShop as ‘free DLC’.

I get this sometimes as well. Every time it’s when I spend a lot of time in the museum reading, then move on to the arcade mode.

That’s the thing though - the rewind mode is something of a revelation for me as I’m not very good at most of the games. It lets you make checkpoints that you’re comfortable with, which feels better to me than using continues.

So, what screen filters are available for this collection?

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I should grab some screenshots to upload later, but there’s a few options:

-integer scaled with no filter (haven’t used this much but I think it’s pixel doubled since it’s not that small on the screen)
-non-integer scaled with no filter
-TV filter
-monitor filter

The TV filter focuses on scanlines, whereas the monitor filter focuses on phosphor dots, and appears to be less vibrant and bright.

Spent a little time with this and while I still really like the collection and the effort put into all the info on it as well as all the different versions of the games there are some problems. Get crashes and glitches in various things. To the point where I don’t even want to play one of my favorite games and on it, Crystalis, because of a bunch of visual problems.

Still I really like the “package” and the idea of it, just wish there was better execution.

Some trivia from the museum mode.

Thankfully, the screen tearing in Crystalis is being fixed in the patch next week.

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Good news about the patch. I’d like to support this project.

Yes, I’m also happy to hear about that, and those screenshots posted are part of the reason I really love the collection even with it’s issues. Someone put actual time and effort into this even if more should have been put into the emulation.

I was shocked to find my playtime for the collection hit 10 hours 10 days after launch, no doubt because of the museum mode, which in turn made me want to discover more from the games themselves, including bits I’m too rubbish to get to using the Watch functionality. I never hit 10 hours on Namco Museum in the past year or so, and I remember getting hooked on getting a high scoring leaderboard entry in Tank Force!

The additional games are now Live with the latest patch! Beast Busters and Search and Rescue are on the eShop as free DLC.

I didn’t pop in here to post just that, though. I wanted to point out that the latest episode of Retronauts includes a rather long natter with creative director Frank Cifaldi about the making of the collection:

There’s an interesting part where he claims that adding dual stick controls to emulate the twistable “loop lever” joystick in games like Ikari Warriors and TNK III finally makes them playable compared with past conversions which used shoulders buttons to rotate weapons at a fixed speed. I agree - it’s the closest thing to replicating the muscle memory of immediately and instinctively twisting to a specific position.

Honestly, I think it made them much much easier then the originals would have been, but I’m also okay with that since they are also much more fun to me that way. This isn’t a point of view I generally hold, just know I wouldn’t have spent any time at all with those games otherwise.

I just listened to this. I need to buy this. I am all digital on Switch but the physical version of this sounds neat. Then again I want all the retro gamez on my Switch HDD to have with me at any time…

Great making of video on the collection from a panel at MAGfest:

There is some overlap with the podcast I posted earlier but it’s still fascinating.

Unrelated to the talk posted up above but the game is also coming to PS4 in a few months.