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SNK 40th Anniversary Collection

Game review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
SNK 40th Anniversary Collection Game Poster Image
Collection of classic arcade games best for older gamers.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Many stories here are traditional good vs. evil tales, but require a lot of perseverance, trial and error to succeed.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Many of the games feature characters who are trying to save the world....or themselves, but have very little additional details about themselves.

Ease of Play

The games range in difficulty, and have numerous difficulty options. The controls will mostly be familiar to people who've played vintage arcade games before.

Violence

Though the graphics are old school and pixelated, a number of these games are shooters, so some have a bit of low resolution blood and gore.

Sex

A gallery of promotional images includes some of scantily clad women, including one with a bit of the underside of breasts showing.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that SNK 40th Anniversary Collection is a collection of classic arcade games for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. A number of the games are shooters, and some have you beating people up, and while the graphics are low resolution and pixelated, there's still some blood and gore. S.A.R.: Search and Rescue, for instance, has you splattering the guts of zombies all over. There's also a gallery of promotional images, including some racy drawings of female characters in skimpy outfits or showing off the underside of breasts. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content in the game.

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What's it about?

The SNK 40TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION is a collection of twenty-five vintage arcade games that include shooters, some beat-'em-ups, and a couple of real oddities, some of which a lot of players may never have seen before. Each game features its own story, though it's usually just a slim one about saving the world, escaping a P.O.W. camp, or grabbing food from the side of the road while in a moving car.

Is it any good?

For fans of old school games who went to the back of the arcade, where the more obscure games were kept, this compilation is a gold mine. The SNK 40th Anniversary Collection presents twenty-five old school games made by Japan's SNK Corporation between 1979 (the shooter ZMA Wars) and 1990 (the hack & slash game Crystals). While many are side-scrolling shooters -- including 1985's space shooter Alpha Mission, the 1985 tank game TNKIII, and 1989's Aliens-inspired S.A.R.: Search and Rescue -- there's also some interesting oddities. Chief among them is Munch Mobile, in which a car with googly eyes has to avoid oncoming traffic and other hazards while also grabbing food on the side of the road. This collection even, when available, includes both the original arcade versions and the console adaptations of these games.

As for what's been added for this collection, it presents all this old school goodness in high-def (and 4K for those with fancy TVs), as well as some options that can make these games easier or harder. You can also now pause the action or save your progress, and there's even a museum that includes a chronological visual history of the company's games and some of their soundtracks. But while some of these games are still fun, some haven't aged well (I'm looking at you, Munch Mobile). It's also a bummer that this celebratory collection doesn't include any of the games from the company's biggest franchises: Metal Slug and King of Fighters. But if you're a fan of the other games they've made, you'll have a fun trip back in time with the SNK 40th Anniversary Collection.

 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in SNK 40th Anniversary Collection affected by the low resolution and pixelated graphics? Would the impact of the blood and gore be stronger if the visuals were more realistic?

  • In the "museum" section, there are some sexy drawings designed to promote the games in this collection, but since the original games weren't sexy, is this necessary or just a cheap attempt to manipulate people?

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