This weekend, sees our SNK tournament launch! Starting on Friday 07th August at 12pm, you can take part in one of our retro esports tournaments, putting your skills to the test on the classic video game Prehistoric Isle! In keeping with our latest major tournament, our resident retro writer, takes a look at six of the best SNK games available on Antstream Arcade.
When the Japanese videogame developer Shin Nihon Kikaku was formed in 1978, few could have
anticipated the huge impact it would have. With its name soon abbreviated to the much pithier SNK, the arrival of its Neo-Geo console and arcade system in 1990 ensured a legendary status for both the company and its range of iconic characters and games.
For lucky Antstream Arcade subscribers, we have an immense selection of classic retro SNK games. If you’re stuck on which one to play first, why not start off with one of our Super Six?
Ozma Wars was SNK’s very first arcade game from way back in 1979 and, while it may appear to be a mere Space Invaders clone, it exhibits many graphical and gameplay improvements over the Taito legend (which is also available on Antstream Arcade). And considering the era, Ozma Wars is an amazing game, full of unpredictable enemies, varied opponents and highly impressive animation. But perhaps its most surprising addition is the HP/energy counter, replacing the traditional lives and topped up at the end of each level. Ozma Wars was a big success and a marker for the rest of the industry that SNK would become a force to be reckoned with.
Another arcade success for SNK before it became synonymous with the Neo-Geo home console and fighting games, Ikari Warriors is a wonderful run ‘n’ gunner that scrolls downwards and chucks a ridiculous amount of soldiers, tanks and gun emplacements at the player (or players). Slipping into arcades between the genre-setting Commando and popular Contra, Ikari Warriors found significant success thanks to its compelling shooting action and rotary joystick control. Topped off with some great graphics and a simultaneous two-player mode, and you have another timeless SNK arcade game.
We’ve featured the Metal Slug games many times before on the Antstream Arcade blog, but they’re all so magnificent, we couldn’t help but talk about them once more. For the purposes of this sextet, we’ve gone with the original game, the trailblazing run ‘n’ gunner that introduced gamers to the Peregrine Squad, a small but deadly unit of soldiers fighting to preserve world peace. Full of amusing, frantic and highly enjoyable gameplay, it’s impossible to play Metal Slug without being entertained – and amused! THANK YOU!
Of course today, SNK is famous for its fighting games, and we’ve got several of these on Antstream Arcade. Samurai Showdown, first released in 1993, is set in 18 th century feudal Japan and features weapons, clothing, backgrounds and music that’s all authentic to the period. The attention to detail is remarkable, and there’s plenty of high-speed combat at the heart of Samurai Shodown in order to satisfy fans of the genre. Known as Samurai Spirits in its native Japan, this is a stern one-on-one beat-‘em-up challenge for even the most experienced gamer – dare you take on the demonic forces of the dark god Ambrosia?
Fatal Fury Special
Released the same year as Samurai Shodown, Fatal Fury Special is in fact an improved version of the brilliant Fatal Fury 2. Featuring the same pseudo-3D graphics of the original, Fatal Fury Special embellishes the backgrounds and characters (including a fresh colour scheme for each) and adds three more playable fighters, not least arch-villain Geese Howard. Throw in a new special mode and combo moves and the result is a sure-fire winner, and another worthy entry into our SNK Super Six.
If like us you are a fan of the arcade classic 1942, then you’re in for a treat on Antstream Arcade with SNK’s Ghost Pilots. Starring as the ethereal flyers Tom Phillips and Charlie Stingley, these are two pilots of a different nature, taking control of their seaplanes against an oppressive menace. As with the aforementioned 1942, shooting down the formations of red planes releases a power-up such as smart bombs or multi shot, and you’ll need these if you’re to make any progress against an immense army of enemy tanks, boats and gun emplacements. Another tough shooter, Ghost Pilots is nonetheless a fantastic experience, and recently featured in one of our popular tournaments.