A few weeks ago, a slew of games created by SNK were made available for download in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Neo-Geo. This was presented by the Humble Bundle group. If you have never heard of this company, then you should check them out. They release several PC/Steam based games, and you can pay almost anything you want for them. No seriously you can! And the best part is that most of the time you can choose whether the money you spend goes to the developers, or sponsored charity. For this particular release, I could pay $10 even for 24 games, and every penny of it went to the American Red Cross.
Now obviously I could not pass up a deal like this one, even if I had honestly never played any of the titles available. Yea I know, but I am going to take these lemons and make some tasty Neo-Lemonade. I have decided to try an experiment. I am going to go through each game, in alphabetical order, and play each title for exactly 10 minutes. After each play through, a short summary of my first impression will be posted below each title. Everybody following me so far? Good. Let’s get rocking!
ART OF FIGHTING 2:
I suck at fighting games. Always have and always will. But this game was clearly designed to just eat every quarter you put into it. I used every character I could and still did not win one single round, it’s like the computer just knew every move I was going to try. Also, Ryo is totally a rip-off combination of Ryu and Ken; I mean the name alone isn’t even subtle in the least.
BASEBALL STARS 2:
There is definitely a small learning curve here, but nothing overly complicated. It was definitely a fun game. However, one annoying issue was that for some reason there a timer of 3:30 counting down as soon as a game started, and once it reached zero the game just stopped. I have no idea why and no matter what I did I can’t seem to find a way around it, which was a huge bummer.
Ah yes, one of the old side scrolling, space ship, shoot all the things while they shoot at you type of games. This would be a whole lot less fun if it wasn’t rigged for you to have infinite continues, which I like. Also, I loved beating a boss and being told “ YOU BEAT IT! YOUR SKILL IS GREAT”. You are correct, Blazing Star. My skill is great.
FATAL FURY SPECIAL:
I WAS SLIGHTLY BETTER AT THIS THAN ART OF FIGHTING!!! WOOOO!! HAIL THE DUCK KING, BABY!!!!
GAROU MARK OF THE WOLVES:
This is easily the more balanced of the fighters, since I actually won more than one round. However, I still got destroyed like a house of cards by a three old. And yet I am ok with this, because I got to play as a guy named Butt! No seriously, that was his name.
This is another plane flying shoot all the things game. Honestly not much to say outside of it being neat that you get a helper Robot to also shoot all the things.
KING OF THE MONSTERS:
I played the second one on the SNES as a kid, but that one was a side-scroller game, well more or less. This one is kind of a mix between Godzilla and a Pro Wrestling game. It came complete with power bombs and clothes lines, they even had electrical barriers serving as ring ropes. It was a decent title, but unfortunately it did move a little slow.
This franchise I am familiar with, at least more than the ones previously listed. This one is honestly a breath of fresh air compared to the other ones. I still suck at this, but it was still so much fun. Wholesale destruction with a touch of over the top animated violence, sign me up.
METAL SLUG 2:
Do you know how hard it was for me not to type Electric Boogaloo after that? The gameplay is still fun, but this time you get to choose different characters…which changes literally nothing. I do love the new environments and riding a laser shooting camel though.
METAL SLUG 3:
OMG GIANT MUTANT DEVIL CRABS! BOOM BOOM!! BANG BANG!! KAPOWIE!! PEW PEW!! I AM THE LOVECHILD OF RAMBO AND CHUCK NORRIS!!! OH $&#%, IT’S AN EVEN BIGGER GIANT MUTANT DEVIL CRAB WITH A CANNON ON IT’S BACK!!!….This was level one.
METAL SLUG X:
“The X makes it sound cool” –Bender. And that’s about it. This is ultimately a remix of Metal Slug 2. Still fun and has some neat additions, but it’s not a truly new title.
NEO TURF MASTERS:
I only cared about golf when I watched Happy Gilmore…which is why I got mad I couldn’t do the long drive for a hole in one, even after I went to my happy place. Also, is there actually a golf course at the Grand Canyon?
Not much to say here. It’s just Blazing Star IN SPAAAAAACCEEE!!!!!!. Also, we know that the pilot is a girl with green hair. Neat.
REAL BOUT FATAL FURY 2:
Yet another port of an arcade fighting game that was designed to cheat and eat your quarters. Man they really wanted to corner that market didn’t they? I mean clearly it worked since we all remember the famous fighters Andy and Billy….
SAMURAI SHOWDOWN 2:
Guess what Genre this was. Go ahead I’ll wait…..Yup, it’s another fighter. Except this time it has swords!! Wooooo. However it still has the same balance issues as the previous fighters.
SAMURAI SHOWDOWN V SPECIAL:
If you have read this far, then you know how I feel about these fighters by now. However, I did learn that you should never bring a mystical dodgeball to a sword fight. A truly valuable lesson.
Why weren’t Sengoku 1 or 2 good enough for this bundle? This is a beat em up where you essentially stay in one area and kill off like 20 Zombie Ninjas before going to the next section. Sounds fun at first but I see how it can get old after a while.
Think of this one as a more forgiving, less over the top version of Metal Slug with a Top-Down Perspective. Still fun, but it came off as Diet Metal Slug.
SHOCK TROOPS 2ND SQUAD:
This is literally the same game as the last one. It even has the exact same levels and enemy placement. The only differences are that there appears to be a story and a few new characters. I ended up playing as Big Mama, because why not.
THE KING OF FIGHTERS ’98 ULTIMATE MATCH FINAL EDITION:
It just rolls right off the tongue doesn’t it? This boasts an impressive roster of 45 fighters I have totally heard of. It also features a 3-on-3 battle system, kind of like Marvel Vs. Capcom, except MvC is much more fun. That being said, this fighter was pretty well balanced and actually a good challenge if you’re up for it.
THE KING OF FIGHTERS 2000:
We’ve stepped up to 4-on-4 combat, we’re moving up in the world. Actually this one felt a touch faster and smoother than the previous entry, which made it overall more enjoyable to play. I hope this trend continues with the next title.
THE KING OF FIGHTERS 2002 UNLIMITED MATCH:
It did not.
THE LAST BLADE:
Fighting games, fighting games everywhere! This turned out to be the easiest of the fighters and the art is actually pretty neat. If there is anything I have learned from all of these fighting games, it’s that I can’t pull off combos for crap.
TWINKLE STAR SPRITES:
I was not prepared for this one. I can’t even tell you what it was. It’s like some kind of puzzle-combat-shooter mixed with more kawaii based anime than an entire season of Hamtaro (Google it). I don’t even know how I beat any of the levels. I did how ever find out our main character is flying on a magical “Rabicat”, so that’s something.
Well boys and girls, that brings us to an end of the very first “10 Minutes To Glory”. I hope you all had as much fun reading it as I did writing it. As more collections become available to me, I plan on doing this again in the future. As for this particular collection, I would say it pretty enjoyable. It may have been a little over saturated with overly hard fighters, but it was still an excellent value and it was for a good cause. If I had to pick my favorite title from the batch, I would say Metal Slug 3, it was the perfect amount of over the top insanity. My least favorite is a toss-up between King of the Monsters and Sengoku 3. Neither one is necessarily bad, however they moved felt very sluggish, with the latter getting a repetitive feel very quickly. That being said, this is still a great bundle, and should it become available again, I would highly recommend picking it up.
Is there a bundle you would like me to review? Let me know and I would love to sit down and find what makes it special. Until next time, stay glorious everybody.