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A Weird Kid's Top 10 -- SNK Games


The arcade, to my generation its where magic happened one quarter at a time, and games looked so much better than anything you could play on a console at home. The big names were always represented in these beaming halls of standup gaming fury, Sega, Capcom, Konami, and one of my favorites SNK.

You would always catch me over at the SNK cabinets, easily identifiable as the ones with red and white stripes and always with the same 4 button layout. You'd even be lucky at time to find a cabinet that has more than one of your favorite games. Keep in mind though that they didn't specifically make games JUST for the Neo Geo cabinets in the arcade and their proprietary system, they managed to give some serious love to the Nintendo back in the day. Honestly, there isn't a game maker that I think is more plugged in to what their fans want and appreciate. Tonight’s list is: Excremento's top 10 SNK games of all time, enjoy!


If you've ever played a game like Cabal or the Western-themed Blood Brothers, then NAM-1975 is right up your alley. The game plays almost identical to the other 3rd person action shooters that were out at the time. The game takes place in...you guessed it VietNAM in the year 1975 (which for you younglings out there is when the conflict for America drew to a close), and involves you + a gun + grenades versus them dirty North Vietnamese. It is totally derivative gameplay, but still remains one of my favorite arcade shooters.

Top Hunter: Roddy & Cathy

Top Hunter is a great side scrolling 2D beat-em up that shares its soul with games like Battletoads, Super Mario Bros., and Street Fighter. I know it sounds like a strange combination, but besides regular attacks you can jump on your foes, throw items at them, throw hadokens, and even grapple with the baddies.

This game is a piece of 2D art, and is very gorgeous. Each stage features amazing detail and 2 layer backgrounds that give you a faux sense of 3D. Top Hunter is great, but is relatively unknown to the non-Neo Geo crowd. It's worth your time if you can 'not' get a copy for yourself to check out, I wouldn't suggest actually buying this game unless you're a serious collector like Hitogoroshi.

Metal Slug 3

The Metal Slug series did for shoot-em up games what Ronald McDonald did for burgers...it made them fun and addicting at the same time. Action is much like the Contra series except, you know, better. The graphics are always eye-meltingly good, and the individual shrieks you hear from each character meeting their demise combined with the report made from each weapon you use go to create an atmosphere that is so reminiscent of arcade gaming when I was younger.

The best think that you can look forward to in any Metal Slug is that there is almost guaranteed to be new items, vehicles, and enemies to shoot at. The ONLY reason that MS3 makes this list and not the others is the vomiting zombie that you can become...seriously you have no excuse, go and get this game either on the Wii, XBLA, or on a Neo Geo console, now.

Last Blade 2

The greatest historically weapon based fighter you've never played is how I would sum up the gameplay experience of playing The Last Blade series. Just like any Neo Geo based fighting game, the visuals are damn near perfect and are some of the best examples of sprite animation ever seen. The Last Blade series was created by the same genius behind Guilty Gear, Mr. Daisuke Ishiwatari.

If you were to look closely at the combat system behind Guilty Gear, you can almost see a few parallels. The most engaging aspect of gameplay is the introduction of a parry button that will leave your opponent up to an attack if you time it juuuust right. The music and sound effects used in the game are very reminiscent of the type that would hear during an epic samurai movie that were all based during the Tokugawa era in which the game is set.

King of Fighters 98

I bought this game for my Dreamcast way back when the Dreamcast was still fairly new, and it prompted me to go out and actually buy a Neo Geo Pocket Color with The King of Fighters R2 so I could link it up with my Dreamcast. This was the one game in the KoF series that cemented me as a lifelong SNK fan.

Whether it be the inclusion of almost every single team member from all of the years past, or the new challengers that made it into the mix. I believe that this was the first KoF that detached itself from the rest of the SNK fighting game flock and stood out on its own. The gameplay was balanced more than any of its predecessors, the roster was huge, the music was memorable, and the backgrounds were detailed. I really really really liked playing this game on my Dreamcast and still remains to this day one of my top 3 for the system.

Ikari Warriors

Ikari Warriors (Ikari is moonspeak for 'anger') busted in on the shmup scene back in the mid-eighties and featured a few never-before-used gameplay elements that have survived the test of time and are still used in many games to this day. The 8 direction joystick used in the arcade coupled with the 8 position rotary switch underneath said joystick is what I think became the precursor for the standard we enjoy in FPS games. Metal Slug wouldn't be Metal Slug if there was no tank to jump in. Hell, even co-op gameplay was scarce on arcade cabinets until Ikari Warriors proved that nearly every game deserved it.

Let's not forget that SNK rarely forgets its roots. The protagonists in Ikari Warriors would eventually end their hiatus and appear in one of SNK's most popular series The King of Fighters, representing Team Brazil. SNK even gave Ralf and Clark a chance to rejoin their original genre and continue their shmup legacy in Metal Slug 6.

Sengoku 2

I bet a lot of you awesome Dtoid peeps have never played the Sengoku games. Well a good place to start would be with the second game in the series. Sengoku 2 took what was established in the first game, and compounded the awesome until the graphics were on par with every game seen on the Neo Geo in the mid-90s and the Music/SFX were clear and distinct.

The game's story is more epic than any of the other iterations of the game and there is an added bonus of being able to power up your weapons and swap the game's characters. Though the game is a run-of-the-mill side scrolling beat-em up, it shines much brighter than any Final Fight game, especially since you could slice and dice your opponents into oblivion, not to mention all the arterial spraying.

Samurai Shodown 2

Don't get me wrong, this is in no way a better game than most of the other fighting games that I have put on this list except for the fact that I have so much love for this one in particular. Samurai Shodown was cool as hell when I first got my hands on the series, but didn't get much love out of me until I started playing this game almost everyday when I was hanging out at my local comics shop.

The epic battles between me and my friend, each of us proficient with every character were the matches of legend. I loved every single round that was spent in that store, especially cause my teenage brain kept making me use Cham-Cham over and over again (not only cause she was the most distinct character, but she also had a monkey on her side). It may not be the best SS game, but damnit it's always going to be my favorite.

Garou: Mark of the Wolves

The culmination of every 2D fighting game that SNK has ever made came out in 1999 and featured animations that were as fluid, if not better than that Street Fighter III could ever be. That is a complete fanboy statement, but damnit SNK was so ahead of the game when it came to 2D innovation. There really are only 2 camps when it comes to fighters: you're either a SNK fan, or a Capcom fan. Don't get me wrong, I love Capcom something fierce, but SNK trumps them with play mechanics, well balanced characters that have full histories, and the pure beauty of the sprites they use.

The events of MotW take place 10 years after Geese Howard offed himself in Real Bout, and features offspring and disciples of many of SNK's favorite characters: Rock Howard - Geese's Son, Kim Dong Hwan & Kim Jae Hoon - Kim Kaph Wan's Sons, Kushnood Butt - Ryo Sakazaki's Student. The only thing that does hold the game back is it's suprisingly small cast of characters.

When I first started playing this game in the arcade, there was just too much going on, it's amazing to experience. The untrained would think that it is simply just another fighter, but the lovers of the game have come to realize that the game is deeper than most Street Fighter games, and is even argued to be better than the Guilty Gear series. Personally, I'd rather spend an afternoon playing this than any new game that Capcom may throw my way.


I have no doubts that Crystalis influenced some of my favorite games and is why that the action RPG genre is where it is today. Hands down, Crystalis is quite possibly one of the finest RPGs you could ever hope to play on the NES. Combining the RPG aspects of the Final Fantasy series and mixing it with the action aspects of The Legend of Zelda and Star Tropics was a brilliant move by SNK. That's right, the company known for some of the best series in fighting game history was also the creator of one of my favorite RPGs ever.

The story for the game takes place 100 years after a global nuclear war (how many NES games used nuclear holocaust as a plot device, hmmmm?), when your character awakens from a cryogenic sleep chamber to bring order to the world and prevent the rise of the evil Draygonian Empire to ultimate power.

Sounds simple enough right? Well the developers saw fit to make the game pristine in its execution. For those of you that never got a chance with this game imagine the gameplay from TLOZ: A Link to the Past and the abilities from TLOZ: Link's Awakening being available to you back in 1990. I mean, they even saw fit to have the character move in 8 directions, sounds weird I know, but for most of the RPGs on the NES, you could only move in 4 directions, hence why this game is my Number 1 pick for any SNK game.


It's simply amazing...I've never had a tie for the Number 0 spot of my top tens, ever.

Lee Trevino's Fighting Golf

There has never been a golf game that I haven't loved and or played. I'm serious, I fucking love golf games. It all started back in the PC days of yore when I got hooked on Links and has continued on to the Hot Shots Golf series that I enjoy playing on my PS2 and PS3. Lee Trevino's Fighting Golf was one of the rare sports games that I loved on my NES, and until I starting writing this article, I had no clue that SNK was behind its creation. What's even better is that they parodied the game on the Simpsons, on the same episode that they had Bonestorm in, except they named it "Lee Carvallo's Putting Challenge". Classic Simpsons are so good.

Doki Doki Majo Shinpan

This game, never released here in the U.S. is the ultimate pedo-game, all because you have to use the stylus of your DS to 'touch' tween witches in an attempt to find their "witch mark" which ultimately exposes them as what they truly are. If that's not enough to garner a spot as a zero, the game sold even better than The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass in Japan and is even getting a sequel.

I guess it just goes to show you that the difference in gamers from Japan and gamers all throughout the world is that we don't secretly wish to touch little girls like the Japanese are so wont to do. I can only imagine the flooding amount of H-Games that are going to be spawned from the success of this game. The best thing that I saw is the fact that a UK magazine called "NGamer" awarded it 'The Superman 64 Award For Worst Game" in 2007 because they gave it 'NOs' in every category instead of a score.

Well, this concludes yet another Weird Kid's Top 10 list. I hope you all enjoyed reading it. I know for certain that there are many of you out there that will disagree with some of my choices for this list, but keep in mind that this is in no way a definitive listing nor is it meant to be taken seriously. Its all for fun, just enjoy reading and take something away with you or leave a comment if you so wish.

As always, please let me know if you have a particular Top 10 that you'd like to see, and I'd be happy to oblige. For all of my faithful fans that do submit ideas, I promise I'll eventually get around to yours. Thank you again for reading. See you next time.

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About Excrementoone of us since 5:39 PM on 07.11.2007

Hey robots, I'm Excremento, but you cool and old skool Dtoiders know that already, this is merely for the N00BS. I've been a videogamer for as long as I can remember. I have well over 27 years of video game experience that I rely on daily, and a near encyclopedic memory of gaming starting with the Commodore 64 and ending with whatever is the current hotness.

I've got my own blog at MediaWhoreNetwork that I try to write on when I'm not too busy...and just recently have decided to come back to do a few Community Blogs here on Dtoid now that most failbloggers don't exist anymore. I'm still here fellas (and ladies) updating as often as I can for all of your enjoyment.

Any of you out there who wish to chat it up with ol Ex can do so at:

Gmail -- xopher (DOT) reed (AT) gmail (DOT)com

Facebook: Xopher Reed

Author of The Ten Commandments for Community Bloggers

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