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SNK Games: The Highlights of the Biggest Fighting Genre Company

by: Lin Clark ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

SNK is a worldwide known Japanese gaming company that has produced over 16 gaming franchises. Most of them have at least 6 titles in each. What are the best SNK games and what makes them so entertaining?

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    Best SNK Games

    Every gamer knows about The King of Fighters series and how it used to rival Street Fighter back in the day. They even copied some of the same move sets such as the famous Hadouken and Chun-Li’s wall bounce. The series has come out strongly for being a copycat and now has over 20 games. That’s quite a lot of games being made; almost one game a year! They are also the makers of Metal Slug- a fast paced action game that leaves gamers mighty frustrated. What other SNK games have been made and deserve more recognition?

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    The Art of Fighting (1992)

    art of fighting  

    First made for the Neo Geo and later the SNES, The Art of Fighting gave gamers a quick taste of SNK’s style of design. You face a good variety of opponents - much like other fighting games. What is unique about this game is your spirit gauge. You must fill up this gauge by holding a button. The game will give you more powerful attacks until the spirit gauge depletes. It was a simple gaming mechanic, but has been used time and time again in their other titles (most notably The King of Fighters.) The Art of Fighting has a simple plot following Ryo Sakazaki and Robert Garcia where they must fight a crime lord named Geese Howard, who has also appeared in their other fighting game, Fatal Fury. Any lover of arcade style fist pounding action would adore this game.

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    Psycho Soldier (1986)

    Psycho Soldier  

    Made for arcade and the Commodore 64, Psycho Soldier is a sequel to the game Athena (a game about a school girl with mystifying powers.) While it is very cliché, especially when taking 80’s anime into account, the gameplay can be fun for some. Even though many SNK games are fighting genres, Psycho Soldier is action side scrolling based. Athena can use her psycho energy to get through certain obstacles and destroy enemies running towards her. This Japanese classic hasn’t gotten the recognition it deserves, although SNK did release a sequel to it after many years.

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    Ikari III: The Rescue (1989)

    Ikari 3  

    Another release for the arcade, Ikari III is a classic beat’em up game that plays an original formula. The difference between Ikari III and other beat’em ups such as Double Dragon, is that Ikari III has other places to venture besides city slum streets. You play as two resistance members Paul and Vince, fighting against a secret organization called Crime Ghost. You can also pick up machine guns and grenades to blast through your enemies and find your way to the hide out. As for the graphics, the use of colors is pretty good for being an old arcade game and they seem to have followed the method with their later games.

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    Samurai Shodown (1993)

    samurai shodown  

    As one of their most known fighter games, Samurai Shodown has been released to a number of consoles such as Neo Geo, SNES, Sega Genesis, PS2, and even the Wii. The game takes place in the late 18th century when samurais were still on the rise and adds weapons to a side scrolling fighting game formula. Each fighter has a different set of weapons they can use such as ninja stars and samurai swords which add unique game play to the otherwise standard 2D fighting. The game was so brilliant that it spawned 7 sequels.

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    The King of Fighters XIII (2010)

    kof xiii  

    The latest release of The King of Fighter series, number XIII, was released in 2010 on the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. Sticking with the 2D fighting game style, they added in some 3D elements to appease fans of both game types. It follows the same format as the previous games- making up teams to fight against one another. As one of the most popular SNK games, King of Fighters XIII decided not to add too many new things to the game play and kept it simple so fans could enjoy the nostalgia. The new EX mode and Hyper Drive gauge adds competition to the game play rather than being faulty.

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    What's Up for SNK?

    SNK has shown a great deal of growth and development with their video games of the past few years. Fans of the gaming company should be very happy with the recent offerings from their franchises and it seems that SNK will only have more to show in the coming years. Mixing classic arcade with a side of modern, SNK knows what gamers want.

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