SNK Summer School: Baseball Stars 2 & King of Fighters ’95 (PS3)

Not only did SNK release a bunch of pre-Neo-Geo arcade classic as PS Minis, they also added two new games for the Neo Geo Station on PS3. So for the final day of SNK Summer School, we’ll take a quick look at Baseball Stars 2 and King of Fighters 95.

Naturally, Baseball Stars 2 is an arcade baseball game. The characters are cartoony and exaggerated (they even break their bats when they strike out), but it’s straight up baseball. You can choose simple or more complicated controls, and play a single game, or a series. You can also play two players locally or online.

Baseball Stars 2 would be a great choice for kids. It may not teach them all the fundamentals of baseball rules, but the simple controls are easy to understand. Reading is helpful, but not totally necessary, for the text instructions. And it’s rated E for Everyone.

King of Fighters 95 is a one on one fighting game starring popular characters from other SNK fighters like Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting. Choose to play as a single character or in teams of three. You can even play against another opponent locally or online. Because it’s one of the early games in the series, KOF 95 does look a bit blocky and pixelly. But for fans of old school fighters, it’s a good download.

King of Fighters 95 is rated T for Teen with ESRB descriptors of Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes, and Alcohol Use. It’s a fighting game, so of course there is violence, but it’s mostly cartoony. One character drinks from a flask, so there’s the alcohol reference. And the mild suggestive themes come from the female fighters. But it’s all pretty tame so I’d be OK letting kids younger than teens play this. Some less experienced players might get frustrated at the difficulty and reading skill is helpful for the instructions.

And that’s all I have to say about the recent batch of SNK classics on PS3 and PSP (I bet you’re all glad). In the comments section, let me know your favorite SNK pre-Neo-Geo arcade titles, and your favorite Neo-Geo games and SNK characters. And maybe I’ll let you know mine! –Cary

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