Neo Geo Pocket (Color) part 1: Pocket Fighting Series – Mini Reviews
Follow Genre: Fighting
Developer: SNK
Publisher: SNK
Platform: NGPC

Neo Geo Pocket (Color) part 1: Pocket Fighting Series – Mini Reviews

Site Score
8.5
Good: Simple yet complicated
Bad: Limited controls
User Score
9.5
(6 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (6 votes cast)

SNK’s Neo Geo Pocket hit the stores in 1998 only to be followed by the color model in less than a year. The color model was a reaction to Nintendo’s Gameboy Advance but it seemed it was an effort that no one bothered to pay any attention to. Sadly enough this great handheld, which lacked graphical capacity compared to the Gameboy Advance, was not one to reach the hands of many children. This does not mean it didn’t have any great games or lacked the qualities gamers needed. We’ll go over some titles below and in the next part(s) – most will sound very familiar. (Sadly these are the only games I have from its already limited library.)

SONY DSC

The Pocket Fighting series consists out of several titles you will sure know by name or even play some of them yourselves, like King of fighters, Samurai Shodown, …
All of these games received a new look especially for the Neo Geo Pocket (Color) to make them part of their own little ‘series’. The characters have been turned in to cuter versions of themselves and go more towards a ‘Chibi’ Style than the normally quite seriously portraied characters. A style which suits the 16 bit capacities of the NGPC. And better not underestimate these cute looking warriors!

Sadly the NGPC lacked enough action buttons to design a lot more complicated games, (well complicated is not right, but you get what I mean) which was probably 1 of the reasons third-party developers didn’t really get in to making a lot of games for the machine. An honorable mention goes out to the handheld’s control stick which is simply one of the best handheld D-pad, joystick hybrids ever.

The games discussed below all had a multiplayer feature where you could battle each others if you happened to have a link cable.

Fatal Fury: First Contact:

Fatal Fury a fighting franchise which has sadly seen no more releases over the last few years (except for the virtual console and SNK collection bundles). Basically this game is the same as a King of Fighters game with a few different playable characters and some that we see in both franchises. Even though the Neo Geo Pocket (Color) only has 2 buttons with which you can perform attacks, the game does not lack its tactical abilities. You are able to perform super moves and ultra moves just like any other games and even though this game is a fairly old one, it already had the abilities to do reversals and so on. Making it easy to ‘control’ but hard to master.

The game has a limited amount of characters to choose from which is pretty much the only regrettable part about the game.

For a game which was designed for a 16 bit handheld system the characters look very likeable and the environments are not too shabby either. The background may lack movement like we’re used to nowadays but they are nicely ‘detailed’ and offer us more than most older fighting games on handheld systems.

King of Fighters R-2:

King of Fighters R-2 is a franchise which is still running and remained a decent one at that. The gameplay is pretty much the same as Fatal Fury: First Contact but gives us a little more characters to play with from different SNK series. (like Fatal Fury, …) The characters from the game above look precisely the same and play the same, which is actually fun if you happen to own both games. King of Fighters R-2 offers us the chance to either form a team with 3 fighters which fight seperately in any order you pick (and only switch to the next one when your fighter dies) or solo like any other normal fighting game.

The environments and graphics are nearly the same as Fatal Fury: First Contact but then again it’s the same company and a cast of characters that we get to play in both games.

Sadly enough I was unable to try out it’s rumored feature of connecting to a dreamcast with the Dreamcast KoF game.

Samurai Shodown! 2:

Sadly Samurai Shodown! 2 is the third and last fighting game for the NGPC, I have in possession (Don’t worry, there are more!) but might be the best one of the 3 games depending on your playstyle. Again the moves you are able to perform are simple combinations of your stick + your 2action buttons but the overall gamestyle of this fighting game is totally different. Mistakes are punished a lot more severely and you are only able to take a few direct hits. This game is more about waiting for the right moment to strike, if you decide to rush in like you’re able in a lot of fighting games you will get killed in a heartbeat.

The game offers us a decent amount of characters to play with each of them looking great in their respective chibi style and each with their set of special moves. The environments in Samurai Shodown! 2 really set the mood for some real ‘Samurai’ combat.

Conclusion:

These fightings game may look simple and have a very limited control scheme but end up to be actually pretty difficult to really master. The overall fighting system is pretty evolved considering with what the developers had to work with. The score that goes with this post is an average of the 3 games.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (6 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
Neo Geo Pocket (Color) part 1: Pocket Fighting Series – Mini Reviews, 9.5 out of 10 based on 6 ratings

5 Comments

  1. Turkashi
    January 23, 2013, 2:30 pm

    I’ve played the KOF on gambeboy (think kof95), this look so the same…good nostalagy

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    +1 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?
    Yes
    No
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    +1 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?
    Yes
    No
    • ThaMofo
      ThaMofo
      January 27, 2013, 12:12 am

      Yeah and the newer ones are still pretty awesome aswell 🙂

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      0 people found this helpful
      Was this review helpful?
      Yes
      No
      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      0 people found this helpful
      Was this review helpful?
      Yes
      No
  2. Marko
    January 26, 2013, 11:41 pm

    Keep this going please, great job!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    +1 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?
    Yes
    No
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    +1 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?
    Yes
    No
    • ThaMofo
      ThaMofo
      January 27, 2013, 12:12 am

      Thank you! Still plenty of retro stuff on the way.

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      0 people found this helpful
      Was this review helpful?
      Yes
      No
      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      0 people found this helpful
      Was this review helpful?
      Yes
      No
  3. […] time we discussed the viability of the Pocket Fighting Series for the Neo Geo Pocket Color. Luckily this wasn’t all the already underappreciated portable […]

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    0 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?
    Yes
    No

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.