NeoGeo Pocket Color Selection Vol. 2 – Review
Follow Genre: Retro collection
Developer: SNK
Publisher: SNK
Platform: Switch, NeoGeo Pocket Color
Tested on: Switch

NeoGeo Pocket Color Selection Vol. 2 – Review

Site Score
Good: Good emulation
Bad: Three games are untranslated
User Score
(1 votes)
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Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Well, this one has been a long time coming. Back when we reviewed the NeoGeo Pocket Selection Vol. 1, in April of last year, we already suspected we were going to take a look at Vol. 2 some day. A couple of drip-fed single game releases later, that day has finally come. We had mixed feelings about that first collection, but perhaps this second batch has enough to offer to change our minds. Let’s find out, shall we?

Just like when we reviewed Vol. 1, we’re stepping away from our usual review format to take a look at the selection of included games as a whole. Vol.2 definitely seems like a much more comprehensive package at first glance. Both collections included ten titles, but Vol. 1 mainly focused on fighting titles, whereas there is a lot more variety here. Additionally, Vol. 2 offers six “new” games, with only four of the included titles having been released separately before. Vol. 1 had that same six-to-four ratio flipped, offering only four new titles. Does this mean that Vol. 2 is the better package? Well, not quite. Before we fully dive in though, let’s list the included titles here, for the sake of completeness. The returning games are Mega Man Battle & Fighters, Big Bang Pro Wrestling, Biomotor Unitron, and SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash. Joining these are Puzzle Link 2, King of Fighters: Battle de Paradise, Gangbare Neo Poke-Kun, Baseball Stars, Neo Geo Pocket Tennis, and Neo Geo Cup ‘98 Plus.

If you’ve read our review of Mega Man Battle & Fighters, you may remember that the game lacked an English translation and that you were supposed to continuously switch between the manual and the game. If you had any hopes of Vol. 2 rectifying this, then not only do we need to crush those hopes, but we have the unfortunate honor of informing you that SNK has made the same mistake again… twice. Both King of Fighters: Battle de Paradise and Gangbare Neo Poke-Kun are presented here in Japanese, with no English translation present. We couldn’t even figure out what Gangbare Neo Poke-Kun‘s gameplay expected from us, and the board game-esque approach of King of Fighters: Battle de Paradise made for a frustratingly inaccessible experience if you didn’t quite know what the hell was going on. If you don’t mind constantly swapping between the manual and the game, all the more power to you, but we did not enjoy either of these titles because of this. To make matters worse, one of the minigames in King of Fighters: Battle de Paradise is a quiz with multiple-choice answers. Of course, if you can’t read the question or the answers, you can guess blindly, but that’s obviously not how it should be played.

Fortunately, the other four “new” games fare a bit better, with Puzzle Link 2 perhaps the highlight. Puzzle gameplay tends to be timeless and this Tetris-like title is exemplary of this. It even supports local multiplayer. The other three games included here are sports-based: It should be clear from the titles what Baseball Stars and Neo Geo Pocket Tennis are about, and the third game, Neo Geo Cup ‘98 Plus presents players with a very simplistic top-down interpretation of soccer. They’re all effective in what they do but like most Neo Geo Pocket titles, these sports games lack depth and the novelty wears off after a few minutes. It seems that although Vol. 2 offers more variety than its predecessor, the quality of the included titles is a bit lesser, especially when you compare the selection to heavy hitters like the two Metal Slug titles or Dark Arms: Beast Buster.

There isn’t a whole lot of new stuff we can say about the quality of the ports that we haven’t already covered in our Vol. 1 review, as Vol. 2 offers, essentially, more of the same. SNK has pretty much perfected their Neo Geo emulator, and at this point, they can just dump the ROMs into the program and call it a day. Without sounding too cynical, this makes Vol. 2 feel like a quick cash grab. The mediocre selection of games and the fact that they didn’t even bother to translate three of the games speaks volumes. That’s without going into the scummy tactic of drip-releasing some of the titles ahead of the collection. Fortunately, it’s easy to vote with your wallet this time around: unless you absolutely want three gimmicky sports games, the only title worth it this time around is Puzzle Link 2. The other titles are either available separately or weren’t translated. Given the price of the collection though, picking it up for just Puzzle Link 2 isn’t worth it, so we really recommend you skip this one.

It’s not that the games included here are necessarily bad, although they are of wildly varying quality. Our final score is an amalgamation of the overall quality of the included games, but it doesn’t take a wider issue into account. Said issue is that by picking up this collection you are effectively rewarding SNK’s laziness. If you’re a retro game enthusiast or completionist then yes, it’s worth considering Vol. 2, if only because it allows you to mess around with rarities that are a lot more expensive in cartridge form than they are here. And yes, the emulation is still top-notch and probably more optimized than if you were to emulate the games through less legal means, even if that does mean you could simply patch in a fan translation to play through King of Fighters: Battle de Paradise.

We understand that, at the end of the day, SNK is a business, not a charity. We’re not expecting them to present us with full remasters or modern remakes of classic Neo Geo Pocket games, but if we look at the effort that Square Enix or NIS are putting into bringing their older games to modern audiences, we can’t help but feel a little jaded at the lack of effort that is on display here, combined with the atrocious pricing. You’re definitely not going to be getting your money’s worth here. You could get a year’s worth of Switch Online with the Expansion Pack for just a bit more, and you’re going to get a hell of a lot more retro gaming fun out of that one.


If SNK can’t bother putting in the effort, you shouldn’t bother putting in the cash. We already had our reservations about whether or not Vol. 1 was worth the €39.99 price, but in the case of Vol. 2, the answer is a resounding no. The selection of games is worse than the previous collection, even if it offers more variety, and some of the games are essentially unplayable unless you speak Japanese. If we were to look at Vol. 2 as a whole, and not at the individual quality of the games, we’d easily knock down the score by a point or two, but titles like Big Bang Pro Wrestling and Card Fighters Clash are fun enough to keep this release afloat.

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Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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NeoGeo Pocket Color Selection Vol. 2 – Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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