Tuesday, May 12, 2009
They Call It Neo-Geo
I have been on one hell of a retro gaming kick lately. Playing old NES, SNES, PC, Genesis favorites and the like. But oh my lord do the Neo-Geo Titles hold up extremely well. In the 90's you couldn't go into an arcade without seeing a MVS cabinet. Heck, they were even in just about every pizza parlor and bowling alley in existence. If you had boatloads of cash, you could get the Neo-Geo AES home console for arcade perfect goodness that was drool worthy in the 90's. So at this point I'm sure you can guess what's really been holding my attention more than the rest.
As I have stated before, I never owned a Neo-Geo back then, even today they are still cost prohibitive for most. Systems today can still fetch prices in the realm of the 80GB PS3 or more, if you can find one. A little bit of Ebay searching and you can run across a few AES units, including some refurbished modded units with component video outputs for the truly hardcore.
Typically the system is associated with SNK fighters, and rightfully so, they are some of the finest titles on the system, not to mention the genre. There are also many great games in other classic genres that can be overlooked by your average gamer. I can see this post quickly devolving into a list of my personal recommendations of titles to try, so let's just get that out of the way shall we? Hmmm. How about a top 15? That sound pretty good to me. Also note these will be in no particular order, Just 15 titles (or series) that I think could be worth your time.
#15 Metal Slug Series
These include Metal Slug 1-5, 4 plus, 5 plus, and Metal Slug X. It's a run and gun shooter with a great aesthetic and sense of humor. Though those easily frustrated need not apply.
#14 Ninja Master's
The first of what will undoubtedly not be the last fighting game on the list. It's a great fighter that tends to get overshadowed by more popular series on the system.
#13 Baseball Stars 2
I don't think I have ever seen an MVS cabinet without this game. It's one of the most fun arcade baseball games ever created for any system. Odds are you have already played this, but it still holds up extremely well, and is super easy to pick up and play by just about any level of gamer.
#12 Blue's Journey
It's a quirky and cute platformer with some interesting play mechanics. It's a love it or hate it title, no real middle ground with this one. It's worth giving a shot.
#11 Neo Bomberman
A great Bomberman game for the Neo-Geo that's more action than puzzle. If you've played a puzzle based Bomberman before and didn't like it, don't rule this one out automatically. It's good fast paced fun.
#10 Garou: Mark of the Wolves
A gorgeous fighter that is not to be missed. A personal favorite. Possibly the best animation on the system.
#9 Magical Drop Series
Have you played Astropop on XBLA or elsewhere? Than you have played this and now know where they stole it from.
#8 The King of Fighters Series
Bar none my favorite fighting series on the system. I suggest sticking to the even years as they are my favorites, with 98, 96 and 2000 tied at the top of said list.
#7 Shock Troopers 1&2
They feel like a spiritual successor to Ikari Warriors. Great instant action fun not to be missed.
#6 Aero Fighters/Sonic Wings 2&3
One of my personal favorite series of "Bullet Hell" shooters. If you like shooters, give them a go.
#5 Samurai Showdown Series
Great fighting game series with the 2nd widely regarded as the best. My personal favorite is V.
#4 SVC Chaos
SNK characters vs. Capcom characters. Great place to get started with SNK fighters if your familiar with the street fighter series. It's pretty easy to pull off familiar moves with the Capcom roster.
#3 Fatal Fury/Real Bout Series
A fine series of SNK fighters that many enjoy. I have a hard time adapting to it's fighting system personally, but it's still fun.
#2 World Heroes Series
A fun fighter on the system that's not made by SNK!!! That's just amazing.
#1 Mutation Nation
Think Final Fight on steroids and crack.
Honorable Mentions A.K.A. not my favorites, but have their own distinctive charm.
Power Instinct: Matrimelee
A fighter that must be seen to be believed. There must have been a boatload of drugs being used by the creators of this series.
The Super Spy
A first person thing. Not great, but good for a few minutes of distraction here and there.
Legend of Success Joe A.K.A. Legend of Suckass Joe
Must be played to truly appreciate how awful it really is.
Many peoples favorite shooter. Worth a look if you dig the genre.
There you have it, some of my favorites and other crap on the system. Yes it's a fighter heavy system, but there's still something for everyone. There's also a ton of stuff not mentioned here worth seeking out. Perhaps those will make it in another post down the road.