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Video Game Uber Fun Fun List: NeoGeo

Author: Philippe
Posted: 06 Mar 2006

Welcome, welcome, to another edition of the Video Games Uber Fun Fun List. Let me start off by saying that nobody thought I would get this far along on the list. I showed 'em, though! I showed em good. COMEUPPANCE! Onward and upward, people.

Today we're going to get into a bit of an anomaly. Travel back with me to 1991 and the release of the NeoGeo on an unsuspecting world gone mad!

There's some speculation on what I'm about to say. I was 12 in 1991 so I was not on the board of SNK. I really have no idea what their intentions were. However, it seems that there intentions were to never really sell the NeoGeo to the populace. They did, of course, once demand got high enough. It wasn't their original intention, though.

In the beginning, the system was put into hotels and the like. The reason being that the thing was ridiculously expensive. The reason it was ridiculously expensive was that it was ridiculously over-powered. Two CPUs, one of which was twice as powerful as the chip in the Genesis. A video chipset that allowed sixty-four times more colors than the Genesis and five times the sprites. CD quality sound and plenty of room for cool sound effects.

Yikes. Sixty-four! Sixty-four times the colors! 4100 compared to 64. Well, the system sounds so much better. Why can I only barely remember it?

Probably because of the 600 dollar price tag. Like I said, initially just to hotels. It came with 2 arcade joysticks (1 foot long, and 8 inches across) and a game. Good thing, too, because the games were up to two hundred dollars a pop. It represented the first time that a home game was the exact same game as the arcade game, though.

In fact, the only difference between the arcade system and the home system was the ability to put four games into the arcade system (remember the multi-game arcade machines?). Shouldn't be too hard to remember them, they kept on designing games. In fact, the last game for the system was released in 2004. 15 years is a pretty good run for a video game system, I feel.

Never a big selling system, the NeoGeo, but badass nontheless and there're fifteen years' worth of games to choose from. This, of course, makes it one of the hardest things to write a top nine for on the Uber List. However, the list controls me now. I am a slave to it and a top nine you shall receive. Shall we?

So now, The Video Games Uber Fun Fun List in association with Team Totally Awesome proudly presents...

The Top Nine list for the NeoGeo!

9. Pulstar (Aicom, 1995). Rounding out the bottom of the top, we have a bitchin' little side-scrolling shooter named Pulstar. Great graphics and some bitchin' cutscenes make it one of my favorite side-scrolling shooters. The unlimited continues make it a bit easy. Not a lot of mastery is needed to make it through the game, but it's fun and pretty and thus it gets the nine spot.

8. Mark of the Wolves (SNK, 1995). Yeah, baby. Here we have what seems to be the favorite game of the Fatal Fury series. For those who haven't played, it's a cartoony fighter with some nice moves. Good-looking characters, and who needs plot? Nobody does. Not in a fighter. A good collection of fighters from all the previous games makes this a smart match for you and your NeoGeo.

7. Magician Lord (Alpha, 1990). A fantastic 2D platform game. There're two buttons -- attack and jump. Seems simplistic at first, but then as you level up your magician you get more and more options as to what your attack does and what you turn into. It's not the most graphically-intensive game in the world, but by 1990 standards it was delicious and wonderful chocolate. It's a hard game to beat, though. Some of those bosses are ridiculous, but hey -- if video games were always easy, I wouldn't play them. Kudos for the Magician Lord!

6. Super Sidekicks (SNK, 1994). And lo, the clouds parted and from the sky didst appear the only soccer game I've ever liked. The game is fast-paced (as opposed to soccer) and fun (as opposed to soccer). There's going to be some frantic button smashing when you get near the goal posts and you need some good eye-to-hand skills to get it in the net. There's a sort of meter that appears when you're setting up a goal shot. I've jumped up and down in frustration while playing this game, which is certainly a rarity. Well...OK, not so much a rarity, really, but you get the point. Yay for soccer!...on an old overpriced videogame system...

5. The Last Blade (SNK, 1998). Welcome to the second fighter (and not the last) to grace the top nine. This one is also by SNK (shock shock surprise!). Weapons! Swords and shit. I like fighting games with weapons. And, so, I like this game as well. It's hard to really get into the nitty gritty of describing a 2D fighter, so I won't. This game was great, though.

4. Aero Fighters 2 (SNK, 1994). This, here, is my favorite top-view scrolling shooter. I love it. I love that it's two player and I love that every one of the NeoGeo machines seems to have it. Great game. Fun weapons and good bosses. Still, it's hard to describe a top-down shooter and make it sound interesting. It's pretty much the same description that I'd give Galaga. I normally like giving a little bit more as far as game descriptions go, but fighters and shooters...what else can I really put? You're simply going to have to trust the list. In any case, onward and upward to the top 3.

3. The King of Fighters (Playmore, ...). OK, so this particular fighter managed to make its way to the top of everyone's list...sort of. Much like the Madden games, KoF managed to have a release every year from 1994 to 2003. Lots of people gave me reasons why 1998 was a million times better than 2000 and I read all of the comments and didn't care about any of them, really. For everyone that thought '98 was the best, there was someone who thought that '01 was. What was I to do, though? One of the games in the series was always either in position one or two of a list, but no single game actually even made the complete top nine. It's a kickass fighting game series. That's all you need to know. My solution is to bump it down to the number 3 position and, for the sheer unadulterated hell of it, recommend any one of the games to you.

2. Samurai Shodown 2 (SNK, 1994). This is a sequel to what was probably the only competition to Capcom's Street Fighter game for a little while. Of course, there were plenty of games on the way, but I digress. The sequel was a marked improvement to the original, adding four more characters and a plethora of new locales to fight in. There were actually four games in the series, but this one seemed to stand out in people's minds as the best. The best fighting game on the NeoGeo which is saying quite a bit considering how many fighters you had to choose from. A great fighter and totally deserving of the number two spot. Congratulations, SNK, you done good. But now for something even more fun. Something wonderful. A magical kind of game. And what game is it? What managed to make it to the top? The king of kings?

1. Metal Slug 3 (SNK, 2000). Holy crap, do I love the Metal Slug series of games. This is a side-scrolling platformer shoot-'em-up in the style of Contra but infinitely more silly than Contra, while still retaining oodles of badassitude. Explosions, rescues, and bad guys and only one will survive! Who will it be? Believe it or not, it's ME! Or you, if you buy the game. This game is so METAL that they had to put the word Metal in the title. It rocks out with its cock out. It'll beat you like a government mule then serve you up on a platter until you won't know the difference between breakfast and your asshole. It's that good.


Right. In any case, hope you enjoyed this little foray into the past. A NeoGeo plus these games will definitely equal a good time.

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