Real Talk By: The Wizard

As Summer comes to a close I find myself thinking of what I am going to do this Winter. Most likely i’ll hibernate in the homestead with plenty of hot beverages and video games. When I need a break from modern gaming, normally ill fire up my Neo Geo Arcade Cabinet. Magical Drop III, The Last Blade, Mark of the Wolves, Pulstar, Magician Lord, Windjammers, Metal Slug X, and basically any game in my collection I get an impulse to play. The great thing about arcade games is that you can play a bunch in a day, and feel like you’ve accomplished something. You can pump quarters into them and beat them all in a day, (or you can do like I do and) limit yourself to a 1 Credit Completion (1CC), or 4 quarters. The problem with arcade games though is that when you own a system like an arcade cabinet, or a supergun (a custom-built console to play arcade boards on you t.v.), you can’t lug that stuff to your friends houses. So I must say I am kind of pumped for the December 6, 2012 release of the NeoGeoX Gold console by Tommo Inc, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of one of the greatest consoles of all time, the Neo Geo AES (Advanced Entertainment System).

The NeoGeoX Gold is going to have a suggested MSRP of $199.99 and will include a handheld with a 4.3″ display, a docking station that looks like a minature Neo Geo home system, a controller that looks like the original Neo Geo arcade stick, internal speakers, 3.5mm headphone jack, and will feature HDMI and A/V out for when you want to hook the portable up to your television. The console will also come preloaded with 20 classic Neo Geo titles to get you started which will be listed and discussed briefly at the end.

At first look this seems like a pretty sweet deal. However, there’s way too many undisclosed details about the console to really know what to expect. Even throughout the http://www.Neo-Geo.com forums we have been unable to come up with any solid information other than what is posted on the NeoGeoX Gold website. Some of the questions that come to mind are how will the games for the console be sold, and will you be able to buy with a credit card? Will you have an account with the manufacturer where you can always download your games if lost? Is the entire Neo Geo library going to be released, including unreleased on home cartridge in the United States, Arcade and Japanese games? Will there be a Universe Bios installed to play the games in English, Japanese, or Arcade mode? The English versions of a lot of games are censored so this is a big deal. Also, not everybody likes to use arcade sticks. This brings up the question if the console will have original Neo Geo controller ports? If so then there are a few options like a Neo Geo CD Pad, Original Neo Geo arcade stick and kidney bean version, and also Mas Supernova high quality arcade sticks. Also, will you be selling extra controllers and will there be 2 controller ports on the console? Since it looks like this is a console used to digitally distribute arcade games how will that be done? Also will there be any online play(highly unlikely). This is basically an emulator, will all the games run properly and smoothly? There are so many question I have with no answers.

The 20 preloaded titles are as followed. The list looks halfway decent. I wouldn’t expect them to release the best titles anyway because then you would never buy any games. This will keep you busy for a while if you limit the credits you use when playing.

3 Count Bout (this game is total crap, and is cheap).

Art of Fighting 2 (can be fun, but also near impossible. 1 and 3 are great games).

Alpha Mission 2 (OK shooter, it’s no Pulstar, Blazing Star, or Viewpoint).

Baseball Stars 2 (Great baseball game, and fun 2 players).

Cyber Lip (Contra clone, but fun and a good addition).

Fatal Fury (every other Fatal Fury and Real Bout Game is better, but this is still a good addition).

Fatal Fury Special (I’m not a big fan, but is one of the more popular titles).

The King of Fighters 95′ (all the King of Fighters games are good. This is a good addition, but 96, 97, or 98 would have been better).

King of The Monsters (not one of the best games, but it’s OK for a few plays)

Last Resort (decent shooter, good addition)

League Bowling (fun if you have people to play with).

Magician Lord (one of my favorite Neo titles, but may be too hard for some. Good platformer).

Metal Slug (arguably the best title on the system. Great addition).

Mutation Nation (fun little beat em up, good addition)

Nam 1975 (the first Neo Geo game ever released. I really like this game, but not for everyone, good addition).

Puzzled (Tetris clone with some originality. Fair addition).

Real Bout Fatal Fury Special (Awesome fighting game, great addition).

Samurai Showdown 2 (arguably best fighting game on console, great addition).

Super Sidekicks (it’s soccer, and it not that good).

Word Heroes Perfect (decent fighter, but on a system flooded with fighting games it barely makes par).

Final Thoughts:

Even though I am pretty excited for the release of the NeoGeoX Gold, there are far to many questions to justify dropping $199.99 on a portable console. $199.99 seems like a pretty hefty price tag for an emulator. I would be very skeptical before making any purchase and research the console a few weeks after release. I think for the average gamer who has never played NeoGeo this will be a good cheap option to try some of the games, but for hardcore Neo Geo fans there are far too many unanswered question and it’s unlikely all the answers will be good. The only reason I can justify purchasing this for myself is for weekend trips to visit the family to play with my little brothers. Another reason would be that Neo Geo collecting is expensive, so this may be a good option if all the games for the original console are released. And finally Neo Geo on 60″ inch plasma television sounds pretty fun.

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