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Week of Neo-Geo – What Games Should Come to the Next MVSX? September 16, 2022

Posted by Maniac in Editorials, Uncategorized, Week of Neo-Geo.
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I hope you all don’t feel the Neo-Geo died after the release of the Hyper Neo-Geo 64. While SNK has had its restructurings, bankruptcies and buyouts, the original games for the platform live on through various means. In fact, two years ago the company UNICO released the MVSX, a bartop arcade machine that comes packed with fifty classic Neo-Geo games. Let’s take a closer look at it in glorious 4K HDR.

The MVSX comes preloaded with slightly over one third of the total catalog of Neo-Geo games including Fatal Fury, King of Fighters and Metal Slug. However, if Wikipedia is to be believed, one hundred and forty-three total games were released for the platform (although that list does include games released on the AES and Neo-Geo CD). UNICO did ship the MVSX with a rear USB port, but that is only for system updates and bug fixes. Sadly, they won’t be offering new games for sale online, at least not to add to the current MVSX platform.

With nearly one hundred games from the Neo-Geo catalog missing in action, what are home arcade enthusiasts to expect for the future? It’s my opinion that UNICO may have decided to hold off offering digital downloads of new games on the MVSX so they can instead rerelease newer revisions of the MVSX with an alternate selection of games. If you remember anything about the Neo-Geo that I’ve taught you this week, it’s that the strength of the platform laid in the fact that the onboard games could be swapped out. With that in mind, there’s nothing holding back the opportunity for UNICO to release a second generation MVSX with an entirely different selection of games.

The best part of this is a potential new release could still be compatible with the existing stool and shelf, allowing players who already own them the opportunity to reuse their existing ones if they wish.

So with that all out of the way, let’s get to the big question then. What games do I think should be included in a next Neo-Geo home arcade release?

Just want to put a disclaimer here that this article is just being written for fun. At this time a successor to the MVSX has not been announced. This is also by no means a complete list and you’re welcome to post your own opinions in the comment section below.

Puzzle Bobble – The MVSX launched with a great amount of fighting titles, but for the life of me I couldn’t think of a single puzzle game that was installed on it. I know it sounds weird to play a puzzle game on an arcade since they are so common on smartphones and tablets these days, but I can assure you back in the day it was common and this is considered the best game on the platform. The game had several sequels, ALL of which could be bundled together in the next machine’s menu.

Shock Troopers (2nd Squad) – The first Shock Troopers has been my absolute favorite game to play on the MVSX, and it’s a shame that the sequel wasn’t included alongside it. You and a second player play as a select member of a squad of commandos in a run and gun side scroller.

Neo Turf Masters – Only one golf game released with the MVSX and unfortunately it wasn’t the specific golf game everyone remembers. Neo Turf Masters is considered the best golf game released for the platform and there’s a heavy demand online to rerelease or I will not question.

Cyber-Lip – I grew up loving cyberpunk shooting games and this classic run and gun game is a perfect example of that. Most people have compared its gameplay to Contra 3 but describe its plot as an adaptation of The Terminator. Sign me up!

Last Resort – A classic side scrolling space shooter on par with several Konami classics in the 16-Bit generation. Would be a perfect addition to a second release.

Riding Hero – The MVSX has no racing games on it, despite the fact several were developed for the original Neo-Geo. Riding Hero was SNK’s answer to SEGA’s HANG ON. The rules are simple, keep your motorcycle on the track and don’t let other players overtake you.

League Bowling – It’s bowling. My wife would not allow me to leave this off the list. It isn’t a perfect bowling simulation (Neo-Geo has no trackball, just joysticks and buttons) but it has a great art style with expressive characters. It also was the only game that took advantage of the Neo-Geo’s ability to link up other cabinets to allow 8-player games, making it a fantastic contender if UNICO intends to ship a machine that allows online play.


Week of Neo-Geo – The Hyper Neo-Geo 64 September 15, 2022

Posted by Maniac in Uncategorized, Week of Neo-Geo.
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We’ve spent the week so far talking about the history of the Neo-Geo, but as the week hits the halfway point out I thought it would be important to talk about the dark times for the platform.

By the time the era of the PS1, Nintendo 64 and SEGA Saturn hit retail, sales on 2D arcade platforms began to suffer regardless of how good the art style or performance of the games on it were. As the 90s went on the Neo-Geo’s 24-Bit platform slowly began creeping into obsolescence, and offering new games for the platform no longer seemed practical. What was needed was a new hardware revision in the form of a 3D-capable hardware platform. Enter the Hyper Neo-Geo 64.

If you aren’t familiar with the Hyper Neo-Geo 64, you’re in good company, I hadn’t heard of it either. It never appeared in any of the arcades I frequented back in the day. Thankfully, YouTube channel NeoGeoNow, which we’ve highlighted earlier this week, did the definitive look at the platform.

Next up I wanted to highlight the work of Top Hat Gaming Man, who also has produced a lot of Neo-Geo content over the years. He too produced a video on the Hyper 64, and I would be remiss to not post it here. Enjoy!

Such a disappointment when an arcade platform fails. To be honest, after watching it, the reason the platform never really took off becomes very clear. There should have been a unified core capable of handling all the games like the original Neo-Geo platform could.

We’re going to follow up this week with some original content talking about the current status of Neo-Geo hardware you can get right now. Stay tuned!

Week of Neo-Geo – Bennett the Sage’s Fatal Fury Movie Reviews September 14, 2022

Posted by Maniac in Uncategorized, Week of Neo-Geo.
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Welcome back to our look at Neo-Geo. In the past we’ve highlighted the work of the legendary Bennett White, better known to the internet as Bennett the Sage and his series Anime Abandon. As a former member of Channel Awesome, Sage has produced incredible reviews of obscure and infamous anime. Well, did you know that Japan has produced several animated features based on the Fatal Fury franchise? Well, I do, because Sage has done reviews of them.

First off, we’re going to highlight his review of Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture. Extreme fans may need to swallow a chill pill before watching this. He’s crass, even at times juvenile, but it’s also absolutely hilarious.

Next, we’re going to show his second Fatal Fury review, of Fatal Fury Double Impact. This one covers the two OVA films meant for television and is actually really complementary. I know a lot of people enjoyed these OVA’s, so if you weren’t pleased with his jokes about the Motion Picture, you may find more enjoyment with this one.

If you’re interested in checking out the Fatal Fury films, they’re available on Blu-Ray Disc and currently streaming on the RetroCrush service.

Week of Neo-Geo – Highlighting Sega Lord X September 13, 2022

Posted by Maniac in Uncategorized, Week of Neo-Geo.
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Some of you are reading this title and asking yourself the same question, “Why is he highlighting a self-proclaimed Sega fan on a week he’s dedicating to the Neo-Geo?” Well, first off, it’s pronounced SEGA (you have to scream it when you say it), and secondly it’s because the Sega Lord X YouTube channel has produced some of the best Neo-Geo videos on YouTube. Rather than sprinkle his videos throughout some of the articles we are planning to post throughout the week, we decided it was easier to just highlight his entire channel! Let’s get started shall we?

First off, we’d like to offer this documentary on the early days of the Neo-Geo. It’s a great way, I feel, to set the scene.

But let’s be honest. That’s not what you came here to see. You know that the Neo-Geo was an expensive platform which had expensive games. You’re curious how platform like the SEGA Genesis was able to handle a game originally developed for the Neo-Geo. Well, then you want to give this video a watch. His content is very detailed, and he breaks down differences in music quality, backgrounds and even missing features.

And finally, we want to highlight his look at the top ten games for the Neo-Geo. Obviously this video is just his opinion, but he included several of my favorite games on this list so it is worthy of including here.

Hope you’re enjoying your week of the Neo-Geo! More articles are on the way!

Gaming History You Should Know – History of Fatal Fury September 12, 2022

Posted by Maniac in Gaming History You Should Know, Uncategorized, Week of Neo-Geo.
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I know what you’re thinking. It’s not Sunday and we already talked about the Neo-Geo. So what gives? Well, we revealed we’ll be celebrating the history of the NEO-GEO platform on the site throughout the week. Today, we’ll be talking about one of the most recognized game franchises on the NEO-GEO platform, Fatal Fury.

Across the web I found three different documentary series I believe could be considered the definitive history lessons on the franchise. Rather than decide which one you should watch, I decided to highlight every one of them and let you decided for yourselves which you think is the best.

First off, we‘re going to highlight the work of Matt McMuscles, the YouTube Channel most known for the What Happened? series. He’s also an enormous fan of the Fatal Fury franchise and did a great documentary on the series that everyone should watch.

Next we’re going to be highlighting another great YouTube channel, Thorgi’s Arcade. In the second episode of his series on Fighting Games, he was asked by his fans to cover Fatal Fury. Give it a watch!

Last up, we want to highlight the work of the NeoGeoNow, an incredible YouTube channel focused on the beloved platform. He produced a three-episode documentary on the franchise, focusing on a new era with each episode. I’m sure we’ll be featuring more of this channel’s work later on this week.

Hope you’re enjoying our week on the Neo-Geo! More content will be coming throughout the week!

Gaming History You Should Know – History of the NEO-GEO September 11, 2022

Posted by Maniac in Gaming History You Should Know, Uncategorized, Week of Neo-Geo.
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Last month, the team over at SNK announced they will be reviving one of the most beloved dormant 2D fighting franchises in gaming history, Fatal Fury. For those of you who don’t know very much about the Fatal Fury franchise, be aware that you are in good company. The games were originally developed for a platform meant exclusively for the arcade market.

Please remember that during the early to mid 90s arcades were back in a big way. While home consoles were available with platforms like the NES, SNES and Sega Genesis, arcade machines were still able to produce superior graphics and sound. Many gaming companies of the day including SEGA, Midway and Atari, strived to make the best looking games they could using custom arcade hardware. Only later, if the game was an arcade success, would a port be considered for home console release. Sadly, due to the fact the gaming experience developed on custom arcade hardware could not be completely replicated on the consoles of the day, these ports could not be completely accurate to the arcade experience, and gamers knew it. Because of that, the business of an arcade was booming once again!

However, while arcades were making good profits at the time, new arcade machines were expensive, and many venues would settle for converting the existing cabinets of unpopular titles to free up space and save on cost for newer titles. While this was a great practice for arcades, it had many downsides. It was difficult to revert existing machines back to their earlier state if the newer game they replaced wasn’t as popular as the older game. Then, a company called SNK decided to do something about that.

SNK developed a top of the line arcade cabinet which was capable of playing a wide range of arcade games. How did it work? It wasn’t that dissimilar an experience to changing out the game cartridges on a Genesis or NES console. This gave arcade owners the chance to easily rotate the game offerings on their game floors, as well as saved them countless dollars in not having to repurchase new hardware every time a new title would be released by SNK. This platform would become known as the NEO-GEO.

How fondly remembered is the NEO-GEO these days? Here’s an incredible music video made a decade ago by Nathan Barnett as his character Keith Apicary.

First up, I want to re-highlight the work of YouTube Channel, Wrestling with Gaming, which has always been able to produce incredible documentaries about gaming history other people may not even remember. If you wanted to see a NEO-GEO documentary on the platform that is so good it might as well have been broadcasted on tv, start here.

Next up, I’d like to highlight the retrospectives of the legendary PatMan QC. His work has always been to create reference quality retrospectives on arcade games and game platforms. He goes really into depth on showcasing the games released for the platform, and just how many platforms are currently out there on the wild. Give it a watch!

Also, for those of you who may fondly remember the best days of G4, you probably remember the show Icons. It detailed the history of a wide range of gaming franchises and platforms. They dedicated an entire episode to the rise and fall of the NEO-GEO and it would be a shame for me to not include it here.

If you’re interested in more about the NEO-GEO, I have great news. We are planning to dedicate multiple articles this week to the venerable platform. Hope you all enjoy!

If you would like to see Nathan’s NEO-GEO cabinet for yourself, last I checked it was still operating at the Funspot in New Hampshire.