Neo Geo Battle Coliseum for the Playstation 2

SNK will always have a special place in my heart for many of their awesome arcade game franchises. One of my favorites has to be the Metal Slug franchise. Other popular franchises are their fight game franchises like King of Fighters, Fatal Fury, Samurai Shodown, and Art of Fighting series. So far, in today’s world, they aren’t doing that well. Who could blame them? When you have Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft competing, what chance does SNK have? Well, 2 years ago, they came out with an unusual game that caught my eye called Neo Geo Battle Coliseum for the Playstation 2. So, will this game be the one to take them out of the shadows of the big companies? Or is it just another game to pick up for $10?

The story starts off with an evil man who wants to rule the Neo Geo world and defeat all its powerful fighters. A company named Warez decided to hold a tournament and see who is the strongest fighter. So, yeah, it’s your basic Street Fighter rip-off plot. Then again, it’s kind of hard to come up with a good story and present it through the game. Still, that’s for later in this review.

The game play style is in the form of a 2-against-2 fighting game which is, in a way, like another famous fighting game, Marvel vs. Capcom 2. You pick two fighters from the multiple Neo Geo universes, then you go through multiple fights just like in any fighting game, and then end with a tough boss fight. Now, if you are a fan of any the SNK or Neo Geo, you will feel comfortable with most of the characters in the game. You have people from stuff like Art of Fighting, Fatal Fury, King of Fighters, Metal Slug, King of Monsters, and etc. You also get to play as two original characters for this game, specifically named Yuki and Ai. They choose some of the best characters from each universe and that’s a smart call. You also get to use so-called super moves, like in Marvel vs. Capcom, in the form of the two characters combing their super moves.

The music has to be one of my favorite parts of the Neo Geo universe, since back in the day, they were superior in the ways of music and graphics. The music is full of life and rhythm, which you would find in any fighting game soundtrack. Since we’re talking about sound, I have to mention the best thing they did. They did a Cracker Jack job at voice acting. They didn’t change it for most of the characters, and only gave English voice acting to the few American characters. I think that’s a good move, since voice acting can screw up the game a little. You hear that Sega? Change the god dang voice acting in the Sonic games! Okay, now that I blew off some steam, let’s continue with this review. To finish this paragraph, I think the best part of this style of fighting game is because you get to choose your favorite characters from two universes and make it a deadly force.

Let’s pick your favorite fighters and beat up the bad parts of the game. The graphics are pretty stale and bad for an SNK game. Now, how bad are the graphics? They look a little better then Megaman and Bass. When you think of SNK, you think of beautiful graphics, but compared to stuff like New Super Mario Brothers Wii, Little Big Planet, and Halo, you can see that SNK hasn’t really aged well at all. The fighting mechanic for this game is kind of like a lot of fighting games where you need to pull of super combo moves and be cheap. If you’re not one of those people who can pull them off, then its just frustrating to play. When I pick up a game, I want to be able to easily learn the controls and play the game. I don’t want to have to go on the Internet, and print out sheets upon sheets of combos for each character. In my opinion, that isn’t a fun aspect of this game. With every fighting game, there is always the issue of the AI opponent, which can always pull off the super moves in an instant. That isn’t fair to the player who is playing the game and doesn’t know how to pull off any of the stronger moves. The biggest gripe I have with this game is the final boss selection. If you want to fight one out of the four or so final bosses, you have to do it under specific requirements. What?! Why do I have to do that instead of just going linear with the matches and fight all the bosses? Another thing that I’m just upset about in this game is when you die once, even if you have another fighter ready, it’s game over. How hardcore do I need to be to play a freaking fighting game? I think they just didn’t have a lot of time with this game, and they just couldn’t test it enough to see what works and what didn’t. Remember how I said up above about the plot in a fighting game and how it’s hard to pull it off? Well, this game does a horrible job introducing the plot through the game, since it’s just repetitious rounds, and it will just confuse the living heck out of everyone who plays it.

All and all, it’s a slightly above-average fighting game. It’s not the best by any means, but it isn’t the worst. All I have to say is if you have Gamefly, I say, check it out, I mean, if you’re a super combo kind of fighter fan, I guess. Other then that, this is just going to be on the shelves gathering dust.

This game gets a 7 out of 10
Rated T for Teen.