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Nathan Wind

Neo Geo Appreciation Thread

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I remember the Neo Geo. I was lucky enough to have two brothers about 8 years older than me who were mad on games. Back in the day of game importers like Console Concepts they spent tons of their money on the latest stuff from Japan...and I got to play it! Sometimes older brothers have their uses :) 

 

They were the ones that got me into gaming. I remember taking trips up the Scarborough at weekends to the arcades, also seeing the article in C&VG with the pictures of Altered Beast for the Megadrive and then them importing one from Japan, but it was the Neo Geo that I remember the most. We first saw it running at Console Concepts, and they just had to have it regardless of price. (Max the credit card out) It truly was an arcade machine in your home, but at a massive cost.

 

There was a shop in Hull at the time called Microbyte which sold the usual Megadrive and Snes games. My brothers knew the manager pretty well, so decided to bring the machine in one Saturday. I think the Neo Geo had only been out a few weeks in Japan at the time, and they had Nam1975 and maybe Magician Lord, not 100% sure. I will always remember setting it up in the shop and the massive crowd that appeared to see it, all amazed by the graphics and the speech, most not even knowing what it was. It was a very memorable day. Needless to say, I think they are still paying for some of the £200.00 games 20 years on lol.

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Here are some facts after a couple of hours on the Neo Geo this afternoon.

 

Robo Army is still great.  I love its simplicity and those massive, gorgeous sprites and big explosions.

 

Super Spy is good fun too.  Ducking under a kick then popping up and stabbing some goon clean in the face is hilarious.  Thinking you're clever and ducking a punch only to get low-kicked in the face....not so much.  Again, lovely big, colourful characters.

 

Nam '75 is rock hard.  The graphics seem disappointing at first coming from those other games with such huge sprites but are actually pretty impressive once it gets going and you see how much it's throwing at you.  It's brutally difficult though.  It always takes me ages to get my head around "into the screen" shooters where your character can move too, like this and Wild Guns on the SNES.  I like it, but it's going to take work.

 

Blue's Journey is lovely.  A charming arcade platformer with bright, cutesy grahpics.  Just the sort of retro gaming I love, and it's generous with the continues too, which is great because it gets fairly challenging.  Nice big bosses, cute tunes.  I like it.  I can see myself playing this one a lot. 

 

Riding Hero can go and fuck itself.  A cheating bastard fuck of a game.  Bikes hitting you in the rear from off-screen so your only indication they're coming is about a half second audio cue is bullshit of the highest order because they stop you dead.  This happening on the final straight when you're in first place and sending you all the way to the bottom of the table can get to fuck.  I'm never playing it again.  Plus, it pales into insignificance in the face of the mighty Super Burnout on the Jag which shits all over other retro "into the screen" motorbike games for me.

 

Cheap Joystick Extension Cable - a must.  10/10. Would use again.

 

On the whole, a fun afternoon and I haven't yet tried any of the fighting games which came with it!  I might go stick Fatal Fury on for a look.

 

 

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Killed my neo trying to fit a bios socket. Sad times. 

 

Anyone ne know any repair places? I might just buy another late model and swap the innards. 

 

Sigh

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Shit, that's terrible - and particularly unlucky..? Is the procedure known for being risky (for someone with soldering experience / confidence)?   

 

I'd been looking forward to some more gaming experiences and hardware / RGB porn in this thread. 

 

I wish I had a Neo. 

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The one you need to do is the same as mine. It's just cutting three tracks. Piece of cake. 

 

It all depends if you have a slight checkerboard interference effect or vertical striping though. 

 

If you haven't then eh, but I'd get it done at the same time as your unibios fitting :)

 

Sending my motherboard off tomorrow, hopefully it'll be back by the end of the month and then I can play my samurai shodown 4

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With another bunch of games on the way I'll have gone from never having experienced a real Neo Geo, to having one with 14 games, albeit unboxed ones, in the space of a month. Where's the facepalm emote when you need it?

 

I must buy a few boxed ones at some point.

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I was offered a Jpn version AES SVC Chaos last year for £100 including delivery but stupidly turned it down as I thought that was expensive. I went to look at some prices today and it's hovering around the £500 mark. gulp.

 

What a balls up I made with that one.

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Those games came today.  Doing nicely!  One or two boxed ones will be next on the agenda.

 

IMG_4442.JPG

 

So that's, Art of Fighting, Fatal Fury Special, KoF '94, World Heroes 2, Robo Army, Blue's Journey (in the machine), Nam '75, Riding Hero, The Super Spy, Magician Lord, Ghost Pilots, Alpha Mission 2, 3 Count Bout and Sengoku!  A nice and varied selection to keep me busy.

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I picked up a bare rbff cart last week. When I get the boxed one I'll give you a shout :) 

It's actually quite sensible going for bare carts here. 

I mean the packaging is almost worth it

 

image.jpeg

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What's an rbff?

 

Edit - Yeah I've found a good dealer in Belgium who I've been getting mine from.  I haven't worked it out properly but I expect they average out to about £65 each or something.  A lot, obviously, but in the context of Neo Geo, quite reasonable.

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This evening's findings. 

 

Ghost Pilots is far better than I was expecting from what I'd read. It looks, sounds and plays great. 1943+. I like it a lot.

 

3 Count Bout looks quite incredible. The sprites and animations would have been jaw-dropping back in the day, hell, they're massively impressive even now. And that speech.  There's loads of it and it's lovely and clear. It is also incredibly difficult, it would seem.

 

Alpha Mission 2 looks glorious too.  Like Ghost Pilots, it's lovely and smooth. The ship sprite is a bit small and easy to lose against the colourful ever-moving backgrounds with their gigantic morphing enemy ships.  The music is fantastic - so much so that I paused on stage one for quite some time to just listen to the badass tune.  The bassline reminds me of Smooth Criminal.  Oh yeah, and it gets fucking hard after stage two.  At least for my limited shmup skillz.

 

Magician Lord seems a bit pants.  It looks ok but I didn't think it played very well.  I know it's held in quite high regard so I'll give it more time but the way shooting stops you moving for a split second (as the bog standard character) is really jarring in a platform shooter.

 

Sengoku is fucking odd. In several ways.  When it's still it looks nice, with big detailed characters and colourful backgrounds but the animation is crap. Particularly so the player sprite.  That said, it also has some really cool scaling and transparency effects and the music and sound are good - very much evocative of the feudal Japanese theme. So technically, a real mixed bag.  I find it also plays quite oddly.  It's very very basic, even for this type of game.  It kind of reminds me of playing Altered Beast in terms of the stilted animations and limited moves, but with the 3D plane of Double Dragon.  I don't dislike it but something doesn't feel quite right.

 

The only stinker so far is Riding Hero.  The rest will all get plenty more time spent on them.

 

 

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I only got an AES a couple of years ago at what seemed like the worst possible time price-wise, but given how things have gone since then it maybe wasn't so bad. The main things I'd been wanting to play were the games that never got great ports elsewhere, like Samurai Shodown and the first Last Blade. There's just something amazing about the heft of the carts and the whole arcade feel.

 

IMG_20160619_104437.jpg

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Oh, and the games. Garou, Samurai Shodown 2, Ninja Master's, KoF 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, Money Idol Exchanger, Shock Troopers, Magical Drop 3, Samurai Shodown 3 and 4, Matrimelee, Last Blade 1 & 2.

 

IMG_20160619_104634.jpg

Money Idol Exchanger and Shock Troopers are conversions due to not being released on AES, and Ninja Master's is a conversion that came with the console, but I'm not that fond of it. Oh, and Magical Drop 3 is as well because that's silly money otherwise. Everything else is proper though!

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