Things That Really Matter #666: Why the NeoGeo Was Cool

Throughout the 1970z and 1980z the home video game konsolez were always well behind the arcade machines as far as graphics, audio and processing power. Many arcade games were released for home consoles but these were just adaptations, usually built from scratch by people that had nothing to do with the original game.

Back during these good ol’ days, almost all arcade game publishers developed and manufactured their own hardware, i.e. Capcom came up with their own arcade systems, Namco had their own, etc. etc. In 1990, semi-famous company SNK released their latest arcade system, the NeoGeo MVS. And then they had a (kind of) bright idea: Hey! Let’s release a home console using this exact same hardware! They probably slapped each other on the back and gave high fives and all that.

So the following year the NeoGeo Advanced Entertainment System was released. It was super powerful for its time, much more so than the Super NES. One problem: it cost about $10 million while the Super NES cost about 50¢. Seriously, it was a damn expensive machine and that was only half of the issue. The games was SUPER DUPER X ‘Pensive. The CHEAPEST games were about $100 but most were $200. Yes, it was certainly nice to have an arcade quality release but who can throw around that kind of money?!

As I previously mentioned, in those days publishers typically made their own hardware which meant there was little to no chance of Namco, Konami, Capcom, MyMom, etc. releasing games for the system. In addition, most of the games SNK released in the first few years of the system weren’t that good. These included a few high quality sports games but mostly 2nd or 3rd rate immitations of Street Fighter and Final Fight. Somehow SNK had a hit with these fighting games and then they become super obsessed with them. There were, literally, over 40 fighting games released for the system. Of these only the King of Fighters and Samurai Shodown games are actually decent.

Finally, in 1996 SNK started a new series called Metal Slug, which I <3 . This series is basically like Contra + silly cartoons + unlimited continues = lol alert. These games and several other isolated gems make the system definitely worth playing – through emulation only. The system and its games are STILL very expensive to come by. NeoGeo become some sort of cult megastar and SNK only stopped making games for it 5 years ago. That’s a 12 year lifespan, bud. Too bad the system probably only moved about 137 units during that time. That’s just a guess.



2 responses to “Things That Really Matter #666: Why the NeoGeo Was Cool

  1. i didn’t realize it was originally only available in hotels or for rent.

    also… what’s your favorite metal slug? i think i’ve only played two of ’em. can’t remember the numbers, though

  2. Whether your looking for that original appeal, or the classic appeal, i would reccomend

    They have ALL the classics from my childhood. I havn’t played since my atari 2600!
    They come with over 60 games, pre-installed. Just plug in and play.
    The 1980’s … they may be old, but they never get old! Relive that misspent youth,
    and dominate the universe all over again!

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