NEOGEO POCKET COLOR SELECTION Vol.1 (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Luke Hemming 23.07.2021

Review for NEOGEO POCKET COLOR SELECTION Vol.1 on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 has already extensively spoken about the resurgence of the Neo Geo Pocket through its new home on Nintendo Switch, with a wide variety of titles available to scratch the nostalgic itch. As the old saying goes, however, 'put it in a pack!' For those still on the fence about seeing what made the handheld so beloved, Neo Geo Pocket Colour Selection Vol.1, developed by SNK, is just the introduction needed to the world of bright sprites and two-button bashing.

Emulation is, as expected, perfect. The original handheld had the Gameboy colour beaten at the time. It was able to display 156 colours simultaneously, as well as coming in some rather fancy paintjobs that any gamer would have been drooling at, compared to the limited Nintendo options. With the emulation running on Switch, filters can be switched on and off, different console layouts can be selected as well as a zoom option to really take advantage of those coloured pixel offerings. It's a few simple options executed really well and looking great, regardless of whether in handheld or docked mode, as well as ensuring that any casual nosey parker can see exactly what console these games were originally made for.

Screenshot for NEOGEO POCKET COLOR SELECTION Vol.1 on Nintendo Switch

A great addition that should be included in all collections from now on is also the option to view not only the original cart boxes but also the sorely missed manuals that would've lined them. It's a pleasure getting lost in a sea of images and text that heightens the nostalgia factor to a fever pitch. All companies should take note, make more of this, please.
Ten games are included in the pack with the six 2D fighter options already released individually in the Switch online store. With the budget price of £35.99 in the UK however, if inclined to purchase all six, the collection is certainly the way to go budget wise. Games such as Samurai Shodown, Fatal Fury: First Contact and King of Fighters R-2 are all excellent in their own right and deserve the price tag given. What will most likely be the deciding factor, however, is the art style chosen to maintain the games' smooth as silk gameplay. Characters are instantly recognisable in their big headed, bulky forms. Everyone stands out and moves as fluidly as their big brother console counterparts. If approaching these handheld titles for the first time however, this could easily be a jarring introduction. Although, in terms of fighters, there isn't a single bad one in the bunch and all have their own complexities and charms to keep them all in rotation.

Screenshot for NEOGEO POCKET COLOR SELECTION Vol.1 on Nintendo Switch

The real jewel in the crown, however, is the inclusion of two previously unreleased Metal Slug titles, both of which are superb and the perfect distraction if hurricane kicked out. Metal Slug: First Mission and Metal Slug: Second Mission are the titles available and provide the same excellent gameplay available on any of their console cousins. For the uninitiated, Metal Slug focuses on run and gun gameplay with a heavy dose of anime stylings thrown in for good measure. With a side scrolling shooter, difficulty is exactly as expected with a healthy dose of extremely challenging segments, none of which stray into the unfair, 'switching this off', side of things though. With a great enemy variety and multiple, branching story paths in each title, there is a lot of fun to be had, with 8 other titles still there to tickle the pickle!
While not bad games by any stretch of the imagination, the last two choices are strange ones to say the least. It's clear that variety was the name of the game when Big Tournament Golf was included and if golf excites, this could be the game for some. For most however, unless the golf club can be used as a blunt object to deflect an incoming fireball, other more action-based titles may take priority. Still, this is a solid title and credit should be given for trying to give an all-round base selection to choose from.

Screenshot for NEOGEO POCKET COLOR SELECTION Vol.1 on Nintendo Switch

Last but by no means least is Dark Arms: Beast Buster, another curiosity that ticks the diversity box of packaged titles. This is a strange action orientated RPG that fascinates in its weapon evolving mechanic and great chiptunes. Certainly, this is a title to really commit to but fun nonetheless and a massively different experience to any of the other RPGs of the time. If Final Fantasy is the benchmark on which to judge, this is either going to get players to run back to Gaia or take up hours of gameplay just wondering what bizarre concept is going to appear next. Either way, it's certainly a risk worth taking and not one to neglect even with the great selection of other offerings.

Screenshot for NEOGEO POCKET COLOR SELECTION Vol.1 on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

For those who didn't make the Neo Geo leap with the excellent SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium (which is included here anyway), Neo Geo Pocket Colour Selection Vol.1 is where to start. With an excellent range of titles as well as the only way currently to play two superb Metal Slug titles outside of picking them and a handheld up, it's an easy decision to p-p-p-pick up a pack. It's always going to be a tough sale to take a leap if not familiar with the handheld and lacking that deep nostalgic love, but even with some strange additions outside the recognisable (honestly, Dark Arms is bonkers, fantastic fun), there really is a lot to make that purchase totally justifiable.

Developer

SNK

Publisher

SNK

Genre

Other

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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