ACA NeoGeo: Shock Troopers (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Drew Hurley 25.03.2017

Review for ACA NeoGeo: Shock Troopers on Nintendo Switch

Whenever NeoGeo run and gun games are mentioned, the first thought for any old school arcade fan will undoubtedly be the iconic insanity of Metal Slug. That's not all there is on offer, though, as part of the Nintendo Switch's latest eShop update sees a wide selection of NeoGeo classics that have been added, including this eight-directional, top down, 1980s action movie of a game by the name of Shock Troopers. Is it one of those that has managed to stand the test of time, deserving of its own place on the eShop rather than hidden in the Virtual Console library?

Eight specialist soldiers unite to take on the evil terrorist organisation "Bloody Scorpions"! They have to head out and save a kidnapped scientist and his hot granddaughter before the terrorists force the scientist to create super soldier yadda, yadda. Story doesn't matter. Guns matter. This version of the 1997 game feels very like a MAME ROM, with editable settings via an in-game menu and each of the different versions of the game available to enjoy. There are four in all in ACA NeoGeo: Shock Troopers - there's the Japanese Version Original Mode, the English Version Original Mode, and then two score attack modes with leaderboards able to be shared online for the competitive out there. "High Score Mode" allows no saves or pausing, continuing the gameplay and racking up score until a game over is reached, and then, finally, the "Caravan Mode" gives the player a five-minute time limit to rack up the biggest score they can.

Regardless of the mode, there are two options upon starting, either "Lonely Wolf" or "Team Battle" mode, both giving the player three lives. In Lonely Wolf there are three lives with a single character and Team Battle allows for three different characters to be played as, in succession. The roster has everything from the boyfriend blonde haired army guy, to the gargantuan muscle-bound lass with a rocket launcher. Each character comes equipped with a basic weapon that has unlimited ammo, along with a unique limited use special weapon, mostly grenades or rockets, but for the Australian soldier that means a special exploding boomerang! There are also different weapons to pick up scattered through the stages, from Vulcan Guns to Flamethrowers, with many other classic munitions in-between.

Screenshot for ACA NeoGeo: Shock Troopers on Nintendo Switch

These characters have three different paths to play through, one into the mountains, a jungle path, and a deep valley - each with five stages to play that all converge into the same finale. The stages have enough unique designs, enemies, and mechanics to justify trying every path. From riding atop a truck as enemy soldiers assault from above on parachutes in the sky, to riding through mountains in the back of a mining cart - although, of course, most of the stages consist of scrolling in a certain direction, spraying hot death 360 degrees at the hordes of faceless minions. Each stage is topped off by taking on a boss, usually in the form of a huge military vehicle, tanks with ion cannons, planes with lock-on missiles, and all of them with slow moving bullets for the bullet-hell fans.

The controls are easy to pick up, but a little different to other games in this style. The left analogue controls the movement of the character, along with the direction they are facing/firing, but here the direction of fire can't be altered while shooting, so it means stopping the barrage of bullets to re-aim and fire again. Similarly, unleashing a hailstorm of bullets into an enemy will keep their twitching body bouncing around, acting like a human shield for the enemies behind them; it's a technique that takes some getting used to. For those hoping to scale the leaderboard, too, there is a melee attack - if you can get close enough to use it - that makes the fallen enemy drop an item, usually in the form of gems for bonus points.

Publisher Hamster Corporation has delivered plenty of extras for this Nintendo Switch version. There are the aforementioned online leaderboards, different filters to apply to the screen, but best of which is the multiplayer ability with the Joy-Con. These types of games are always better with friends and this key Switch feature means those friends are able to do just that, wherever, whenever.

Screenshot for ACA NeoGeo: Shock Troopers on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

ACA NeoGeo: Shock Troopers is an ideal game to add to anyone's Nintendo Switch library for playing while commuting, dropping into tabletop mode for some local co-operative action at a friend's house, or even diving into at home on the big screen to try and top the online leaderboards for that strong feeling of satisfaction. It may have a short playtime, but it is extremely enjoyable to go back to it again and again - a truly excellent dose of arcade fun.


SNK Playmore







C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

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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