NeoGeo Pocket Color: The Verdict
Posted at 09:08 on 22nd August 2009 - permalink

This article is part of the NeoGeo Pocket Color: 10th Anniversary retrospective.

NeoGeo Pocket Color

There are a few other NGPC games that are on par with those I’ve looked at over the last six days. Neo Turf Masters is a nice arcade golf game in the tradition of Links and PGA Tour. Picture Puzzle (a Picross game), Puyo Pop, Puzzle Bobble and Pac-Man are all faithful implementations.

It would be remiss to write about a cult Japanese games system without at least mentioning its more outrĂ© software offerings. The NGPC’s slim library included mini-game collections, dating sims and even a version of train driving sim Densha de Go!, though none of these was quite as strange as Ganbare Neo Poke-Kun.

And so, we come to the net verdict of our reappraisal of the machine by modern standards (the Cumulo-supercede-o-factor if you will). By any objective measure the machine is obsolete. Outmoded. Kaputt. All of its games can be filed away as being mildly historically interesting but of no immediate relevance to the modern gaming scene.

Except one.

Card Fighters Clash is still one of the very best handheld games ever made. In revisiting the game for this article I’ve become addicted again. If you’ve never had the pleasure, get onto eBay or your retro games stockist of choice and track it down, along with the machine. Or better still, get two and a link cable. The whole kit shouldn’t cost you much more than the price of a new game.

After a short while you’ll forget that you’re squinting at a screen that would shame a pocket calculator, and will become immersed in one of the purest, most satisfying experiences gaming has to offer. Perhaps some day soon SNK Playmore and Capcom will realise its potential and re-release it properly across multiple formats.

Nintendo might have had the last laugh when it came to commercial success in the handheld arena, but how many Game Boy, Game Boy Advance or even DS games will have kept their lustre after ten years? In this respect at least the NGPC lived up to its potential.


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