SNK’s diminutive marvel made small really feel massive
Has there ever been a extra undervalued handheld than the common-or-garden Neo Geo Pocket Coloration? Launched into an uncaring world, bombarded with completely excellent video games, then seemingly your complete lot recalled and hurled overarm into your complete sea. After all, a goodly variety of items and software program have been recovered by an enterprising ocean salvage agency and distributed across the UK, the place I occurred throughout a pre-owned unit and bought it for thirty kilos. After changing its inner battery (a regular wristwatch battery did the job) I dug into the sport that I acquired with the system, a beautiful port of Pac-Man.
Spiritually, I discovered myself extraordinarily drawn in by this stunning handheld. Positive, no backlight, however the Neo Geo Pocket Coloration was a video games machine first, foremost and solely – when even the Sport Boy was embracing utility to extent with its Digital camera and Printer peripherals, SNK’s little bundle of pleasure was content material with a easy built-in clock and er, horoscopes. And that is the extent of the non-game content material. All the pieces else is pure play.
Metallic Slug: 2nd Mission is magnificent and I want it and its predecessor would get re-released.
The Pocket Coloration’s library was small – a scant 44 titles hit my beloved UK – however the high quality degree is constantly excessive. I hungrily snapped up all the pieces I might discover on the time – Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Journey (a really wonderful handheld hedgehog expertise), Puzzle Bobble Mini (precisely what it seems like; an environment friendly, fantastically easy model of Taito’s timeless puzzler), SNK vs. Capcom: Match of the Millennium (an absurdly full-featured crossover preventing sport). All the pieces on the cabinets on the time, lowered in worth as they have been. However the true discover was SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Conflict. A sport so sensible I wore out the cartridge and had to purchase one other copy, this card battling sport was the very epitome of that gamer’s cliché – simple to play, exhausting to grasp. Its between-bouts RPG naturally known as the Sport Boy Coloration’s Pokémon Buying and selling Card Sport to thoughts, however Card Fighters Conflict was higher. Bouts have been shorter, extra compulsive, the techniques much less summary.
As rapidly because it appeared, the Pocket Coloration appeared to fade. It disappeared from cabinets lengthy earlier than the bow of Nintendo’s Sport Boy Advance, as if embarrassed to indicate its face. My native specialist retailer nonetheless had some imports, which I eagerly nabbed with a purpose to get my Neo Geo repair; arcade port Rockman Battle & Fighters, cute-’em-up Unbelievable Evening Desires: Cotton. Fabulous all. However then, it was gone. Gone and forgotten.
“Terry Rush” can also be what I expertise once I open a field of goodies. Joke for the UK readers, there.
Flash ahead to years later. I am unemployed and spend most of my days aimlessly roaming. Checking in at Gamestation (a defunct UK excessive avenue video games retailer), I check out their retro inventory. Reams of Neo Geo Pocket Color video games, boxed and with full directions. Metallic Slug 1st and 2nd Mission, King of Fighters R-2, Neo Turf Masters, Baseball Stars Pocket… the record goes on. I used to be a collector again then, and it was a deal with even to see cult basic video games in situation that good, although I knew I would not be capable to afford them. I checked the value stickers anyway, curious.
And marked “Purchase One Get One Free”.
I left with your complete shelf.
Once more – has there ever been a extra undervalued handheld than the Neo Geo Pocket Coloration?