More Reviews
REVIEWS Firefall Review
Repetitive gameplay makes this fall a little boring.

The Walking Dead: Season Two Review
At this point, you’re not coming back for the zombies. Let’s get down to business.
More Previews
PREVIEWS Nosgoth Preview
What do you get when you mix vampires and vampire hunters? Three-on-three class-based combat in the Legacy of Kain universe.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Destiny
Release date: 09/09/14

FIFA 15
Release date: 09/23/14

Ar Nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star
Release date: 09/23/14

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
Release date: 09/30/14


LATEST FEATURES And I Was All "Hell Yeah I'll Play a New Dreamcast Game"
I just played a Dreamcast game that was released in... wait, 2014?

A Comprehensive Guide to Dealing with Controversy in the Video Game Industry
Need help wading through the latest misogyny/homophobia/racism/corruption debate in the gaming industry? Paul Tamburro’s here to help!
MOST POPULAR FEATURES The Updating List of PAX Indies
We're heading to PAX Prime! Are you looking to check out a few unique indie games while you're there? UPDATED: Dragon Fin Soup, Dungeon of the Endless,

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP samsmith614 Since game design is a business, I decided to see what's really selling well for the PS4. I did this search a week ago, and at the time, out of the top 20 bestsellers on Amazon 10 had not even been released yet. By now some have been released. But others still have not. And yet others...

NeoGeo Battle Coliseum Review

Nick_Tan By:
Nick_Tan
03/04/08
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Fighting 
PLAYERS 1- 2 
PUBLISHER SNK Playmore 
DEVELOPER SNK Playmore 
RELEASE DATE  
T Contains Animated Blood, Suggestive Themes, Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Like an old pair of gloves.


Summer, 2005. Flushing, New York. Main Street, Chinatown.
 
I look over my shoulder before stepping past the taped glass door into the underground mall. The hustle and bustle of the crowded streets, festering in the smells of car exhaust, sweat, and Chinese take-out, settles behind me as I scan the stores: A dimly lit shop lined in rows of black-wired shelves along the wall, all full of CDs and DVDs - and all bootleg, of course. Another shop - vacant - dark and dank, murky and dry, whose only remains are two floorboards and dust. Then finally, the hole-in-the-wall video game store - my destination - where every title cost at least four dollars below retail.
 
click to enlargeBut this certainly is no place for the casual bargain shopper. Packed in the corner near the entrance of this shop, which was no larger than twenty-feet long and five-feet wide, are two King of Fighters NeoGeo arcade machines with players standing, sitting, waiting in line for a chance to defeat the winner. These are the kind of players who got up all in your face if they won, punched the arcade cabinet if they lost, and who garnered rumors of a gang member having shot a person who got a Perfect on him.
 
These are the kind of people, albeit less vicious (at least I hope so), that NeoGeo Battle Coliseum targets. If you’re someone who has never heard of the NeoGeo, let alone most of the fighting franchises that are represented here - Fatal Fury, King of Fighters, Samurai Showdown, Garou: Mark of the Wolves, Art of Fighting, Aggressors of Dark Kombat, World Heroes, and even Metal Slug - then this is probably a hard sell. But if you’re a hardcore 2D fighting machine that dreams of crossover match-ups (and likely has the fan-made M.U.G.E.N. program on their computer… like I do), then this should be safely nesting in your collection.
 
As expected, bringing characters all across the NeoGeo landscape into the same arena needs an insane, bizarre, what-were-they-inhaling explanation. In February 2017 by the Japanese calendar (that specific, huh?), some unnecessarily overpowered, effeminate man with long white hair who happens to be the head of the WAREZ foundation (beware the substitute ‘Z’!) is trying to take control of the NeoGeo World. For some reason, instead of just massacring every person one by one when they’re off-guard, he orders a fighting competition in the Battle Coliseum. Unbeknownst to him, the Japanese federal government has ordered their top agents, Yuki and Ai, to… yeah, I don’t really care either.
 
click to enlargeNeoGeo Battle Coliseum appears to be the usual tag-team crossover fighter, similar in design to Capcom’s “Vs.” titles, and that assumption is mostly right. The graphics are simple and somewhat dated, even for 2D sprites, and the music contains the run-of-the-mill boom-pa-boom-pa beats.

The only modes offered are Arcade mode, Tag Play mode (which is just Arcade mode except both your characters must be knocked out to lose), and Survival Challenge. Not much, is it? Most of the hidden characters and the Gallery - where you can view concept artwork, character illustrations, and game endings - can all be unlocked by winning twenty-one matches in survival, which actually isn’t too difficult given the deliberately lower health of your opponents in the mode.
 
But unlike most crossover mash-ups, such as the flimsily designed Capcom Fighting Evolution, SNK Playmore gets two fundamental mechanics right. Even with the incredible mix of characters from an equally incredible number of franchises, it has a balanced and approachable system. After you select your tag team and which character appears first, the ensuing battle becomes a sword-slinging, character-switching, fireball-throwing beatdown.
 
Despite fighters who wield swords that clear more than half the screen or who fling silly Tetris blocks, no one is too powerful; that is, if you discount some of the bosses. Goodman, as most bosses of crossover titles, will just manhandle you any chance he can get. Sure, he can’t jump or crouch, but when he can summon what can only be described as purple monkey fire flames from the sky onto your sorry ass, he doesn’t really need to.
 
click to enlargeNo matter how unfair some bosses are, though, the difficulty is curved to your exact skill level. Newcomers can turn down the difficulty level as well as the defense strength of your characters and the opponent’s characters, to a point where a one-star difficulty actually is a piece of cake. Veterans, however, will appreciate the additional challenge of using double assault attacks, which reduce the red healable health of an opponent but is only enabled after one of your characters stays in the ring for about eight seconds. So players are rewarded for not constantly swapping left and right. This coupled with the standard arsenal of techniques, such as super and special moves, dashes, high jumps, tactical steps, fallbreakers, guard cancel frontsteps - and the ever-important understanding of priority and range - all about ensures that hardcore players can slaughter each other, as well as any unsuspecting n00b, from just one mistake.
 
NeoGeo Battle Coliseum looks old and sounds old and plays in 2D - all things that will deter most modern-day gamers, but old-school fans of NeoGeo fighters and newbies interested in discovering where 3D fighters originated will not be disappointed. It may be daunting to step off the main road and walk into lost, unfamiliar, and dangerous territory. It may not feel like the smartest, safest thing to do. But in the end, it always leads to the experiences that are worth remembering.
B Revolution report card
  • Balanced and approachable fighting system
  • Right for both newcomers and hardcore fans
  • Strong representation of NeoGeo franchises
  • Looks and sounds a bit dated
  • Bleh premise
  • Goodman is a cheesy boss
    Reviews by other members
    No member reviews for the game.


More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about NeoGeo Battle Coliseum


More On GameRevolution