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Thread: Long (and likely boring) SNK reminiscing and introduction

  1. #1
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    Long (and likely boring) SNK reminiscing and introduction


    I知 a long term lurker but seldom post but as I am on my latest Neo Geo kick I thought I ought to break the trend and introduce myself and tell you about my Neo Geo and SNK experiences. I知 40 and live in the UK. I am predominantly a Sega guy first and foremost but I enjoy games as games regardless of format or developer and have a strong affinity with classic 2D gaming.

    My history with SNK and Neo Geo is a long and convoluted one, like many on here I suspect.

    WARNING: Long and potentially dull series of reminiscing about to commence!

    I first saw the Neo Geo home system when C&VG covered it in their round up magazine Complete Guide to Consoles volume 2 I believe (which would have been around 1990) They ran a page saying the games were impressive, screenshot of Magician Lord but EXPENSIVE. Funnily enough in the same magazine the previewed the Gamate Hand Held, the C64-GS from Commodore and also the Amstrad GX4000. The machine definitely stood out amongst the competition! I was 14 and the system seemed destined to forever remain an elusive thing of mystery. Still I was happy with my Megadrive with Golden Axe, E-Swat, Gynoug, Flicky, Revenge of Shinobi and Castle of Illusion.

    Well as I learned more about the system I lusted after it like any other gamer. I would pore over the screen shots in magazines. In the arcades I would play the occasional game on the system.

    Like many others I was swept up in the Street Fighter 2 phenomenon (funnily enough Pit Fighter in the arcade was bizarrely popular among my peer group at school prior to this must have been the perfect target demographic what with the popularity of Jean Claude Van Damme with films like AWOL and Blood Sport on video at the time!) Anyway I soon got Special Champion Edition for my Sega Megadrive and was happy. I became a fighting game fan (in particular Capcom but also SNK to maybe a slightly lesser degree) and started to broaden my horizons. I壇 have to make do with Neo Geo ports on my Megadrive which obviously varied in quality. I played Fatal Fury, Art of Fighting, Viewpoint, Samurai Shodown and the excellent port of Fatal Fury 2 on the system. Meanwhile EGM had revealed the 泥ream Match of Ryo from Art of Fighting being a hidden character in Fatal Fury Special. This blew my mind and connected the different game worlds something that stuck with me (loved stuff like Sega痴 AM2 arcade games referencing other games or having billboards of other games by the track etc).

    I didn稚 have a SNES at that time but a mate did and I actually ended up getting a bundle of US SNES games which a game shop had obviously accidentally taken in as a Trade and then ended up bundling together along with an import converter. I bought this for a super cheap price and got the following 4 games. World Heroes, Fatal Fury Special, Art of Fighting 2 (surprisingly good conversion in fairness) and Jaleco痴 Tuff E Nuff. I later picked up the surprisingly decent Fighter痴 History Dynamite (mainly through curiosity as I knew Capcom had sued Data East over the similarity to SF2). I knew they weren稚 the 途eal deal but they were good enough for me and within my budget.

    I later got a good deal on a 3DO purely for the excellent conversion of Samurai Shodown and Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo and spent many happy hours playing them. Demo Disks of the Fatal Fury Special and Samurai Shodown ports on Mega CD were included on magazines in the UK and I later got the full games so that scratched the itch a little (heavily cut down even though both were). I also got massively into Eternal Champions Challenge from the Dark side on Sega CD a massively under rated game.

    Still I lusted after the real thing though. Anytime they featured Neo Geo on TV on shows like Games World or Games Master I would soak up the detail. The insane size of the sprites. The detail. The crisp sound. Then King of Fighter痴 94 was reviewed and the concept of a crossover on a massive scale took the Ryo vs Terry 泥ream Match to its ultimate conclusion.

    By now I was a student and my system of choice was the Saturn. While my university flatmates would point and laugh and claim superiority with their PlayStation痴 and N64痴 I really didn稚 care. I was getting fantastic ports of both Capcom and SNK痴 2D fighters (as well as some sweet ports of other hugely expensive Neo Geo classics). Around this time the Neo Geo CD came out and I contemplated one as the price of the games was very reasonable but the high price of the hardware at stores such as CEX Rathbone Place etc put me off. I was in 2D heaven with my Saturn though playing all the top Capcom (Alpha/Zero series, Darkstalkers, Xmen, Marvel Superheroes, Xmen vs Street Fighter, Cyberbots, Pocket Fighter as well as sweet games like Dungeons and Dragon痴 arcade port) and SNK fighters (KOF 95 with the ROM cartridge, 96, 97, the Real Bout Fatal Fury games, Samurai Shodown 3 and 4, World Heroes Perfect, Waku Waku 7 as well as epic conversions such as Metal Slug plus lesser fare like Ragnagard and Galaxy Fight). While buying these, when the staff in CEX London stopped playing the latest King of Fighters games long enough to actually serve customers, I still looked longingly at the cartridges on display.

    The university I attended did have a 4 slot MVS cabinet which mainly featured: Fatal Fury, Art of Fighting, Robo Army and one other game which I知 pretty sure was Mutation Nation. So I was still getting that Neo Geo hit. Also around this time 1996/97 the amazing MAXIMUM magazine that ran for around 7 issues that came out approximately every 2 months was covering lots of Neo Geo games including a ludicrously in depth Art of Fighting 3 article.

    Towards the end of my time at university around 1998 I was actually getting to experience Neo Geo AES first hand as my mate had one with a pretty nice collection of games (Blues Journey, Super Spy, Baseball Star 2, Metal Slug X, Magician Lord, Crossed Swords plus one or two of the big fighting games). I loved the crazy big cartridges and the feel of the joysticks and swore that one day I too would own one. I also got hold of an Arcade Card for my PC Engine which meant I could play the incredibly decent and thoroughly impressive conversions that it received of Fatal Fury 2, Fatal Fury Special, Art of Fighting (awesome switching of resolutions to simulate the scaling) and Kabuki Clash.

    At around this time I got a multicart for my Game Gear. It featured 60 games and most of them were the common ones such as Woody Pop and Columns but one stood out in particular. An incredibly impressive conversion of Fatal Fury Special. Hmm maybe fighting games could work on a handheld??.

    I moved on to Dreamcast in 1999 with a Japanese machine and again was extremely well served by 2D fighters from both Capcom and SNK. It was also around this time that the Neo Geo Pocket came out. So I got one. My first piece of SNK hardware. I then got a Neo Geo Pocket Colour (despite the salesman desperately trying to get me to buy a GameBoy Colour instead J ) The NGPC became a bit of an obsession. I was playing it on lunch breaks and at weekends link up with my mate. I was being paid weekly working as a temp and every Friday would go to the shops and spend my pay on the new NGPC games. There was only ever one or two games week being released so I would pick up the new games, play them and the following week buy any other new games. The clamshells, the tiny carts, the colour manuals. These were magical times. There was no coverage so every game was a discovery. Screenshots on the back of the box but the only way to find out was to buy and play the game. There was almost radio silence in terms of magazine coverage and little online either. It was a real throw back to the pre-internet days. Luckily virtually all NGPC games were at worst solid and playable. The better games were just incredible pieces of entertainment and you truly felt like you we replaying something special that had been crafted just for you.

    Amazing times playing the one on one fighters with that incredible joystick. Playing Card Fighters Clash for days on end. Then SNK vs Capcom Match of the Millenium came out and that was it. This was just a joyful expression of a game and something I never thought would happen. A true Dream Match. A crossover between the two big fighting game companies. Just incredible stuff all round. Evil Ryu vs Iori, the Olympics Mode, Arthur taking on Firebrand/Red Arremer and collecting treasure, the Metal Slug and Samurai Shodown mini games. Just a true passion project it seemed. Then even better a version came out on Dreamcast. Then a sequel. The pure sorcery of linking up to the Dreamcast in games like King of Fighters and Capcom vs SNK Match of the Millenium. to unlock extras. Two bits of hardware from different manufacturer痴 linking up to unlock gold. Incredible times.

    Then SNK announced they were pulling the plug. So I bought the last 4 games released in the UK. It later turned out I had a full set of the UK games. Still have them in fact.

    Shortly after this I seem to remember Beats of Rage being ported to Dreamcast. KOF characters in a Streets of Rage tribute amazing times! I also seem to remember Chui releasing his AES4ALL and NEOCD4ALL emulators for Dreamcast. So I started picking up genuine Neo Geo CD痴 to rip and play. So I finally got to play Art of Fighting 3 among others. Although maybe the timing of this is later?

    Around this time and screenshots of SVC Chaos were beginning to leak. The redrawn sprites for the Capcom characters were captivating (especially considering how often Capcom had copy and pasted sprites over the years this was a totally fresh take on some iconic characters), the roster, everything about it. SNK痴 take on the crossover. This was truly the stuff of dreams. I desperately wanted to play this game. I knew I had to own it (despite early reports being slightly disappointing and the game lacking the balance and presentation polish of other titles on the system). I desperately wanted it ported to Dreamcast to 田omplete the set (but sadly Sega too were pulling the plug although I did later get it on PS2). Game Focus in London had the cabinet downstairs so I played it on the rare occasions when I was in London, savouring the new style Capcom sprites.

    Somewhere in the mix I also tried the King of Fighter痴 95 and 96, and World Heroes 2 Jet ports on GameBoy (2 player via a Super Game-Boy) and even King of Fighters on N-Gage! I was playing everything except the real thing. It was time to change this!

    So around 2005/6 I got myself a consolized MVS and a multicart. This was a pretty good way to play lots of Neo Geo games but somehow just didn稚 feel 途ight? I still really wanted that unattainable console of my youth. So in around 2008 I scraped together some money and finally got my very own AES with a nice low serial number and rock solid RGB output through a gaming Forum with a couple of sticks, a memory card and a selection of games including my coveted SVC Chaos. I had finally got my 塗oly grail and I played it for hours and hours. (I still have the MVS and multicart purely for Neo Turf Masters just an excellent game and Wind Jammers both of which I壇 love at home but Neo Turf Masters in particular is just never going to happen and also for trying before buying as it were)

    Then the novelty wore off for a bit and I packed it away and moved on to other things.

    Only for the urge to play it again to surface after a year or so. So I treated myself to a new game and again played for hours and hours. Before I got to the point of saturation and put it away again?.for a few years.

    This has repeated for the last decade. Which brings me to today.

    If I壇 been sensible I would have picked up all those games I wanted when the prices were ridiculously low (remember seeing Riding Hero for like 」19, Fire Suplex for a tenner, Burning Fight for 」30 and a whole host of really good games online for between $30 to $60 really regret not taking the plunge at that time but having said that I was busy funding Pier Solar on Megadrive, Geist Force, Dreamcast games on KickStarter and the like so swings and roundabouts and I wouldn稚 want to trade my memories of playing those incredible games. Likewise lots of those Saturn and Dreamcast games I got for low low prices and have seen their prices go up and up). Obviously now a lot of the prices have gone through the roof.

    So my current collection consists of:
    SVC Chaos still love this despite the lack of balance
    KOF 94, 95, 96, 97 and 98 I know everyone loves 98 but I think my favourite of these is 96
    Samurai Shodown 1 and 2 the second game in particular is the one which put SNK on the map for many people. Just a stone cold classic.
    Art of Fighting 2 those sprites! Never quite 田racked this one though seems really tough I need to invest more time in it
    Fatal Fury Special Just a great game and perhaps under rated due to how common it seems
    Fatal Fury 2 still good but prefer Fatal Fury Special
    Joy Joy Kid Love Tetris and this is a nice spin (no pun intended) on it but escalates quickly
    Nam 1975- again under rated, really solid game
    Magician Lord Great but unforgiving, need to really memorise the levels and enemy placements
    Ghost Pilots love this despite it being pretty bare bones
    The Super Spy again just really solid, basic but atmospheric.

    So heavily skewed by fighting games (like many Neo Geo Collections I guess). I壇 actually like to expand my collection with some of the non 1-on-1 fighting games such as:

    Thrash Rally
    Top Players Golf
    BaseBall Stars 2 etc

    Well obviously I壇 love to expand the collection with a lot of the library of games but some of them are a bit too eye watering pricewise to consider.

    While I am not up to speed with current prices (so no doubt many of these are ludicrously pricy these days, I am actually a big fan of those earlier, smaller meg count games (although you can稚 beat the massive meg count games for impressing on aging hardware!)

    The thing for me with Neo Geo is its 菟ersonality? There is a kind of purity to its library. The system isn稚 awash with lazy ports, licenced cash in titles or the like. The focus is on tight, focussed arcade titles. Games have no fat as it were trimmed to perfection. The narrow range of developers means the system almost has a 塗ouse style that lends a consistency to the system.

    For me I tend to keep drifting back to AES every couple of years. It is still the system that it feels like an?.覇vent to get a new game for. The prices are high and are likely to remain so or only go up but there is something truly special about getting a new game for the collection. Poring over the box and manual. Taking the huge cartridge out and that special moment when you put the cartridge in the slot and power on the system. I think the scarcity of software and the prices make the gamer really savour the game and invest the time into playing it. Whereas so many games these days seem so throwaway the price plummeting in weeks and ending in the bargain bins. If a modern game doesn稚 grab you immediately then it tends to be discarded as there are so many other games available to play (please note I am in no way slamming modern gaming there are some incredible games out there just they often cater to a different demographic and are so much more accessible, and over exposed due to the internet/Youtube, that they lose some of the mystique)

    Anyway that痴 my Neo Geo journey (so far anyway. Long may it continue!)

    TLR I always wanted a Neo Geo AES of my own from first seeing one as a kid. Then as an adult I got one. And it was good!

  2. #2
    Thou Shalt Not
    Question Rot.
    xsq's Avatar
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    Muenster, Germany


  3. #3
    Tung's Hair Stylist
    itsofrustratin's Avatar
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    Feb 2015

    Longest post ever
    The Offensive Orgy Mode!!!

  4. #4
    Unsure if You Asked
    For a custom Rank
    But Hell, why not.
    gusmoney's Avatar
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    illadelph Snail Trail

    tanooki alternate account?
    Last edited by gusmoney; 03-11-2017 at 02:02 PM.

    Quote Originally Posted by Walter Benjamin
    As for the collector, his collection is never complete; even if he is missing but a single object, all that he has collected nevertheless remains fragmentary...

  5. #5
    Armored Scrum Object
    Shipwreck_00's Avatar
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    Text wall PASS

  6. #6
    Angel's Love Slave
    BlackaneseNiNjA's Avatar
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    Aug 2016

    Although long, that was still an interesting read. I too favored the genesis and saturn for reasons similar to yours. Welcome to the site!



  7. #7
    We have purposely
    trained him wrong a joke.
    ChuChu Flamingo's Avatar
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    Nov 2010


    But for reals, welcome to the site. I agree wholeheartedly that neo geo still is and was special.

    he spends hundreds on scarves, of course he's a fag and then ChuChu Flamingo preserved the aftermath in a plastic case making sure it wasn't exposed to unstable air
    You're just upset that you're too goddam stupid to understand the games and whiff infinites.
    Nintendo 64 Pikachu Edition Serial #NS294668665 Nintendo 64 "Funtastic Series" Jungle Green Serial #NS28721865

  8. #8
    Calvin & Hobbes

    Rot's Avatar
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    Jul 2003

    EG... has found a Euro counterpart...

    Oh.. nearly forgot:


  9. #9
    Hippo's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    Jacksonville, Florida

    That should count as more than one post. Long winded as hell like when Robin Williams used to appear on late night shows.
    Fucking life story as an introduction lol

  10. #10
    Hardened Shock Trooper
    wingzrow's Avatar
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    Jan 2006

    Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

  11. #11
    Bashful Neophyte

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    Feb 2017

    Good read. Hello from ATL

  12. #12
    Timid Neo Newbie
    JoJo76's Avatar
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    Feb 2017
    United States

    Welcome to the forum!! I too am a Sega guy at heart.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    United Kingdom

    Cheers guys - thanks for the welcome. Apologies for the wall of text - was very much a stream of consciousness and a summary of over twenty five years of SNK appreciation. I promise future posts will be shorter (will have to be as I put everything into the first post!)

  14. #14
    drunk downunder!
    aka. Muff Diver.
    lachlan's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
    A Hard Earned Thirst

    Hello, nice to meet you. Shut up.


  15. #15
    Banned Kyle Rayner's Avatar
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    Apr 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by GreyFox View Post

    IŸ a long term lurker but seldom post but as I am on my latest Neo Geo kick I thought I ought to break the trend and introduce myself and tell you about my Neo Geo and SNK experiences. IŸ 40 and live in the UK. I am predominantly a Sega guy first and foremost but I enjoy games as games regardless of format or developer and have a strong affinity with classic 2D gaming.

    Anyway that— my Neo Geo journey (so far anyway. Long may it continue!)

    TLR I always wanted a Neo Geo AES of my own from first seeing one as a kid. Then as an adult I got one. And it was good!
    well, with all due respect I stopped reading your post about three sentences in but regardless, I like you hold the Neo Geo in a special place even through I never enjoyed it as a kid. I poured over the reviews in EGM and Gamepro, played all the titles I could get my hands on for the SNES and can still hear the game intros repeating as I comb through the back issues at my local comic shop. I don't claim to be nearly has hardcore as many here but I have been in the presence of NG for the better part of 25 years and am now turing my focus to collecting that which I could only dream about. Funny thing, now that I have disposable income the damn thing is like 10x more expensive to collect for! lol

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