Neo Geo Pocket Color Selection v.2 (Review)

Dec 28, 2022

Neo Geo Pocket Color Selection V.2 follows up V.1 Spring 2021 release. This collection brings together a sampling of genres along with some Japanese only releases. The value of the collection will depend on how much nostalgia a player has for the system and the late 1990’s and early 2000’s handheld landscape.

Published by: SNK
Developed by: Code Mystics

Deeper Cuts & Japanese only releases

Neo Geo Pocket V.2 does not have the same big names, Metal Slug and King of Fighters, that V.1 had. However it ports the Japanese only releases of the combo pack Mega Man Battle & Fighters. While some of the text remains in Japanese, the bosses and weapons get an English translation. The result is a boss rush game through a selection of bosses from Mega Man 1-7 featuring the Blue Bomber along with Rush and Bass. It’s a fun game for players with nostalgia for classic Mega Man. The sampling of bosses mixes up the traditional strategy of gaining the weapons and abilities each boss is vulnerable to. Ultimately, it’s a fun game with replay value.

Fortunately, viewing this collection within the trends of the time period contextualizes some titles. SNK vs. Capcom Card Fighters came hot on the heels of the Pokemon Trading Card game for GameBoy Color. Biomotor Unitron feels like a mech based Pokemon game. Collecting parts and battling opponents provides gameplay depth. King of Fighters Battle de Paradise mirrors the contemporary success of games like Mario Party.

Another of the Japanese only games is a Warioware inspired micro-game collection Ganbare Neo Poke-Kun. Taken as individual games, each will feel dated among the current gaming landscape. However, Neo Geo Pocket V.2 is better taken as a historical artifact. V.1 may have included titles with name recognition. V.2 provides a sampling of gaming genres on the platform.

Sports Sampler

While V.1 included golf, Neo Geo Pocket V.2 includes baseball, tennis, soccer, and wrestling as sports games. Each is a simplified version of some of SNK’s sport franchises like Baseball Stars. The games capture the essence of the sport, but are limited to the technology of the era. Handheld sport games in the early 2000’s felt closer to the 8 and 16-bit eras of the early 1990s. And this collection suffers from the same limitations. 

The sports are fun in a bite size play session, but there are better options available for players without the warm charm of nostalgia. Big Bang Pro Wrestling is a unique interpretation of professional wrestling on a handheld. The grapple and moves systems provides more depth than the other sports. Given that games like AKI’s No Mercy was a contemporary, the systems mirror the trends of the period.

Limitations

Unfortunately, the emulation options are limited here. Common features like save states and rewind are missing. The games are simple ROMs with both the limitations and purity that provides.

Neo Geo Pocket Color Context

Neo Geo Pocket V.2 succeeds in bringing nostalgia for those who owned the system at the time. In a handheld era dominated by Nintendo, Neo Geo Pocket V.2 demonstrates how a SNK adapted to the contemporary landscape. Whether the historical significance is worth $39.99 will be a matter of personal opinion.

Score: 7.0

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