2017 of the new Japanese era there is a man trying to rule the NEOGEO World.
"I will topple NeoGeo's most powerful warriors and put myself on the throne!"
We knew that if he managed to obtain NeoGeo world's awesome power, world
domination would not be far from his reach. This man, who sat at the heart
of "The Warez Conglomerate" with overwhelming financial power behind him,
had already set out on his ambitious path to gain NeoGeo World's power. (FUN
FACT: The name of the organization
that hosts the tournament, WAREZ, is an obvious jab at the emulation community. SNK Playmore
blamed software piracy
as one of the contributing factors to the company's bankruptcy and eventual
closing in 2001).
Those who knew the truth of his intentions were already trembling with fear...
As NeoGeo World drew closer to the verge of disaster, a Warez sponsored
fighting competition was announced. This event is called "NEOGEO BATTLE
COLISEUM". The Federal Government is worried about the situation, and has
secretly dispatched its two best secret agents, Yuki
A world on the verge of eternal darkness.... The future of NEOGEO World is
now in the hands of the warriors.
TONS of cameos in this
game... sup Ikari Warriors?
NeoGeo Battle Coliseum is a "dream match" of sorts... basically
the most epic of fan services for longtime SNK fighting game players and fans. Bringing together characters from all over the SNK
universe for some good old fashioned 2D fighting, NeoGeo Battle Coliseum
packs in fighters from a wide variety of iconic SNK franchises, including: The Last Blade,World
Heroes, Savage Reign, Metal Slug, Samurai Shodownn, Art of Fighting, Fatal Fury,
and of course, The King
of Fighters. A couple newcomers are also introduced, those being Ai and Yuki
(whom are actually inspired by the main protagonists of the legendary NeoGeo
Pocket title, Card Fighters Clash).
new SNK boss (in true "SNK boss syndrome" mode) known as "Goodman" also makes his debut.
King of Fighters! Woooo!
NeoGeo Battle Coliseum's gameplay
feels most similar to The King of Fighters series, overlooking the game's
evasive rolls. The fights are 2 Vs 2 tag team style, so players can swap
their characters on the spot and even perform a cool-looking team up
combo. Certain character combinations
also have "special" stylish team up attacks, many of which look nothing short of
badass. Returning veteran characters have nearly all of their trademark moves, and even some
brand new ones in most cases. Also worth mentioning, NeoGeo Battle Coliseum is more "combo friendly" than
your typical KOF game, making it a bit more accessible than some SNK's classics.
Overall, every character in NGBC is
well-represented, although a number of the 2D sprites do have that
"aged" look by today's standards.
Coliseum's graphics certainly aren't revolutionary, but aren't too bad for a
current-gen 2D fighter. The backgrounds are 3D-ish... some utilizing polygons, others using
pretty impressive high-res 2D visuals which allow the environments to stand out. Some
may say that Battle Coliseum still looks like any other old school
KOF, but several classic character sprites are impressively redrawn specifically for this
game (from scratch), and are some of SNK's
best in recent times. The sprites mesh well against the sharp backdrops, and there are even
a plethora of character cameos in many of the backgrounds - offering plenty of eye
candy besides the fast-paced fighting itself. The character selection artwork
and victory artwork also define Battle Coliseum's sharp visual style, and look
superb all around. (On that note, do check out TFG's exclusive artwork galleries
for this game)!
the frantic and hard-hitting sound effects, most of the soundtrack is very original
and suits the game rather well. However, I will say that some
"remixes" of classic character themes would've been appreciated for a
title such as this. Thankfully, character voices sound authentic (unlike those KOF
Maximum Impact ones) as the voice acting definitely does each character
The home version of the game includes unlockable illustrations, a decent options
menu, and even a time-killing
Color Edit Mode where you can create 2 of your own custom colors for each character (if
you have any creative skills, that is).
NGBC is definitely a must have for any SNK fan... and if you're a fan of
2D fighters in general, you'll most likely find something
(or possibly many things) to like about the game.
Battle Coliseum is one of SNK's most
ambitious fighting games in a while... and it's a straight-forward,
tried-and-true 2D, and impressive fighting game overall. The gameplay is
different enough from other franchises to make NGBC stand out in the genre, and the
character selection itself is
truly something to behold. Although, as a NeoGeo fan since the arcade
days, there are quite a few more characters
I would've loved to
see in this
game. On that note, it's sad SNK never released a sequel or update to NeoGeo
Battle Coliseum... (but never lose hope!)
Also worth mentioning, I think the "theme" of this game (being a mock of the
emulation community) is a pretty darn clever move by SNK. Even though many people "ripped off" SNK by
illegally emulating their games on PCs and portable systems for many these years
(and costing SNK thousands of dollars)... it appears SNK still loves us. For some
gamers, emulating might've been the only possible way to play some of
those classic games back then... and I'd like to think that they will actually
buy NGBC (and future SNK games) so we can continue to have nice things. That said, I'm glad SNK fighting games are much
more accessible nowadays.
In closing, NeoGeo Battle Coliseum is a must-play for several reasons. The art
design and character illustrations of this game are some of the best around...
and reminds me why I'm still an SNK fan after all these years. ~TFG