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 blames 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?
Geo Battle Coliseum is a "dream match" of sorts... basically
an epic fan service for longtime SNK fighting game fans. Bringing together characters from all over the SNK
universe for some good old fashioned 2D fighting, Neo Geo Battle Coliseum
includes fighters from a wide variety of franchises, including: The Last Blade,World
Heroes, Savage Reign, Metal Slug, Samurai Shodownn, Art of Fighting, Fatal Fury,
and of course, King
of Fighters. A couple newcomers are also introduced, those being Ai and Yuki
(whom seem to be looselye inspired by the main protagonists of Card Fighters Clash).
new SNK boss known only as "Goodman" also makes his debut.
King of Fighters! Woooo!
Neo Geo Battle Coliseum's gameplay
feels most similar to the King of Fighters series, overlooking the
evasive rolls. The fights are 2 VS 2 tag team style, meaning players can swap
their characters on the spot, and even perform a cool-looking team up
combo. Certain character combinations
also have "special" team up attacks, many of which looking nothing short of
badass. Most characters have all of their trademark moves, and even some
brand new ones in most cases. Overall, every character in NGBC is
well-represented, although a few of the sprites do look a bit "old" by today's standards.
Also worth mentioning is that NGBC is more "combo friendly" than KOF,
arguably making it a bit more accessible than SNK's classic franchise.
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 graphics which allow the environments to stand out. Some
may say that Battle Coliseum still looks like "old school
KOF", but many of the character sprites are actually 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 visual style, and look
superb all around. (On that note, please enjoy TFG's NeoGeo Battle Coliseum artwork
the frantic gameplay sound effects, the soundtrack is original
and suits the game rather well. Character voices are also as good as you'd expect, and
thankfully the iconic characters sound just as they should!
The home version includes unlockable art, some decent options, and even a fun
Color Edit Mode where you can create 2 of your own custom colors for each character (if
you have any creative skill 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 a lot) to like about the game.
Battle Coliseum is a straight-forward
and impressive 2D fighter overall. The gameplay is
different enough from SNK's other franchises to make it stand out in the genre, and the diversity of the roster is
truly something to behold... although, there are quite a few more characters
I would've loved to
see in this
game. On that note, a proper NGBC sequel would've been great... but sadly
that didn't happen.
Also worth mentioning, I think the theme of this game (being a mock of the
emulation community) is a pretty damn clever move by SNK. Even though some
people "ripped off SNK" by emulating their games for all these years, for some people, it was the only
way to play those games... and I'd like to think that most of them have
become SNK fans at heart. That said, I'm glad SNK fighting games are much
more accessible nowadays. ~TFG