Are you ready for a new set of NEOGEO POCKET COLOR games to enjoy on Nintendo Switch? Then check out our NEOGEO POCKET COLOR SELECTION Vol. 2 review!
SNK is back with a new collection of NEOGEO POCKET COLOR games for the Nintendo Switch! This time around, we’re getting ten titles in total thanks to NEOGEO POCKET COLOR SELECTION Vol. 2, and right now, six of them are only available as part of this second collection. What games are included in this second volume? Here’s the list, with supported language in parenthesis:
BASEBALL STARS COLOR (Japanese & English)
BIG BANG PRO WRESTLING (Japanese & English)
BIOMOTOR UNITRON (Japanese & English)
GANBARE NEO POKE-KUN (Japanese)
MEGA MAN BATTLE & FIGHTERS (Japanese)
NEOGEO CUP ’98 PLUS COLOR (Japanese & English)
POCKET TENNIS COLOR (Japanese & English)
PUZZLE LINK2 (Japanese & English)
SNK VS. CAPCOM CARD FIGHTERS’ CLASH (Japanese & English)
THE KING OF FIGHTERS BATTLE DE PARADISE (Japanese)
For each of the games that offer a Japanese version and an English version, you’ll be able to choose between playing one or the other from the main menu. You can also select to play the game emulated on the NEOGEO POCKET COLOR, the New NEOGEO COLOR, or the classic black and white NEOGEO POCKET. Changing between versions of the portable will reset your progress in that game.
As you switch between games on the main menu, you’ll get a chance to check a 3D version of that game’s original box. You can even open the box and check out the cartridge inside… which is housed in a plastic protective case! And yes, that means that for games with a Japanese and a US version, you can check two different boxes and cartridges. Along with that, each game will have a colorful digital manual for you to review. You will be able to flip from page to page with the left analog stick or the D-Pad, zooming in and out as needed by using the right analog stick.
Checking the manuals is very important since it will allow you to learn all of the basics for each of the ten games in NEOGEO POCKET COLOR SELECTION Vol. 2 so that you can then dive into the gameplay without going in blind. This is twice as important for MEGA MAN BATTLE & FIGHTERS, GANBARE NEO POKE-KUN, and THE KING OF FIGHTERS BATTLE DE PARADISE since those three games are only available in the original Japanese language. And now, let’s talk a bit about each game in this collection!
BASEBALL STARS COLOR is a video game take on the sport loved by millions of people around the world, with specific rules in place, such as the game going to extra innings if the score is tied, selecting a designated hitter, infield flies automatically counting as an out, having a match called when a team is losing by ten or more, or how a starting pitcher in one game can’t take the plate as a starter for the next game.
You’ll select from the available teams, with each one having different stats for you to consider for their pitching, batting, fielding, and running abilities. You must also pick a venue to play at. You can customize your experience by selecting the number of innings for the match (1, 3, 6, or 9 being the options) or turning on or of if a game should be called or not. When playing, you’ll get to see two different screens depending on what’s going on: a close-up screen when pitching or batting or a long-view screen when you need to get a better look at the field.
The next game is BIG BANG PRO WRESTLING. As the name suggests, this is a wrestling game in which you’ll take control of one of the available wrestlers – from newbies to masked wrestlers to mighty heavyweights – as you aim to make it to the top of the organization. The game offers the option of playing through a single wrestling match where you can adjust the time limit and rules, a tournament where up to eight wrestlers can fight it out to become the winner, and the IEW Champion mode, in which you’ll try to make your wrestler the champion.
If wrestlers come into contact, they will start a grapple, from which you can execute different moves as you hit your opponent, slam him to the ground, or launch him towards the ropes and take him to the ground with all of your might. Wrestlers can strike at each other with weak or strong attacks or perform running attacks and counters as needed. Each of the wrestlers will have its own Finishing Move for you to use once you’ve managed to fulfill the right conditions. For example, Brian “Supernova” McDougall can perform Thor’s Hammer, and Mike Martin “the Suplex Typhoon” can perform the Dangerous Back Drop.
BIOMOTOR UNITOR is a strategy RPG in which you will participate in a tournament in which human-shaped robots known as UNITRONs will duke it out in the capital city of the Kingdom of Rhafiace, the largest kingdom on the continent of Tridiss. They were created 200 years ago from an ore called Uni-Tron, which was discovered when the Unitice comet impacted Elscea. You’re a UNITRON master who has just arrived at the capital, looking for a shot at winning the grand prize for the tournament: the title of Master of Masters! It’s a game that has a Pokémon vibe to it, which is not a bad thing!
The game offers a lot of replay value since you can select the species for your character from the five different options. The species you choose will determine the type of equipment you can develop, your character’s abilities, and the design of your UNITRON. Each UNITRON has a base body, a core from which it draws its energy, arms that act as the unit’s weapons, legs, and a special pack. It will also have different parameters to consider, such as HP, EP, AP, SP, RP, and MP, that determine its health, energy rating, attack rating, defense, agility, and movement rating.
GANBARE NEO POKE-KUN will have you interacting with the titular POKE-KUN, who has created a series of minigames for you to experience as you aim to get the best rank possible – which is pine trees. As long as you keep POKE-KUN happy, he will work on new minigames for you! If I had to compare it to another type of game, I would have to mention the WarioWare series, crossed with a virtual pet sim – think TAMAGOTCHI.
POKE-KUN will start by developing simple games that will mimic classic games such as Pong, Frogger, or Breakout. You’ll later be playing a Space Invaders type of game, a UFO catcher minigame, an RPG that parodies the Dragon Quest series, and even a fighting game! There are 30 minigames to eventually unlock as you interact with POKE-KUN and watch the different skits that play out in his home, with other characters running into the house and weird creatures poking in. It’s a bizarre game that you should definitely play!
MEGA MAN BATTLE & FIGHTERS is a game that I had a chance to play before. It brings together Mega Man: The Power Battle and its sequel, Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters, in a single package for twice the 2D Mega Man fighting fun. Think of it as a boss rush mode type of game on the NEOGEO POCKET COLOR in which you must use the abilities of Mega Man, Proto Man, Bass, and the huge Duo, which is available in the sequel Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters. To learn more, you can check our MEGA MAN BATTLE & FIGHTERS review.
NEOGEO CUP ’98 PLUS COLOR is a soccer game – a.k.a. football – for the colorful pocket portable console. You can play as one of 16 different international teams, with each one having different team stats for you to consider. That ’98 in the game’s name is there because it’s based on the 1998 FIFA World Cup, which took place in France. It’s based on the arcade game Neo Geo Cup ’98: The Road to the Victory, which featured a considerably larger number of teams you could play as.
There was a NEOGEO CUP ’98 game released for the NEOGEO POCKET in 1998, and it was then followed by NEOGEO CUP ’98 PLUS COLOR with, you guessed it, color graphics! You can either play single exhibition matches or go all-in and play the story mode, which allows you to select one of the 16 teams in the NEOGEO CUP tournament. You’ll work hard and battle against other teams on your way to the championship. You’ll win money from each victory and can spend that money to purchase items to strengthen your team.
POCKET TENNIS COLOR brings all the fun of tennis in a portable version. You can play in the Exhibition Mode, playing against another player or against the CPU. There’s also a Tournament Mode, in which you’ll take on a series of CPU opponents to try and win the title once and for all. And then, you can go into Record Mode, where you can check out game results and the trophies you’ve won in Tournament Mode.
When playing in the Exhibition Mode, you can select from one of four different courts – with a downtown court and a jungle court – but you won’t be able to select courts when playing in Tournament Mode. You can also select the number of sets to play. Once on the court, you’ll have to serve the ball and hit it back when your opponent sends it your way, lobbing it back to wear down your opponent as you find the right time to smash the ball into your opponent’s side.
PUZZLE LINK2 is a puzzle game in which you’ll fire linkable connections to clear the targets scattered around the screen. Just connect the round targets with the connectors that you fire from the bottom of the screen to make them disappear so that you can then focus on the next round target that you need to connect. You can also erase connectors in case you want to switch between targets. Your character will continue to fire the same connector type unless you erase that connector type and focus on another target to fire a different connector.
You can play this one in Card Game Mode or Clear Mode. For Card Game Mode, you need to be on high alert as you use your skills and speed to stay on top of things. If you clear the screen before the gauge reaches 0, then you can win a character card. In Clear Mode, you must work on clearing all targets from the screen. As you clear some of the targets, you might activate a chain reaction that might bring together some of the same types of round targets, which will make them disappear. There’s also an Endless Mode where you select 2-4 target types if you will get a power-up after filling up the power-up gauge. And then there’s the Card Mode, where you can play against the CPU by using cards.
THE KING OF FIGHTERS BATTLE DE PARADISE, which is another game that is available only in Japanese but with an English language manual. It’s a board game based on THE KING OF FIGHTERS series, in which you can select from one of four different characters who will move around the board: Yu G, a hot-blooded youth who’s always ready for anything; Masamune, a cool-headed rich kid who’s a little ignorant of the ways of the world, but is very good at games; Hatoko, a cheerful and motivated girl who likes to help others; and Ai, a super-trendy teenage girl who has feelings for Yu-G.
You’ll be able to use EX Strikers, who act as stand-ins for each player character during events and battle games. The Ex Strikers in THE KING OF FIGHTERS BATTLE DE PARADISE are Chizuru Kagura, Billy Kane, Athena Asamiya, Goro Daimon, Ryuji Yamazaki, and fan favorite Kyo Kusanagi. There are also some hidden Ex Strikers that you will need to unlock after meeting certain conditions. On the board, there will be squares that increase coins, squares that decrease coins, squares where you can buy stars with said coins, and event squares that will initiate either an attack, a conversation, or an accident. There are also battle game squares where you will take on one of the available minigames so that you can win more coins. There are also boss squares where a battle will begin with the map’s boss or the boss’s special event.
The last game in this collection is SNK VS. CAPCOM CARD FIGHTERS’ CLASH, which reimagines the fighting game crossover as a card battler with 300 cards in total representing characters from both the SNK and CAPCOM camps, either as Character cards that will do the fighting or Action Cards that can be used for support in battle. While the game was originally released as two separate cartridges – one for the SNK side and one for the CAPCOM side – but for this digital release, we’re getting both versions! And both cartridges even have their Japanese and US versions present in this collection.
For this one, two players will square off against each other with decks of cards. To win, you must reduce your opponent’s hit points to zero. You do need to be careful because if you run out of cards in your pile at the beginning of a turn, then you’ll lose. By using your cards, you’ll be able to attack your opponent and use the abilities of cards to gain the upper hand. Some of the cards will be able to back each other up in battle, so be sure to find the right combinations for your deck!
NEOGEO POCKET COLOR SELECTION Vol. 2 is an outstanding collection of NEOGEO POCKET COLOR games available in a single package. With ten different games to play, and six of them only available in this collection, there’s a good variety of genres on offer at a good price. NEOGEO POCKET COLOR SELECTION Vol. 2 is out on Nintendo Switch with a $39.99 asking price.
This NEOGEO POCKET COLOR SELECTION Vol. 2 review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by SNK.