Top Hunter: Roddy & Cathy was first released on the Neo Geo by SNK in 1994. It is a side-scrolling arcade platform game, sometimes referred to as a “predecessor to Metal Slug“, and featuring two playable characters… Yes, you guessed it: Roddy and Cathy.
Aero Fighters 2 (also known as Sonic Wings 2) is a superb vertically-scrolling bullet hell shooter from 1994, developed by Video System and published by SNK on the Neo Geo.
It can be played single, or simultaneous two-player, and you can choose between eight different aircraft to fly. Well, not really ‘fly’, but you know what I mean…
SNK‘s Samurai Shodown II is a legendary fighting game for the Neo Geo, first released in arcades in 1994, then later for home consoles.
Pulstar is a horizontally-scrolling, ‘bullet hell’ style shooter developed by Aicom and published in arcades for the Neo Geo MVS in 1995.
And – let’s face it – it’s also a blatant rip-off of Irem‘s R-Type too. That said: it’s not a bad rip-off at all, arguably eclipsing R-Type in terms of graphics.
This bizarre-but-entertaining video game was developed by Saurus and published by SNK in 1995. Stakes Winner is a cute and colourful horse racing sim, where you can become a jockey and fulfil your equestrian dreams.
Windjammers is a legendary two-player sports game from Data East, published on the Neo Geo in 1994. It can of course be played single-player, against the AI, too.
It is kind of a cross between tennis and Frisbee-throwing. Or maybe even table hockey and Frisbee-throwing… The intro screen describes itself as “the flying disc game“. It’s weird but fun, and instantly playable, whatever it is.
Every home console had to have a version of Bomberman, and the Neo Geo had one too.
Actually, technically that’s not true, because – while Neo Bomberman did get a Neo Geo release – it was only ever for the MVS (arcade system). It was never officially released for the AES (home system). So only ever appeared in arcades. And that was mostly just in Japan.
Neo Bomberman was sold into some countries outside of Japan, although when the game is played on a European system the text is displayed in Spanish and not English.
Sunsoft‘s Waku Waku 7 is one of the craziest, most colourful, and most over-the-top beat ’em ups I’ve ever played. It first appeared in arcades in 1996, was later released for the Neo Geo AES, and later also re-released for modern consoles. Such is its popularity.
The Neo Geo is a high-end Japanese video games system, designed for use in both arcades, and at home. It was developed by SNK and first launched in 1990.
The MVS (Multi Video System) was for arcade cabinets. Arcade operators could buy a single cabinet and easily switch out the MVS cartridge inside for another game. Making them very versatile machines on the circuit. And very rentable.
A home console version of the Neo Geo, called the AES (Advanced Entertainment System), was first released in 1990 too (as a rental – 1991 for the actual home version) and it really blew people away. The capabilities of the AES blew other home consoles out of the water for the best part of a decade too. As did its price, which was eye-watering… The Neo Geo AES is and always was considered a “luxury” console, from the moment it was launched. It’s an arcade machine in your own home, and it’s not a cheap system to buy into.
Various multi-button joysticks and controllers were made available for the Neo Geo, but the standard AES four-button controller shown below is most common.
Neo Neo game cartridges still fetch high prices today, such are their collectability, although thankfully most have been dumped and preserved, or are still being officially re-released, so aren’t too difficult to find and enjoy.
Neo Geo cartridges are large too – much bigger than carts for other systems. They are packing a lot of extra information inside, it seems.
The Neo Geo is particularly well-known for its beat ’em ups, although – as you’ll see this week – there were games made across a lot of different genres. It’s not the kind of console you would play an RPG on, though. It’s was more geared towards fast action games. Although the Neo Geo was one of the first consoles to use ‘Memory Cards’, it wasn’t a system you could save your games on. I mean: in terms of saving and coming back later to reload and carry on… There’s none of that. Other than saving high scores: it’s pretty limited.
Anyway, this week I’m going to be proclaiming a burst of exclusive Neo Geo love, with screenshots of some of the best games I’ve found for the system.
Here’s a list of what was published:
The King of Grabs
See Categories for all Neo Geo games on this website.
More: Neo Geo on Wikipedia