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Opinion Analysis Retro 10 Games that should have been on the Neo Geo Pocket Colour

Dec 25, 2018
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Hello everyone!

It's been roughly 20 years since the Neo Geo Pocket Color, (Give or Take) and I think it's time for us to look at the console and appreciate what the console offered for us back when the Game Boy was long in the Tooth and the Dreamcast was the do or die time for SEGA.

However, I always wondered what the Neo Geo Pocket Color would have been capable of if it had more developed games for it by SNK/ADK at the time.


So without further ado, I have made a list of 10 Neo Geo Pocket Color games that should have been made, and why I personally think each game would have made the system's library even more richer and more worth a gamers time. I even made up some cool subtitles for the "what if" games just for fun!




Number 10: Twinkle Star Sprites: New Generation Princesses Combat




Twinkle Star Sprites is a coveted game made by ADK in 1996 with an emphasis on Muliplayer Gameplay in the Shoot em Up Genre.

It provides a colourful world with cute characters and great gameplay.

Given the Pocket’s capabilities and portability, this game could have been one of the few Shoot em Ups that would have separated itself from anything else at the time. The Link Cable would have been a necessity for people who wanted to play together and would have been an excellent addition to those who owned the NGP/C. It is a damn shame that ADK didn’t make a version on the go, leaving Cotton by her lonesome (and at an extortionate price).

The Subtitle “New Generation Princess Combat” is both a reference to the Console’s abbreviation and a new take on the story of the characters in the game. Perhaps it would have produced new characters with old favourites returning as adults, guiding the new Protagonists on their adventures



Number 9: Shock Troopers: Dynamic Duo Mercenaries




Another genre that is severely lacking on the portable system is a vertical Run n Gun on the system. The best game to have covered this spot is the Shock Troopers Series.

Imagine having two unique characters that go through 6 levels in different routes due to their separate missions. Doubling the Play Time to complete both Missions and getting to know the characters more with a basic but satisfying story, including SNK’s famous Engrish?

I believe the game could have also pushed the console to the limits at the time and offer an almost Mega Drive like experience akin to Gunstar Heroes and being one of the few Run n Guns on the system worth owning other than Metal Slug at the time.


Number 8: Windjammers SD




With Windjammers being a cult classic and provides a slot in the Sports Genre that has an e-sports following, why didn’t Data East get on board and provide a portable version that plays just as good as the original?

The roster would have sadly need to have been reduced to 4 (Japan, US, France and UK), but with the Super Deformed Sprites and retaining the basic modes of Arcade and VS, the game would have been enough to provide the experience similar to its bigger brother on console.

I would have had every confidence that Windjammers SD would have brought more people into the fold and perhaps had provided more hype for the original game released on PS4/Vita today!

Number 7: Aleste Compact/Power Strike NGP



Before Compile went Bankrupt and gave Puyo to SEGA, they also had a popular series in Europe and Japan by the name of Power Strike/Aleste.

Given the popularity of the series on the Master System and the niche status of the best game on the Mega Drive, why didn’t Compile just think “What the hell, one more Aleste game in the old style!” and give the last Aleste game every single thing they got cramming the love of the series and providing it to Japan and the UK as a “Thank you” to the fans?

With little Shoot em Ups on the console anyway, it would have stood out on European Shelves and would have likely been a small success in the UK, providing Compile a little bit of gratitude that their series is still loved by a lot of people.

Given that Cotton got a release in Europe and not America would have indicated that Compile would have been onto something too. It would not have reversed their fortunes, but it would have made them missed by those old Master System/Game Gear fans who bought their games and provided a good sense of pride that they created the best 8-Bit Shoot em Up on a 16 Bit Handheld system.


Number 6: The New Zealand Story Mini



Taito brought over Bubble Bobble/Bust a Move Mini to the NGPC without many sacrifices to the gameplay, and was a pretty great conversion.

New Zealand Story would have been perfect on the system as well, including adding a new adventure for our favourite Kiwi.

The graphics wouldn’t need to be changed at all for the system, as the series itself was an excellent version on the Master System, and could even provide more levels due to the extra power provided for the system.

Given that only Sonic was the major platformer on the system, The New Zealand Story Mini would have both complimented the Sonic game and provided an additional platformer in the collection for those who are fond of the original games on the Master System/Mega Drive.

Number 5: Crystalis Memories/Tales of the God Slayer



Crystalis was a cult classic on the NES that I bet many Americans (who owned the game) would have been asking for a Sequel for many years.

The Game Boy Colour Remake wasn’t what people expected, so why didn’t SNK try and make a sequel or remake on their very own Handheld instead?

Despite the remake being made around the time the NGPC was on its way out, I personally think that Crystalis should have been on the NGPC, with better visuals, a better story than the NES counterpart and perhaps could have included additional endings depending on how the game is played.

Crystalis at least got a release on the Switch via a compilation, but I think a better way to have gotten it to the masses much sooner was their Handheld Console and perhaps could have been a Killer App early on before the Pokémon craze that happened shortly after.

Number 4: Psycho Soldiers - Mental Advantage



Athena has been a regular in other series long after Psycho Soldier was forgotten in the Arcades and you never see her in her own game anymore.

Given that the Psycho Soldier Universe was entirely in a Post-Apocolyptic Future, why couldn’t SNK have made an Alternative Version of Athena who fights the Aliens invading in a Tactical RPG format?

Her Team would comprise of both Psychics and Military Soldiers who fight on a Grid based Format, with abilities almost exactly like Final Fantasy Tactics, with Classes and Powers similar to different elements. It could have been a good title on the system. Given that Falesi! was a similar game, it would have had to differentiate itself from that game, which wouldn’t have been too hard.

An Athena game would have definitely have been great for the fans and RPG fans


Number 3: Mega Man FORMula


In Japan, Capcom released a Mega Man One on One Fighting game called Mega Man Battle & Fighters, which looked pretty good, but also basic as it was essentially a Fighting Game using the NES sprites.

Capcom should have instead created another Mega Man game in the NES style and called it “FORMula” to emphasise Mega Man’s changing forms on the whim akin to the classical games.

The game would indicate that despite looking and playing like the NES Mega Man games, that this would be indeed a Spin-Off game and would add difficulty modes for those who want either more of a challenge or wish to beat the game at their own pace.

For European fans, this would be very accessible and perhaps the indication in the name would mean that they would understand better how Mega Man works.

A classic Spin-Off Mega Man game on the NGPC would have done very well in the US and Japan, and may have gotten people on board the system before the inevitable GBA releases. A missed opportunity Capcom.

Number 2: Sengoku - Shin Setshi



Sengoku is a pretty underappreciated Hack n Slash/Beat em Up by SNK, but I think it could have stood out really well on the NGPC as there is nothing quite like it on the system.

Perhaps the characters would have had to be Super Deformed like in Windjammers and the other fighting games, but for people who love River City Ransom, it wouldn’t have mattered much, and I think it is sadly missing on the system with the other SNK Favourites getting sometimes two games each made.

Sengoku Shin Setshi (Reference to New Ground/Neo Geo), perhaps would have changed a little bit of its gameplay quirks but I think it would have been appreciated by the Beat em Up fans of the genre and perhaps a Link Cable for Co-Op Play would have made it a great experience at the time.

Number 1: Crossed Swords Portable


Crossed Swords is an interesting game with an interesting concept. You fight Enemies in a First Person view fighting very similar to Punch Out.

Although a NGPC version may have not been as complex, the game with a similar concept would work excellently well with the Clicky Analogue Stick of the Console for the time, and could probably provide hours of entertainment if done correctly. ADK’s TSS and CS would have been a memorable achievement on the system and it is a damn shame we never got either of these games.



Conclusion:
These are the 10 “What if” games that I personally think should have happened and made on the system. It is a shame that none of these came to light but it is an excellent way to celebrate the console and I do hope that we get a lot of homebrew made games in the future for it. I hope you enjoyed reading my article and I hope you can talk about what you wished got onto the system as well in the replies!
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Great writeup! Oh, what could have been. :messenger_loudly_crying:

Twinkle Star portable would've been sick. It's one of the all-time best multiplayer games for any system ever.

I actually had one of these growing up. I traded some Pokemon cards (I think?) to a neighborhood kid for his NGPC and a few games. It was yellow-green. I had one of the baseball games, Metal Slug, Sonic, and SamSho. Yes, the clicky thumbstick really was as wonderful as people say it was.
 
Dec 25, 2018
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Great writeup! Oh, what could have been. :messenger_loudly_crying:

Twinkle Star portable would've been sick. It's one of the all-time best multiplayer games for any system ever.

I actually had one of these growing up. I traded some Pokemon cards (I think?) to a neighborhood kid for his NGPC and a few games. It was yellow-green. I had one of the baseball games, Metal Slug, Sonic, and SamSho. Yes, the clicky thumbstick really was as wonderful as people say it was.

Yeah! I have been reading up on this recently since I own one and it seems that SNK stupidly tried to do a TV Ad Campaign in the US on the Christmas when SEGA had their Dreamcast released in 1999!

Sadly, one of the Limited Run dudes Tweeted his entire collection so now every game is nigh unobtainable to buy! So pretty annoyed about that.

If you go for any collection, always go for the European releases as the Plastic Boxes are a godsend compared to the Cardboard boxes the US and Japan got later down the road.

Damn you got some really good games there! I want the Card game they released but those two are damn expensive to get now. :messenger_loudly_crying:

Mine is the weird named colour one "Anthricite" I think? I got Falesi! for about £57 before it went up in price and got Sonic/Bust a Move Mini bundled with my NGPC for £60 around 7 years ago now???? I love the console but the damn screen is not bright enough to play legitly.

I am honestly shocked that they didn't bring over the Battle Ogre game as it would have been pretty in demand now if it were in English, but Cest La Vie!


Oh, and I love the Start Up Theme to the Neo Geo Pocket Color as it is really upbeat and just describes the 1990s to me really well. Being at the tailend it is like a farewell tune to your childhood. :messenger_loudly_crying:


Saw a LOT of these during Car Boot Sales but never actually saw one sold in a UK Shop so I have to wonder where the hell was everyone buying one!?!?
 
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cireza

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Yes, the clicky thumbstick really was as wonderful as people say it was.
If it is the same as Neo Geo CD, then it is not durable at all. I have a CDZ and really like the console, but having good controllers for this is a nightmare.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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If it is the same as Neo Geo CD, then it is not durable at all. I have a CDZ and really like the console, but having good controllers for this is a nightmare.
I don't remember the thumbstick ever becoming an issue but I only owned the system for a few years before handing it on to a new home.
 
May 8, 2016
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I like the mention of Crossed Swords, a great arcade classic I discovered thanks to the Neo Geo Mini. It's pretty satisfying blocking the enemy attacks then unleashing a barrage of combos on them to finish them off. It's great gameplay and greatly animated too. I'd imagine a portable version of it would be satisfying to play in short bursts.
 
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Dec 25, 2018
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I like the mention of Crossed Swords, a great arcade classic I discovered thanks to the Neo Geo Mini. It's pretty satisfying blocking the enemy attacks then unleashing a barrage of combos on them to finish them off. It's great gameplay and greatly animated too. I'd imagine a portable version of it would be satisfying to play in short bursts.

Your avatar reminds me of the system, but have you played any of the games on the NPGC? I wanna try Dark Arms but it's gone up in Price lately. :(

I should try and play Falesi! and see how it holds up.
 

Spukc

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Jan 24, 2015
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Love the console.
Got it dirt cheap with 14 games..
If only it had some decent backlit screen 😩.

Thankfully this year analogue is releasing an fpga based handheld.
That supports gb/c/a lynx ngp and GG 🙋‍♀️

All hail the clickity click stick 🙌
 
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Lionel Richie

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Fantastic thread OP, Aleste and Crystalis hit me really hard in the feels for what could have been. There's something about "failed" handheld consoles like the Pocket, WonderSwan, Lynx and even the Game Gear that I like so much. I think they didn't succeed largely because Nintendo had such a strong monopoly rather than for anything they did poorly, which is the opposite of how home consoles failed because they had some glaring issues.
 

CamHostage

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Love your choices... this thread is making me sad for a past that never existed.

Regarding Athena, while I have no love for how the original arcade game plays, the NES game has some goodness to it and would have been great to have as a basis of a NGPC sequel, maybe running on the Metal Slug Mission tech. (There were only a few side-scrollers on NGPC, but Metal Slug and Sonic games proved the system deserved many, many more.) Psycho Soldiers is good too (kind of a sci-fi SonSon,) and your idea of yet another spin-off of the character sounds cool, but I still wish the core action-platformer series had gotten one great, definitive entry.


 
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May 8, 2016
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Your avatar reminds me of the system, but have you played any of the games on the NPGC? I wanna try Dark Arms but it's gone up in Price lately. :(

Nah, I overlooked the Neo Geo Pocket Color until this thread. Reading this thread made me wanna try one though! Does the NGPC have microswitches in it?
 

V4skunk

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Nov 20, 2018
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We never even got Neo Geo in Britain.
It doesn't look like we missed out on much though tbh.