Neo-Geo Pocket Color
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Look out, Game Boy Color. When it comes to serious portable gameplay, there's finally some legitimate competition for the popular Nintendo system (which has sold over 80 million units). If you dare to be different, consider the NEOGEO Pocket Color, a hand-held system created by the Japanese company SNK. The screen is 10 percent bigger than Game Boy's, but the overall machine has roughly the same convenient pocket-sized dimensions and light weight as the Game Boy. The NEOGEO Pocket Color provides up to 40 hours of continuous fun on just two AA batteries. The 16-bit graphics are crystal clear--making it easy to tell the difference between humans and animals, friends and foes, and walls and doors--and easily viewed in both bright and dim lighting. The color palette has three times the range of its competitor's, with 146 possible shades. There is also a built-in calendar, daily horoscope, alarm clock, and global clock that can be accessed even without a game cartridge in the slot. Two players can go head-to-head with a simple cable connection (sold separately).
Look out, Game Boy Color. When it comes to serious portable gameplay, there's finally some legitimate competition for the popular Nintendo system (which has sold over 80 million units). If you dare to be different, consider the NEOGEO Pocket Color, a hand-held system created by the Japanese company SNK.
The screen is 10 percent bigger than Game Boy's, but the overall machine has roughly the same convenient pocket-sized dimensions and light weight as the Game Boy. The NEOGEO Pocket Color provides up to 40 hours of continuous fun on just two AA batteries. The 16-bit graphics are crystal clear--making it easy to tell the difference between humans and animals, friends and foes, and walls and doors--and easily viewed in both bright and dim lighting. The color palette has three times the range of its competitor's, with 146 possible shades. There is also a built-in calendar, daily horoscope, alarm clock, and global clock that can be accessed even without a game cartridge in the slot. Two players can go head-to-head with a simple cable connection (sold separately). NEOGEO is available in six different casing colors: silver, clear, blue, ocean blue, stone blue, and anthracite.
The only drawback is that NEOGEO is new and, therefore, playing catch-up to Nintendo's well-stocked list of titles, which boasts A-list offerings such as Super Mario Brothers, Pokémon Pinball, and Tetris. But SNK scores points for the few titles that it does offer for the system. Among the better titles for NEOGEO are Dragons Wild video poker, arcade classics Bust-A-Move and Pac-Man, and your basic serve-and-volley Pocket Tennis. Most of these games are pretty addictive and perfectly suited to the well-designed, thumb-friendly, eight-position joystick. --Carrie Bell
- Better graphics than other portable players
- Very good visibility in bright sun and dim light
- Variety of fun colors
- No Pokémon titles yet
- Response of the joystick isn't the best on games (such as Crush Roller) that require sharp, quick turns
Top customer reviews
joystick and buttons are very responsive. The system is small and portable. The battery life is very good considering how well the screen works. The sound is good for the size of the system and can be loud.
I enjoy this product
I got my NGPC a little late in the game (about 3 years ago), but I have to say that since then, I've played it more than most other handhelds...even to this day (with only my DS rivaling it at the moment). I now have about 20 games total, including a few rare ones and not a single one of them is bad (which is a lot more than I can say for some of my GBA and PSP games).
Now I know a lot of people wouldn't bother picking one up for a few of the more common reasons:
1. Dated graphics
2. No lit screen
3. No recargable battery
4. Small game library
Well, let me address those individually. To start with, 1) the graphics on this little machine are pretty amazing. You do have to consider the time it came out, but even now, I'm still impressed with how this thing looks and plays. You have to understand that the NGPC was going up against the Game Boy Color, and the NGPC looks a LOT better than the GBC ever did in all respects. Screenshots can be easily found online, so I suggest looking some up if you don't believe me.
2) As for not having a lit screen, this is a big draw back. However, if you do some googling, you can find companies that will install front lights for a minimal charge. Basically, they take the light from a GBA SP and install it on a NGPC. It makes things MUCH nicer, let me tell you!
3)Unfortunately, at least to my knowledge, there is no rechargable battery mod for the NGPC. However, this really isn't an issue since the battery life is AMAZING. I've read reports of up to 40 hours gameplay off 2 AAs! I generally use a battery pack (which can be had online very cheap), so I can't say for certain how long 2 AAs last, but I can say that I've only had to change mine once since I got mine over 3 years ago.
And finally 4), The small library of games is a little bit of a let down, but the difference between the GB which has TONS of games and the NGPC which has few is that nearly all NGPC games are GOOD GAMES. The GB has tons of bad games which should have never seen the light of day, as do the GBA, DS, PSP, etc. Sure, the NGPC has it's share of poor titles, all systems do, but the percentage of good games vastly outweighs the bad. Let me give you a few examples from my library...
<u>If you were ever into fighting games, then you will ADORE THIS SYSTEM</u>! If you've been a fighting fan, you should know that up until recently, handheld fighters have been pretty poor compared to their original versions (Mortal Kombat on Game Gear or Street Fighter II on Game Boy, anyone?). Well, SNK has done an amazing job porting over these classic titles in such detail that you will wish they made console versions in the same style! Trust me! If you don't believe me, do some searching online for these titles:
SNK vs CAPCOM: Match of the Millenium
King of Fighters R-2 (There's also an R-1 which was on the black and white Neo Geo Pocket and is fully playable on the Color system)
Samurai Showdown!2 (Again, there's a B/W verison of NGP)
The Last Blade: Beyond the Destiny
Fatal Fury: First Contact
Rockman Battle & Fighters (Japanese only port of the Mega Man arcade fighting games)
I highly recommend all of the above, although Rockman is kind of rare now days. The games play SO much like their original versions (if there was one), you won't belive it. Unlike older handheld fighters, move lists are complete, the number of playable characters is amazing, amount of unlockables/replay value in some is just crazy, and the addition of a little joystick rather than a usual D-pad makes these fighters feel right at home.
The NGPC has it's share of good sidescrollers (Metal Slug), RPGs (Faselei!), Puzzle (Bust-a-Move), and other types of games, too. It even has a really awesome Sonic the Hedgehog game which plays just like the ones on Genesis (not like the more recent titles on GBA).
Not to mention one of the most popular NGPC games ever: SNK vs CAPCOM: Card Fighter's Clash. Look up reviews on that one and it's reason enough to get this system. If you like Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh, then you'll love Card Fighter's Clash. Even if you don't like that kind of stuff, you'll like CFC...seriously.
The bottom line is that the Neo Geo Pocket Color can be had so cheap these days (as little as $10-$20 for just the system sometimes), there's no reason not to at least give it a chance. Games can be had for as little as $2-$3, even for many of the titles I mentioned above, and are brand new. For example, for about $100, you can get a system, 6-9 games, an ac adapter, a battery pack, and an worm light. That's pretty common.
One last thing to note is that, as with most handhelds, the games are region free, meaning it doesn't matter if you get a japanese version of a game, it'll still play on a US system. SNK did one better, though, and many of the games support all the languages, too! You set what language you want on your system (it has a "bios" similar to the DS) and the games will play in that language regardless of where they came from.
THIS ISN'T TRUE FOR ALL GAMES, though, so be sure to research the specific title first, if you can't find a US or UK version. I have several JP and UK games in addition to my US ones and the only one I had that wouldn't support English was the JP version of Gal's Fighters. So if you want that one, find a US or UK version. The JP one is still playable, but the story is so hilarious, you'll want to be able to read it!
In short, if you like handhelds, games in general, or are just bored and looking for something to do, then the NGPC is a good solution for you. The system is small enough to fit in your pocket, and fun enough to give you HOURS of enjoyment for the little amount you'll pay for it.
Simply said: SNK has created an amazing handheld experience. You may think "but it's an out-dated handheld, there's no way that I would enjoy it." And I would have agreed with you a couple days ago. SNK produced games so well for this little handheld that I have not experienced anything like it through out my years of playing videogames. These games don't feel like they should be on a handheld at all, they're as deep as any other console game and they look great! Not only are the games great, the NGPC is small and lighter then I expected. It runs off two AA batteries for 40 HOURS! I thought to myself "40 hours? That can't be right, thats impossible," but it's true! Built in clock, calander, horoscope, world time, and alarm are a GREAT addition as well.
I am a Gameboy Advance freak, with 33 GBA games in my library. I wrote this review on Dec. 12, 2003. I know next-gen gaming. One last note from a serious gamer:
I am truely dissapointed and confused why the Neogeo Pocket Color has not swept the handheld industry. The quality of this little console amazes me, even today, when gaming technology is more advanced. If only other companies would take a lesson from SNK, and start producing as GOOD a handheld experience as the NGPC.
I would recomend this gem for ANYONE. Games are few to choose from, but most you see here on Amazon are excelent.