[ Retro Scan of the Week ] SNK Neo Geo Pocket Color

March 1st, 2010 by Benj Edwards

SNK Neo Geo Pocket Color Ad - 2000“Get Pocket Power!”

I scored my first Neo Geo Pocket Color (NGPC) along with Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure and SNK vs. Capcom: Match of the Millennium for my birthday in 1999. It was an amazing little machine — in my opinion, the only US market competitor that stood a chance against the Game Boy in the long run.

SNK clearly studied Nintendo’s winning handheld strategy and succeeded where previous Game Boy competitors failed by keeping the Neo Geo Pocket Color’s technical specifications minimal and omitting a backlight, allowing for low retail cost and long battery life.

The NGPC even sported an innovative and satisfyingly clicky thumb stick that in some ways surpassed the traditional D-pad in functionality. Still, SNK couldn’t keep up with Nintendo’s first party franchises and voluminous third party support, and the NGPC died on the vine, never to realize its full potential.

Along with the Sega Dreamcast, the NGPG lives on in gamer memory as one of those rare consoles that failed due to commercial reasons alone, not technical ones. The NGPC hardware is currently cheap and plentiful, so if you don’t have one, I highly recommend picking up a unit and a handful of games.

[ From Electronic Gaming Monthly, April 2000, p.122 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: What are your favorite Neo Geo Pocket Color Games? What game you think was best, over all, for the system?

6 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] SNK Neo Geo Pocket Color”

  1. jlanagan Says:

    I did have one of these, and even imported some games. But none of them were very good. Matter of fact, I thoroughly disliked most of them. But Bust-A-Move was the one that got played most often. I’ve always enjoyed puzzle games on portables though. Sadly, I don’t think SNK’s franchises made the leap from awesome arcade console to cost-effective portable very well. It was hot for a minute though.

  2. Berketron Says:

    I loved my NGPC. Cardfighters Clash was my favorite game. I was so bummed that I didn’t get to Babbages before they sent back their stock.

  3. extrarice Says:

    The clicky thumb-stick is the best part of the NGPC. I only have Metal Slug for mine, but it’s totally enjoyable!

  4. Matt Says:

    I have only ever played these in emulation but still play all the bust-a-moves pretty regularly on my m33. Pocket Tennis is pretty awesome too.

  5. Wes Says:

    I love these games! I wasn’t old enough to own the original, but I have an emulator. It would be sweet to get ahold of one.

  6. Cody Says:

    I remember really really really wanting one of these, but just as they were being discontinued. I wanted to play King of Fighters (99?) on it, because I read they had one that was the same as the arcade, and as that was the popular one at the time, I wanted to practice so I could actually beat someone for once. It was hard to play at the arcade because so many people wanted to play it, but also because I had no money.

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