Neo Geo Pocket Color Selection Vol.2: All 10 Games Reviewed
4 days ago, SNK tweeted an announcement that had retro-gaming nerds like us drooling in anticipation. Today, November 9, 2022, we see that promise fulfilled.
SNK has just released its second volume of 10 long-lost Neo Geo Pocket Color games on Steam and Nintendo Switch. If you’ve read our recent account of the original console’s tragic failure, this is very uplifting news indeed.
Even better, the 10 titles included in Neo Geo Pocket Color Vol.2 make up an awesome collection. This selection exhumes many exclusive spin-offs of familiar franchises, like SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters’ Clash. There are also sports games, a puzzle game, and one rare oddity that finally gets a worldwide release.
Using our extensive nerd knowledge, we’ve reviewed each of these titles in detail. Read on to see why we’re super excited about Neo Geo Pocket Color Vol.2.
1. Rockman Battle & Fighters
Rockman Battle & Fighters is basically a typical Mega Man (Rockman) platformer turned into a fighting game! The game is based mostly on the arcade games Mega Man: The Power Battle and Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters. There are no “levels,” only boss battles with iconic bosses from the first 7 Mega Man games.
Play as Mega Man, Bass, Proto Man, or Duo and earn new weapons with each boss you defeat. Also, beating bosses helps you complete the Pokedex-like databank included in the game. The game is an absolute must for Mega Man fans.
2. The King of Fighters: Battle De Paradise
It seems that bending genres was SNK’s primary M.O. for making Neo Geo Pocket Color games. Besides turning the Mega Man platformers into a fighting game, they also turned their popular fighter series, King of Fighters, into a board game.
In most respects, The King of Fighters: Battle De Paradise is extremely similar to Mario Party. Players roll dice to move around the board, sometimes triggering minigames. The minigames are mostly puzzles and memory-match challenges.
The object is to earn coins in order to purchase stars. You earn coins by beating minigames and landing on blue spaces.
There are also cards you can buy that work like the items in Mario Party. Use them to manipulate certain aspects of the game in your favor.
3. SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters’ Clash
SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters’ Clash is a card battling game based on the super popular arcade fighting game series of the same name. Craft your strategically perfect deck and then draw the right cards at the right time to KO your opponent. Fight other players to win their cards or trade cards for mutual benefit.
Originally, there were two versions of the game, a Capcom version and an SNK version, each featuring exclusive cards. Both games combined featured 60 action cards and 240 character cards. The two versions appear to be combined for the downloadable re-release.
Also, a sequel called SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters’ Clash 2 Expand Edition features 124 additional cards. That includes 40 Reaction cards, which you can use while your opponent is attacking. The sequel is not available for download at this time.
4. Biomotor Unitron
Biomotor Unitron is a dungeon-crawling RPG with a heavy emphasis on turn-based robot dueling. Players control an upgradeable robot (a Unitron) that morphs into powerful new forms as you level up.
Explore dungeons and battle enemies to increase your level and earn money. The battle system is very reminiscent of the early Pokemon games.
Next, shop for or create weapon/armor upgrades for your Unitron. When you’re strong enough, challenge more powerful opponents in the robot battle arena.
Sadly, though, the game does not support 2-player battles. But you can trade items and parts through a link cable (in the original cartridge version, anyway). Besides, it’s still a very fun single-player RPG.
5. Puzzle Link 2
Puzzle Link 2 is like a slightly different, very addicting version of the popular Bust-a-Move games. In Bust-a-Move, you try to eliminate the colored bubbles by shooting bubbles of the same color. When 3 or more matching colors connect, they disappear.
In Puzzle Link, you shoot pipes at colored tiles. And it doesn’t matter how many tiles of the same color are touching. The only way to eliminate tiles is to “link” together two or more unconnected groups of tiles.
There’s also an element of gravity, like in Dr. Mario. If the eliminated tiles leave gaps above the remaining tiles, the remaining tiles will “fall” upward. This causes chain reactions when tiles land on other tiles of the same color.
In summary, Puzzle Link 2 combines tons of familiar puzzle game elements in a way that’s totally unique. We’ve really never seen another game quite like it.
6. Pocket Tennis Color
Pocket Tennis Color is really just a well-made straightforward tennis game. One benefit it has over most games from its era is that each player uses their own screen in a two-player game.
In most console tennis games, one player’s forced to take the far-away top side of the screen, which usually makes it harder to play. Pocket Tennis Color’s individual-screen play eliminates this common handicap.
That is, each player sees their character on the bottom half of their own screen.
7. Baseball Stars Color
Baseball Stars Color is another very straightforward sports game. In fact, it’s a mildly simplified port of the original NES hit, lacking the Playoff and Championship game modes.
In any case, both the Neo Geo Pocket Color and NES versions were never available for download from Nintendo until now. We’re happy to see the return of any version of this nostalgic hit.
Of course, you can still buy the NES cartridges of Baseball Stars and Baseball Stars II from retro game stores like The Old School Game Vault.
8. Big Bang Pro Wrestling
Big Bang Pro Wrestling is a severely underrated, solid wrestling game. It’s like an 8-bit version of one of those awesome N64 WWF games.
It has a surprising number of moves for a two-button game. Grapple, hold, throw, and ultimately pin your opponent for the win. You can even interact with objects.
Besides the normal game mode, there are special matches as well. In Coffin Death Match, try to trap your opponent in a coffin. Reward Death Match offers a bag of cash to the player who reaches it first.
9. Neo Geo Cup ‘98 Plus Color
Those who want an arcade soccer sim in their pocket-sized sport game collection will love Neo Geo Cup ‘98 Plus Color. It’s the scaled-down, portable port of the original arcade game.
Granted, it’s too simplex to allow for much play strategizing. But it’s a fun little diversion nonetheless.
10. Ganbare Neo Poke-Kun
Ganbare Neo Poke-Kun is an extremely obscure sim game released near the end of a dying console’s lifespan. The game sort of plays like a Tamagotchi, but with Wario Ware-style microgames throughout. Well, that plus a lot of low-brow, utterly immature, sex-crazed humor.
The title character is Neo Poke-Kun, a programmer with an egg-shaped head and bug-like antennae. He lives by the Neo Geo Pocket Color’s internal clock, whether you play the game or not.
Most of the time, though, you don’t really “play” the game. Primarily, you watch Neo Poke-Kun or send him outlandishly bizarre visitors to try and keep him happy. When he is happy, he creates hilarious microgames just for you.
This Japan-only game had never previously seen a worldwide release. Now, the rest of the world can enjoy this deeply insane title for the first time.
Find Other Games Like the Neo Geo Pocket Color Selection Vol.2
As peddlers of retro video games, we’re happy that you’re interested in the Neo Geo Pocket Color Selection Vol.2. The fact is, there are tons of retro games, just like the ones above, that are still discontinued.
Furthermore, downloadable re-releases don’t always support certain features of the original game. So, if you want true retro gaming in its purest form, we can help.
Browse our store here to build your own retro gaming collection. Alternatively, you can sell us your old video games and consoles for cash to buy other games/downloads.