Editorial: 7 Great Neo Geo Games Available Via Arcade Archives

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I am a major fan of retro gaming, and with regards to that, the Neo Geo holds a special place in my heart. The games had so much to them and they felt like nothing else at the time. Today, I wish to highlight 7 Neo Geo games that you can play right now via Arcade Archives on PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. I will only include one entry per franchise, as otherwise this list would be a little repetitive.

 

Number 7: Magician Lord

Magician Lord was a launch title for the Neo Geo and holds up surprisingly well all these years later. It has challenging gameplay yet is still fair and most of all fun. The game allowed you to transform the main character in different ways to take on enemies, sort of but not quite like Altered Beast. The game was very action oriented combined with excellent platforming gameplay that would come to show why the Neo Geo was a force to be reckoned with. With fans both old and new, Magician Lord is one to try!

 

Number 6: Neo Turf Masters

A golf arcade game doesn’t sound like an extremely exciting game that would be beloved decades later, but Neo Turf Masters is a different kind of beast.  The game has fast paced action combined with excellent fluid animation that still looks great today. I would even go so far as to say that Neo Turf Masters is the direct inspiration for games like Everybody’s Gold and Mario Golf. Neo Turf Masters is still as fun today as it was when it was first released, and it may interest you all to know that this was made by the same team that made the Metal Slug games. The game was easy to learn but difficult to master and that is something that I can appreciate.

 

Number 5: Spinmaster

This one is just fun, no other way to say it. It is a side scrolling platformer run n gun game but more akin to Mega Man than anything else. It has some of the best visuals of any Neo Geo game, visuals which stand on par with games from today in fact, and has a charm that just cannot be artificially replicated. This is a game I can play over and over again non stop and still be enthralled by. The combination of platforming and shooting is extremely well, and the different power-ups you get are all fun to use. If it seems like I am gushing a bit, it is because I am. Spinmaster is an amazing game that has sadly fallen from the minds of many. I daresay this is one of the best Neo Geo games of all!

Number 4: King of Fighter 98

A King of Fighters game was of course going to be on the list and this one deserves the spot. Considered by many to be the finest in the series,  KOF 98 combined everything that was good about the previous entries into a Dream Match game. The fighting was refined, the music was incredible, even by today’s standards, but most of all, it was just fun. This is a game that should be on every fighting game fan’s radar and is a must play at least once. SNK fighters did not get the same attention from many gamers that Capcom fighters got, but KOF 98 will show you why SNK also delivered greatness.

Number 3: Magical Drop II

The Magical Drop series  is a series of puzzle games very similar to the Puyo Puyo series, but with its own unique identity as well. The games have a colourful cast of characters and a fantastical sense of charm. Magical Drop II refined the series gameplay from the first entry and added new modes and gameplay options, as well as an improved single player campaign. The Japanese version also contained another gameplay mode as well named Hirameki, in which players are given preset puzzles to solve. I should also point out the arcade archives series contains the Japanese versions of the games as well.

Number 2: Metal Slug X

X or 3? X Or 3? I debated for a while which to include but I finally chose X, as it feels more refined. X was a remake of 2 that corrected all of the flaws of the original and added in numerous changes and improvements. Many of the highlights in 3 were also present in X, including transformations and weapons. Metal Slug is just an incredible series and one of the best Run n Gun series ever. WHile many view Metal Slug 3 as the best, I feel X is a better entry point as it is better paced and balanced for both veterans and newcomers.

 

Number 1: Waku Waku 7

 

Waku Waku 7 is one of the most off beat fighting games ever made. It parodies numerous genres, animes and tv shows while adding its own spin on things and being a great game. The fighting was excellent, and I daresay even better than the KOF series, and the music was on another level altogether. Waku Waku 7 was sadly lost among the other fighting games on Neo Geo, but in truth, was a step above them all. Like other entries on this list, it is easy to learn but difficult to master and very rewarding. There really isn’t another fighter like it and that is a shame. This is a fighting game done right that deserves more attention. It is a damn good one.

 

 

Well that was the first list. I’m plan on highlighting more Neo Geo games going forward. Leave your feedback and suggestions for what you think deserves a mention.

 

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The above is the opinion of the author of the piece and not necessarily that of Real Otaku Gamer.

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