News that five NeoGeo games were ready and waiting for retro purists on the Switch’s launch day has seemingly flown under the radar. The fact that a handful of NeoGeo conversion are also now available on Xbox One, courtesy of Japanese publisher Hamster, even more so.
In the absence of Virtual Console for Switch, the five NeoGeo games – Waku Waku 7, Shock Troopers, World Heroes Perfect and Metal Slug 3 – are a godsend for anybody hankering for some old skool entertainment. Their £6.39 asking price is more than reasonable, too, considering they aren’t mere ROM dumps: new features such as online leaderboards have been added.
The Xbox One, meanwhile, has never been anybody’s first port of call for when it comes to retro gaming so it’s no wonder that the four NeoGeo titles currently available (World Heroes, Metal Slug, Neo Turf Masters and Nam-1975) appear to be going down well, with mostly positive user reviews on the Xbox One Store. World Heroes allegedly has some framerate issues and the action is prone to stuttering when the achievements pop, but the other three are reportedly faultless conversions.
Due to its high price tag and limited availability the NeoGeo doesn’t hold a special place in many gamer’s hearts. Certainly, not in the same way as the Mega Drive or SNES. In fact, it’s likely that many gamers are experiencing the aforementioned games for the first time, making them a pleasant change from the games we usually see on Nintendo’s VC services. Urban Champ, we’re looking at you here.
For most part, NeoGeo software has stood the test of time – it was a 2D powerhouse, with a software library mostly comprising of challenging shooters and surprisingly deep beat’em ups developed by studios with a passion. 2D games age far more gracefully than 3D games and so NeoGeo titles tend to be rather pleasing on the eye still.
The ACA series has been knocking around on the PS4 for a while now, expanding beyond the NeoGeo to include the likes of Contra, Bubble Bobble, Double Dragon and Gradius. While it’s unclear if Hamster Corporation plans to stick with NeoGeo games exclusively for the time being, we’re sure that Switch and Xbox One owners alike would like to see a few more ACA releases on their respective systems.
These games may be old and crusty, but they’re still more welcome than the glut of shovelware we’ve seen on the digital services lately. We’ll take Metal Slug over Firefighters: The Simulation any day.