Neo-Geo Battle Coliseum (Review) XBox 360

Neo-Geo Battle Coliseum (Review) XBox 360

SNK is synonymous with fighting games. Over the years, they have produced many fighters that are revered the world over. Ask any fighting fan and they will no doubt mention at least one popular SNK franchise that has stood the test of time — The King of Fighters. SNK’s foray into the mainstream with KOF XII was met with lukewarm fanfare at best (the game was missing staple characters from the series, it had buggy online play with unforgivable lag, and a terrible single player mode with no story or end boss). What SNK has always excelled at is 2D, plain and simple. Neo-Geo Battle Coliseum, while old, is still a testament to SNK’s prowess in the 2D gaming market.

Originally released in the arcade and then on Playstation 2, NGBC has finally seen an XBLA release. The fighting is still based on 2 vs 2 team battles where at least one fighter must remain standing to win. Like in all SNK / Capcom fighters, a power gauge is displayed and fills as you either deal damage or receive it. Once this gauge fills to max, special attacks and DMs can be performed by the player. Even team attacks rely on filling this gauge. When executed properly, both team members enter the fray and pummel their on-screen opponent in a myriad of devastating attacks.

The fighting system is very similar to other SNK fighters with combos and juggles rounding out the action. The only gripe here is that juggling is extremely broken and can be abused throughout an entire match. In the hands of the right player, certain fighters like Chonrei can turn a friendly match into a juggling nightmare by cornering your fighters. Switching between your teammates will cause them to fall right into the same juggle, creating an endless headache that will certainly raise your frustration level.

Despite the online woes of KOF XII, NGBC suffers from none of the issues that caused such an upheaval with KOF fans last summer. What we’re given is one of the most stable online experiences for a 2D fighter in recent memory. That’s right; we’re talking no input lag, on-screen lag, or even lobby lag for that matter. Finding online competition is a breeze since an instant community already exists for this title (especially for Player Ranked Matches).

You might be wondering if NGBC is for you, especially after all the negative press it has received since launch. To put it bluntly, NGBC is a fantastic 2D fighter that plays incredibly well online. You can’t go wrong. The game mechanics are smooth, online is lag free, and the choice of SNK fighters make it a charming experience.

NGBC is available on XBLA for 800 MS Points ($9.99US).

Mike ‘STGuy1040’ Pittaro
Platform: Xbox 360 (XBLA)
Publisher / Developer: SNK

Review Score
Despite being a port of the Playstation 2 original, great care was taken to smooth out the sprites and enhance the backgrounds.
Typical SNK fare... but not as memorable as KOF.
Online competition is lag-free, full of contenders, and plays like a dream. The netcode is solid on this one too.
NGBC is well worth its asking price of $9.99US (800 MS Points).

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