SNK Playmore Brings the 330 Mega Power to the PSN Dec. 21st!
(*Update* These are still “in-process” in QA, and have not been officially approved for PSN Release yet, so there is a chance of a delay)
SNK Playmore is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Neo Geo Arcade/Home system by bringing some great titles to the PSN, for both PS3 and PSP on Dec. 21st.
Oddly enough, the downloadable titles are separate between the platforms, unlike the cross-compatibility that we’re used to with the PC Engine titles and PSP Minis. This is great news for all of those Neo Geo enthusiasts out there, but also a great way to expose everyone else to the awesomeness of this mega-system.
For those of you not familiar with the Neo Geo, it’s truly unique in the fact that the titles in the arcade cabinet are exactly the same as those for the home system. The home unit started in Japan as a rental-only system, but people quickly started offering huge sums of money to buy one instead, so SNK decided to release the system as home console. It was definitely cost-prohibitive, with the console (including a game) hitting $600 and games at $200 each, but enthusiasts (like me) snatched them up as soon as they could.
The community has continued to thrive even to this day, with an incredible hardware modding push for both the consoles and to use the cheaper but identical (except for a few extra pins on the cart connector) on the home consoles. I myself have had my home unit modified with full component video out, full stereo audio out, a universal BIOS that allows me to switch region settings and other cool features. Also, there are adapters available for the home units to allow use of the arcade carts, which on-average, are considerably cheaper. While the standard price for a home (AES) cart was around $200, the arcade (MVS) carts are attainable at anywhere from $20-$70.
The only thing that really concerns me is that the downloads for the PSP are completely separate from those on the PS3. Honestly, I’ll still double-dip on at least 3 of the games I see on this list though
Definition of ‘SHMUP’ – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SHMUP
Additional Details from the official site (no word on Trophies, thanks Crisis from NeoGaf):
*You do buy the games through the PlayStation Store and launch them through the NeoGeo Station application.
*The site specifically says they plan to release games that were never given a western release.
*You can make a save state at any time in the emulator.
*Much like the PS1/PS2 Memory Card utility the emulator here has a way to duplicate the NeoGeo memory card that was used for the system and the arcade machines.
*PS3 Online play is fairly awesome for this thing. It’s not just a simplistic way to play it. There are title specific features for online gameplay and will include such options as Quick Match, Match Search, Create Match, Check Invite, and Network Setting.
*The games all have voice chat enabled.
*From the previous point there is an in-game invite system for these games through the emulator that uses your PSN friends list and even that is fairly awesome. You invite through the game after you have created a match (or a game), you can simply choose to invite people from your friends list or to enter a PSN ID. You do not have to wait for them to join before you start playing. You can continue playing by yourself and they can join your session in progress.
*Whatever games you buy you also have access to their BGM soundtrack at any time. And it seems like you can play one game’s music while you’re in another game.
*You can also save and replay your gameplay. Up to 8 replays per title at any given time.
*You get a digital game manual for every game and you also get a move list for fighting games
The initial 10 launch titles is a great blend, and some of my favorites are among those offered:
* FATAL FURY – The first in a long line of popular fighting games, it brought a unique twist to the fighting genre by allowing the fighters to engage in two separate planes.
* ALPHA MISSION II – A very fun vertical SHMUP that allows for two simultaneous players. The action is frantic, as the player upgrades a multitude of weapons and power-up’s. The soundtrack is pretty memorable as well.
* THE KING OF FIGHTERS ’94 – While not as popular as KoF ’97, this is one of the favorites in the KoF series.
* SAMURAI SHODOWN – Again, the first of what became a very popular fighting series, Samurai Shodown offered slower and more deliberate gameplay while displaying visceral hits and finishing moves.
* BASEBALL STARS PROFESSIONAL – A semi follow-up to the NES original, Baseball Stars Professional is all-out arcade fun. This is a definite purchase for anyone that loves Baseball.
* MAGICIAN LORD – The reason that I bought a Neo Geo originally. This is an action-platformer that displays beautiful visuals, a memorable soundtrack, and the unique ability to use power-up’s to transform into multiple characters. One of the coolest features of the Neo Geo was that the memory card for the Home console was completely cross-compatible with the arcade unit, allowing you to save your progress even in the arcades. I used to walk down to the local Quiktrip every night during one summer, throw a burrito into the microwave, and drop around $5 on this game. It’s incredibly challenging in later levels as well.
* METAL SLUG – The first of an incredibly popular action-platformer, at first blush, Metal slug is a Contra clone. But what you’ll find is a great blend of action, strategy, and bits of comedy blended together for a larger than life battle.
* LEAGUE BOWLING – You MUST buy this game! This is by-far one of my all-time favorite games, not only on the platform, but of all-time. Allowing players to play in split-screen, the action is fast and addictive. BUY THIS GAME!
* SUPER SIDEKICKS – A long-running series on the platform, it’s arcade Soccer, and it’s really well-done. This one’s an absolute blast to play!
* ART OF FIGHTING – While the first one definitely has some limitations (you can only choose from 2 playable characters,) Art of Fighting is a different take on the fighting genre by introducing a light story into the mix. It was also unique in the fact that it showed-off the mindblowing scaling by zooming the screen in-and-out on-the-fly. It was a good game, but pretty thin, especially when compared to the later entries in the series.
My wish-list for the future:
*Baseball Stars 2 (One of my top 5 on the platform)
*Last Resort (A great horizontal SHMUP with an anime inspired theme. The first level looks like it’s out of Akira)
*Pulstar (Another amazing horizontal SHMUP. This is a visual superstar on this system)
*Fatal Fury Garou: Mark of the Wolves (One of the best ever)
*Neo Turf Masters Golf (Such a great game!)
*2020 Super Baseball (Baseball with robots and mines in teh field)
*Aero Fighters 2&3 (An awesome vertical SHMUP)
*Andro Dunos (A fun little horizontal SHMUP, very challenging at later levels)
*Blazing Star (Another beautiful horizontal SHMUP, semi-rare as well.)
*Blue’s Journey (A fun and colorful 2-player platformer)
*King of the Monsters (Monsters fighting with full cities as the “ring.” I love this game. But not 2, they screwed that one up!)
*The Last Blade 1 and/or 2 (Visceral fighting games, with #2 being quite rare. Very solid)
*Shock Troopers 1&2 (A great update to Ikari Warriors, very very fun)
*Spinmaster (A gorgeous side-scrolling platformer, your primary weapon is a yo-yo!)
*Twinkle Star Sprites (Part SHMUP, part puzzler, all awesome)
*Viewpoint (This reimagining of Zaxxon is one of the greatest SHMUPs ever made IMO. The soundtrack is one of the best to ever grace any cartdridge, so good in fact, that you’d swear it’s running from a cd)
Los Angeles, Calif.-December 7th, 2010-SNK PLAYMORE USA CORPORATION announced today that they will be launching the NEOGEO Station on the PlayStation® Network to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the NEOGEO videogame system on December 21st, 2010. The NEOGEO Station will be a continuously growing’ library of classic NEOGEO games available via the PlayStation Network for $8.99 per title for PS3 and $6.99 per title for PSP.
Since its release in 1990, the revolutionary “NEOGEO” videogame system has attracted millions of fans worldwide with its unforgettable library of arcade classics. In commemorating the 20th anniversary of the legendary NEOGEO MVS & AES, SNK has updated NEOGEO games for PlayStation®3 and PlayStation®Portable systems with VERSUS and/or CO-OP Play so players all over the world can compete against each other via the PlayStation®Network (PSP® Versions will be compatible with Ad-Hoc Mode**). SNK is also adding a variety of features both hardcore fans and a new generation of NEOGEO gamers will be sure to appreciate.
The first 10 game titles on “NEOGEO Station” will be available on December 21, 2010 for the PS3 and will include “FATAL FURY”, “METAL SLUG”, and “THE KING OF FIGHTERS ’94″. “FATAL FURY” and “METAL SLUG” will also be available for the PSP on December 21. Continuing in 2011, SNK PLAYMORE USA will offer the PSP versions of the other eight game titles as well as a wide variety of other games that made the “NEOGEO” world-famous in the 90s.
Here is the complete launch title list for NEOGEO Station – each PS3™ version will sell for a suggested price of $8.99 per title, each PSP® version will cost $6.99 per title. All titles listed will be available for the PS3 on December 21, 2010 and except
Samurai Shodown – PS3
SNK’s Classic SAMURAI SHODOWN
where noted, in January for the PSP:
FATAL FURY (PSP 12/21)
ALPHA MISSION II
THE KING OF FIGHTERS ’94
BASEBALL STARS PROFESSIONAL
METAL SLUG (PSP 12/21)
ART OF FIGHTING