NeoGeo Pocket Color Selection Vol. 1
Top Critic Average
While the games themselves haven't aged terribly well and there are too many fighting games here, NeoGeo Pocket Color Selections Vol. 1 demonstrates the best way to preserve old games. On top of simply playing the games themselves, you can take a look at everything that came with the cartridges way back when on top of taking advantage of convenience features like rewind. Unfortunately, this is undermined by the incredibly small screen size which you cannot change.
A strong showing for the Neo Geo Pocket Color, this is an eight-game compilation with seven avowed recommendations. That's a pretty high ratio, and that tantalising "Vol. 1" in the title makes us hope and pray that more SNK handheld goodness is to come. Now that Match of the Millennium has been accounted for, after all, there's surely no reason to hold out on us vis-a-vis Card Fighters Clash, the absolute best game on the system. Sonic Pocket Adventure would be ace, too. But that's all speculation – in the here and now, Neo Geo Pocket Color Selection Vol. 1 is a great little compilation and all the better if you didn't buy all the previous standalone releases. If you did, is it worth the money? To this writer, yes, but you can quietly seethe about the financial imposition.
Neo Geo Pocket Color Selection Vol. 1 is a must buy for anyone who has wanted to enjoy what the classic portable had to offer and missed out on the individual releases.
Neo Geo Pocket Color Selection Vol. 1 will be a letdown for those who've already purchased some (or all) of the fighters released prior. But if you've been wondering why SNK hasn't bundled these handheld games together, wonder no more. While very much a mixed bag, there's enough here for the curious, and more so for fans. Bring on Vol. 2.
The Neo Geo Pocket Color Selection Volume 1 for Nintendo Switch brings a forgotten handheld to the forefront. Featuring 10 games that defined SNK's unique platform, this collection serves as a glimpse into gaming history. Six fighting games, two action games, an RPG and a sports title bring something for everyone, but has age been kind to them? This is an in-depth look into how the collection holds up over 20 years later.
The whole collection features a promising ten games from a sorely underlooked handheld console, all of which hold up well today. The collection doesn’t have the same sheer value for money that something like the SEGA Mega Drive Collection does, but you shouldn’t underestimate how well all of these handheld titles told up today. While Volume 1 does lean heavily into the fighting game genre, it’s SNK – you knew what you were getting into. I especially liked the way that the handheld ports simplified and distilled the core of each property, but not in a limiting way: I felt like I was getting the proper Metal Slug, KOF and Last Blade experiences, but simplified down to be more accessible for a newer player. With an excellent multiplayer mode and opportunities for replay value across the titles, Neo Geo Pocket Color Collection Vol. 1 is a welcome addition to the retro compilations across the Switch eShop.
A decidedly niche retro fix for fans of the beloved if underappreciated Neo Geo Pocket Color.
There’s one other feature that is fun and worth mentioning, which is that it’s also possible to play the black and white versions of these games thanks to the color filter options. If you’ve yet to read our history of NeoGeo Pocket Color feature, SNK originally launched a colorless version of NeoGeo Pocket—only to be aghast to learn that Game Boy Color would debut soon after. Not wanting to be instantly outstripped by Nintendo’s latest handheld, SNK swiftly updated to NGPC soon thereafter, and the rest was history. SNK has been doing wonders keeping its back catalogue of games alive through retro hardware and compilations like NGPC Selection Vol. 1, and we sincerely hope that fans take the time to pick this one up for themselves.
Best part is that I don't have to try and find a working NGPC in good condition anymore.
NeoGeo Pocket Color Selection Vol.1 is as good as you'd expect a collection of 10 portable games from the turn of the millennium to be. Throw in a couple of hidden gems and some cool features and you're left with a decent offering from SNK.