so let's get back to some of the really cool whiz bang features
of this thing. The built-in memory function rules. Plain and simple.
I hope Nintendo listens here, because if the GameBoy Advance (or
whatever it ends up being called) doesn't have this, I'll be very
angry. The NGPC allows you to save a game on the system.
Not the cartridge, the system itself. If you've ever had to play
a GameBoy title and been annoyed to all hell by those damn passwords,
you'll love this feature. Gone are the days of having to carry
with you a bunch of post-it notes with hundreds of random characters
on it...and the games themselves can cost less, since they don't
have to have a battery backup built-in.
the system's ability to connect to the Dreamcast, I haven't tried
it out yet, but I'm told it's pretty cool. It only works with
one title at the moment, (King of Fighters DreamMatch '99 connects
with its NGPC sibling, King of Fighters R2 to open up other
characters on both games, and upload custom characters) but there
are others coming, and there are all kinds of cool possibilities
(Internet downloads, perhaps?). You'll need to pick up a Dreamcast
connection cable for it to work, but it's cool stuff.
right now, the only way to connect for multiplayer games is a
cable not at all unlike the GameBoy's connection cable. But coming
soon (really soon, I hope) is an innovative device that will allow
for wireless connections between systems (up to 64 simultaneously!)
and even cooler, they can be 100 yards apart from each other.
Nifty stuff here, kids.
all of this is meaningless without the right games to back it
up. So how are the games so far? I'll go into more detail in the
next edition of this column, but the quick version is - pretty
good. There's a good selection of games available, which range
from the classic (Pac-Man) to some fantastic fighting games
(Samurai Showdown, King of Fighters R2) and even
a decent RPG (Bio Motor Unitron). There isn't really a
"killer app" out there yet, but if you ask me, the
game to get for the system is Bust-A-Move Pocket.
ever played Bust-A-Move (it's known as Puzzle Bobble
outside the US) on any platform, you know the drill (it's available
on the Nintendo 64, PC, Saturn, Playstation, and others). It's
a puzzle game where you (and your really cute little dinosaur
thing) have to eliminate all the bubbles at the top of the screen
by lining up three bubbles of the same color (obviously it's more
complex than this). It's very, very fun, incredibly addicting,
and there's even a "VS. CPU" mode where you can battle
against the computer. It's no Tetris, but it's one of those games
that are just made for handheld gaming.
the one thing this system doesn't have? It's got a true
16-Bit CPU, it's light, the colors are bright and plentiful...but
you know what? It's got absolutely horrendous sound. The
sound, and I kid you not here, is literally the same as the GameBoy's.
I suppose adding a more advanced sound system would add lots of
power consumption, but jeez...can someone explain to me why in
all these years of technology improvements, no handheld system
has managed to surpass the Atari Lynx in terms of sound quality?
Aaaargh. Unfortunately, with the NGPC, you're going to have to
suffer with the same annoying cheezeball MIDI music as all those
GameBoy games. I suppose it's not the worst thing in the world,
but it is a major let down for an otherwise flawless system.
you have it...my initial look at the Neo Geo Pocket Color. Is
it worth getting? Hell, yes. SNK deserves some major credit for
releasing a system this powerful for a price this low, and there
are a lot of games available (around 20) for the system already.
So if you're bored with that outdated GameBoy technology, definitely
get yourself one of these bad boys. They come in six different
styles, too. :)
Jason "loonyboi" Bergman is the editor-in-chief here
at loonygames. Yes, that's a Neo Geo in his pocket, you pervert.