A new year, a new writer. Blast Process is proud to present a review of the Neo Geo Pocket Colour, contributed by our good friend, Phil Greenhalgh. Phil is a retro video game enthusisast and will no doubt be sharing more of his thoughts on consoles and games of yesteryear in forthcoming articles. For now let’s take a look at SNK’s premier handheld that sadly never quite became the success it could have been…
The Neo Geo Pocket Colour is a console made by SNK and was released on March 16th 1999. It was made to replace the older non colour version of the console, which was simply called The Neo Geo Pocket. This new, colour 16 bit machine is also notable for being the last console SNK released before being bought out.
The console did however turn out to be a serious competitor in a hanndheld market, still dominated by Nintendo’s Game Boy and sold well, but it’s main downfall was a simple one, a lack of communication between the SNK senior executives and it’s third-party developers resulted in the console dying out long before it’s time.
This little thing is stylish, clear and light weight with great sound. It runs on two AA batteries and has a battery life of over 30 hours, which isn’t half bad. It’s full colour screen is very nice, making it fun and easy to see and play.
Now this console had almost no third-party support it seems and yet has some really enjoyable games, it even has a Sonic the Hedgehog game, which marks one of the few times Sega let it’s mascot go else where at the time. One genre of game dominates the format more than any other though and that’s fighting games, and what gems they were! Samurai Showdown 2 anyone?
So there’s some good games available, a bit restricted but great non the less- 7/10
Well now this is something, the Pocket Colour’s controls simple and basic and I very much liked them. No game left you frustrated or screaming because it just didn’t do anything. All games are easy to use and great to play. The Pocket Colour’s controls could at first seem a little basic but that’s not all bad.
Simple and easy to remember- 8/10
Overall Console Quality
Great small machine made well, sturdy, lightweight and comfy to hold. Sound is easy on the ears and it pumps out some good little tunes. Battery life is over 30 hours, so you will have lots of fun before needing to worry about changing them. Not a massive list of games but those available are great. Hard to get and costly these days, (a good one will set you back over £30, unless you wait for a bargain) but defiantly worth getting hold of.
There really is no reason not to love this machine, it’s a real gem of a handheld that’s worth it’s slightly expensive price tag.
Philip Greenhalgh 2011