SNK has provided us with a long line of great fighting games. I remember when Fatal Fury?was released?and it was the only true?alternative to Street Fighter 2. It was a valiant attempt at capturing some of Street Fighter 2’s success, but it didn’t stand up too well. Fatal Fury 2 improved on that and then Samurai Showdown was the slam dunk. Now SNK was playing for keeps. They were the Coke and Capcom was the Pepsi. SNK has 6 different series of fighting games in it’s arsenal: Fatal Fury(which later branched off into King Of Fighters and then Mark Of The Wolves), World Heroes, Art Of Fighting and Samurai Showdown. Now for the first time, SNK brings all of it’s most popular characters in one huge fighting game called Neo Geo Coliseum.
A mysterious man from the WAREZ conglomerate wants to take over NeoGeo World. He can only do so by defeating the strongest NeoGeo Warrior. The competition to decide it all was not the King Of Fighters, but instead would be called Battle Colisuem. Pretty straight forward huh?
NeoGeo Coliseum has several different modes. There’s Arcade Play, Aracade VS, Tag Play, Practice and Survival Challenge. In Arcade Play you pick two fighters and play through several levels. It’s 2 vs 2 tag battle style play like Marvel VS Capcom. The only difference here is that if one of the players gets beaten, you lose the match. Tag Play is just like Arcade Play except both of your fighters have to get beaten in order for you to lose. In Survival Challenge you fight until your health goes to zero.
The good thing about?the gameplay?is that you have to manage both of your characters very well to get through the stages. When one of your characters?is resting, he?can regain health after 8 seconds. Tag Play is more forgiving allowing you to use both of your characters to the death. You still have to manage both characters but if one dies you lose the ability to switch out or do Double Assault attacks. Double Assault attacks allow the use of both characters at once to overpower your enemy.
When you defeat 3 tag teams you can choose a Battle Bonus. Battle Bonuses are perks to obtain while playing through the entire game. You can’t use a Battle Bonus more than once throughout game play. There are four choices for Battle Bonuses: No Bonus, Restore Health Gauge, Restore Power Gauge and Time Increase. There are also Continue Services that you can choose after you lose the game. The Continue Services are: Enemy Health 1/4, Power Gauge Stock 3, 20 Second Time Bonus and No Service.
As with all NeoGeo games, the special moves can be a bitch to pull off.? They’ve included a feature that allows you to record commands and assign them to a single button to make it easier for you to execute.?
There are some welcomed characters to this game.? I was glad to see Geese Howard and Tung Fu Rue return.? They’ve also added a large Marco Rossi in the mix and his arsenal is devastating.? Nothing will prepare you however,?for the boss Mizuchi.? He is by far the hardest boss I’ve ever encountered in a 2D fighter.? He’s harder than M. Bison on 8 stars.? I had to use the Haohmaru and Genjuro combination to beat him, and this was after using the 1/4 enemy health continue bonus.? What a mess that was.
NeoGeo Battle Coliseum has some unique features and extends on a great line of fighters from SNK.? If you want the?KOF offering from SNK, go for KOFXI which was recently released too.? If you are looking for something different with a wide variety of characters and fighting styles, NGBC is the game for you.