€200,000 Will Get You A Complete Neo Geo AES Games Library

Have you recently won the jackpot in the lottery? If you have and you want an instant and complete Neo Geo AES games collection, then you are in luck!

For a cool €200,000 (AUD$285,716), you get the full-set of the Neo Geo AES Japanese games library which is all 100% original! Phwoar, if only we didn’t spend the lottery money on that red Ferrari!

Now if €200,000 is a tad too much, perhaps the microwave sized Neo Geo Deck: Compact Amusement System at US$59,997 (AUD$79,912) may be a bit more palatable.

Oh yeah, you can make an offer on either one of these Neo Geo eBay auctions *winks*

source: eBay

source: eBay

 

The Rise And Fall Of SNK

Back in May 2002, US digital cable channel G4 (aka: G4tv) aired the video gaming documentary series, Icons. For four seasons Icons focused on the key people, companies, products, history and major milestones in the world of video games. In season five, which was its last, Icons broadened its scope by featuring general pop culture content.

From the many Icons video gaming documentaries, we loved their look at SNK Corporation (season 3, episode 12), from its humble beginnings to becoming an arcade gaming behemoth with their Neo Geo products, only to see it all crash and tumble a decade or so later.

Step back in time and get a dose of some video gaming history!


source: KonamiGamer

DISCLAIMER: We are well aware that SNK lived on via Playmore, but this article focuses on the old SNK Corporation that produced arcade games and home gaming systems.

 

Pre-Order Your Neo Geo Pocket SD Flash Cart Now

After the great response to our story on SainT’s Neo Geo Pocket SD Flash Cart project, we had been keeping a close eye on the genius hardware hacker’s progress on his highly anticipated piece of Neo Geo kit.

Well, it is time to pop the champagne! SainT has been keeping quite busy tinkering away on the device and we can now report that progress on this wondrous kit has reached a point where pre-orders are being taken. Hop to it now so you don’t miss out.

Check out SainT’s latest progress videos below and then make sure you pre-order your Neo Geo Pocket SD flash cart, as they will go quick!

The first video shows the functionality of the menu system and how the device will function from navigating the SD card contents to installing and running games.

This latest video from Retro HQ’s SainT shows that all issues have been resolved, including the running of 4MB games, like Metal Slug 2 – which works great! According to SainT, the hardware is now complete. Our excitement is set to maximum level!

source: Retro HQ

 

Thrill Of The Chase: Neo Geo Pocket Color Hanshin Tigers

It’s a new year and what a better way to start it than to hunt down a Neo·Geo rarity!

SNK’s 16-bit handheld, the Neo·Geo Pocket Color (NGPC) came in a number of colours, but it’s the special limited edition Hanshin Tigers version that is its most prized of the NGPC lineup. Inspired by the Japanese baseball team, there were only 5000 units produced, making it the rarer NGPC handheld.

2017 has definitely started with a bang at ausretrogamer as we bag our first thrill of the chase for the year. What else will we go hunting for in 2017? Only time will tell…

If only we were Richmond Tigers fans!

The Hanshin Tigers NGPC looks great from any angle

The NGPC’s home, an official SNK case to store the handheld and some games

No system is complete without games!

The Hanshin Tigers NGPC frolicking!

Bit of KoF action!

Let’s get button mashin’!

Interview With The Neo·Geo Collector

There are Neo·Geo collectors, and then there is Frazer Rhodes – he is the real-deal, as he is known as the Neo·Geo Collector on Twitter. Having rebuilt his Neo·Geo collection countless times, it is hard to argue Frazer’s loyalty, determintation and passion towards SNK’s Neo·Geo family of systems.

As is normal on social media, we met Frazer on Twitter – it was his handle and avatar that caught our eye. His collection is second to none and as fellow Neo·Geo fans, we knew we had to grab Frazer for an exclusive interview. Get yourself comfortable and start reading!

(WARNING: some drooling will be inevitable!)

AUSRETROGAMER [ARG]: Welcome Frazer, let’s start with, how old were you when you got into gaming? Do you remember your first system and first game?
Frazer Rhodes [FR]: I started to get into gaming when I was 8 or 9 years old with an Atari 800XL. The Atari was bought second hand but came with loads of games on tape and also the large floppy disks. I spent hours on that computer. I don’t remember what my first game was, but I vividly remember playing Green Beret, IK+, Ghostbusters and Pole Position to name just a few. Other friends had Spectrums, both the 48K and 128K models, but we all quickly moved on to 16 bit machines. Most of my mates opted for the Amiga, and I stuck with Atari and went for a 520STE. The one game on the ST that I always recall is Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders – I loved that game!

ARG: When did you first play on a Neo·Geo? Do you remember the first Neo·Geo game you played?
FR: The first Neo·Geo I ever played was an Electrocoin 4 slot (MVS) machine in Manchester. It had four games, NAM-1975, Magician Lord, Baseball Stars and Top Players Golf. I elected for NAM-1975, which is still one of my favourite games today. That would have been around 1991. I bought an Electrocoin 4 slot in 2009 and added those four original MVS games. The machine currently resides in my kitchen alongside a Sega Astro City!

ARG: What was it about the Neo·Geo that got you hooked?
FR: At the time I played on that Electrocoin, a limited amount of information about the Neo·Geo was starting to appear in video game magazines. The machines were available on grey import but it wasn’t that easy to find information on the machine or the games. Some magazines, C&VG in particular, would give initial snippets of information on the Neo·Geo, and it wasn’t till 1992 that they started to review many of the games as they were released. By this time, the Neo·Geo had officially launched in the UK.

Some of the gaming mags at the time gave the console a really hard time and very critical reviews. Let’s be honest, the price of the games was always going to be an issue, especially the new releases, but at the time, the SNES games were creeping up in price – I recall Street Fighter 2 for the Super Famicom being around the £90-100 mark on import, so the Neo·Geo games weren’t too far from that price point.

The Neo·Geo AES was like no other console – the carts were enormous, the joysticks were chunky and felt just like those at the arcade, it had a memory card to save your games….the list goes on.

At the time, the gulf between arcades games and home computers and consoles was considerable. Here was a console you could own which was exactly the same as the arcade – no compromises of any kind. I was hooked, I had to own one. I worked during the holidays at a screen printing factory – not particularly glamorous and not well paid either but nevertheless, I saved hard. I think my parents, now thoroughly bored of me going on about the Neo-Geo, realised how committed I was to owning this console. The system had just been released in the UK and one evening after work, my dad picked me up and rather than heading home, he said we needed to go run an errand. We arrived at a house not too far from home. Turns out my dad spotted a for sale advert for a Neo·Geo in the local paper and we’d come to buy it. I had a fair bit saved up and my dad put the rest towards it. I couldn’t believe it, not only was I going to own a Neo·Geo, but the machine came with two control pads plus Fatal Fury and Robo Army, the two games which had just been reviewed in C&VG – they happened to be the titles I wanted the most!

ARG: Your Neo·Geo collection is extremely impressive – when did you start collecting and how long did it take to complete your AES collection?
FR: Having picked up that Neo·Geo in around 1992, I built up a modest selection of games – around 15 titles by 1994. We then of course had the release of the Neo·Geo CD. All the signs indicated that this would be the future, after all £40 games versus £200 was a no-brainer (or so I thought).

Obviously we know different now but I sold the AES, picked up a CD machine but never felt the same way about it as the cartridge machine, so I moved on to buy a Sony PlayStation on the day of its release. I began to get back into the Neo·Geo around 1997 having missed the games and I picked up a boxed Neo·Geo Gold System. Slowly but surely I started buying back games, which were relatively cheap back then. I bought English versions of the games and by 2002 had built up a collection of 84 English Neo·Geo titles. At the time I was looking to buy my first home and had the dilemma to either sell the Neo·Geo games and move on or stay put. With an offer from Holland for over half the collection, I took the deal and bought my own place. Fast forward to 2004 and I was again missing that Neo·Geo collection.

The English variants of the games by this time had started to rise in price considerably. I was now settled in a house with a decent income so I decided I wanted to try and get a full set. Two trips to Japan in 2006/07 certainly helped, as the games were still plentiful over there and I’d come back with a suitcase full of titles. Slowly but surely I managed to pick up the titles I needed through a good network of contacts and trusted suppliers. The collection was featured in Retro Gamer (Issue 61) in early 2009 and I was 5 titles short of the full Japanese set at that time. Not long after that article, a fellow collector and friend sold me 4 of the 5 I was short, with the final game, Overtop, purchased from a seller in Japan. In total it took around 5 years to get the complete set.

ARG: Do you have a favourite game or genre to play on the Neo·Geo?
FR: Choosing a favourite title is a challenge. I do love fighting games and with the Neo·Geo its safe to say I’m spoilt for choice. KoF98, Last Blade 1 and 2, and Mark of the Wolves are some of my favourites. Outside of fighting games, it’s NAM-1975, Magician Lord, Metal Slug 1, X and 3, Pulstar, Shock Troopers and Baseball Stars. I’m also a big fan of the NGDevTeam games.

ARG: Are there any Neo·Geo items you are still hunting?
FR: There are a few items I’d like to find. I’m always on the lookout for any early material from the rental period in Japan (1990), and I’d like to pick up some of the third party joysticks made by Hori. The ultimate collectors piece is the Neo·Geo Deck, sometimes referred to as the Hotel system – a machine that was only released in Japan, which is very rare and very awesome – I’d love to own one.

ARG: You mentioned you have been to Japan – what has been your highlight(s)?
FR: I’ve been fortunate enough to have visited Japan on three occasions. I’d always wanted to go ever since poring over those video game magazines and seeing all the consoles and games being released out there. On my first trip there, it was everything I’d ever hoped it would be. My highlights would have to be video games shopping in Tokyo and Osaka (of course!), taking a trip up the iconic Tokyo Tower, exploring the temples and traditional parts of Kyoto, seeing the stunning Mt Fuji, visiting the peaceful temples at Kamakura and a visit to the Sapporo Brewery to name just a few.

ARG: Do you play on others systems? If so, which one(s) and are there any particular games you like?
FR: I have quite a few other systems, all of which are rigged up and ready to go in my games room. My other favourite systems would have to be the Super Famicom – so many memories from my childhood with games like Super Mario World, Pilotwings, Contra and Street Fighter 2. The other favourite is the FM Towns Marty – again, another one of those machines where there was little information available from importers at the time, which had some superb games; Kyukyoku Tiger, Tatsujin Oh, and a great conversion of Viewpoint. They even released a copy of Zak McKracken on the Marty, which I’m still hunting down!

ARG: Do you have any projects that are either imminent or on the go you can tell us about?
FR: I’m working on something really special at the moment which is Neo·Geo related. I can’t share any details at the moment as we have a Non-Disclosure Agreement in place. All I can say is stay tuned and all going well, there will be some exciting news for all Neo·Geo fans in Spring 2017 (northern hemisphere).

ARG: Where can people reach you or keep track of all your collecting and project activities?
FR: You can find me on Twitter – I am NeoGeoCollector.

As we pick up our jaw off the floor and wipe away the drool, we manage to thank Frazer for making time to talk to us about his love for the Neo·Geo and his video games playing days.

 

Metal Slug: The Complete History

metal_slug_tDo you know how many games are in the Metal Slug series? Would you believe there are over 30 ‘Slug’ games? Yeah, we are in disbelief too.

Luckily for us all, Daniel Ibbertson from Slope’s Games Room has collated all the information and produced another great ‘Complete History’ video on one of our favourite SNK gaming franchises.

Which Metal Slug game is your fave? Tell us now on Twitter or Facebook.


source: Slope’s Games Room

SNK: The Future Is Now

snk_hdr
SNK are going back to to their glorious gaming past by shedding their SNK Playmore Coporation moniker and becoming SNK Corporation, with the awesome slogan, ‘The Future Is Now’! As announced on their website, the change becomes official on December 1, 2016!

The press release from SNK states: This change of corporation name to “SNK”, and slogan to “The Future Is Now” marks a return to SNK’s glorious gaming history. Through the huge success of many of its game franchises in the past, SNK is still a brand supported by countless fans from around the world to this day. The new corporation name chosen for this turning point, signifies both a return to the origins of SNK, and revival of our pioneer spirit to always offer long-time fans of SNK, as well as newcomers, entertainment of an even higher quality moving forward.

Let’s hope that the Neo•Geo is resurrected in some way, shape or form in the (near) future!

snk_1source: Twitter