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NEO GEO X Review

Developer: | Publisher: TOMMO
Players: N/A | Release Date: 05/12/17 | Genre: Accessory

The NEO GEO X is a handheld and home console based on the home ultra expensive home console from the 90’s. At a time when the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo were being played, users could get real arcade quality graphics and gameplay on their home televisions. This was something that was unheard of at the time. Of course, this didn’t come cheap with each game, filled with tons of memory, cost upwards of $200 for a single game! At this cost, I was sadly never able to own a NEO GEO console.

NEO GEO X is a gift from above with a cheap way to get a NEO GEO console and play some of the great old games. This is released, in the US, by Tommo, and created with the blessing of SNK Playmore. It is black and features a rubber-coating on the back so it won’t slip out of your hands with the letters SNK, in silver, on the rubber coating. Sadly, this coating also tends to attract fingerprints. On the right side of the device is an On/Off toggle switch and the SD slot for the game cartridges to go in. The bottom of the unit has a Brightness Up and Down and a Volume Up and Down buttons with a headphone port in-between them. On top of the unit is the L1, L2, R1, R2 buttons with a Micro USB port, AV out and HDMI ports. The face of the unit features a 480 X 272 LCD that features widescreen even though the games were originally all in the 4:3 aspect ratio. There is a select and start button, A, B, C, D face buttons with a d-pad that looks like an analog stick but functions like a normal d-pad.

In addition to the handheld, the NEO GEO X also comes with a docking station that looks like an actual NEO GEO console. It is actually cleverly disguised as a docking station and has a flip up lid. Inside, you can dock the NEO GEO X handheld and it will plug into your TV via HDMI or Regular Red, White, and Yellow AV Cables for a true authentic 4:3 aspect ratio experience. To play the games, you can use the included arcade stick that is a replica of the original NEO GEO arcade stick. For two player games, a second arcade stick is sold separately. 

The NEO GEO X comes bundled with Ninja Master’s bundled on a SD Card and 20+ other games included in the devices’ memory. These include: 3 Count Bout, Alpha Mission II, Art of Fighting, Baseball Stars 2, Cyber-Lip, Fatal Fury, Fatal Fury Special, The King of Fighters '95, King of the Monsters, Last Resort, League Bowling, Magician Lord, Metal Slug, Mutation Nation, NAM-1975, Puzzled, Real Bout Fatal Fury Special, Samurai Shodown II, Super Sidekicks, and World Heroes Perfect.

The majority of these games, as was true with the NEO GEO platform, are fighters. These are also a lot of the games that were available early in the life of the NEO GEO platform. Tommo plans on releasing additional game packs, on SD Cards, in the future. The first of these releases, NEO GEO X Mega Pack Volume 1 adds Art of Fighting 3, Blazing Star, Blue’s Journey, Garou: Mark of the Wolves, King of the Fighters 96, Kizuna Encounter, Last Blade, Metal Slug 2, Samurai Shodown III, Savage Reign, Sengoku, Shock Troopers, Super Sidekicks 3, Top Hunter, and World Heroes 2 JET.

The games look ok on the LCD screen of the handheld. This screen has a fairly low viewing angle and I wish it was of higher quality. Playing on the TV looks and feels great-—especially if you hook up to an older 4:3 aspect ratio unit. Also, don’t expect to get more than 8 hours of battery life on a single charge. And if you don’t purchase the Mega Pack Volume 1, you have to use the docking station to charge the unit. Fortunately, the Mega Pack Volume 1 added a firmware update that allows the unit to be charged, via micro USB with an included dongle.

Another negative is that there isn’t a sleep option. You either have the console on or you turn it off. This has been made partially better by the new firmware update. It allows you to save a game anywhere so you can resume it after the device is powered down. Still, it would be nice to have some sort of sleep option available. 

Despite a few shortcomings, the NEO GEO X is a fun little handheld that lets you play some of the great NEO GEO games you may have missed when they were first released. Though it isn’t for everyone, it comes recommended to fans of the platform. Everyone else should probably try it before purchasing.

By Kaleb Rutherford - 10/31/13

Screenshots for NEO GEO X Review

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