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alienjesus
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Console of the Month (November 2022) - Neo Geo AES/MVS

by alienjesus Tue Nov 01, 2022 3:17 pm

It's November, which means it's time to look at our next Console of the Month. This month we'll be taking a look at a lot of gamer's holy grail of consoles, the Neo Geo AES. And seeing as the games are fundamentally the same, we might as well bundle in the arcade equivalent, the Neo Geo MVS whilst we're at it.

The Neo Geo MVS was first released in Japan in 1990, focused entirely on the rental market due to the high price of the system. It was made available for the home gaming market later that same year in both Japan and America, and one year later in Europe. The system provided 1:1 versions of games released for the Neo Geo MVS arcade system and thus commanded a high price - $650 US Dollars at launch for the system with 2 controllers and a game, or roughly $1300 now adjusted for inflation. The games themselves also cost a lot of money, with some games commanding prices of up to $300 at launch. Compared to some of the modern prices, that's a bit of a bargain though!

Luckily, despite the high price of original hardware, Neo Geo games are available to be played in many ways, including official and unofficial emulation options, releases on modern digital storefronts, and a whole host of compilations for various systems.

Let's discuss SNK's home console and it's games this month! What are your experiences with the Neo Geo?

Edit -- Additional Links from RB:
Neo-Geo Beginner's Guide: https://www.racketboy.com/retro/snk-neo ... ners-guide
Games That Defined the Neo-Geo: https://www.racketboy.com/retro/best-ne ... es-defined
Neo-Geo's classic Hidden Gems: https://www.racketboy.com/retro/best-un ... -geo-games
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Re: Console of the Month (November 2022) - Neo Geo AES/MVS

by Limewater Tue Nov 01, 2022 4:03 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBvuyC1n4Ww

Everyone's favorite song and dance dedicated to the Neo Geo, right?

I mean, it's the only one I can think of...
Systems: TI-99/4a, Commodore Vic-20, Atari 2600, NES, SMS, GB, Neo Geo MVS (Big Red 4-slot), Genesis, SNES, 3DO, PS1, N64, DC, PS2, GBA, GCN, NDSi, Wii
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Re: Console of the Month (November 2022) - Neo Geo AES/MVS

by racketboy Tue Nov 01, 2022 6:39 pm

This is what I assumed you were talking about https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_kGJBv6Wr4
It even has a shoutout to the RB forum 8)
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Re: Console of the Month (November 2022) - Neo Geo AES/MVS

by Limewater Tue Nov 01, 2022 10:10 pm

Huh. I'm not familiar...


Anyway, I am very proud of my Neo Geo despite not really being all that into fighting games. I tried to play through Samurai Shodown IV with Haohmaru, but never could beat Amakusa, even on difficulty level 1. Most of the rest of the opponents weren't too bad, at least on the easiest difficulty. I later encountered the term "SNK Boss Syndrome."

If anyone wants to recommend a more beginner-friendly Neo Geo fighting game I would be interested. I don't want to play something huge like King of Fighters right now, though. I do like that the Art of Fighting games seem to be pretty narrow in scope. Are they very beginner-friendly?

That's something I didn't realize about the Neo Geo before I got one. The games can be set to eight difficulty levels. I am assuming that most operators just left them at the default level four, but I don't really know.

I think that my copy of Puzzle Bobble/Bust-A-Move may be a bootleg because it looks like it has EPROMs.

I don't really have a lot of memories from my younger years of playing Neo Geo. I've never seen an AES in real life, and I never got to play too many arcade games when I was younger. However, I really liked the idea of having a full-sized arcade cabinet where I could easily swap games at home, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to find one that wasn't ridiculously expensive.

I do have a bootleg cart for it.

My favorite games so far are Puzzle Bobble, Money Puzzle Exchanger, the Metal Slug series, and Prehistoric Isle II.

I was kind of disappointed in King of the Monsters. I like the idea a lot, but just don't find it very fun. And for Beat-Em-Ups, I wasn't that crazy about Ninja Combat or Sengoku. They feel pretty clunky to me.
Systems: TI-99/4a, Commodore Vic-20, Atari 2600, NES, SMS, GB, Neo Geo MVS (Big Red 4-slot), Genesis, SNES, 3DO, PS1, N64, DC, PS2, GBA, GCN, NDSi, Wii
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Re: Console of the Month (November 2022) - Neo Geo AES/MVS

by alienjesus Wed Nov 02, 2022 4:41 am

I only just picked up a Neo Geo for the first time this year, a couple months back. I went the consolised MVS route because AES costs a bomb.

I also find Samurai Shodown to be incredibly difficult. I have Samurai Shodown 2 on MVS and even on the lowest difficulty I can't get past the 3rd or 4th opponent in arcade mode even with infinite credits. I have the first game on 3DO where you only get 5 credits and I've just accepted that I will probably never beat it.

If you're after easier fighters, I had a good time playing through my other 2 fighting games I own, although I set them to lower difficulty levels because I am bad at fighters. I know you mentioned not wanting to get into King of Fighters, but I have King of Fighters 97 and found it fairly easy to get into. I also have Real Bout Fatal Fury which is really great - it's smooth to play, has a fair difficulty level and I had a good time. I've never played the Art of Fighting games but I hear they're really hard - especially Art of Fighting 2 which has a reputation for being maybe the hardest fighting game on the console.

On the Puzzle Bobble front, it seems to be really common to find fakes of. However, it looks like the real cartridges did sometimes use EPROMs, so don't write it off just yet. Check MVS Scans to see if your board matches any shown there: https://www.mvs-scans.com/index.php/Main_Page . Unfortunately my own copy of Puzzle Bobble is a fake for sure, but hey, it was really cheap so it could be worse. I also have a fake copy of Metal Slug 1, but again, I got some of the money refunded for it so it only set me back about £25 - so I don't mind too much.

Favourite games for me so far definitely include Money Idol Exchanger (I really want to own this one legit, but it costs a bomb even on MVS), the Metal Slug games, Shock Troopers, Blazing Star, Neo Turf Masters and Neo Drift-Out.

Games on my big wants list currently are all generally at the pricy end unfortunately. I'd like to pick up Money Idol Exchanger, Zupapa, Sengoku 3, Neo Drift Out, Metal Slug 3, 4, 5 and X, Waku Waku 7 and Garou. Maybe if I get lucky on prices I'll grab a few.

I've found a UK focused forum that sells arcade stuff and thats mainly where I've been buying games. They've been much cheaper than eBay and so I've mainly just picked up deals on stuff as and when they're available. It's given me an interesting library so far! There are a few games that seem to go cheap a lot though that I havent invested in yet. The early Fatal Fury, Art of Fighting and World Heroes games for example (I'm not a big fighting game fan and these older ones are too tough and too janky for me), or most of the sports games - stuff like Super Sidekicks or Street Hoops.
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Re: Console of the Month (November 2022) - Neo Geo AES/MVS

by Limewater Wed Nov 02, 2022 9:13 am

Thanks for the board scans link! I'd have to open it back up to check, but based upon those scans I am slightly less concerned about the veracity of my cart. I think it at least has the SNK logo. Honestly, it's been about nine years since I opened them.

I have King of Fighters 2000. The attract mode is gorgeous, and it's fun to pick up and play as a button masher, but it's also a bit intimidating to start up and be greeted with a 36-character roster. It feels like really getting into the game would be a large task, and I don't really have that much time to play video games anymore.

Another thing I like about the Neo Geo is that a dirty cart can give you low-res graphics. It's kind of funny.
Systems: TI-99/4a, Commodore Vic-20, Atari 2600, NES, SMS, GB, Neo Geo MVS (Big Red 4-slot), Genesis, SNES, 3DO, PS1, N64, DC, PS2, GBA, GCN, NDSi, Wii
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Re: Console of the Month (November 2022) - Neo Geo AES/MVS

by Limewater Thu Nov 03, 2022 9:36 am

Oh yeah, a quick Neo Geo PSA:

I don't know about the AES, but the MVS has a small rechargeable battery on one of the PCBs.

If yours has never been removed or replaced, it is a fairly urgent service. It can leak and damage traces and cause corrosion bridges between pins on nearby parts.

My Neo Geo dates to 1990 and I replaced mine with a battery holder for a CR2032 in 2013. That battery finally died this year and I haven't replaced it yet. I did remove another component to disable the charging circuit.

Later in 2013 or early 2014 I fixed another Neo Geo whose battery had started leaking. This one had actually stopped working. Battery removal and careful cleaning with 90% isopropyl to remove corrosion was sufficient.
Systems: TI-99/4a, Commodore Vic-20, Atari 2600, NES, SMS, GB, Neo Geo MVS (Big Red 4-slot), Genesis, SNES, 3DO, PS1, N64, DC, PS2, GBA, GCN, NDSi, Wii
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Re: Console of the Month (November 2022) - Neo Geo AES/MVS

by Syndicate Tue Nov 15, 2022 9:16 pm

Along w/the SNES and Turbo Grafx, the Neo Geo AES is one of the systems I wish that I had in my collection. I fondly recall seeing the "Bigger Badder Better" ad campaign in EGMs and everything looked very cool being arcade perfect and all. That price tag though ensured that parents never got me one as a kid :lol:. Though I never got to check out an AES, I eventually spent a ton of time in with the MVS cabs in my university commons. Between Samurai Shodown III/IV, Aero Fighters 2, KoF '95, and of course Metal Slug a lot of quarters were used and every so often a class was skipped. There are still of ton of great shmups, fighting games, and even some run n guns that I still want to check out, thankfully Arcade Archives (and some compilation discs) makes most of that possible. Metal Slug 2-X, Blue's Journey, Pulstar, Top Hunter, Magician Lord, Last Resort and some others are all pretty much readily available. The system just has so many classics, games like Garou and Blazing Star are still among the best of their genres. Other than the games being really expensive, which is how the system has always been, it never seemed like the Neo Geo library had a lot of games w/a lot of depth...that's cool though as it's a console that's really all about that arcade experience.

Limewater wrote:Huh. I'm not familiar...


Anyway, I am very proud of my Neo Geo despite not really being all that into fighting games. I tried to play through Samurai Shodown IV with Haohmaru, but never could beat Amakusa, even on difficulty level 1. Most of the rest of the opponents weren't too bad, at least on the easiest difficulty. I later encountered the term "SNK Boss Syndrome."

If anyone wants to recommend a more beginner-friendly Neo Geo fighting game I would be interested. I don't want to play something huge like King of Fighters right now, though. I do like that the Art of Fighting games seem to be pretty narrow in scope. Are they very beginner-friendly?


...hmmm, imo Samurai Shodown III is the easiest of the SamSho games...mainly b/c of how easy it is to combo into supers for some of the characters (Bust Galford says hi). The Fatal Fury games (well FF2 and up, Garou is tough though) and King of Fighters '98 is also a pretty straight forward as well.
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Re: Console of the Month (November 2022) - Neo Geo AES/MVS

by Ziggy587 Mon Nov 21, 2022 9:30 pm

racketboy wrote:This is what I assumed you were talking about https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_kGJBv6Wr4
It even has a shoutout to the RB forum 8)


"The guys at Racketboy are gonna love this one." :lol:




Last year I came really close to buying an MVS motherboard, but decided not to. I noticed they weren't as expensive as I thought, and I thought I could get one of those 161-in-1 carts and be happy enough with that. I've love to an MVS board and one of those MVS flash carts, but they're really expensive! So I decided to get a MiSTer, which is something I've been wanting to get anyway. And then when I learned earlier this year that we'd have a Neo Geo month later in the year, I thought maybe I'd get a MiSTer by then. But alas, I didn't. I still would love to get an MVS motherboard. I love hardware projects, and consolizing an MVS would be a really fun project. But I can't afford to collect MVS carts. And that flash cart is crazy expensive! The MiSTer is also expensive, but about the same ballpark price as an MVS with a flash cart, only it can emulate many more systems.

Some years ago, I briefly owned a Neo Geo CD that I got here in a trade. I enjoyed a few games on it, mainly Metal Slug and Street Slam. But at the time, I just wasn't into the sort of games that dominate the Neo Geo. In more recent years though, those arcade action button masher type games have really grown on me. So I'd love to eventually get a MiSTer to get back into the Neo Geo library, if not an actual MVS.
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