The NeoGeo, responsible for harbouring a host of 90’s arcade classics including Metal Slug and King of Fighters ’95, has been reborn in the form of a rather flashy portable console. Intrigued by it’s potential and lost in the 2D nostalgia radiating from it’s line-up, we take a closer look at the new NeoGeo X.
The console has had a complete re-design and bares little resemblance to it’s near ancient ancestor the NeoGeo Pocket. With the addition of C and D buttons as well as four bumper buttons on top, the new NeoGeo X is considerably more capable in the control region.
The console itself is well built and has a pleasant weight and feel of quality to it but is not so hefty that it puts a strain on your arms during a long gaming session. Unlike some portable’s, the Neo-Geo X is a pleasure to hold, with a soft ridged rubber backing brandishing the SNK logo.
What is perhaps the most significant upgrade from it’s predecessor is the addition of a 4.3″ widescreen display and full widescreen compatibility from it’s games! Using the in-device menu, you can switch between between 16:9 and the games native 4:3 aspect ratio allowing you to play the games either full screen or old-school!
The Neo-Geo X includes 20 classic games pre-installed on it’s 2gb internal memory, but if the likes of Alpha Mission II, Fatal Fury – King of Fighters, Metal Slug and Samurai Showdown II aren’t enough to quench your pocket arcade gaming thirst, then fear not, as you can play additional games through game SD cards bought online!
The battery will supply a minimum of 3-4 hours of non-stop gaming per charge and if you want to carry on once that’s up, or if you’d like to experience your games as they were intended, you can simply pop open the docking station supplied with your console and hook it up to your HD TV! The docking station is wonderfully crafted to look just like the NeoGeo home gaming station, only this one opens to reveal a port for the handheld.
I love the idea of placing the handheld inside the docking station to become a TV console. It makes for a great gaming experience and allows you to literally open the top and take your game with you when you head out!
Even the controllers are inspired by their former selves with direct like for like designs of the original home NeoGeo sticks. The new sticks run via USB and you can buy an additional stick for 2 player gaming when plugged into the docking station (You can grab yourself a NeoGeo X now and keep an eye out for the new sticks at FunStock.co.uk) ! As with the portable itself, the sticks feel great to use, and really help the retro-gaming experience come to life.
If, like many, you couldn’t afford a NeoGeo as a kid – then the Neo-Geo X is utterly essential, and a superb collectors item. As a practical gaming device you can enjoy, it really works. Build quality is excellent and the handheld itself is very nicely made. It’s been a regular companion of mine when I’ve left the house and has even replaced my iPhone as my on-the-go gaming device.
More importantly, the NeoGeo X is really respectful to the original hardware – and really delivers in bringing the NeoGeo experience to a new generation of gamers. If you consider yourself a fan of retro-arcade games then this is an essential purchase.
NeoGeo X is available to buy RIGHT HERE