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33 Consoles of Christmas
SNK Neo Geo Pocket Color (1999)
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 12, 2006   |   Episode 20 (Show Archive)  

   
It's time once again for Defunct Games' 33 Consoles of Christmas, your 33 part guide to the best and worst system designs of all time. Join Cyril Lachel and Chad Reinhardt as they judge 33 different game consoles based on what they think of the look. Forget about actual hardware and software, the only thing these guys care about is talking about their exterior design. Join us every day between November 23 and December 25 for a new console review!


Synopsis: The Neo Geo Pocket Color was SNK's second portable video game system, the successor to the black and white Neo Geo Pocket console released in Japan in 1998. Like the black and white model, the Neo Geo Pocket Color played a number of classic SNK titles that were shrunk down to fit on the small screen. With a low asking price ($69.99) and a lot of promising games, the Neo Geo Pocket Color seemed like a real contender in the portable gaming arena. Unfortunately poor sales (and the release of the Game Boy Advance) spelled doom for SNK's handheld. These days the Neo Geo Pocket Color is nothing more than an afterthought for a lot of people, but there is still a loyal fan base that treasures this console and its fantastic collection of games.

Best Games: SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash, Faselei!, SNK vs. Capcom: Match of the Millennium, Sonic Pocket Adventure, Delta Warp, Metal Slug: 2nd Mission, The Last Blade, Beyond the Destiny, etc.




Despite its cult following, the Neo Geo Pocket is one of the most underrated portable game systems of all time. And as far as I'm concerned it's one of the best looking portables, too. Considering the size of the unit, the Neo Geo Pocket has a giant screen that is easy to see. I also like that it has a directional pad that is completely different from the rest of the portables out there. I could do without the constant clicking sound of the D-pad, but all things considered that's a minor gripe. SNK's portable is hardly the first system to come in multiple colors, but I have to say that the Neo Geo Pocket had a lot of unique choices that you don't see every day. Personally I'm partial to the blue camo (and I'm not a camouflage kind of guy). I'll agree with Chad on some of the technical points, but they don't change the fact that you look cool while playing the Neo Geo Pocket. Maybe that's not true, but I always felt cool while playing my handheld. There are more attractive handhelds out there, but I genuinely like the look of the Neo Geo Pocket!

I think the Neo Pocket Color wins the "Most Generic in Show" award. This is roughly what every handheld console looks like in every cartoon show you've ever seen. I've seen pictures online of people sprucing these babies up with custom skins, but they're hardly an improvement; rather, I feel they just make you realize how plain the system was to begin with. The actual button layout is nice and comfortable, which is the most important part of any handheld. The screen is a great size, and the speakers are...nice and "pumpin-out-the-music-y"? Were it a little more edgy I may have been able to give it a higher letter grade, but, as it stands, this just doesn't get my attention on its own.
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