Neo Geo hits have always been objects of desire for the vast majority of players that were not owning the machine. We have to admit that the impressive capabilities of this 16-bit system enabled SNK to develop beautiful advanced arcade games, packing such a high quality level, that other contemporary consoles were never able to match the games released on the Neo Geo. Osaka's famous firm and other editors developing their softs on the system have understood it pretty well, and adaptations of the greatest successes of the console will be ported on almost all other machines. PC Engine, Genesis, Super Nintendo, Mega CD, 3DO, Playstation and Playstation 2, Saturn, Dremcast, Xbox, Xbox 360 ... adaptations of Neo Geo games have been done through the ages. Retrospective and brief analysis of what were the hits of the Neo Geo on other machines.
1. 16-bit Systems Ports
People who know videogame since the nineties probably know that it would take weeks to review all Neo Geo adaptations made from 1990 till today. However, for the bulimics, we have on the site the full list of Neo Geo games ports. In this article, we will focus on some interesting cases, representative of the whole videogame market or even adaptations more noticeable than others. For each of these short reviews, you'll find screenshot, a brief analysis, and a grade regarding the technical fidelity. Concerning the 16-bit generation, Let's see now what were looking like Art of Fighting and Viewpoint for Sega Genesis, and also Fatal Fury Special and World Heroes for the Super Nintendo; we might also take a look at Art of Fighting on NEC PC Engine.
Art of Fighting - Megadrive - Sega, 1994
If graphically speaking, the game is very nice, we can however deplore the simple deletion of zooms and marks on faces of the fighters, although it were preserved (but simplified) in the Super NES version. Sprites are much smaller than in the original version. The sound effects and voices lost a lot in quality, but the music is rather successful. The animation, while not catastrophic, is also much less fluid than what we've seen on Neo Geo. The story mode is still available, the spirit of the game is preserved and the good surprise is that the Bosses can be played without any code, growing up the roster to ten characters. An adaptation that -necessarily- lost significantly quality compared to the original, but which has the merit of being a 'decent' transcription.
TECHNICAL FIDELITY: 58%
View Point - Megadrive - Sammy, 1994
Here's a Genesis port that would have been quite a success, if programmers were not so greedy. In fact, they believed that it was possible to keep the deluge of sprites and fire from the original version. As a result, the enemies are as numerous as with the Neo Geo version , the Bosses of almost equal size, and speed of play was kept. The only (minor) problem is that you have to animate all this stuff, and it takes quite power. Sega console would have probably done well with a little lighter version... but here, it's a disaster: unceasing, marked slowdowns and sprites blinking everywhere, heavily penalizing the gameplay (as the game is already hard enough!), while the visuals lose a lot of colors and details in the process. On the sound side, it's light years from the original version, only music fared without too much damage, but everything is relative.
TECHNICAL FIDELITY: 47%
Fatal Fury Special - Sup. Famicom - Takara, 1994
Here's a particularly successful adaptation from Takara, and yet it was not won by advance. From a huge 150 Mb size, the game has undergone a drastic thinning, to fit into a 32 Mb Super NES cartridge. This is still a damn impressive size for a 16-bit system, as few games have reached this storage capacity on the machine, even years later. Japanese version (SFC) is by far the best because strangely, the developers have chosen to reduce the PAL version to 24Mb and only twelve selectable characters. So Super Famicom version is the only worthwhile, and it offers good quality graphics: The backgrounds are quite close to the Neo Geo version, beautifully using the capabilities of the system. All stages and characters are kept in this version, while animations and time change of stages was retained almost 100%. The characters animation is much less fluid and less fast than the Neo Geo, and this is the most significant loss, in addition to the slightly smaller fighters. Music and sound effects are good, the lack of many megabytes are feeling at this level. The difficulty is better balanced than with the original game, and this is a real plus for the pleasure of play. An adaptation that looks good, given the hard diet imposed on Megs!
TECHNICAL FIDELITY: 70%