NEOGEOKULT TOP 3
Displaying 110 megs on the clock, the game is a cute SNK arcade platformer. Resolutely "arcade" for sure, as Top Hunter doesn't play in the register of Blue's Journey, nor in Magician Lord's. Playable two simultaneously, full of original ideas and winks to other games, it's a real treat.
Platform is another genre in which Neo Geo didn't saw too much titles, and mainly because it never was a dominant style in arcades. Let's mention Spinmaster and Ganryu too, but except those five, it's about all we have!
We're now debating with rankings much more difficult to determine! The Versus Fighting Games are legion on the system, so we decided to offer two Top 3 for these ones: one for titles released before 1995, the other for those came after. The year actually representing a hinge in the genre, the first part will be played between all 'Old school' titles, and the other between the heavyweights of the genre, newer, more sophisticated, more hefty! Two other categories are coming next, Run & Gun and a little surprise ... ;)
VS FIGHTING 1990-1994
A title that deserves its top spot, as it's full of qualities. Samurai Spirits had struck a blow, but this sequel is even better! 15 characters, gore at will, full of moves and techniques... Difficult to find a fault! A true masterpiece by SNK, full of innovations and good surprises.
Standing as a reference back in its time, FFS remains in the hearts of players one of the most iconic Neo Geo fighting games. It's a superbly realized game packing an excellent gameplay, refined in every detail. 16 selectable characters, combos galore, special moves and furies... 150 Mb of pure happiness!
AOF2 is probably the most impressive of our three games: amazing graphics, huge sprites, rapid and nicely decomposed animation, great soundtrack... there's nothing to complain about! Only the smaller number of characters (12 characters) and its less academic gameplay "relegates" it on the third place.
Old-School Fighting games kept all their attractiveness! Those title announced SNK rise to power in this category.
VS FIGHTING POST 1994
The King of Fighters 98' often comes as a favorite for most players, and the favorite here at Neo Geo Kult too! The 2000' episode was a treat too, very popular and innovative with its strikers; there was also the 95' album too, with its hardcore "retro" gameplay, and others ones for their graphics, rosters, scenarios, etc. But let's face it: the 98' episode packs it all,... so, what could we ask more?
Probably the most impressive when it comes to the realization, Garou: Mark of the Wolves is a true masterpiece. Magnificent backgrounds and characters, ultra-smooth animation, hyper-technical gameplay, taking and addictive... This is a real gem. It only comes second next Kof 98' , due to its limited amount of characters (14 total, against 42 for King of Fighters 98).
One more golden nugget made by SNK. Surpassing in many domains the Samurai Spirits series, Last Blade's offers more accurate and more technical gameplay. Graphics, animation and soundtrack are matching the level of Mark of the Wolves mentioned above. Once more a pure masterpiece, surpassing the first episode by providing a 19 characters roster.
Neo Geo clearly hosted many of the best Fighting Games ever released. Away from this Top 3, many remarkable titles such as Ninja Masters, Samurai Spirits IV, Real Bout 2 or Real Bout Special, Last Blade first of the name or original games like Waku Waku 7 or Matrimelee.