NeoGeo Battle Coliseum PlayStation 2
Published by Ignition Entertainment
Developed by SNK Playmore
Release Date: Out Now
NeoGeo Battle Coliseum is the latest 2D fighting game we’ve managed to get our hands on and these are games we don’t tire of playing. Unlike the majority of 3D fighting games you don’t have to worry about poor camera angles, collision detection problems and other such niggles that are commonplace amongst 3D games. With 2D fighting games there are no obstacles to just enjoying the fast and frenetic combat. Like other 2D fighting games NeoGeo Battle Coliseum draws on the games of yesteryear for its characters. In total there are 40 characters (some of which are initially unavailable) from SNK’s most popular games such as Metal Slug and King of Fighters.
Taking the game on its fighting mechanics, it’s difficult to fault Battle Coliseum. The combos and the power moves are all very satisfying. The battles are very enjoyable and the combat system is as good as you could hope for. That said however, the game is rather basic in terms of the modes it offers. Arcade Play, Tag Play, Arcade VS, Survival Challenge and Practice are the modes on offer. The problem is that the Arcade, Tag and Survival Challenge modes are just too similar. In all of these you’ll fight with two characters (tag-team style) with the option to switch between the two at any point. The key differences are that in Arcade mode you’ll lose if any character is defeated whilst in the other modes your second character can continue to battle. Also in Survival Challenge your characters’ health doesn’t replenish after a bout. There’s no story mode for each character which would have given you cause for playing through the different modes time and time again. There’s no online play, which is disappointing and had it been included it would certainly have given even the most jaded of fighting game fans reason enough alone to purchase Battle Coliseum.
The presentation of Battle Coliseum could have been better. The game menus have a basic look to them. The visuals aren’t anything special and there some text legibility issues. The game offers several options to tweak the look of the graphics. You can smooth the aliased look of the characters for instance, although the difference between the smoothed and unsmoothed appearance is not as big as we would have liked. The sentence or two of dialogue that is shown after a battle is so blurry that it’s barely legible, which is very annoying.
NeoGeo Battle Coliseum offers the usual amount of support that 2D fighting games offer, i.e. not much. Announcer comments on the character selection screen are not subtitled. Comments made by the character during a battle are also not subtitled. In fairness though, subtitles aren’t that necessary in a game such as this but it would have been nice all the same if the game had been fully subtitled. As we’ve already mentioned the sentence or two of dialogue that appears at the end of a battle (usually by your opponent if you are defeated) is subtitled but the text is barely readable.
If you’re a 2D fighting game enthusiast looking for another game to add to your collection then NeoGeo Battle Coliseum represents reasonable value for money seeing as you can pick the game up for around £15, if you look around online. For those just generally looking for a 2D fighting game there are better titles out there offering greater value for money. NeoGeo Battle Coliseum is an enjoyable game with a great combat system but ultimately it’s short on game modes and the presentation is lacking when compared to other 2D fighting games such as Marvel VS Capcom 2 and Street Fighter Alpha Anthology.
NeoGeo Battle Coliseum is a solid 2D fighting game that's let down by the lack of game modes and disappointing presentation.