I think it’s official that when SNK finally brings the Neo Geo goodness to the Wii Virtual Console, they have no excuse if some of their prime games don’t come out early. In an absolute explosion of Neo goodness, Gametap has a killer list of games coming down the pipleline, thanks to whatever massive effort they’re undertaking with the service. As of today you can play Metal Slug 1 and King of Fighters 94, but after that they’ll also be getting every Metal Slug up to 5, and every KOF up to 2003. In addition, they’ll be hosting the first two Art of Fightings, the first two Samurai Showdowns, the original Fatal Fury, and The Last Blade.
These are some of the best fighters on the system, and I’m absolutely stoked for them. While I already have KOF’s ’99-’03, none of the console releases are the original arcade versions, but instead sport some rather nasty 3d backgrounds. Playing ’03 with the original 2d artwork is going to be a treat, as will playing the older KOF’s that you can’t find on consoles anymore.
Considering that most of these games are or will be on PS2 anthologies, and I see no reason why they wouldn’t want to display them on the VC and make even more in sales. At this point, the only way I’d accept these games as VC omissions is if they plan on bringing other, more obscure gems out first, like Baseball Stars, Magical Drop, World Heroes and Blazing Star. Only time will tell, but here’s hoping this is a sign a SNK USA getting smarter with managing their back catalog.