As you can probably guess, I’m damn psyched to see some Neo Geo games on the Virtual Console. What I’m not so excited about is news like thisthat tells me that some of the premier Neo Geo games won’t be the first ones released. The reasoning is that you can find most of the King of Fighters games easily enough, and they’ve just released the Metal Slug Anthology on two consoles. Normally I would understand the logic, especially if it means the first games to hit the VC is stuff like World Heroes or Baseball Stars. Yet the more I thought about it, the less it makes sense. Here’s why.
– Technically it is possible to own of the KoF’s from 98-2003 via the PS2 and Dreamcast. But all of them are “enhanced ports” with the 2d backgrounds changed to ugly 3d, and lord knows what kind of changes to the original arcade balance. They’re good, but straight ports of the arcade versions just don’t exist on American consoles. Hopefully SNK’s idea of “later” isn’t too late, but I don’t see why they can’t toss us even one KoF or Samurai Showdown from the start.
– You still can’t get KoF’s 94 – 97.
– I just looked at the Gametap release schedule, and lo and behold they just added two new games for May – Art of Fighting and Metal Slug 1. Both of these games are out or will be out on PS2 compilations by summer’s end, making them quite “easy to find”. Why is it that Gametap can get them but Nintendo can’t? Especially considering that the VC is a larger audience already, it seems like SNK is shooting themselves here.
Ultimately it isn’t the end of the world, but the fan in me thinks of the possibility of having an entire Wii channel screen filled with 2d fighters, and it makes me impatient. Let’s cross our fingers and hope we get a release schedule sometime soon.