Published on May 14th, 2020 | by Chris Ramirez, Editor
SNK Gals’ Fighters Review
Nintendo has always been a company to honor past gaming history. To Mario All-Stars on the Super Nintendo to the amazing Virtual Console library on the Wii and Wii U eShop, Nintendo has made a point to enrich its audience with games that may have not been available to them.
Bringing the Virtual Console to the Nintendo Switch has been a dream to many Switch owners. Instead Nintendo has been slowly releasing third party (Neo Geo and Deta East) classics onto the eShop and releasing NES and SNES classics available through their paid online service. Keeping with release trends Nintendo quietly released it’s first Neo Geo Pocket game, SNK Gals’ Fighters.
in the past, Virtual Console only included classic Neo Geo games such as the Fatal Fury, Samurai Showdown, and Metal Slug series and did not venture into the short lived Neo Geo Pocket’s library. To my knowledge, this is first time a Neo Geo Pocket game has been official ported onto another console. The decision to releases SNK Gals’ Fighters as the first port is an excellent choice for the Nintendo Switch.
Nintendo has continued to support SNK with a number of great titles on the Switch including the console exclusive SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy. Releasing SNK Gals’ Fighter is the perfect game to introduce a new crowd to Neo Geo Pocket’s library to an established SNK audience has built throughout the Switch’s lifespan. The Neo Geo Pocket is a system I have no experience with so this was an introduction for me as well.
SNK Gals’ Fighter is a fun, simple, and fantastic fighter. The gameplay is surprisingly fast and fluid with no slow downs (from either the emulation or true slow downs that may happen in the original game). Featuring 11 fighters in all, 3 of them being unlockable; each character has her own set of moves and ability making them all unique and fun to play as. To maintain the integrity of the screen size, the games is presented with a Neo Geo Pocket frame in which you can customize it the different colorways released. In addition, complete scans of the manual are included. Keep in mind the manuals were beautiful artbooks with content you will find in strategy guides now.
An added feature to the game is the ability to rewind the gameplay. With the game being so simple, I found no need to use this feature. However I love that it is included because it can be useful for future releases; lets hope for a Bust-a-Move Pocket release. Additional features include screen filters.
My experience with the game did change dramatically on the type of controller I used to play it. Using the Joy-Cons provides the worse experience with the game. It was difficult to execute moves since a number of moves required a diagonal inputs. I use the D-pad for fighting games and the lack of an actual D-pad had me making a number of unwanted jumps at the wrong time. Using the Pro Controller provided a more enjoyable playing experience, however mistakes still happened because of the squishy nature of the D-pad. I had the best experience playing the SNK Gals’ Fighters using 8BitDo SN30 Controller. The SN30 Controller is an accurate replica SNES controller for the Nintendo Switch and PC. I feel it felt best with the 8BitDo controller because I grew up in the SNES era and played all of my fighting games using that controller. Mixed with the game being a retro port, it just felt right with the 8BitDo Controller.
Despite my preference in controller, SNK Gals’ Fighter is the perfect title to introduce Neo Geo Pocket games to a new audience. It is fun fighter to play on your own or with another person. Playing the game will bring back that nostalgic feeling of playing a fighter arcade cabinet.
SNK Gals’ Fighter is a must have for any fighter fan or retro gaming enthusiast. I hope this release opens the doors for feature Neo Geo Pocket games on the eShop.