|System: PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: SNK Playmore||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SNK Playmore||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Dec. 11, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Another disappointment is in the lack of options. The aforementioned three modes comprise most of the game. The player can modify the appearance of their characters, but there isn't much else to the game. This is made more pronounced by the fact that Arcade and Tag are very nearly interchangeable. Most tag games don't really have much in the way of a story mode, considering that it would be nearly impossible to craft a story for every possible combination of characters. Some games choose to focus the story on the winning character, or the first chosen character, or give stories to particular characters. Battle Coliseum attempts none of the above, giving the player fight after unbroken fight, which can become tedious for gamers that are used to story modes, as superfluous as they can be in fighters.
The variety of characters is one of the main draws of NeoGeo Battle Coliseum. As I stated before, there are over 40 different fighters for use in the game, all capable for forming a two-man team to kick butt with. The games that are represented run the gamut from more popular, well-known games like Art of Fighting, Samurai Shodown, Fatal Fury, World Heroes, and even Metal Slug, to lesser known titles like The Last Blade and Garou: Mark of the Wolves. To show how well SNK titles are represented, Athena, the goddess of war from the classic NES game is even playable. The variety of characters is well done, but the roster would have been more appreciated if the game had taken steps to increase the replayability further, perhaps by including some quest or story modes.
Your level of enjoyment for NeoGeo Battle Coliseum is going to really depend on two factors. First, you have to really enjoy 2-D fighters, especially those of the SNK variety. Secondly, you have to appreciate throwback titles. NeoGeo Battle Coliseum doesn't bring anything new at all to the fighting formula, instead choosing to place all of its stock in the nostalgia factor. Anyone seeking the SNK glory days will find themselves enjoying Battle Coliseum, if only for the chance to play with classic fighters like Haohmaru, Mai Shiranui, or Terry Bogard in battle with one another again. NeoGeo Battle Coliseum doesn't have the deeper, satisfying gameplay of games like Marvel vs. Capcom 2, but if you were in the SNK 2-D fighter camp, you'll find much to enjoy here, even if it is just for the sake of nostalgia.
CCC Lead Contributor / News Director