The Nintendo Switch may not have a proper Virtual Console, but it’s still a great system for classic games, and today sees one of its most unusual retro releases in a while. To celebrate the Neo Geo’s 30th anniversary this week, SNK is re-releasing Neo Geo Pocket Color title SNK Gals’ Fighters for the first time since it came out in 2000.
That’s sort of an odd way to pay homage to the Neo Geo arcade system, if you ask me, but the results are certainly cool. By default, the Switch screen shows a scaled Neo Geo Pocket Color console running the game — you can even play it by pressing the console’s buttons on the touchscreen, though I wouldn’t recommend it. The clicky joystick is not quite going to be the same.
The Neo Geo Pocket Color was an awesome little portable system with a lot of style, and this SNK Gals’ Fighters re-release embraces that. You can play it with a filter that recreates the screen’s distinctive dot-matrix effect, and there are several skins for the console, including the classic blue camo version. If you’d rather have a bigger screen, you can zoom in and remove the console border. In a particularly nice touch, the game supports two-player matches on the same system in tabletop mode.
SNK Gals’ Fighters is also just a great game. It’s a fighting game featuring several female characters from SNK series like Samurai Shodown and The King of Fighters, and like SNK’s other Neo Geo Pocket fighters, it manages to show off a ton of depth and personality through chunky sprites, catchy music, and a two-button control scheme. I hope this is the first of many Neo Geo Pocket Color releases for the Switch — it’s an underappreciated system that could use a reappraisal.
SNK Gals’ Fighters is out now on the eShop for $7.99.