Evaluation: NEOGEO Station Volume 1
First and foremost, this isn’t a review of the games contained in the NEOGEO station for PS3 and PSP. These games are without a doubt, classics of their time, and time has certainly been good to them. The sprite work of Metal Slug stands the test of time, and Samurai Showdown is still as fun to play as it was all those years ago. This is a review of the wrapper these games find themselves brought to PSN in, and the form said wrapper results in.
For all intents and purposes, NEOGEO Station works well. The games operate at a reasonable capacity, with different titles of course working better than others. While Samurai Showdown went off without a hitch, Metal Slug experienced dramatic slowdown depending on the amount of stuff on the screen. Metal Slug seemed to be the only one that experienced these frame rate drops though, so perhaps the emulation for that title really is perfect. The button presses are nice and responsive, and everything plays as well as it did when released. There are some lovely additional features in the service, with save states present in all titles, and move lists for the fighting games, which came in particularly handy. There’s even a Sound Test option, if you’re really hankering after hearing the mission complete music from Metal Slug just one more time, for nostalgia’s sake.
The PSP versions of the games work just as well, with no real issues to speak of. I didn’t get a chance to test out the ad-hoc multiplayer, as I don’t know anybody near me who actually owns a PSP. I did try it out through ad-hoc party, but didn’t find anybody willing to play with me. The multiplayer on the PS3 versions works well locally, but the online suffers from severe lag, which is made all the more aggravating when you recall that the advertisement for this service cited “improved netcode” as one of the key features. Every match I played online ended in a disconnect, and when I was fighting over the internet, the lag was so extreme that I could press a button, and then see my character executing on that move, which is simply unacceptable.
NEOGEO station succeeds on a fair few fronts, but to see it tumble at the most important ones is somewhat disappointing. The games still hold up, but I would have liked to see them handled with a bit more care and attention to detail.
For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
What I Like:
- The games hold up well
- The service has a lot of useful functions, and even some useless ones that serve mainly for novelty value
- PSP Version of the service works as advertised
What I Dislike:
- Slowdown in certain titles
- Netcode issues abound
- PS3 and PSP versions sold separately.