NeoGeo Battle Coliseum

STORY:  In February, 2017 of the new Japanese era there is a man trying to rule the NEOGEO World. "I will topple NeoGeo's most powerful warriors and put myself on the throne!" We knew that if he managed to obtain NeoGeo world's awesome power, world domination would not be far from his reach. This man, who sat at the heart of "The Warez Conglomerate" with overwhelming financial power behind him, had already set out on his ambitious path to gain NeoGeo World's power. (FUN FACT: The name of the organization that hosts the tournament, WAREZ, is an obvious jab at the emulation community. SNK Playmore blamed software piracy as one of the contributing factors to the company's bankruptcy and eventual closing in 2001).

Those who knew the truth of his intentions were already trembling with fear... As NeoGeo World drew closer to the verge of disaster, a Warez sponsored fighting competition was announced. This event is called "NEOGEO BATTLE COLISEUM". The Federal Government is worried about the situation, and has secretly dispatched its two best secret agents, Yuki and Ai. A world on the verge of eternal darkness.... The future of NEOGEO World is now in the hands of the warriors.


NeoGeo Battle Coliseum character selection screen.

NeoGeo Battle Coliseum is a "dream match" of sorts... basically the most epic of fan services for longtime SNK fighting game players and fans. Bringing together characters from all over the SNK universe for some good old fashioned 2D fighting, NeoGeo Battle Coliseum packs in fighters from a wide variety of iconic SNK franchises, including: The Last Blade, World Heroes, Savage Reign, Metal Slug, Samurai Shodownn, Art of Fighting, Fatal Fury, and of course, The King of Fighters. A couple newcomers are also introduced, those being Ai and Yuki (whom are actually inspired by the main protagonists of the legendary NeoGeo Pocket title, Card Fighters Clash). A new SNK boss (in true "SNK boss syndrome" mode) known as "Goodman" also makes his debut.


The Last Blade Vs. The King of Fighters! Okay?!!


NeoGeo Battle Coliseum's
gameplay feels most similar to The King of Fighters series, overlooking the game's exclusion of evasive rolls. The fights are 2 Vs 2 tag team style, so players can swap their characters on the spot and even perform a cool-looking team up combo. Certain character combinations also have "special" stylish team up attacks, many of which look nothing short of badass. Returning veteran characters have nearly all of their trademark moves, and even some brand new ones in most cases. Also worth mentioning, NeoGeo Battle Coliseum is more "combo friendly" than your typical KOF game, making it a bit more accessible than some SNK's classics. Overall, every character in NGBC is well-represented, although a number of the 2D sprites do have that "aged" look by today's standards.


RAGING STORM THIS!!!!!  Damn, Terry.


Battle Coliseum's
graphics certainly aren't revolutionary, but aren't too bad for a current-gen 2D fighter. The backgrounds are 3D-ish... some utilizing polygons, others using pretty impressive high-res 2D visuals which allow the environments to stand out. Some may say that Battle Coliseum still looks like any other old school KOF, but several classic character sprites are impressively redrawn specifically for this game (from scratch), and are some of SNK's best in recent times. The sprites mesh well against the sharp backdrops, and there are even a plethora of character cameos in many of the backgrounds - offering plenty of eye candy besides the fast-paced fighting itself. The character selection artwork and victory artwork also define Battle Coliseum's sharp visual style, and look superb all around. (On that note, do check out TFG's art galleries for this game)!

Along with the frantic and hard-hitting sound effects, most of the soundtrack is very original and suits the game rather well. However, I will say that some "remixes" of classic character themes would've been appreciated for a title such as this. Thankfully, character voices sound authentic (unlike those KOF Maximum Impact ones) as the voice acting definitely does each character justice.


The home version of the game includes unlockable illustrations, a decent options menu, and even a time-killing Color Edit Mode where you can create 2 of your own custom colors for each character (if you have any creative skills, that is). NGBC is definitely a must have for any SNK fan... and if you're a fan of 2D fighters in general, you'll most likely find something (or possibly many things) to like about the game.


Page Updated: September 15th, 2023
Developer(s): SNK Playmore
Publisher(s): SNK Playmore, Ignition
Artwork by: Eisuke Ogura, HIROAKI
Platform(s): Arcade, PlayStation 2, PSN, Xbox, XBLA
Release Date(s): July 27th, 2005               Arcade
Dec. 22nd, 2005
Nov. 24th, 2006
Dec. 11th, 2007
June 9th, 2010
              Xbox Live
Feb. 18th, 2015              PSN
Characters Yuki, Ai, Cyber Woo, Kisarah Westfield, Terry Bogard, Rock Howard, Kyo, Iori, K', Mai, Geese, Kim, Haohmaru, Genjuro Kibagami, Shiki, Asura, Nakoruru, Kaede, Moriya Minakata, Washizuka, Akari, Ryo Sakazaki, Robert Garcia, Lee Pai Long, Mr. Big, Shermie, Hotaru Futaba, Chonrei, Chonshu, Tung Fu Ru, Hanzou, Fuuma, Mudman, Athena, Marco Rossi, Mars People, Mizuchi, Shishioh, Shin Shishioh, Neo Dio, Goodman

Featured Video:

Related Games: The King of Fighters XI, Garou: Mark of the Wolves, The Last Blade 2, Samurai Shodown 4, SNK Vs. Capcom Chaos, SNK Vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium, SNK Vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash, SNK Gals Fighters, SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy, Capcom Fighting Evolution

Gameplay Engine  8.0 / 10
Story / Theme  9.0 / 10
Overall Graphics  7.5 / 10
Animation  7.5 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  7.0 / 10
Innovation  7.5 / 10
Art Direction  9.0 / 10
Customization  9.0 / 10
Options / Extras  8.5 / 10
Intro / Presentation  8.5 / 10
Replayability / Fun  8.0 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  7.5 / 10
Characters  9.0 / 10

 8.5 / 10

 Review based on PS2 version     


Final Words:

NeoGeo Battle Coliseum is one of SNK's most ambitious fighting games in a while... and it's a straight-forward, tried-and-true 2D, and impressive fighting game overall. The gameplay is different enough from other franchises to make NGBC stand out in the genre, and the character selection itself is truly something to behold. Although, as a NeoGeo fan since the arcade days, there are quite a few more characters I would've loved to see in this game. On that note, it's sad SNK never released a sequel or update to NeoGeo Battle Coliseum... (but never lose hope!)

Also worth mentioning, I think the "theme" of this game (being a mock of the emulation community) is a pretty darn clever move by SNK. Even though many people "ripped off" SNK by illegally emulating their games on PCs and portable systems for many these years (and costing SNK thousands of dollars)... it appears SNK still loves us. For some gamers, emulating might've been the only possible way to play some of those classic games back then... and I'd like to think that they will actually buy NGBC (and future SNK games) so we can continue to have nice things. That said, I'm glad SNK fighting games are much more accessible nowadays.

In closing, NeoGeo Battle Coliseum is a must-play for several reasons. The overall art design and character illustrations of this game are some of the best stuff from SNK in a while... and reminds me why I'm still an SNK fan after all these years. 

~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen


Click Here for all Character Art!


k-ngbc-selectportrait.png (622179 bytes)            ioriyagami-ngbc-selectportrait.png (737726 bytes)            genjuro-ngbc-select-portrait.png (864558 bytes)            hotaru-futaba-ngbc-selectportrait.png (805225 bytes)
cyberwoo-ngbust.jpg (90513 bytes)                        moriya-ngbust.jpg (72964 bytes)           


Click Here for all Character Select Art!


mai-shiranui-ngbc-winportrait.png (679630 bytes)
            ioriyagami-ngbc-winportrait.png (512243 bytes)            rockhoward-ngbc-winportrait.png (551005 bytes)            shiki-ngbc-victory-art.png (823963 bytes)
moriya-ngbc-victory-art.PNG (2097873 bytes)            shermie-ngbc-victory-art.PNG (2395023 bytes)            terry-bogard-ngbc-victory-art.PNG (2429713 bytes)            yuki-ngbc-victory-art.PNG (2381798 bytes)


Click Here for all Win Portraits!

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