My thoughts on the Neo CD - An NGCD appreciation thread

wataru330

Mr. Wrestling IV
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RB2 CD runs fine. Ymmv-I’m playing on a modded og Xbox.
 

Burning Fight!!

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So, outside of the fighting games and SSK3, what games were truly gimped on the CD from the cartridge version in your opinion?

For the Neo CD, they couldn’t have added a battery to the RAM to keep the memory stored because they used DRAM for the virtual cartridge storage. The DRAM needs to be constantly rewritten for the chip to keep what was written to it in memory. Even if a battery was added, you couldn’t get around that.

I think having a downscaled cartridge version would have been more costly and more of a disappointment. At the end of the day the Neo CD is still original Neo Geo hardware. Having something less than that would have been even more gimped in my opinion.

Well I think "fighting games" covers a lot of SNK gems, no doubt the reason why many wanted a neo in the first place. I don't see how you can handwave that lol

As I said I'm at a peace with the Neo CD since I usually play early games and a bit of newer ones that don't have horrible loading times. Metal Slug 1/2 is a good example, loadings are reasonable and you have cool extras, but you miss little things like having MISSION... COM-PLETE! samples and such. It's an ok machine but I'd be mad if I bought this when it was somewhat new.

About RAM: I'm sure they could find a way if they wanted to. Nothing there needs to be set in stone hardware wise...
 

Ajax

way more american than wyo, way more
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I've got great memories of jamming an NGCD while I lived in Japan. I didn't have the space or the funds for a cartridge-based NG setup at any of the places I lived, so I went with the CD. Got a lot of good games for basically nothing, just scrounging through used game shops. The load times were real, no question, but I even remember those long load times fondly now, somehow. I've still got KOF '96, Last Blade, and Shin Samurai Spirits, though I sold my NGCD before I moved back to the US.

Edited to remove some language that possibly sounded condescending to the NGCD.
 
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Digmac

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Well I think "fighting games" covers a lot of SNK gems, no doubt the reason why many wanted a neo in the first place. I don't see how you can handwave that lol

As I said I'm at a peace with the Neo CD since I usually play early games and a bit of newer ones that don't have horrible loading times. Metal Slug 1/2 is a good example, loadings are reasonable and you have cool extras, but you miss little things like having MISSION... COM-PLETE! samples and such. It's an ok machine but I'd be mad if I bought this when it was somewhat new.

About RAM: I'm sure they could find a way if they wanted to. Nothing there needs to be set in stone hardware wise...

I’m just asking for me personally, from my point of view, lol. Seldom do I actually seriously play Neo fighters, and when I do it’s the Sam Sho series and RBS. I’ve had those on AES so no need to go purchase the CD versions. I was just curious if you had ran into any other non fighting examples of games getting the shaft when converted to the CD.

They definitely could have changed up the RAM situation for the better, but from what I’ve read DRAM was the most affordable option at the time and DRAM suited the task the best. I could imagine the amount of memory that the CD had at the time wasn’t cheap, considering it’s a league above the PlayStation and Saturn for onboard RAM. Still, like you said certain games have the fine details missing due to a lack of memory on the Neo CDs part. One more megabyte of RAM could have solved that.
 

RAZO

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The NGCD isn't bad at all. I tried it out for awhile and thought it was ok. Now I purchased one for shit and gigs when already owning Neo Aes and Mvs. The load times on the games weren't bad on most of my favorite titles ( Early stuff like AOF1+2, SamSho 1-3, Super Sidekicks). I talked mad shit about it for so many years without experiencing it first hand since I jumped right into the Aes and MVS right from the beginning and treated it like the ugly step child but it turned out to be ok. That being said, the arranged audio isn't enough to make me want it over the Aes or MVS but if I was on a budget I would be able to stick to the ngcd no problem.
 

b-blanco

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As a kid this was about the closest I was going to get to the real thing but pretty quickly I realized it was still no substitute. For early fighting games like KOF 94, SS1, & SS2 it's fine but pretty much any fighter post 94 is pretty tough to play. After they started releasing all those compilations in the PS2 era I'd say the system was pretty much useless cause those were much better options to play those games if you didn't have the real thing, but now a days with how easy it is to get superguns and consolized MVS's playing the real thing isn't that hard anymore.
'
 

edd_jedi

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Another fan of the NEO CD SD Loader here. It is a game changer for the NGCD.

I got my top loader in 2018. Prior to that I had only played NG games on emulators, as the AES carts are just too expensive for me, in fact even an AES console and a NEO SD Pro were going to cost over £500, I can't justify that when emulation offers almost the same experience (and if there is a very noticeable gap between real hardware and emulation, like there is for N64 and Sega Saturn, I will get the console.)

I enjoyed my NGCD when I got it and collected a few original games including Puzzle Bobble, Fatal Fury 3 and KOF95. I was happy to pay £20-50 for original games, and the loading times for most games I had were bearable. But I was frustrated that some of the games I really wanted like NEO Turf Masters were way out of my price range, so had to resort to 'trial versions.' After a few months I started getting disc read errors, which became more frequent as the laser died, so after about a year I stopped playing it and it gathered dust for a while.

Then in early 2020 I found out about the SD Loader. I signed up on the waiting list, and 8 months later it arrived. I won't post the whole story again as it's already here but in summary I received a faulty unit and it took several months to get it fixed.

Anyway, I now have it up and running and I am loving my NGCD again! Load times for most games are 4x faster, I am yet to find a game with unbearable loading times. Not having to burn or swap CDs any more makes the whole experience much more enjoyable. And before I had to either buy or burn a game to try it so there are many titles I never gave a chance, but I've found a few gems I had never tried before like Mutation Nation, Breakers and Twinkle Star Sprites.

So in summary, the NGCD is an OK console if you are using CDs, but it's a big compromise over AES/MVS. However if you invest in one and an SD Loader, which should cost you no more than £200 all in, you have something that is almost as good as the real thing, for a fraction of the cost.
 
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bulbousbeard

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I'll say, the Neo Geo CD wasn't really on my radar until recently. I ended up finding that Final Romance 2 NGCD VHS tape with prototype footage of the game on Yahoo auctions, and that piqued my interest in getting one.

At first, I didn't want to spend all that much and keep the games I bought down to exclusives or games not released on the AES home cart format. I found a UniBios modded front loader on Yahoo for a decent price and decided to scoop it up with a small handful of reasonably priced games.

I have to say, I've been nothing but impressed with the Neo CD experience since I've gotten it. For me personally, the loading times don't bother me on the games I've purchased. That being said, I'm not playing any of the later games or fighters outside of SSRPG and Ragnagard. For other games that I've burnt to try out, like OverTop, the loading can be annoying (playing for 30 sec, loading for 30 sec). I'm sure a CDZ improves the experience further, but as I said, for the games I own I'm not bugged by the loading on the front loader. Having CDDA audio tracks for games makes them feel like a fresh experience from the cartridge counterpart. Games like Twinkle Star Sprites benefitted from the CD audio quite a bit, with the music sounding like what it did before they had to compress it and digitize it for the cartridge. Some of the arranged soundtracks are absolutely gorgeous, and I'm glad that SNK had made them. I also really haven't ran into issues with games having cut frames or resized sprites with the games I own. (I do own the AOF3 limited pack and man, that's rough on the CD. NeoSD is my go to for that, but the limited pack for CD is pretty awesome.)

I didn't think that I would be convinced to go down the Neo CD rabbit hole more, but the cost of the games plus the ability to get genuine home releases of games that didn't come out on the AES/home cart format reeled me in. Also being able to get official SNK home releases of other titles like Metal Slug 1 and Twinkle Star Sprites at a fraction of the home cart cost was an attractive offer. I think it's really by a game by game basis, but some games run so closely (loading wise, after initial load) to the cartridge counterpart that the savings is worth it on the CD. Two games I got recently fall into that category for me, and that was League Bowling and Windjammers. They're both games that don't see a ton of play, but I enjoy both. Selling my home carts and going with the CDs makes sense for myself personally.

I don't think the Neo Geo CD is for everyone, though. I lean more towards everything else other than fighting games on the Neo. Because of this a lot of the problem CD games don't interest me too much, especially to own. Also having MVS and AES hardware, the CD hasn't been a complete replacement for that either. If you love the Neo fighters then it's not going to be the best experience, but for the wealth of earlier titles ('96 and older), CD exclusives, and CD only home releases, it's awesome. It really does depend on what you're looking to play.

What are your experiences with the Neo Geo CD? I know we have some CD fans here (Tak included), and for some the Neo CD was how you got into the Neo Geo. I'm interested in what you guys have to say about it.

:buttrock::buttrock::buttrock::buttrock::buttrock::buttrock:

TLDR: NGCD rocks in my book and it gets too much hate.

Given that you can play the MVS versions in MAME with the Neo Geo CD tracks the platform is basically completely worthless now. Score it.
 

Digmac

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Given that you can play the MVS versions in MAME with the Neo Geo CD tracks the platform is basically completely worthless now. Score it.

Can I play my original CDs and carts in MAME? Looks like I can’t. It’s completely worthless to me. Get it through your skull.
 

turbosage

Zero's Secretary
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NEO CD owner for many years now. I've had MVS and AES in the past, but felt it was just easier for me (financially and space-wise) to stick to the NEO CD platform. However when people ask whether I have NEO stuff at home I often hear "Well, I meant proper Neo Geo.."

Personally, I love the early NEO games on CD so much. After one initial load of Magician Lord there's no more load times, like most other games of that era.
 

Capitalistix

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Given that you can play the MVS versions in MAME with the Neo Geo CD tracks the platform is basically completely worthless now. Score it.

Some people enjoy problem free experience of playing on real hardware. If shit were completely obsolete in every way, people wouldnt spent hundreds/thousands on CDs/MVS/AES carts. How you experience something is just as relevant to many as what you experience. Not everyone wants to play emulated shit.

Digmac, wanted to drop in and say I agree with your sentiments on the CD. It's what actually got me into collecting and finally REALLY playing Neo Geo. I wanted to collect something interesting with a bit of rarity to make searching fun/rewarding, but also wanted to experience this vast and special library of NG. At the time, I couldnt fathom ever owning some of the later AES carts, and I did the MVS thang for a bit but I didnt like it because it felt so out of place next to complete home games of other systems Ive owned. Buying a CDZ and a few English titles when and where I could, led me to realizing for me, an AES was absolutely worth it at some point, worthy of consolidating my collection of games on other systems to help afford one and certain games. Ironically, it was the Neo and by extension the Neo CD that really showed me I don't want to be a collectard, I dont want to "collect" really anything I dont simply and honestly have tons of fun playing and have the gumption to play, and the Neo, for me is rife with games like that. People often say in other circles that "there isn't a 'bad' Neo game" and while Im not sure I fully agree with that exact sentiment, the sheer amount of titles I legitimately have fun playing and marveling at them run on real hardware is extremely vast and it all took the Neo CD to show that to me.
 
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