Game Review: Neo Geo Heroes: Ultimate Shooting (PSP)

Now all your favorite SNK characters are in a 2-D vertically scrolling shooter you can download to your PSP from the PlayStation Store. While it doesn’t make sense that these stars have somehow learned to fly and fire projectiles, it really doesn’t matter. Choose from several different SNK fighters such as Iroha from Samurai Shodown, Marco from Metal Slug, Terry Bogard and Mai Shiranui from Fatal Fury, and many more.

Each character (nearly a dozen in all), has their own projectiles and special attacks. This game is best described as a ‘bullet hell’ shooter because you have to dodge waves of bullets that fill the whole screen. You have special attacks you can use to clear the screen of debris and enemies, but make sure to use them sparingly, as you only get a limited amount. The rest of the gameplay is pretty basic, just shoot anything that moves. At the end of a stage you’ll fight a boss. Sometimes it’s another selectable character, while other times it’s another fighter from SNK’s lineup, such as Shermie or Rugal.

Plenty of replay value to be had with multiple paths and different endings for each character. Plus you can try special challenge stages or even play the original KOF Sky Stage, which this game was based on. If your friend has a copy of the game and a PSP, you can compete or co-operate in multiplayer modes as well. Even on the easiest difficulty, the game is pretty challenging, but luckily you get unlimited continues (the game resets your high score, though).

Only problem is that sometimes the portable screen is a little too small for this vertically scrolling shooter, even though you can opt to play it sideways. Other than that, it’s a pretty decent downloadable game if you enjoy SNK’s cast and/or ‘bullet hell’ shooters.

Kid Factor:

Neo Geo Heroes: Ultimate Shooting is rated T for Teen with ESRB descriptors of Language, Mild Fantasy Violence, and Mild Suggestive themes. You do shoot lots of flying craft and anything that moves, but there are only explosions, no blood. Most of the language and suggestive themes is in the text only, and I really didn’t notice too much bad language. As anime characters usually go, some of the female characters have revealing outfits. I’d probably be OK with kids younger than teens playing this. No reading is required, and while the difficulty is pretty steep, unlimited continues keep things from getting frustrating.

In the comments section, let me know who YOUR favorite SNK characters are. Mine are Poppy the dog, Shermie, Earthquake, Blue Mary, Leona, Athena, and Ralf & Clark (the Ikari Warriors). None of which are playable in this game (except one), but oh well.

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