What is a NeoGeo X you ask? It is a new handheld by SNK and Tommo. It emulates previous NeoGeo titles. While twenty games are included inside the NeoGeo X, the rest are announced to be released in the near future as game cards.... that looks a lot like SD cards with pictures on them. Anyway, I wanted one so much because the NeoGeo is one of my most favorite systems, and I did NOT play it at all back then. I don't think I could even do so. So I really wanted this not only because of that, but because I really want to support SNK, who I think is in a bit of a pickle after releasing the wonderful game, The King of Fighters XIII. That game is really beautiful and fun, and SNK deserves recognition for all of their hard work and time put in that game, and it's a great apology for sending us the shallow King of Fighters XII.
So I couldn't get it at all because all the stores sold out of them. This must of been popular! A few days after the beginning of December, I found out that my mother secretly ordered one for me. As soon as it got to my house and my mother presented it to me, I was as happy as the boy that got the Wii U for Christmas from that video Destructoid kindly shared. Seriously, I was THAT happy. So I opened it up, played on the handheld, and it plays very well! The games are emulated to near perfection. Yes, NEAR perfection. Only graphics wise does the game not emulate perfectly. Close, but the colors are still more bland and it isn't as pixel showing as I thought it would be, compared to the collection rereleases I played on the PSP. Still, I'm extremely happy with the handheld and what it does. It's a lovely little machine that feels light and tight at the palm of my hands, and the analog stick is one of the best ones I ever used. Arguably even better than the Vita's! I loved the handheld a lot, but how does it look on the TV? Let's find out.
I picked up the console and immediately noticed on how light it is. I expected it to be heavier? Guess not. Also, I noticed that the slot, which I thought initially, that inserts old AES games or your very own handheld in order to recharge it was completely sealed, so both are out of the question.... well, not recharging it. To recharge it, you have to open the whole console, like so:
There's a switch on the front, narrow side of the console that opens it like in the picture. Connect your handheld inside the necessary components and you're good to go. That's a very unusual way to recharge it, but okay. After placing it inside, you use the HDMI or A/V Out cords that came WITH the box (and it's a HUGE box. I got the Limited Edition) and simply connect it to the TV. After playing it on the TV for a while, I noticed some things. One, the joystick has button lag. Some had it with the joystick only, some had it with the buttons on the joystick only, and some are so unfortunate that they had lag on both, all from what I have heard. For me, I had the lag on the buttons of the joystick. It's not TERRIBLE lag, but it is annoying when playing games like Fatal Fury. Second, on the TV, the visuals look more colorful, so it looks much better on here than on the handheld. Finally, like many others have said, the A/V Out version looks far better, but that's my opinion when this is played on an SDTV, not an HD one. The HD version has some tearing when you play some games, most notably, from what heard, in the game, Alpha Mission II.
Overall, I'm very happy with the handheld.... not as much when it comes to console. The console is inferior to not only the handheld, but the original AES console that this console is representing. And there's yet another thing I noticed about this system. There appears to be different versions, and I don't think it can be updated.... or at least not yet. I have version 337, which appears to be the oldest version. Others have version 357 or 370, and maybe so on. Why did I bring this up? Because the system has recently been hacked.
This image is from the website ObscureHandhelds. The source link is shown shortly.
I just found this out. Initially, I was looking for some Neo Geo game reviews, so I stumbled upon Neo-Geo.com. After looking at some of the reviews, I was just curious to see if the website was still alive. Well it was, or at least the forums. Just found out after eavesdropping into some of the conversation that some of the forum members themselves were doing the hacking! What the f*ck? After a few days of this thing being released, I find out it's already been hacked? And literally, it only took a few days. I flat out laughed. Basically, all you have to do is open your NeoGeo X by unscrewing some screws (of course you have to be careful), and you should see some stuff like it shows on the picture. There, you should see a microSD card. THAT was hardware's internal memory! Nothing else more complicated? That's it! Yep! That's where those twenty included NeoGeo games stored in this bad boy is at. Here's a close up:
Pull that card out, replace some ROM files (which is what it was using in there!) with ROM files to your liking, and rename those ROM files that you just placed in there with the original ROM name that you replaced. In other words, you can trick the system by just swapping out some files and renaming them. This all also depends on the version of the handheld you have, though. If you have version 337 apparently, then all of this can be done on that system. If have other versions, then it's either hacked differently or it's harder to hack. They are still alive and working on the system. You can check them out here:
I think they are now either figuring out how to fully hack the other versions (if they have not already), or that they are figuring out if there are some other capabilities the system has. That might be the case, since the community found out that the system has been using an emulator ALL ALONG. Wow. Don't question SNK on this. Question Tommo. Tommo built the system, not SNK. Finally, I'm sure that I'm NOT the only one that found out about this. This seems to be interesting enough that it caught Kotaku's , ObscureHandheld's, engadget's, and SubstanceTV's attention (and I bet even more than that), and I guess so much of their attention that they made they're own separate news about it, which is all right here:
http://obscurehandhelds.wordpress.com/2012/12/24/neo-geo-x-exposes-its-hardware-gets-hacked/ (this is also the source link for the pictures about the insides of the NeoGeo X)
If you did look into these, then you must have found out that this isn't recent, RECENT news, but it's pretty recent to me. I don't like to hack, and I especially don't like to take apart such a nicely designed system in order to hack (and I don't trust myself in doing so. I'm not much of a tech person), but this just really caught my interest. Besides, if I ever did hack this, I still would buy the future game releases for the system, since that supports SNK as well.
Anyway, I still think it was worth every penny. The Gold Limited Edition cost $199, while the handheld only, which will be released early February 2013, will cost $129. Again, the limited Gold edition will include the handheld itself, the AES console-looking docking system, an HDMI cable, an A/V cable, a Ninja Masters' game card, the AES arcade joystick specifically made to only function on this console, and a manual. The handheld-only one, so far from what I heard, will only include the handheld, but I don't know if this is all there is since the handheld-only edition hasn't even been released yet. Either way, if you're interested in getting this, then please get the limited edition. Tommo said, in the manual at least, that the system can only be recharged through the docking system that is included in the limited edition, and you cannot recharge with a USB cable (which is another gripe I have with this). I don't know if that is absolutely true, and I don't know what would happen if you did connect the system with a USB cable, but so far, I'll listen to what they said. Like I said before, I don't want to ruin this wonderful looking system.