What – you might ask – could evoke this festive feeling in my heart of hearts? Nothing less than a double hit with the stick of awesome in the form of a Neo Geo AES and two Game & Watches coming my way today.
The Neo Geo was expected, but it’s been a long journey to get it. Originally it had another buyer who fell through, then I managed to swoop in and grab it for what can only be described as the bargain of the century. When the Neo Geo AES was first released it was prohibitively expensive, and not a lot has changed. In terms of collector value, the Neo Geo AES – and its game carts – are very expensive and in limited quantities.
Now I have one, and it’s an absolute beauty. The box is in fantastic shape, with all the original foam inserts, instructions, plastic wrapping for the console and joystick. The extra controller is a great addition not least because it too comes boxed and let’s not forget the included game; King of Fighters ’98 – a stellar fighting game if there ever was one.
Everything is in such great condition, and after hooking the AES up for a few minutes you can just feel its arcade heritage. The controller is built as though it was ripped straight out of an upright cabinet, the graphics are bright and flashy and the sounds just belong amid the buzz and excitement of a video arcade.
The massive game cart is a phenomenon in itself. It was only a couple of days ago I was writing about the virtues of carts versus other game media. The AES carts are something else entirely. If a SNES game is a ‘cart’, then an AES game is the carts buff older brother who spends his idle time beating the shit out of other carts for their lunch money.
I’m incredibly happy and consider myself lucky to have been able to add this sucker to my collection. I’ve had a few rounds of KoF ’98 on my tiny test station TV, but the real fun will come on the weekend when I throw the AES on the 50″ plasma. As I mentioned at the start of this post, I also scored two more wide screen Game & Watches, Popeye and Mickey Mouse. Both are in excellent condition with the battery covers and serials intact, taking my wide screen collection to 4 units and my overall Game & Watch count to 16 if you include the Donkey Kong Jr Tabletop. Things just keep getting better and better….