New NeoGeo Battle Coliseum details

Characters from Metal Slug, World Heroes to join arcade fighter's cast.

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TOKYO--At today's Amusement Machine Show (AM Show) in Tokyo, SNK Playmore unveiled its newly announced 2D fighter, titled NeoGeo Battle Coliseum. Much like the Marvel vs. Capcom series, the game will feature tag-team fighting with a host of characters culled from past NeoGeo titles. The game is in development for the Atomiswave arcade system, which is developed by Sammy.

Battle Coliseum will not just include faces from popular fighting games, such as Fatal Fury or Samurai Shodown, but also it will include NeoGeo games from other genres, such as the popular side-scrolling Metal Slug action series.

The name NeoGeo Battle Coliseum "seemed to be most appropriate for a 2D title that has new and old characters all brawling in one game," commented SNK Playmore producer Chikara Yamasaki. "All the characters have some kind of change made to them, which should be interesting for fans to look out for."

"There have been tag format fighting games in the past, but we're planning to give NeoGeo Battle Coliseum a number of new systems that haven't been seen elsewhere," commented director Tadachi Adahiro. "Of course, there will be unified attacks and other [usually] expected systems in the game as well."

The game will feature two original, never-before-seen main characters--Yuki (male) and Ai (female)--and it will follow its own original storyline. What should come as a surprise--and as a delight--to old fans of the classic NeoGeo console is that Battle Coliseum won't be limited to characters from SNK-developed first-party games; the game will also include Hanzo and Fuma from the World Heroes fighting series developed by ADK.

It's likely that more characters from third-party NeoGeo titles may be in the game, and we'll find out more details in that regard very soon. While a full 14 characters were revealed during today's announcement, the game's character select screen had eight vacant slots masked with question marks for additional characters to be revealed in the future.

"The characters announced today are the least surprising ones," said a Sammy representative at the end of the presentation. "We want to go beyond the predictions of our fans when it comes to the game's roster. The characters that we'll announce in the future will be a lot more astonishing than today's." The next announcement of characters, presumably the final eight in the main roster, will come at the Tokyo Game Show at the end of this month.

The list of characters that was announced during the AM Show is below:

• Original Characters: Yuki, Ai
• King of Fighters: K'
• Fatal Fury: Geese Howard, Mai Shiranui, Kim Kaphwan, Tung Fu Rue, Terry Bogard
• The Last Blade: Washizuka Keiichiro
• Samurai Shodown: Nakoruru, Asura
• Metal Slug: Marco Rossi
• World Heroes: Hattori Hanzo, Fuma Kotarou

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