This weekend at Classic Game Fest, I had the chance to check out the NEO GEO MVSX at the UNICO booth. The MVSX is an officially licensed NEO GEO arcade cabinet from UNICO that features 50 classic SNK NEO GEO games that once graced the arcades or, for those who had the money, the home console-based NEO GEO AES. As someone who owns a two-slot NEO-GEO MVS cabinet in my home arcade, I was curious about how well the MVSX would compare to its big brother.
It just takes a glance at the MVSX’s cabinet design to realize that UNICO made sure that the proper respect was being paid to the original MVS cabinet. The control panel is an accurate recreation, even with the additional two buttons added for each player. The 17-inch monitor is sharp and even has filters to make it look more like a CRT monitor. The unit on the convention floor was attached to its matching NEO GEO red riser base. Thanks to the increased height the base adds to the cabinet, it puts the control panel and screen to one of the most comfortable viewing angles I’ve seen compared to other home arcade cabinet manufacturers out there.
An arcade cabinet is only as good as it plays, and although I was only able to check out one title, the MVSX met my initial expectations. Firing up Garou: Mark of the Wolves, I quickly performed combos and special moves as both Terry Bogard and Rock Howard, my go-to fighters for the game. As a fan of the fighting game genre, I’m a stickler for a functional joystick, and the MVSX proved it could handle the quick inputs I was throwing at it. Frame rates, sound, and music “felt” accurate to the original MVS hardware as well.
With many other great fighting titles and other classics like the Metal Slug Series included in the arcade cabinet, the MVSX seems poised to be an enjoyable NEO GEO arcade experience that gamers can access inexpensively. Retailing at $499.99 is a steal, especially when you consider a copy of Garou: Mark of the Wolves can cost over 400 dollars without the arcade hardware included. Hopefully, we will get the opportunity to check out more games on the MVSX soon.
More info on the MVSX can be found here: https://shop.snkmvsx.com/