The Neo Geo was truly a beast in 1990, but that came with a price tag: $650 for the AES console and past $200 for each game. The Neo Geo CD was released four years later, to offer the same games at a much lower cost. Well, you get what you pay for: it was plagued with annoying loading times (say, up to a minute between each round of a fighting game), and it came with a gamepad instead of the badass Neo Geo arcade-style controller. Still, its main problem was the bad timing: the 5th generation had already begun, and it was clear that a pure 2D console could not compete for much longer.
While it was technically almost identical to the Neo Geo, and most of its titles were ports, all of those had rearranged CD-based soundtracks; it also had a handful of exclusives, as well as some MVS ports that the original AES didn't get.
There's 3 models of the Neo Geo CD. The first one has a mechanical CD tray, only released in Japan. The second has a top loader, the most common model available. Finally, there is the CDZ. It has a 2x CD Drive that cuts down on load times, but it's very expensive and doesn't make that big of a difference. All have built-in Composite and S-Video ports. RGB also available through the MultiAV port. You can also get emulators for Dreamcast and the original Xbox that will play original NGCD games but have faster load times, if you don't mind using those systems controllers.
|Crossed Swords II||Hack 'n Slash||A Neo Geo CD exclusive sequel to Crossed Swords, now featuring three playable characters (one of them a ninja, so instant awesome!) and two game modes (story and arena). It is one of the few exclusives on the console, and a must have.|
|Shoot'em Up||A very good, very rare, very expensive, Japan-only, CD-exclusive, side-scrolling shmup. Also on the Wii Virtual Console.
(Warning: any MVS or AES cart you may find will be an unofficial repro from the VC's ROM).
|The Last Blade 2||Fighting||The best port of one of the best fighting games ever, it has much less loading times than it's predecessor and a fully orchestral arranged soundtrack.|
|Last Hope||Shoot'em Up||A homebrew shoot'em up made by the NG:DEV team, it is very similar to the R-Type games, down to the brutal difficulty. Also on the Dreamcast.|
|Metal Slug||Run n' Gun||First title of a one of the best Run n' Gun series. Hand drawn animation, cruel humor & a lot of hostages to save. Must have for all Neo Geo fans. Also ported to a lot of plaforms, including Playstation 2, Playstation 3, Playstation Portable, Gameboy Advance, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii etc.|
|Puzzle Bobble||puzzle||Yep, on almost every system ever but not the AES. This is the better version because it's on CD so better quality music!|
|Samurai Shodown RPG|
(Shinsetsu Samurai Spirits: Bushidō Retsudan)
|RPG||Due to the huge popularity of RPGs SNK decided they needed their own, and here it is. Plays like a standard RPG and it's the only one on the Neo Geo. Also on Saturn and PS1. Sadly, none of them was released outside Japan, but a fan translation is in the works.|
|Consoles||3DO - Commodore Amiga CD32 - Capcom CPS Changer - Atari Jaguar - Casio Loopy - SNK Neo Geo CD - Nintendo 64 - NEC PC-FX - Apple Pippin - Bandai Playdia - Sony PlayStation - Sega Saturn|
|Handhelds||Nintendo Game Boy Color - Tiger game.com - SNK Neo Geo Pocket - Tiger R-Zone - Nintendo Virtual Boy|