Hardware Review: Analogue Interactive's Wooden Neo Geo MVS

A wooden good 'un

"Naked" is not a term that one can so easily apply to Analogue's effort, however. Bedecked in a gorgeous wood casing, this feels more like a piece of expensive Hi-Fi equipment than it does a game console. Everything has been hand-finished, right down to the spring-loaded dust flaps that protect the innards when a cartridge isn't inserted.

Across the back of the console you'll discover a plethora of AV outputs – the only one missing is old-fashioned RF, and we can't imagine many will lament that fact. European gamers will love the inclusion of RGB SCART (which offers fantastic colour and clarity) while those in other parts of the world will be pleased that S-Video makes the cut.

Owners of modern LCD HD televisions will rejoice at the fact that component video is supported, and while we can't imagine that similar shouts of celebration will accompany the news that composite output is also available, it will at least provide solace to those who cannot use any of the other choices.

A component cable is included with the machine, but if you intend to use any other connection you'll have to shell out some additional cash for a lead. Analogue Interactive are prepping their own SCART leads, and given the unique nature of the MVS video modification, it's recommended you don't use any other variants.

Also inside the box you'll discover a multi-region power supply, which will work anywhere in the world. It has a two-pin North American connection, so being UK-based we naturally had to pick up a cheap travel adapter to get the ball rolling.

You're probably wondering by now when controllers are going to mentioned. Sadly, no interface options are included with the Analogue interactive MVS. You'll need to source your own controllers, but thankfully this isn't too much of an issue when you have certain online auction sites at your disposal. Pre-owned AES sticks and pads are pretty common (especially the Neo Geo CD variants) and thanks to their rugged design, they're often as tight and responsive as the day they rolled off the production line. It's an additional cost you'll have to shoulder, but if you're already something of an SNK fan, chances are you may already have an old stick lying around some place anyway.

Another feature worth mentioning is the inclusion of a Unibios 3.0 chip inside the machine. Without wanting to get too technical, this basically allows you to toggle the default configuration of the machine. You can pick between MVS or AES modes; MVS will allow you to rack up credits (just as you would in the arcade) while the domestic (AES) setting will give you a set number of continues, plus other home-related options. You can also pick the region (some games remove blood on the North American setting), listen to music and even enable a cheat mode, depending on the game in question.