(Neo Geo)

NAM-1975 (Neo Geo)

Game Review

NAM-1975 Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Corbie Dillard

War is heaven

Although NAM-1975 was an early Neo Geo release, it's certainly not short on fun. Released in 1990, it took a simple shooting approach and built an interesting war theme around it. Simple mechanics and a level of playability that wasn't too common in the genre made for an amazing gameplay experience. Now SNK Playmore is bringing back its classic arcade shooter and fans of the genre should find plenty to like about this straightforward yet wildly addictive coin op.

The gameplay in NAM-1975 is simple and intuitive — think Operation Wolf, but with your character on-screen. Moving your soldier requires nothing more than pushing the joystick around in all directions. And as your soldier moves, so too does your targeting reticle. It's this cross-hair that will control where your machine gun fire and explosives go. For additional depth, you'll even be able to upgrade your main weapon and explosives by picking up power ups dropped as you take out enemies and enemy vehicles.

The force-scrolling levels and constant barrage of enemies and attack vehicles give you plenty of targeting action throughout. You'll find yourself constantly firing your main weapon and carefully choosing where and when to use your explosives. To make things easier, the game even gives you an evade move that allows you to tuck and roll around enemy fire. This move becomes particularly useful as you progress deeper into the game, especially during some of the later boss fights. The key issue with NAM-1975 from a gameplay perspective is one which impacts many arcade titles of this type: it can become slightly repetitive, making it better suited for sampling in short bursts rather than mammoth play sessions.

There's a smoothness to the play controls in NAM-1975 that makes the game a breeze to play. That's not to say that there's not plenty of challenge to be had, but the game lets you spend more time concentrating on the activities you'll be facing instead of fumbling for the controls. With all of the complicated control schemes found in today's games, it's nice to take a step back to the arcade days and just enjoy a game that places simplicity over saturation.

Since this is an earlier Neo Geo release, don't expect the visuals to set the world on fire. Having said that, there's plenty of detail in the sprite work and the areas themselves all look quite crisp and detailed. There's quite a bit of variety between the various levels, so you're never going to see the same scenery twice — a nice approach given the cookie cutter style of many arcade games of the time period.

You can't help but love a good chiptune soundtrack and NAM-1975 features an excellent one. It's moody, upbeat, and pretty much everything in between. You're going to get a lot of variety as there are new tracks for each area, and the sound effects are equally impressive. The voice overs are well done, but don't expect a lot as you're generally only going to get a dose in-between areas.


NAM-1975 might not set new standards for originality, but what it does do is offer up a fun shooting experience that should scratch the itch of any old school arcade fan. The level designs and enemy patterns offer up a fun and challenging shooting extravaganza, but it's the balance and variety that will keep you coming back for more. Sure, it's not anything ground-breaking and the action does become slightly repetitive over time, but NAM-1975 nevertheless provides an enjoyable experience which will resonate most keenly with players old enough to remember the coin-op epics of yesteryear.

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User Comments (21)



bezerker99 said:

Great review, Corbs! I hadn't even heard of this game....might have to check it out sometime - I'm all about some oldschool arcade action!



meppi said:

The sooner these games are going to come to the Wii U VC in 60Hz, the sooner I'll be grabbing all NeoGeo games even though I have a lot of them on my AES.



Shiryu said:

One of the very first Neo-Geo games I played in the arcades, good times!



gojiguy said:

Wicked. The NEO GEO VC is really good. Better selection than any other NEO GEO service (NEO GEO Station, NEO GEO X, XBLA).

I hope the Wii U NEO GEO VC offers online play with these titles.



Omega said:

Many of these Neo Geo games have to do with war. I wish there were more phantasy games like Magician Lord or Blue's Journey.



Cesco said:

I never liked this game; I always though of this game as a "Cabal" rip-off, a lot less fun than the original arcade game made by TAD Corporation.



JebbyDeringer said:

One of the first Neogeo games I played. It is a solid 7. 6 is definitely too low. Not a huge amount of variety but actually decent considering I don't normally like this type of game at all.



SteveW said:

After watching some videos, it honestly does not look that good to me... maybe a 4 out of 10...



MakeMyBiscuit said:

I loved this game! This along with Magician Lord and Metal Slug have helped shape my Neo Geo arcade experience when I was a kid. This is a must have title for me



HawkeyeWii said:

Scraping the bottom of the barrel for VC releases now lol
I seriously want DK 64 or Perfect dark, or Mortal Kombat for SNES or N64. there are so many left, but licensing is a dog!!



masterLEON said:

This was one of my first NeoGeo MVS games, too. Memories! However, I wish SNKP would release some of their old pre-NeoGeo arcade games in a collection. Ikari Warriors 1, Victory Road, and The Rescue, P.O.W., Guerilla War (really, they put out a lot of war games), Athena, Time Soldiers, Psycho Soldier, Street Smart, Mechanized attack and Beast Busters.



tripunktoj said:

Wow! NAM-1975! When new systems were announced for VC, I researched for their first and most representative titles... this is the first Neo Geo game! I spent years waiting for this, but at this point and at the same prices I'm not sure if I'll get it and I wouldn't like 100 spare points just floating there in my account. I didn't see that coming, even if it was to be expected now that most known fighting Neo Geo titles have been released. With this my hope on Mayhem in Monsterland, Devil's World and Mario's Super Picross is renewed, if any of those is released Ill sure get it with NAM.



KAHN said:

i just saw an ad for the marines next to this review.
well played, marines. well played...



guest37 said:

@Cesco i used to play this in the arcades. yes i agree it's a visually upgraded "cabal" from the arcades.



cheetahman91 said:

If you liked Wild Guns (a great SNES game that's also on the VC), then you'll like NAM-1975. I'll have to download this one eventually.



unrandomsam said:

@gojiguy I hope they do the WIi U Neo Geo right. (I dunno how they can and keep it looking good it has been messed up on all the other services - I don't like the way it looks on LCD's at all).

If they just doubled like NIntendo did for the SNES then it would break the scanlines.

(I am thinking about just getting an NTSC Wii and connecting with svideo to an old CRT).

I have Ironclad (Which I think I was ripped off for when it wasn't at 60hz it even had the this game runs in 60hz thing on it when I first got it).

When Ironclad is forced into 60hz I am quite happy with it.

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