It is a two-on-two crossover fighting game with various SNK franchises (in similar vein to Capcom's Capcom Fighting Evolution), such as The King of Fighters and World Heroes. The main protagonists are Yuki and Ai, two federal agents set to investigate a tournament in NEOGEO World held by the mysterious WAREZ Conglomerate.
The console port of the game was released on the PlayStation 2 in Japan (on December 22, 2005), Europe (by Ignition on November 24, 2006), and North America (on December 11, 2007). This version was later digitally re-released for the Xbox 360 (via Xbox Live Arcade worldwide on June 9, 2010) and the PlayStation 3 (via PlayStation Network in Japan on February 18, 2015).
NeoGeo Battle Coliseum's gameplay is very similar to the gameplay used in King of Fighters 2003 and King of Fighters XI. Players choose two characters from the roster, who fight tag-team style. (Similar to the Marvel vs. Capcom series) Each player has a set of four buttons (traditional punch and kick buttons) and a fifth "change" button used for either swapping teammates or performing a special involving both teammates.
Each player has a power meter that goes up to three bars. Each fighter has super moves that cost one or more bars of the power meter. The power meter can also deplete when the player uses special command moves. Players gain stock for the power meter if they make an attack that's either hit or blocked. When "Auto Charge OK" message appears, the stock is slowly gained. The automatic charging goes away once the player does an attack/change using the change button.
Some special moves in the game have special properties, such as autoguard (automatically blocking the opponent's attack while attacking), critical wire (which causes the opponent to rebound off the wall, leaving them open for juggles), and super cancels (which can be canceled into super moves). The bar under each fighter's health bar is the "guard bar", which depletes after every block of an opponent's attack. Losing all of it will cause a Guard Crush, which causes temporary stunning of the fighter.
Special Command Moves
Players can throw and escape throws by pressing both the strong punch and strong kick buttons simultaneously. Some fighters (like Fuuma) can throw in the air.
Players can dash forwards and backwards by double-tapping the joystick in either direction. Holding the joystick after dashing forwards causes the fighter to run. Players can input the dash forward command while blocking to perform a quick invulnerable dash at the cost of some power meter. (Either half or a quarter of a bar, depending on how late you blocked)
Pressing both light punch and light kick simultaneously causes the fighter to perform a special dash (also known as Tactical Step). This dash is invulnerable for a short duration and takes up a half of a bar of power meter. The dash can be performed while attacking (at the cost of another half of a bar of power meter). This command can be used with no cost to the power level when you're being knocked down as a "recovery roll".
Pressing the change button on its own will swap the current fighter for his/her teammate (provided that teammate isn't K.O.'d). The teammate that's not in-play will slowly heal up to a certain point. The green bar in the health box represents the fighter's health while the red bar represents the amount of health a fighter can heal to. Pressing the change button while blocking an attack causes the fighter to perform a "Guard Cancel Tag Attack", which makes the fighter give an invulnerable punch (at the cost of a bar of power meter) and swaps the fighter for his/her teammate (if that teammate is not K.O.'d).
When the "D-Assault OK" message appears on the player's side, he can perform a "Double Assault" attack if neither teammate is K.O.'d. This attack, done by the command "down, down-forward, forward, change button" causes the current fighter to dash. If this dash connects, both of the player's fighters perform an automatic combo, which does minor damage to the green bar but great damage to the red bar. (Making it optimal to use if an opponent has a weak green bar, but a big red bar) The attack also improves your teammate's attack power for a short time (as indicated by the teammate's green health bar glowing). The "D-Assault OK" message shows up after a certain amount of time and is reset after the player does any attack/change involving the "change" button. This attack does not cost anything on the power meter. Some team combinations, like Kyo and Iori or Ryo and Robert, have a special Double Assault attack that is caused by doing a certain special/super move and then (within 10 seconds) performing a special command. It does slightly more damage than a regular Double Assault attack, but it's made to look flashy.
The game includes 40 playable characters (4 of which are boss characters and 1 of which is only playable in console versions).
From The King of Fighters:
From Fatal Fury:
- Terry Bogard (his Garou: Mark of the Wolves version)
- Rock Howard
- Kim Kaphwan
- Mai Shiranui
- Geese Howard
- Hotaru Futaba
- Tung Fu Rue
- Jin Chonshu
- Jin Chonrei
From Art of Fighting:
- Ryo Sakazaki (reprising his role as Mr. Karate from Buriki One and Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition)
- Robert Garcia
- Lee Pai Long
- Mr. Big
From Samurai Shodown:
From The Last Blade:
From World Heroes:
From Metal Slug:
From other games: