Getting people interested in a video game can be really hard. Sometimes the concept just doesn’t jump out at the reader in a summary of hype and exclamation marks. Pong-alike Neo Geo titles Battle Flipshot and its rare sequel Bang Bead are two such games.
The best way to learn about these games would be to play them, or watch them. Anyone familiar with Atari’s Pong, or an Air Hockey table, will instantly grasp the concept.
Both games have you select a character and go head-to-head in a pong-esque battle, defending your “goals” whilst trying to score against your opponent.
In developer Visco’s first pong-alike, Battle Flipshot, you play as fun characters like Mr. Justice and Bloody Wolf. Between rounds you’ll get to see some wonderful “Engrish” as you progress, such as this nugget:
“There are marshall arts fighting freaks!”
Check out this Battle Flipshot arcade play-through and tell me this doesn’t look fun!
I usually include lots of promotional posters and box art covers in these Neo Geo posts. Unfortunately, it seems like someone forgot to market both games! It’s as if nobody could work out how to promote the concept! Here is their best effort for Battle Flipshot:
Sequel Bang Bead doesn’t fare any better in getting people hyped up. The tag line is fun though:
Turn the tables with a Miracle Ball!
And they have a stab at making the game sound exciting:
Seven wiley humans (and one robot) face off against each other in the frantic, smash hit sequel to Battle Flipshot! Put your reflexes to the ultimate test – Dash, dive and time the perfect shot to claim your fame as Bang Bead champ!
The box-art too is pretty cool, though gives you no clue about what the game might be about:
Thankfully, Youtube makes it easy to see just how good Bang Bead is:
Without doubt, my favourite thing about Bang Bead is the Allagash Brewing Company “Best at Bang Bead Tournament”. Whilst researching the game, I discovered this really is an actual arcade tournament with Band Bead as its promoted star attraction!
Better yet, Allagash know how to promote!
This time we are challenging your skill at an underrated classic that was never officially released in the US: Bang Bead! Sequel to the game Battle Flip Shot, this underground hit is known for its eccentric anime-trope characters and dubious English translations, but also for its extremely fast placed exciting game play.
Best described as a cross between pong and dodgeball, this is definitely one of those “minutes to learn, lifetime to master” type games. Chose your character, each with different speed and skills, and smash the ball back and forth trying to destroy all the stars behind your opponent, power sliding and blocking, all while building up energy to fire your “miracle shot”.
As you might have gathered, the only way to play Battle Flipshot and Bang Bead is on a Neo Geo. In this instance, I’d recommend firing up an emulator.
This post continues my series:
An irreverent and artistic A-Z of Neo Geo Gaming.
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