The most recent update to the ESRB's website revealed a number of Neo-Geo games coming to the US Virtual Console. Of course, KoF '94 is notable, and Baseball Stars 2 is widely regarded as one of the best arcade sports games ever. However, there's another Neo-Geo game coming to the Virtual Console that shouldn't be ignored. Top Hunter. Now, I know, I know, Neo-Geo platformers don't exactly have the best reputations as good games. However, Top Hunter is an exception. It boasts many unique features not usually seen in platformers. Also, it could be said that in a way, it combines parts from the best Neo-Geo games. The levels resemble Metal Slug levels, special moves, like fireballs and Dragon Punches, can be used in the same way they're used in fighters (QCF+Attack, F,D,DF+Attack, ect), you can jump between the background and foreground of a stage a la Fatal Fury, and once again like Metal Slug, you can ride in various vehicles. The game's protagonists, Roddy & Cathy, also have arms much like Dhalsim's, if Street Fighter fame. These arms can be used to attack enemies, as well as interact with various objects in the environment, like switches and boxes.
Top Hunter also looks very nice for it's time. Even nicer than the Metal Slug series, in fact. The one downside to the game is the audio. While not technically bad, the music in Top Hunter isn't exactly top notch, and can get a bit annoying after a while. However, this isn't a huge complaint. All in all, Top Hunter is a solid, enjoyable platformer that should not be let slip by when it gets released on the Virtual Console. Sure, maybe Blue's Journey and Magician Lord aren't the greatest games, but don't let that discourage you from checking out Top Hunter. It's proof that platformers on the Neo-Geo can in fact be good, and definitely worth playing.