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November 21, 2005
Taito Legends - Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
27/10/2005Red AntTaito /
Empire Interactive
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen

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Gladiator is a newer title.
Taito may not quite be the household name like Sega, Capcom or Namco when it comes to games today, but during the 1980's they were one of the worlds biggest video game businesses. This compilation includes 29 classic games from Taito and while some are little know, there are quite a few gems here. I guess the best way for you to gauge your interest in Taito Legends is to first see what is on it so here we go... (deep breath)... We have Battle Shark, Bubble Bobble, Colony 7, Continental Circus, Electric Yo-Yo, Elevator Action, Exzisus, Gladiator, Great Swordsman, Jungle Hunt, Ninja Kids, The New Zealand Story, Operation Thunderbolt, Operation Wolf, Phoenix, Plotting, Plump Pop, Rainbow Islands, Rastan, Return of the Invaders, Space Gun, Space Invaders, Space Invaders part 2, Super Qix, Thunderfox, Tokio, Tube It, Volfied and Zoo Keeper.

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It's Space Invaders Part 2.
Looking at that list theres some games that should be instantly recognisable to any older gamers. I guess in terms of quality it's hard to go past titles like Rainbow Islands, New Zealand Story, Elevator Action and of course Space Invaders. Sure, they're old games, but they are all classics and really brings back plenty of fond memories, and something we all love - simplistic, but extremely enjoyable, gameplay. The actual emulation, as far as we can remember back to the originals - yes, we're getting old here - is pretty good.

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We love Operation Wolf.
Operation Wolf (which can be seen in the picture to the right here) and Operation Thunderbolt are two games which we were most keen to play. Sure, they were never brilliant and play like light gun games with a controller, but they really were ahead of their time and still hold up fairly well today. It would have been nice to see some support for Namco's G-Con 2 in these games - speaking of which when are we going to see some more light gun games on PS2? These were probably the highlights of the Taito Legends disc for us and reliving these memories were worth the price along. I guess each of you will have your own memories about different games.

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Rainbow Islands - classic.
In terms of the actual emulation of the original games it seems like most have been accurately, if not pixel perfectly, translated to this package. Ultimately your opinion of this compilation will rely on what you think of old-school gaming. Personally I loved this compilation. While not including some of the mainstream hits that one may find on Capcom's or Sega's collections the number of games here is impressive, and you'll probably discover some gems that you never looked at in the past.

The additional content such as interviews with the creators of some of the games and original arcade flyers and 3D models of the cabinets are quite good, although could have been more detailed in spots. Still there's some interesting stuff here for enthusiasts.

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Zoo Keeper
As you can imagine the graphics and sound in this title are quite dated today. Sadly there is no options for upgraded or improved music as was the case in Capcom Classics Collection but what's here represents the original titles faithfully. What can't be faulted is the presentation which has gone into this compilation. From the slick interface to the most basic text screen everything is presented in a way which puts it a few notches above most other titles.

One of the more amusing things we discovered about Taito Legends is, as it states on the back of the cover that "this game does not need to be classified as all contents were originally released prior to the 1994 OFLC requirement to classify computer games." How about the extra content though Red Ant? Pointless, but amusing nonetheless. Anyway this is a great retro collection, not quite up their with Capcom Classics Collection in terms of quality of games or extra content, however with both games released at a bargain price there's no reason not to own both. Highly recommended for retro fans.

Review By: Dave Warner

Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version).
GRAPHICSNear perfect ports of the original arcade games, great presentation.
SOUNDThe music and effects are from their day - keep that in mind.
GAMEPLAYThere's better games from the era, but there are some gems here.
VALUEThere's extra content here, but this will come down to the games.
OVERALLTaito Legends is a fantastic retro compilation for gamers of the era. There are some great titles here, many of which you may have forgotten about over the years. We would have liked to see some better additional content, but this is great value at a budget price.

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