So many retro collections can be summed up in two words. Cash in. But Taito has such a pedigree that any "best of" series has got to be good, right?
Anyone remember shoot ‘em up gem Darius Gaiden? What about arcade classic Operation Wolf? We shoved endless 10ps in for that one.
OK, so they don’t look so great by modern standards, but for anyone who yearns for the good old days of simple graphics and addictive gameplay they’re essential purchases. If you’re hankering after ET though, we’re afraid you need your head seeing to.
It was only a matter of time before these games put in an appearance on the PSP. So here it is, a colossal collection of 21 titles that were all released before 1990. Admittedly Space Invaders does appear twice, so knock that down to 20 on a technicality.
But is Taito's selection all it’s cracked up to be? Do we really need another opportunity to play Space Invaders?
By restricting themselves to titles pre those glory days of the early-1990s, Taito's scored an own goal from the off. We doubt you're going to buy every retro collection going and there's already a lot of competition for your money.
What no Darius Gaiden? What about Saturn smash Elevator Action Returns? Not even Bub and Bob make an appearance!
This still leaves a couple of gems though. Zoo Keeper – the original animal capture-a-thon, not the modern day puzzler – makes a much craved appearance.
So does The New Zealand Story, the platforming classic that almost every single gamer out there has enjoyed on some format throughout their lives. Just call it the gaming equivalent of Maria Whittaker. With ample bazookas.
Cameltry, Crazy Balloon, Balloon Bomber and Legend of Kage have all been "enhanced" with extra levels and souped up graphics, but none of them were particularly gripping even way back when.
One nice touch is the ability to flick between screen sizes and aspect ratios to spread the games across the full height and width of the PSP screen. It’s way better than struggling with them at their crappy original 4:3 ratio.
We want to recommend this collection as it’s packing some classic gaming action, but the sum total seems a little disappointing. It feels as though someone from Taito has ventured down to the basement and shoved whatever they could find on a UMD.
Our advice? If you’re a retro fan, save your pennies for the next Taito classics pack which odds on will include the later and better games. Bub and Bob are worth it.