A great classics disc ... now how's about Taito Legends 2?!?

User Rating: 8.7 | Taito Legends XBOX
Right off the bat, I'm a sucker for the classics. Since my days of running emulators (of questionable legality) on my PC, I've always enjoyed picking up a 20-year-old game and loving every moment of it. Sure it doesn't have the flashiest graphics or bass-thumping sound, but they did have something quite a few modern games don't have ... a pretty high fun factor.

Namco definitely got the ball rolling with its Museum series, then Midway joined in with Arcade Treasures, and now just about every publisher with a sizable back-catalog of old-school games is releasing something. I'm very happy that Sega saw fit to bring Taito Legends to the United States.

There are over two dozen titles on the disc, one of the largest classics compilations out there. About the only dud in the group that I've found is Colony 7, which just doesn't play that well for some reason, even though it is essentially an Atlantis (*old* Atari 2600 game) clone. After a little tinkering with the analog settings in the extensive options menu, I was able to get the gun games (Operation Wolf/Thunderbolt, Space Gun) to a more playable state than the GameSpot reviewers were. Admittedly, a light gun would help, but these games are more akin to Silent Scope (mounted gun) than House of the Dead or Virtua Cop (hand-held gun), so perhaps the emulation couldn't handle it.

The overall interface is very smart and easy-to-use, with game histories, tips and even cheats available. One setting you need to adjust, especially if you have a 16x9 television: get into the Global Settings and set all the games to their standard aspect ratios. Otherwise some titles will get stretched out of proportion.

For me, the biggest selling points were Elevator Action, Jungle Hunt and Zoo Keeper, the latter making its first legal home appearance (that I know of). This Zoo Keeper is nothing like the DS Bejeweled clone of the same name. Game-play is simple yet incredibly addictive.

All this aside, there is a large number of titles that Taito seems to have held back ... classics like Arkanoid, Qix (even though Super Qix and a very similar Volfied are here), Night Striker (a fun futuristic shoot-em-up that's a cross between Space Harrier and Out Run), Chase HQ, and others. Almost enough to do a sequel :) ? I hope all the parties involved (Sega, Taito, Empire Oxford) are paying attention ...