Taito finally gets its own compilation disc, and it's one of the best ones we've seen in quite some time.

User Rating: 7.5 | Taito Legends XBOX
If legendary coin-op giants like Namco, Midway, and Konami can have classic compilations, then Taito certainly deserves one. After all... without Taito, we'd have never seen the likes of Space Invaders, Operation Wolf, Chase H.Q., and many other classic arcade games that ate many players' tokens and quarters during the late 1970s and 1980s.

While Taito Legends doesn't have all the bells and whistles that Namco's compilation discs have had, there's still a lot to see and play here for a mere $20 price tag. There are hits (Space Invaders, Bubble Bobble), misses (Electric Yo-Yo, Great Swordsman), and obscurities (Plump Pop, Gladiator, The New Zealand Story). Each game enables high score tracking and many games have extra content for viewing, such as sales materials and developer interviews (with English subtitles).

The game selection numbers more than 25, with a smattering of different genres. It is worth noting that several of the games are light gun-based games and that the gun-less control scheme tends to take a little bit out of the experience. It's not that the games are any less playable, but using the analog stick to move a cursor around the screen tends to dampen the overall feel of the game. The other games in the package control very well, although a lack of customizable button configurations sometimes warrants a little bit of needless frustration.

If you're looking for updated graphics or sounds, akin to what SEGA attempted with their SEGA Classics Collection, you're not going to find this in Taito Legends. These are the original visuals and sounds, for better (in many cases) or for worse. The worse? Try playing Phoenix with full-blast sound for 20 minutes without having blood flowing from your inner ear.

If nothing else, this collection provides plenty of value for the money and serves as yet another great reminder of how things used to be-- before poly counts, frame rates, and anti-aliasing-- and just how good a player you really were.