But where is Ninja Gaiden?

User Rating: 5.8 | Tecmo Classic Arcade XBOX
For some reason, 2005 was a big year for compililations. We had Taito Legends, Capcom Classics Collection, Midway Arcade Treasures 3, Namco Museum 50th Anniversary, and more. The one I am going to talk about it Tecmo Classic Arcade for the Xbox. Tecmo Classic Arcade contains 11 games from Tecmo's arcade past. Unfortunately, you probably haven't heard of most of these games except for a few.

The games on this disc are Tecmo Bowl, Rygar, Bomb Jack, Pleiads, Strato Fighter, Swimmer, Solomon's Key, Star Force, Pinball Action, Senjyo, and Tecmo Cup. The disc also has a gallery with some instructions and posters and stuff like that. It's presentated very well with a distinct arcade-style theme to it. In fact, to play these games you first need to press the X button to insert the coin. That was not needed at all, but I guess they put it in to make it more authentic. These games have been emulated perfectly, maybe too perfectly.

Tecmo Bowl is the most well known game on this disc by far. You really don't have to be a football fan to enjoy this game because it is very simple. Like all the other games on this disc, only two buttons are needed to play and all you have to do in this game is run, pass, and tackle. It supports four players and is even funner like that. It's pretty much the same as the NES version of the game so you'll feel right at home here if you enjoyed the NES game but never got around to playing the arcade counterpart. The graphics were great for it's time. The sound is pretty good too. There are only two teams and there aren't any plays to master to if you're new to football games, this isn't at all complex like the Madden series. Tecmo Bowl's score is 9.0.

Rygar is another great game, where once again if you've played the NES version before, this is almost the same thing. In Rygar you can jump and attack using this very long weapon device. The gameplay is simple but tough also. You can collect power ups as well. It's strange that you must collect a jump power up to be able to jump on enemies to kill them though. There are more power ups such as invincibility too, and there are many levels even though they are short. The graphics were great back then, on NES too and the game has great music. Rygar's score is 8.0.

Bomb Jack is a sort of well-known game in which you must collect all the bombs put in a level. It is a puzzle game. I didn't really enjoy it's simple gameplay because I found it too boring and with a strange concept. As you're collecting bombs, enemies will pop up on the screen almost rapidly making the game challenging. The graphics were pretty basic except each level has a strange out of place background such as the pyramids of Egypt to a castle. Bomb Jack's score is 4.5.

Solomon's Key is another puzzle game, but it's much funner than Bomb Jack is, and requires much more thinking. The objective is to collect a key and to get to a doorway by creating, removing, and jumping on blocks. It's much harder then it sounds and the timer runs fast so you have to think fast or the next thing you know is you'll be dead. The graphics were pretty average and that goes with the sound too, but Solomon's Key is an addictive Tecmo gem. Solomon's Key's score is a 7.5.

Strato Fighter is the next game. It is a sidescrolling space shooter that plays similar to R-Type. You can turn your ship around by the press of a button, which is very helpful because otherwise the game would be very tough. The shooting is fun but it's also clichéd. Strato Fighter's score is a 6.0.

Star Force is a very fun space shooter that plays like Galaga except you move forward. If you've played The Last Starfighter on NES, it is very similar to that with fast paced shooting and tons of enemies to shoot. The only down point is that checkpoints should've been thrown in more and the graphics aren't so great either. Star Force's score is a 7.5.

Tecmo Cup is about as basic as soccer games get, and also like Tecmo Bowl, no soccer skills are required at all for this game. You see everything from a bird's eye perspective. The sprites look too small though and overall the audiovisual proportions are poor. It's simple fun, though it won't keep you entertained for long. Also, the next will sometimes get upsides down which is very strange and I have no idea if it did this in the arcade original. Tecmo Cup score is a 5.0.

Swimmer is a boring, well swimming game. The object of the game is to swim around in a river while dodging log after log and random creatures too. Swimmer gets repetitive fast and all you do is move and dive. Diving doesn't really help at all because the logs are all over making the game so hard that it is annoying. Swimmer is just a not fun at all game. Swimmer's score is a 3.5.

Pinball Action is a pretty good game. It is better then the NES Pinball game, however, that really isn't saying much at all. This game is just basic pinball as we all know it-fun and simple. If you have a pinball game nowhere else, this is definitely a good game to play. Pinball Action's score is an 8.0.

Pleiads is a really old Galaga-style shooting game that isn't much fun to play. It is a rip off of Galaga except it's so much like Galaga that it's just not fun at all unlike Galaga. Man, that's a lot of Galaga's. Also, the enemies are too small making them hard to hit and this game is just one big cliché. There are only four missions in this game too and none are too long nor hard. This is definitely not one of Tecmo's gems. Pleiads score is a 4.5.

Senjyo, without a doubt is the worst game on this disc. I don't even like to talk about it. In fact, I'm glad I'd never heard of it before and I know why too. Trust me, I've heard of many games-good and bad and this is one of the worst retro games that I have played. The concept was okay but it turned out terrible. You are playing as a mounted turret thing so you don't actually move. Instead you just aim. It's like walking up to a turret in a shooting game and using it except way worse because when you think you're shooting an enemy, they are either racing toward you so you can't shoot them or just staying still on a mountain. It's just annoying and boring and too difficult for its own good. This game makes all the other games on this disc seem simple. Senjyo's score is a 2.0.

Those were the eleven games on the disc.....but wait....isn't something missing? Yeah! Why no Ninja Gaiden? Tecmo, this is your biggest franchise along with the DOA franchise so why not fricken put Ninja Gaiden on this disc? I have no idea what they were thinking when they didn't put their best game on this compilation. I mean, were they pulling a prank on us or something? Because the closest thing you get to Ninja Gaiden on here is a small advertisement for a cellphone port of Ninja Gaiden. This is just cruel Tecmo. I mean, I already have the game on NES but it would be nice not having to set up my NES every single time. You can't really ask for good graphics since this is a compililation, but it has been presented very well. The only downpoint is that there are annoying bars on the sides of the screen which could've been taken out and I don't know why they were put in, in the first place. Most of these games looked good for their times and I'm really not going to judge the visuals by today's standards and the same thing goes with the sound. Once again, the music was good for each game's times except for a few games with terrible music.

There is some value in this disc because four player Tecmo Bowl hands down rules, Rygar is pretty fun to play through, Star Force is great fun, Pinball Action was good, and Solomon's Key is addictive. The 6 other games are not so great. I'll now divide the game into a pro's and con's so you can get a better overview on which games are good or not:

+Good presentation
+Perfect emulations
+Star Force
+Tecmo Bowl
+Four player Tecmo Bowl
+Pinball Action
+Solomon's Key
+You don't actually have to play Senjyo and Swimmer.
+Price of disc is only $4.99 new, worth for Tecmo Bowl alone.
+At least thinking about Ninja Gaiden will make you feel better.
+Supports HDTV

-Maybe too perfect emulations
-Weird upside down text in Tecmo Cup
-Annoying bars on side of the screen
-Most of the games just aren't worth it
-No Ninja Gaiden, major disapointment
-No Xbox Live play or system Link
-No online scoreboards, friends list, voice or custom soundtracks
-Some games have really crappy audio
-Senjyo is so terrible that is deserves to be on this list twice.

Overall, Tecmo Classic Arcade has it's ups and downs. It's a good/bad disc which I can only throughouly suggest to hardcore fans or people who enjoyed any of these games I listed above. (Please don't enjoy Senjyo.) There are some disappointments like the lack of Ninja Gaiden, which the game would've been way much better with, but we still get games like Solomon's Key and Tecmo Bowl to easy the pain. And, it has a retail price of $4.99 new so beat that. If it cost $29.99 then forget it. Pay no more than $9.99 for this.