Monday 25 April 2022

Taito Milestones Review (Switch)

Retro collections and arcade releases are become more and more common on the Switch and each new one seems to try and push the bar higher in terms of what’s included. We’ve had Sega, various Konami collections, Capcom and SNK just to name a few giving us wide ranging collections of their back catalogues with a vary degree of options and museum elements. Now Taito are entering the market with a group of ten arcade games and it’s not really what we had hoped.

Taito has been releasing its games on the Switch for some time in the form of Arcade Archives branded stuff which generally come with regional variations and a few other options. By comparison what we get here is about as bare bones as possible. The title screen simply has the games displayed for players to pick and that’s it. No museum extras, no regional variants, nothing really which shows these games off or explains why they are so seminal to company. When you put that against efforts from the like of SNK it simply it’s up to the same standard. There are online leader boards at least.

While the ten games do cover a wide range of genres, they aren’t exactly the iconic titles you might be hoping for. Alpine Ski, Wild Western, Front Line and Space Seeker are really very early arcade representations of the teams work and just don’t have the hook that a lot of gamers will be hoping for as they handle very stiffly.  Halley’s Comet is an ok vertically scrolling shooter and the Ninja Warriors is a quite poor side scrolling brawler which is a million miles away from the quality of the SNES/Switch sequel already available on the system.

It's not all bad though as Elevator Action and The Fairyland Story remain as fun and addictive as ever (even if you can buy them separately already). Qix may well get a second lease of life because of this collection as well and remains an underrated puzzler where you must try and fill in blocks of colour before the baddie floating around in the middle of the screen catches you. Chack ‘N’ Pop is the last game on the collection and again proves to be a fun single screen platform/maze distraction.

Unfortunately, this is a collection burdened by what isn’t here. If you want Space Invaders, you’ll need to go and buy that collection separately. Darius? The same and there’s no sign of iconic games such as Phoenix, The New Zealand Story or Bubble Bobble. Even games already on the Switch from the correct time period are missing such as The Legend of Kage. Considering most of these games made it onto a bumper collection on the PS2 (, it really is baffling.

Overall, this is a highly disappointing effort. When so much care and attention is put into the individual releases of the games this just seems completely misjudged. So many other companies have now set the standard for what to expect for this kind of price that ten bare bones games just aren’t enough anymore. Yes, there are some high points here, but the fact Taito has so many other collections and retro releases available just makes this seem like a cynical attempt to push some titles together they didn’t really have a lot of faith in.

Overall 5/10

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