The devotion by Taito to its old-school releases is absolutely staggering. So far this generation, it’s released collections for Darius and Space Invaders, and pretty soon, we’ll see others like Elevator Action Returns and Layer Section make the rounds. In the meantime, we have ININ Games’ Taito Milestones, which features ten of the company’s games in a small, convenient package.
However, unlike the company’s previously released Taito Legends games for PlayStation 2, Milestones feels surprisingly bare bones. That’s not to say you won’t have fun with it. There are some genuine classics here, but it seems like a hodgepodge collection. These have all been released before as part of Hamster’s Arcade Archives collection, so there’s nothing new like, say, Raystorm. That seems like a missed opportunity for me. Still, if it’s old-school fun you’re after, it’s not a total letdown.
Here’s a quick rundown of the ten games included with Taito Milestones:
Qix, 1981- Line-drawing game where you try to trap an ever-moving Qix in an enclosed space while avoiding “sparks”. Not bad, fun strategic game.
Space Seeker, 1981- Space shooter where you have to take on a mobile fortress. Not bad, but not Layer Section either.
Alpine Ski, 1982- Overhead skiing game where you try to keep a high-score run going. Also built on the basics, but it’s pretty good.
Front Line, 1982- Essentially a poor man’s Commando, where an awkward controlling soldier takes down enemies. The most forgettable of the bunch.
Wild Western, 1982- Overhead shoot-em-up where you try to stop banditos. Clumsy controls get in the way of any enjoyment.
Chack’n Pop, 1983- Platforming game where you have to take on the devastating Monstal. It’s all right, but I prefer The New Zealand Story.
Elevator Action, 1983- The best game in the package, letting you infiltrate an enemy-filled building while you collect files. Play this one immediately.
The FairyLand Story, 1985- Platformer where you control a witch named Ptolemy, using her magic to save the land. Not bad, but it’s no Ninja Kids.
Halley’s Comet, 1986- A nice surprise, a fun shooter where you try to deter a comet from the Earth. Pretty well-designed, realty.
The Ninja Warriors, 1987- The most modern game of the package, a good, though stiff-controlling, action game with robotic ninjas. The re-released SNES version is better.
While Taito Milestones has a full set of games to choose from, it’s surprisingly short on extras. There’s no Museum mode, no detailed history for each game, and nothing like the previous Taito Legends brought us. There are options to change the screen and other little things with gameplay, but those came with the original Arcade Archives releases.
It just feels like more thought could’ve been put into the collection. The emulation is good, but this was a missed opportunity to really dive into the classics such as the original Space Invaders, the wild Legend of Kage, Bubble Bobble., and the weird-ass, but awesome The Ninja Kids and even Cadash. CADASH!
As it stands, it’s a pretty good collection, but it hardly lives up to the Milestones collection. Die-hard Taito fans will get mileage out of it. Sadly, however, there’s little else.
Taito Milestones? More Like Taito Mild-stones
I wanted to really love the Taito Milestones collection more than I did. There are some genuine favorites here, including Elevator Action, which I can play forever. However, I’m trying to figure out how Halley’s Comet and The FairyLand Story are “milestones” when they weren’t nearly as popular as Taito’s other hits. It just feels a bit off.
For those that love old-school favorites, you’ll still get mileage out of this. Hopefully, though, the next time around, we’ll see a collection that really shows devotion to Taito. We saw it before with Taito Legends, and we can leave our fingers crossed we’ll see it again.
As it stands, if you love Taito, dig in. If you don’t, well, look at the games in the package and decide from there.
VIBE Rating: 6/10
Need another classic gaming experience? Check out the racing game Slipstream!