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PS2 Review: Taito Legends 2

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While it lacks a singular game with recognizable name value, Taito Legends 2 is a massive compilation of 39 games, ranging from a wide array of eras and styles. As usual, not every game is worthy of revisiting (or playing for the first time), but the true classics are worth the price of admission. Everything else is an extra.

Included on the disc are the arcade versions of the following:

Alpine Ski
Arabian Magic
Balloon Bomber
Bonze Adventure
Cameltry
Chack ‘n Pop
Cleopatra’s Fortune
Crazy Balloon
Darius Gaiden
Don Doko Don
Dungeon Magic
Elevator Action Returns
Football Champ
Front Line
G Darius
Gekirndan
Grid Seeker
Growl
Gun & Frontier
Insector X
Kiki KaiKai
Kuri Hinton

Liquid Kids
Lunar Rescue
Metal Black
Nastar
Puchi Carat
Puzzle Bobble 2
Qix
Raimais
Ray Storm
Space Invaders ‘95
Space Invaders DX
Super Space Invaders ‘91
Syvalion
The Fairyland Story
The Legend of Kage
Violence Fight
Wild Western

While not the largest collection ever released, Taito Legends 2 contains more big budget, higher end arcade games than typical re-releases such as the Activision Party Pack. G Darius and Ray Storm were full priced shooters on the PlayStation, and are simply outstanding shooters. For SHMUP fans, these are worth the meager $15 asking price by themselves.

That’s not taking into account other great blasters like Darius Gaiden, wildly updated Space Invaders ‘95, the punishing Metal Black, and lost classic Gekirindan. Other shooters like Insector X (radically different from the Genesis game of the same name) and Syvalion don’t fare as well.

For the non-shooter fanatic, they can take part in a few great beat-em-ups. Growl is absurdly violent with it’s anti-animal poachers hook. Dungeon Magic is the Diablo of its day, and fares nicely even with the constrained arcade time frame and simplicity. Violence Fight on the other hand should forever be forgotten to time.

If these still don’t do enough to lure you in, the seminal 1979 release Lunar Lander is a difficult yet enjoyable piece of true retro gaming. Puzzle fans will have their hands full with Cleopatra’s Fortune and Puzzle Bobble 2, though the latter is missing some music. Oddball entries such as Raimais were outdated even for their time, and are more filler than anything else. The same goes for the massively disappointing Rastan sequel, Nastar.

The only thing missing from this must have compilation is some extra content. There are no pictures, interviews, or text fact sheets to accompany the games. Options also feel limited before and after jumping into a chosen title. For instance, the screen aspect ratio is stuck to what the game selection menu says, and cannot be changed after loading. You need to back out of the title to make a switch.

The selection of classic and even a few somewhat modern arcade games is still enough to overcome some front-end issues. Even with only half of the best entries on the disc, this would still be held high amongst the retro community. Be prepared for and extended stay with this collection.

Taito Legends 2 is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Blood and Gore, Violence. This game can also be found on: PC.


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About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years and is the reviews editor for Pulp365.com. His current passion project is the technically minded DoBlu.com. You can read Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.