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Konami Arcade Classics Anniversary Collection review for Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also On: Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Konami
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-2
Online: N/A
ESRB: T

So here’s the Arcade Classics Anniversary Collection and it’s the first of a series of collections which Konami is releasing to celebrate their 50th anniversary. And if you think you’re in for a nostalgia trip of games you remember very well then you might want to think again!

Of course that doesn’t mean this is a bad collection but it’s comprised mostly of shmups and Haunted Castle which is the precursor to the Castlevania series. So on that note we should probably dive in with this outlier since Konami is releasing a separate Castlevania collection which will not include Haunted Castle. Not even as a hidden extra you can ignore! Instead it stands alone from a group of shmups and also stands alone from game’s you will want to play. I love what Castlevania became but this game is just here to take your lunch money and not worth your time unless you don’t mind entering infinite credits to see it through.

So with that out of the way most of the games are actually pretty fun if you like shmups. And I do! But if you don’t then you won’t find your mind changed with the selection here because the games are very similar. Even fans like myself will find a few games that have cheap enemy placement and just want your quarters but the enemies don’t know you have infinite credits! This doesn’t make the games any more fun but at least you can see the end of some of games like Thunder Cross. But they are all good to have around in their own right and some of my old favorites like TwinBee are here. And for retro gamers it’s nice to have some of these around just to take for a spin when the mood strikes.

From my time with each game they all play like you would hope. And that means you’ll find them in a more preserved state with the slowdown of the time instead of any updates to their performance. But after some research I found that the sound in some instances is not accurate to the original games. It’s not really a deal-breaker unless you remember the audio very fondly or play the games with the original audio playing side-by-side but I don’t know why this was an issue for the team. On one hand they are working hard to preserve games for the modern age but at the same time phoning it in on some areas.

Another drawback is that while you get 8 games in this collection it is very lacking in presentation. Maybe we’ve been spoiled by other efforts in retro ports and remasters but that also means the bar has been raised. And Konami does not step up in this regard.

Before we address the game options there is an option you will want to change on all your games when you first launch them by turning off the Controls overlay in Display Settings. Now you can enjoy the whole screen from top to bottom!

Options to modify your game are very limited with just a difficulty and lives amount to change, and sometimes only one of these. I really would have liked a Turbo setting for the chumps because your thumb will get very tired very fast! There is also a scan line option called Blurring which does one neat thing of placing vertical scan lines on vertical games to replicate how they might have appeared on their original screen. But the screen size options are also limited to either 4:3 and widescreen with a few games that have an option for original mode. And finally are the borders which are the same in all games. You can choose from none or option A or option B! And they all look high tech like they belong on a shmup and not Haunted Castle.

So I’ve been hard on the presentation of this collection but it does include a bonus book with developer documents that are even translated for your reading pleasure. I do like this and just wish Konami our more care into the rest of the collection like they did with this extra.

But you know what at the end of the day you get what’s on the box and that’s 8 games for 20 bucks. They do play well and while not all are enjoyable that falls on the selection of the games themselves. For me there are a few treasures in here and a couple games I’m glad to experience but if you’re not a fan of shmups or lesser known arcade games from early Konami then it’s not a must-have.

Note: Konami provided us with a Arcade Classics Anniversary Collection Nintendo Switch code for review purposes

Grade: B-