Taito Legends Power-Up
To deny the wrath of Rastan would be to deny living it up.
So, after months of being in Japan (under the name of Taito Memories Portable) and in Europe, Taito Legends Power-Up has FINALLY gotten a US release. Destineer picked up the rights from Empire Interactive to publish the game, for a meager $19.99 price tag. Smart move, really. The package offers twenty-plus classics in all, along with four "deluxe" games that are basically visually-enhanced "remixes" of four of the classics.
The classics offered here will be a real big draw to old-school players. Elevator Action remains just as great as it was back in the arcades and on the NES, while Qix will test dexterity while people draw lines to no end. The collection includes other favorites as well, like Rastan Saga (aka Rastan) and The New Zealand Story. Some weird games have been thrown in as well, such as Ki Ki Kai Kai, Alpine Ski and Chack n' Pop...games you're likely never to touch more than once or twice. Oh, well, there's still more good ones than bad ones.
The graphics and sound have been completely emulated from original arcade code, and they look nice on the PSP screen. The player can select different view perspectives, zooming the image to the entire screen or keeping it true to its arcade form. Other dip switches and options can be played with as well, along with button formations. If the original games don't entertain enough, four additional "remixes" have been thrown in. Balloon Bomber and Crazy Balloon don't do much, but Legend of Kage and Cameltry (aka On the Ball) look and play awesome, and shouldn't be missed.
One really nagging issue with Power-Up comes with the multiplayer...or rather, the lack of it. The game can be played with a friend but not really in an interactive manner. A Game Sharing option lets players download "test levels" for each of the games without the full games themselves. Past that, if players want to interact with one another, they're out of luck. The game doesn't support two-way connection for some reason. Oh, well, the $20 price tag more than makes up for this.
Taito Legends Power-Up could've used more essential Taito favorites, such as Ninja Warriors and maybe even Elevator Action Returns. They would've done better than the likes of some of these games, like the unspeakable Kuri Kinton and the older-than-old Lunar Rescue. However, the bulk of the package remains attractive enough that players shouldn't miss it, whether they were born in the 80's or heard recollections about it through VH1. Go and get some of that retro blood pumping.
What's Hot: Nicely done emulation with a number of options; cheaply priced.
What's Not: Multiplayer really isn't multiplayer; some lame game choices.