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Taito Memories II: Last Volume
  PS2Action_VarietyJPN  
  opened by paleface at 03:50:40 04/19/07  
  last modified by paleface at 23:55:18 03/15/17  
  paleface [sys=PS2; cat=Action_Variety; loc=JPN]
           
Yet another collection of 25 old arcade games from Taito. As with the other compilations in Taito's "Memories" series, the games are all filtered down to fit a standard resolution horizontal 4:3 screen. You can remap the buttons per game, and button settings and high scores are saved. The emulation itself seems pretty much flawless to the layman like me.
 
Load time to the colorful opening menu is a few seconds longer than it should be, and this gets to be annoying because when you quit any one of the games, it has to load back to that splash menu, instead of going straight back to the actual list of arcade games.
 
  paleface 03:54:13 04/19/07
           
Download added: 01fieldgoal.gif (71569 bytes)
  "Field Goal: The pink linebacker is gonna get my ball."
 
Field Goal (1979)
 
Horrid Arkanoid type game where you bounce a vaguely football-shaped object up the screen, trying to hit and clear football helmets sort of arranged in rings at the top of a sort of field background. Once in a while a really crappy looking pink football player sprite comes out and blocks your ball.
 
I think they wanted to simulate the odd bounces an oblong football takes, and the stupid thing always rebounds unpredictably, usually the way opposite from what you'd have guessed.
 
It's also pretty hard to control the paddle thing with the joystick. Probably had a spinner nob in the arcade.
 
  paleface 03:56:03 04/19/07 [relations updated]
           
Download added: 02phoenix.gif (48505 bytes)
  "Phoenix: Not the prettiest-looking Galaxian clone."
 
Phoenix (1980)
 
As featured already on the US compilation "Taito Legends."
 
  paleface 03:59:07 04/19/07
           
Download added: 03polaris.gif (69572 bytes)
  "Polaris: Those pink jets won't know what hit 'em."
 
Polaris (1980)
 
This game is actually pretty good. You're a sub in the water at the lower half of the screen, shooting water-to-surface/air rockets up at planes and boats, peskily dropping depth charges and torpedos at you. Pretty good feel to the control and pace of the various moving things, it'll keep you anxiously steering and shooting, and gives you that real satisfaction when you blow up that last bastard with the tracking missiles and get to go to the next level.
 
  paleface 04:00:18 04/19/07
           
Download added: 04greatswordsman.gif (66223 bytes)
  "Great Swordsman: Stabbing people in the head gives them pink head."
 
Great Swordsman
 
Already featured on Taito Legends (see entry 945) in the States.
 
  paleface 04:04:52 04/19/07
           
Download added: 05seafighterposeidon.gif (29515 bytes)
  "Sea Fighter Poseidon: Little torpedo to the noggin'll knock 'em off every time."
 
Sea Fighter Poseidon (1984)
 
(Doh, Great Swordsman was '84 as well, forgot to note.)
 
SFP is an unusual horizontal shooter with some cool stuff going for it, but the massive hitbox size and really bright colors are pretty annoying. And you move and shoot pretty darn slow, oh and you always have to try to pick up these little hostage guys wedged near the bottom of the screen.
 
On the cool side of things, you get to shoot torpedos from little hand propellor sub things like in that James Bond movie, and if your sub gets hit and you're fast enough, you can bail off and go shoot guys with spears until you can knock one off his sub and steal it.
 
Cool concept, but yeah mostly the hitbox size is ridiculous and makes everything feel cumbersome. Oh, and levels go until you rescue x hostages who pop up as you scroll along, which gets a little monotonous.
 
  paleface 04:07:04 04/19/07
           
Download added: 06gyrodine.gif (99091 bytes)
  "Gyrodine: This is about as attractive and visually exciting as the game gets."
 
Gyrodine (1984)
 
Unfortunately small and ugly helicopter shooter that otherwise might have been...decent? The sprites are just so puny and drab that it's hard to feel like you're doing anything fun, and you aren't particularly, as it's just little enemies buzzing up firing little bullets at little you, repeat etc. You can get missiles or something as you power up, whee.
 
  paleface 04:09:40 04/19/07
           
Download added: 07buggychallenge.gif (63685 bytes)
  "Buggy Challenge: Here comes a jump! Umm yeah!"
 
Buggy Challenge (1984)
 
Aggravatingly twitchy race game with the usual Taito LOW/HI gearshift. Vertical screen layout is kind of interesting, and you can catch some impressive pseudo-3D air off the bumps and jumps that come up, but the scrolling and steering is so twitchy that it doesn't really feel controllable.
 
  paleface 04:13:39 04/19/07
           
Download added: 08onnasanshiroutyphoongal.gif (68327 bytes)
  "Onna Sansirou: Quit gropin' me, perv!"
 
Onna Sansirou: Typhoon Gal (1985)
 
Gonna have to write this one off as horrid until someone shows me how you're actually supposed to fight. You're one-on-one with opponents in a dojo in this kind of creepy display before your leering (presumably) sensei, and this freak keeps coming up and grabbing you. You can sort of clumsily shove him back, or sometimes throw him, but I'm not sure exactly what dictates the throwing that is necessary to KO them. So generally I just slap/shove them for a while and eventually they throw me and it's game over. But the control and movement are so jerky that I don't think I'd care much if I did know of some way to fight effectively here.
 
  paleface 04:16:38 04/19/07
           
Download added: 09metalsoldierisaacii.gif (67895 bytes)
  "Metal Soldier Isaac II: Upper left, smashed a turret thiny with my metal meathooks."
 
Metal Soldier Isaac II (1985)
 
Ech. Top-down vertical screen thing where you clank around really rapidly and clumsily with a robot thing, firing off your fists and I think maybe shooting. Anyway, you move/scroll so fast and jerkily that you can't tell what's coming up in time to avoid/hit it effectively, so you're constantly just blundering along into things. Take a few hits and your body blows up, leaving your head floating around with little guns to fire. Thing is, the guns can't take out tougher targets, so you have to find this weird egg thing and press the right button over it (urg) to get a replacement robot body to shoot more fists at things. But why?
 
  paleface 04:19:28 04/19/07
           
Download added: 10halleyscomet.gif (46039 bytes)
  "Halley's Comet: Comets are the heart of all evil."
 
Halley's Comet (1986)
 
Pretty smooth graphics, actually--at least relative to the earlier games on this collection. Space is nice and dark, and the "comet" things that shoot downscreen at you sometimes have a cool trail effect behind them. Floating asteroids must be shot for powerup, and you can get some pretty responsive firepower--easily lost in a single hit, of course. It's a little *too* fast to feel like you have good control over the proceedings, in fact it's wicked hard because of that, but it's a step in the right direction in this collection, at least.
 
  paleface 04:24:25 04/19/07
           
[Moment of silence here, that shot of Halley's Comet marks probably the last big dithered .gif you'll see here, at least of that particular type. The ancient 480p projector I was using to capture them (to a 3.5" floppy built in to the mammoth projector! woo!) has finally started overheating to the point of severe annoyance, so it's been kicked to the curb (or the closet, at least), and replaced with a fancy new 1080p projector that actually has no image capturing abilities, and displays non-widescreen games at a slightly smaller size in my throw-distance-limited apartment. I'll have to catch up with the remaining 15 games in this collection in a bit.]
 
  paleface 02:07:25 04/24/07
           
Download added: lsa_squad_chop.mpg (548868 bytes)
  "LSA Squad: Get to the choppah!"
 
L.S.A. Squad (1986)
 
"Land / Sea / Air," that is, and this game rocks! It's a vertical screen run-and-gun, but you get to jump in tanks, planes, and gunboats in addition to just running along with a gat and grenades, and the whole thing moves at high speed with lots of explosions; a real hoot.
 
  paleface 02:09:23 04/24/07
           
Operation Wolf (1987)
 
Already in the US release, Taito Legends. Still not that fun without the arcade light gun.
 
  paleface 02:10:19 04/24/07
           
Full Throttle (1987)
 
Yet another Taito car racing game with that Hi/Lo shifter, not much to do here except try to stay on the road, which is frustratingly difficult.
 
  paleface 02:12:34 04/24/07
           
Chase H.Q. (1988)
 
Same car racing engine, a little smoother perhaps, and you get to chase bad-guys and smash into them repeatedly until they have to give up. sometimes you get weapons to shoot at them with your partner in the passenger seat (the two of you look probably not coincidentally like Miami Vice's Crockett and Tubbs). The timer on the battles is way too short though, and it just gets real frustrating to be bashing away at the bad-guy, but realizing the whole time that you don't have enough time left to get him, and you'll have to continue and restart the whole battle over yet again.
 
  paleface 02:14:11 04/24/07
           
Plump Pop (1988)
 
Somehow I was way more enamored of this when I played it on Taito Legends. The control, which was probably a spinner knob in the arcade, is way too twitchy, and the animals you ricochet up-screen tend to bounce back down at random angles, and too quickly--something like the ball in Field Goal, come to think of it.
 
  paleface 02:15:17 04/24/07
           
Rainbow Islands Extra (1988)
 
I'm not entirely sure what the "Extra" is; the first stage or so feels rearranged, and re-colored, with a dark black look giving some relief to the eyes after the off-pastel of the original. The control still sucks, though.
 
  paleface 02:15:56 04/24/07
           
Volfied (1989)
 
Already in Taito Legends; still good.
 
  paleface 02:18:59 04/24/07 [relations updated]
           
Night Striker (1989)
 
My very vague memory is trying to insist that the Playstation port (see entry 186) was somewhat smoother than this version; it was definitely easier. Still kind of fun though, even if it feels a bit too jerky for proper control. Oogh that reminds me of the nasty pipe obstacle course at one of the third stages or so of the branching level layout. Ech.
 
  paleface 02:19:57 04/24/07
           
Battle Shark (1989)
 
Already on Taito Legends; pretty good graphics, sort of frustrating with the slow shooting and limited ammo.
 
  paleface 02:21:36 04/24/07
           
Final Blow (1989)
 
...blows! Crappy side-view boxing game with nice muscular sprites but spazzy button-mash style control where you're really best served by mashing one of the buttons as fast as possible, over and over. I think. Anyway, it stinks, and like a lot of boxing games, it also has the problem where you can't really tell when or why someone's about to go down for the last time.
 
  paleface 02:23:01 04/24/07
           
Master of Weapon (1989)
 
Vertical shooter with highly annoying Xevious-style shoot/bomb gameplay, faded-out backgrounds, and dinky faded sprites that you can barely see. Irritating.
 
  paleface 02:24:42 04/24/07
           
Megablast (1989)
 
Weird side-scrolling shooter where your ship shoots in the four cardinal directions at all times. When you pick up a weapon powerup, it powers up the gun on the side of the ship that first contacted the powerup. I'd rather just concentrate on aiming one direction, really, and the huge hitbox and dull levels don't particularly help.
 
  paleface 02:25:49 04/24/07
           
Thunder Fox (1990)
 
Side-scrolling run-n-gun that feels very "Rush'n'Attack"-ish, with kind of clunky control, but at least a lot of carnage, even if some of the hits you take don't exactly seem fair. Not so great really.
 
  paleface 02:33:20 04/24/07
           
Download added: rastan.mpg (8220676 bytes)
  "Warrior Blade: Rastan whups it up in 8:3."
 
Warrior Blade: Rastan Saga Episode III (1991)
 
Fabulous super 8:3 ratio (was two monitors side-by-side in the arcade) side-scrolling isometric beat-em-up with some of the most gorgeous sprites ever seen in the genre. The Conan-like setting works perfectly, and even though the action is very basic (hit, hit, hit...), the movement slightly stiff, and some of the bosses comically easy, the core gameplay is very solid, and it's just a joy pummelling things when they look this good. Also some unexpectedly wild touches, like the vertical flying stage where you're mounted on big winged um things. Co-op works great. I didn't know this game existed before now, and I'm so glad to have met it.
 
  paleface 02:42:38 04/24/07
           
Download added: bubsymph.mpg (4333572 bytes)
  "Bubble Symphony: Popping a boss, then on to Kiki-Kaikai stages."
 
Bubble Symphony (1994)
 
The real reason to get this collection. Ooh I still need to try the arcade codes for black background and classic music. See, this Bubble game is so full of colors, orchestral music, and animation, that in some ways it's almost spritey overload. Some of the backgrounds in particular are a little too bright and animated to allow proper leisure in which to distinguish all the various things flitting around that might be dangerous or worth points.
 
Otherwise, though, it's classic bubbling action, now with two selectable female characters, very easy bouncing on bubbles (just hold jump), and big boss battles.
 
  paleface 23:55:18 03/15/17
           
Some of the games in this collection have sluggish controls, although all in all the input lag here isn't as bad as it was in previous Taito Memories volumes. Warrior Blade and Bubble Symphony, for instance, are reasonably playable, even if they don't quite feel arcade crisp in their response.
    
downloads:
· 01fieldgoal.gif
· 02phoenix.gif
· 03polaris.gif
· 04greatswordsman.gif
· 05seafighterposeidon.gif
· 06gyrodine.gif
· 07buggychallenge.gif
· 08onnasanshiroutyphoongal.gif
· 09metalsoldierisaacii.gif
· 10halleyscomet.gif
· bub01_steamed.jpg
· bub02_bossbub.jpg
· bub03_prezzies.jpg
· bub04_course.jpg
· bub05_kiki.jpg
· bub06_bubbles.jpg
· bubsymph.mpg
· lsa_air.jpg
· lsa_land.jpg
· lsa_sea.jpg
· lsa_squad_chop.mpg
· rastan.mpg
· warrior01_lizard.jpg
· warrior02_flame.jpg
· warrior03_bones.jpg
· warrior04_pirates.jpg
 
references:
· Night Striker (PS1)
· Taito Legends (PS2)
· Taito Memories: 1st Volume (PS2)
· Taito Memories II: 1st Volume (PS2)
· Taito Memories: Last Volume (PS2)
· Taito Memories Pocket (PSP)

 
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