Piko Interactive has brought back a ton of old-school treasures and here are 20 such games in one convenient Evercade collection.
First up, Piko Interactive Collection 1 includes a handful of RPGs which is quite rare for Evercade. Brave Battle Saga starts things off well as it's a solid traditional JRPG that feels a lot like Breath of Fire and it looks great, too. However, Canon - Legend of the New Gods (which is by the same developers) is an SRPG and it's quite standard for the genre. Plus, its difficulty spikes can be quite frustrating. Next, both Drakkhen and Dragon View play similarly with the latter being a sequel that improves so much on the first game that it renders it pointless. So, jump straight into Dragon View because it's a very unique blend of first-person exploration and 2D action combat. Finally, The Immortal is an isometric dungeon crawler that's absolutely brutal yet its violent battles are fairly satisfying... if you manage to win.
List of games in Piko Interactive Collection 1
- 8 Eyes ¹
- Brave Battle Saga ²
- Canon - Legend of the New Gods ²
- Drakkhen ³
- Dragon View ³
- Dorke and Ymp ³
- Iron Commando ³
- The Immortal ²
- Jim Power: The Lost Dimension in 3-D ³
- Magic Girl ²
- Nightshade ¹
- Power Piggs of the Dark Age ³
- Power Punch II ¹
- Radical Rex ²
- Switchblade ²
- The Humans ³
- Tinhead ²
- Top Racer ³
- The Way of the Exploding Fist ¹
- Water Margin ²
¹ NES | ² Genesis | ³ Super Nintendo
Although Piko Interactive Collection 2 is chock-full of sports games, there are thankfully only a few here. For starters, Power Punch II is a poor take on the Punch-Out!! formula and it's incredibly tough, too, to the point where it's just not fun. Another fighter is The Way of the Exploding Fist which is simple as all you have to do is land an attack for a point. It's not a good game but I found its premise mildly entertaining for a few rounds. Lastly, Top Racer (AKA Top Gear) is a classic 16-bit racing game that has held up quite well.
The next group of games to discuss are 2D action games so let's start with the ones that aren't worth your time. Jim Power: The Lost Dimension in 3-D seems like a pretty cool game at first with its blend of platforming and overhead sequences but you'll soon realise that it's one of the toughest games ever made and its backgrounds that scroll in the wrong direction gave me a headache as I played. Power Piggs of the Dark Age is a subpar 2D platformer where you try to navigate through annoying stages while attacking and butt-slamming boxes. I'd much rather play Aladdin which is similar yet remarkably more enjoyable. Switchblade is actually a new Genesis port of an old Atari ST game and I found it to be an extremely clunky and hard-to-control game. Perhaps the Atari ST version is better? 🤔
On the plus side, 8 Eyes plays a lot like Castlevania but it can be annoying at times; definitely the sort of game that grows on you over time. Dorke and Ymp isn't the best 2D platformer but I had fun shooting enemies while navigating its intricately-designed stages although its controls could definitely use some fine-tuning. Meanwhile, Radical Rex has you play as a skateboarding dinosaur which is awesome and Tinhead is a fairly enjoyable 2D collect-a-thon where you blast enemies with pellets. I still own the Genesis cartridge for that one. 😊
Finally, here are the odds and ends. Iron Commando and Water Margin are both beat 'em ups with the former being more traditional and the latter featuring swords and magic. Both of these games are solid and I can't wait to play them with a friend on my Evercade VS later this year. Anyway, Magic Girl is a vertical shoot 'em up that's very much like TwinBee but not nearly as fun. Nightshade is a NES game that I remember renting and playing with my family back in the day. It mixes point-and-click adventure gameplay with brutal combat so it can be frustrating but whenever you lose, you get another chance if you can escape a death trap and that's rather nifty. Lastly, The Humans is a puzzler where you use various cavemen to reach each level's goal and it's rewarding except the time limit can be irritating.
Piko Interactive Collection 1 is one of the better Evercade compilations that I've played so far with its varied mix of genres and generally high quality games. Of course, there are a few clunkers in there but it's still a must-have cartridge nonetheless.
- + Most games are of decent quality with a few true gems sprinkled in
- + Features some nifty RPGs
- + 2D action games offer solid challenges
- - A few of the games are nearly unplayable for a multitude of reasons
- - Some games are too perplexing
- - Jim Power can give you a headache