Taito Milestones Review thumbnail

Taito Milestones Review

10 arcade classics for Switch

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing a Nintendo Switch on 🕹️

Taito Milestones is rated Teen by the ESRB

Retro arcade game fans have a brand new collection to play so fill your pockets with quarters and get ready to enjoy Taito Milestones.

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Qix and Halley's Comet are still a blast

Taito Milestones

When I think of awesome old-school arcade games, the first company that comes to mind is Taito with classics like Bubble Bobble, Darius, and Space Invaders being a few of my favourites. More obscure titles from them such as Volfied, Tube It, Cameltry, and Liquid Kids also come to mind as truly amazing hidden gems for arcade. Although none of those games are featured here, what you get is a mix of mostly early '80s titles that range from timeless fun to head-scratching oddities. v1d30chumz 18-208-132-74

Each of the 10 games in Taito Milestones is essentially a separate Arcade Archives release so you can trust that they're emulated well. On top of that, you get the standard assortment of options which are plentiful as you can adjust the screen and controls to your liking. Unfortunately, there is no bonus content whatsoever with the only addition being a game select menu so you're basically just paying for 10 Arcade Archives releases which is still pretty cool, mind you. With all of that out of the way, let's get to the games! 😄

Vertical action

The first group that I'll discuss consists of a few vertically scrolling action games that all released in 1981 and 1982. Alpine Ski is a dodge 'em up where you try to collect points while speeding downhill and avoiding obstacles; it's pretty fun stuff. Meanwhile, Wild Western has you shooting bandits on horseback while a train acts as a moving barricade in the middle of the screen. It features multi-directional shooting and I still enjoy its tricky level of challenge. Lastly, Front Line is a similar game although you simply walk around while shooting and throwing grenades. It's definitely the weakest of the 3 and games such as Capcom's Commando make it feel very dated in comparison.

Qix

Next, the iconic Qix from '81 is an absolute blast to play nowadays and it remains one of the most enjoyable arcade games ever. Well, its 1989 follow-up Volfied is my favourite but I digress. Strategically carving out chunks of the playfield as a massive laser enemy flops around and sparks slowly encroach makes it an exciting formula and as soon as you uncover the required portion of the stage, the sense of satisfaction is fantastic. I'm very happy that it's included in Taito Milestones and for more about it, check out my Qix retrospective.

A Quick Look at Qix
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Say what you will about The Fairyland Story; I love it!

Cute fun

Next, here are a couple of adorable arcade gems. Chack'n Pop is a strange game where you roll bombs in order to take care of enemies as well as the eggs that they spawn from. It features a weird movement system where you can cling to ceilings and drop off and it can be quite annoying to control but it's still a fun game that I enjoy to this day. On a more positive note, The Fairyland Story is a stage-based single-screen platformer that innovated an arcade formula and paved the way for games such as Bubble Bobble and Rod Land. You basically just jump around stages while using bursts of magic to transform enemies into cakes that you can then push off ledges to smash and perhaps land on other enemies' heads. There's a lot of strategy and quick-thinking required and it's a heck of a lot of fun. 🎂

2D violence

At the opposite end of the equation, here are a couple of violent 2D action games. Elevator Action is an easily recognizable classic where you ride elevators up and down levels while skillfully shooting at enemies that emerge from doors. It's a bit mindless but enjoyable nonetheless. Speaking of mindless, The Ninja Warriors merely has you attacking a relentless onslaught of soldiers that pour in from the sides of the screen and it's extremely repetitive albeit satisfying stuff. It's presented with a double-wide screen just like Darius II and you get to throw shurikens which is fun but they run out quick. It's an okay game overall but its 1994 Super NES sequel is where it's at.

Shoot 'em ups

Finally, here are the 2 shoot 'em ups in Taito Milestones. Up first is Space Seeker which is an odd game where you guide a cursor around a map then engage in battles with a ridiculous amount of relentless enemies that get shot down easily but good luck surviving! There are also nifty first-person segments which can be equally challenging. I must admit that it was an ambitious game for its time but holy hot darn, is it frustrating! Last but not least, Halley's Comet is a standard vertical shoot 'em up with rewarding power-ups and as you blast away enemy forces and avoid incoming comets, it ends up being a great deal of fun. It also features an innovative planet damage system where missed enemies will hurt the planet that you're defending which keeps you on your toes. Needless to say, I like it a lot. ☄️

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Alpine Ski and Front Line involve some tricky controls

Taito Milestones may simply contain 10 classic arcade titles and nothing else but some of these games offer timeless enjoyable challenges that you can spend hours trying to master. I just wish there was some kind of bonus content to scratch more of that retro itch.

  • + Contains 10 well-emulated Taito classics in one convenient package
  • + A few of the games are timeless fun
  • + Solid amount of game-specific options
  • - Doesn't feature any bonus materials
  • - Not all of the games have aged well
7.1 out of 10
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Watch A.J. play Taito Milestones
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