Tecmo Classic Arcade

Tecmo Classic Arcade Review

Tecmo has a loose definition of what a classic is

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing an Xbox on

ESRB Everyone rating

Arcade compilations are usually great collections of classic games, yet Tecmo's offering does not stand up to the competition. Some gamers may have fond memories of games such as Rygar and Tecmo Bowl, but there isn't much else to offer here.

Games included in Tecmo Classic Arcade

  • Pleiads (1981)
  • Senjyo (1983)
  • Star Force (1984)
  • Bomb Jack (1984)
  • Tecmo Cup (1985)
  • Rygar (1986)
  • Tecmo Bowl (1987)
  • Swimmer (1982)
  • Strato Fighter (1991)
  • Solomon's Key (1986)
  • Pinball Action (1985)

Tecmo Classic Arcade doesn't make a very good first impression when you boot it up. You do get a fairly cool intro movie, but other than that the game is very poorly presented. The background that's used is of an arcade machine's circuit board and this is always present whether you're in a menu or playing a game. Couldn't they have at least included an option to disable it? A gallery of 33 images related to the games (with the exception of Solomon's Key) is included. It's a nice addition where you can look at some old school arcade art and instructions, but they could have included more. Players can set options for all of the games to make things easier or more challenging. There is also the option to set up the screen before playing by allowing you to zoom in, zoom out, or move the screen around. Why would anyone want to move the screen around? Players can view brief instructions before starting a game. These only explain the controls and do not explain how to actually play each game. For that you'll need to read the manual.

Tecmo Classic Arcade screenshot 1
Rygar throws his Diskarmor like players will throw their controllers

Two of the better games in this collection are Star Force and Strato Fighter. Both are automatically scrolling space shooters with Star Force scrolling vertically and Strato Fighter scrolling horizontally. Star Force is fun although it's not as good as many other similar games that were released around the same time. It's hectic, fast-paced, and quite challenging. Strato Fighter is more moderately paced and is a pretty solid game. Players can gain power-ups and watch their firepower grow as they become butt-kicking machines. It also features the ability to turn your ship 180 degrees. This is a cool addition as it adds to the scope of what your ship is capable of. Also, two players can play simultaneously which is great.

There are a few platform games included which consist of Rygar, Solomon's Key, and Bomb Jack. Rygar is probably the most well known game in this collection. For those who don't know, Rygar stars a warrior who uses his weapon (Diskarmor) to slay his enemies as he proceeds through the various stages. The Diskarmor is basically a spikey shield on a chain which can be thrown around. Rygar is ruthlessly difficult and will probably enrage even the chillest of players. This being said, it is great fun with its simple controls and challenging gameplay. Solomon's Key is more puzzle-oriented and involves a sorcerer who creates and destroys blocks in order to navigate his way through each stage. In order to progress, you must find a key then exit through the door. There are enemies that you can fight by building blocks over them, making them fall, or using molotovs that you collect. An annoying part of the game is that you have to push up to jump but it's still a pretty good game. Bomb Jack is a simple game in which you collect bombs to clear stages. Players will jump high and glide their way through each level while avoiding enemies. There's some fun to be had in Bomb Jack and it's a worthy addition.

Tecmo Classic Arcade screenshot 2
Are you ready for some football?

A couple of sports games are included in the form of Tecmo Bowl and Tecmo Cup. Tecmo Bowl is a classic football game that simplifies football so anybody can play. Four players can play simultaneously which is very cool. It has great graphics and presentation as well as tight and simple controls. Tecmo Cup is a soccer game and is also known as Tehkan World Cup. It's a very basic game that's played in a bird's eye perspective and can be played with up to two players simultaneously. It can be fun, but glitches such as backwards text and audio distortion make it feel half-baked.

The rest of the games are a mixed bag of subpar and forgettable experiences. Pleiads is a static shooter like Space Invaders. Too bad it overcomplicates the static shooter formula to a point where it limits its enjoyability. Players will shoot at invading aliens, eliminate space monsters, destroy an alien mothership, and then try to safely land back on Earth. No one complained that Space Invaders was too simple, so why bother complicating things? Senjyo is one of the worst games in Tecmo Classic Arcade. Players control a turret on a tank and shoot at distant enemies before they strike. Although the concept is simple, playing it is frustrating as enemies will appear then disappear as they quickly maneuver the battlefield's sand dunes. Speaking of frustrating games, Swimmer is almost unplayable. Players control a swimmer who must avoid logs and creatures while collecting fruit. You can dive underwater, but it's hard to tell where you'll surface. It's very annoying and probably the worst of all of these games. Finally, there's Pinball Action which is a basic pinball game that allows players to shake the table. Upon completing certain goals, players can move from the main screen to three other screens. It's a very average video pinball game that you probably wouldn't spend much time with.

Tecmo Classic Arcade screenshot 3
Senjyo takes the fun out of shooting aliens

All of the games are emulated very well and have tight controls. This being said, there are few inclusions that make this game worth buying although it does have a home in any arcade game enthusiast's library for nostalgia reasons. It's hard to recommend Tecmo Classic Arcade since there are many other arcade collections that have way more quality games.

  • + Nice collection for arcade game enthusiasts
  • + Has a few fun games
  • + Games are well emulated with tight controls
  • - Only 11 games are included
  • - The quality of most games leaves a lot to be desired
  • - Presentation is severely lacking
5.3 out of 10
Gameplay video playlist for Tecmo Classic Arcade 7:08

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