XBOX REVIEW: TECMO CLASSIC ARCADE

Here's a game, (or should I say games?) that you'll probably be better off staying away from.

Tecmo Classic Arcade is a compilation of Tecmo games from the last 20-years and beyond. Most of the games are two-decades old and haven't exactly stood the test of time. The majority of these games weren't even considered good at the time, so they certainly shouldn't be considered classics today. Even if you liked Tecmo Bowl which is probably the best of the bunch, it's the arcade versions that are featured here and not the home NES versions.

The list of games are as follows: Tecmo Bowl; Rygar; Starforce; Solomon's Key; Bomb Jack; Tecmo Cup; Pinball Action; Pleiads; Senjyo; Swimmer, and Strato Fighter. Some games you might recognize but don't feel too bad if you've only heard of a handful of these 11 games. There are no other games to unlock so that's pretty much it unless you count the archives which gives us a little history on some of the games with copies of original instructions and sell sheets for arcade owners.

I'm not going to go over all of the games but only those that warrant an anecdote. Most of them are totally unimpressive and not even worth a quick spin down memory lane. If you haven't searched these games out in the last five years there's probably a good reason - such as you don't really give a rat's arse. I kind of get that feeling from Tecmo. While the games are virtually exact ports of the originals, the presentation isn't worth a crap. It has a low-res, low-budget feel to it and at more than double the superior competitor's compilations it's just not worth a purchase.

Tecmo Bowl is not a bowling game, it's a football game - though you might be hard pressed to tell the difference. It was considered advanced for its time but the controls are limited which makes the gameplay much too simplistic. Imagine having to choose your receiver before the play. Madden 06 for the GBA is 100-times as deep as this game. Why bother?

Bombjack is similar to Pac-Man in that you move the character around busting balloons while avoiding the enemies that hover around the playfield. It's only fun because it steals its premise from an actual classic. (I disagree - I loved Bomb Jack. One of my faves! - Vaughn)

Pleiades is a space shooter with a name that I could never pronounce and never spell. I did play it a lot at the arcade when it came out in 81. Swarms of enemy spaceships would launch from the mothership forcing you to shoot or be shot. The waves of aliens continue until you die. That's the same way it is here. Even if I played this game for the next five years it's doubtful I could beat it. I've got a severe mental block that won't let me get past the ninth level.

The pinball game is atrocious, with terrible physics and even worse graphics. This game is probably the single reason that video pinball never caught on. Senjyo puts you in the driver's seat of a tank where you use crosshairs to pinpoint the enemy and shoot at them with dual barrels. It was known for its faux 3D look which looks really dated now.

Most of these games could be replicated on the GBA, certainly the DS. There's no reason to get this package especially for the Xbox. It's like slumming to waste a great console on these old hackneyed games.

System: Xbox
Dev: Tecmo
Pub: Tecmo
Release: Sept 2005
Players: 1 - 2
Review by Cole
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
2.0
GRAPHICS
2.0
CONTROL
3.5
MUSIC/FX
2.0
VALUE
1.0