Konami Classics Series Arcade Hits review

  • Contra co-op
  • Single-card play
  • Lotsa value
  • Small screen can hurt
  • Controls not always ideal
  • No DS enhancements

It’s impossible to deny that Konami Classics Series Arcade Hits is your standard arcade games compilation. You’ve got 15 games here, mostly from the early 1980s, and maybe half of which we wouldn’t actually consider hits. All are the exact versions straight from the original arcade – no added DS touch screen sensitivity, no graphical upgrades.

The only real additions are the instructions that appear on the second screen (you can pick which one shows the game), some screen rotation and resizing choices, and the ability to play some games wirelessly with another player (if the original had two-player support as did, say, Gradius). Oh, and you can beam saved replays or demo games to another DS, which should cement your bragging rights as the undisputed king of games most other players are too young to care about.

However, you also have to admit that there are some serious history makers and great games on this list. The side-scrolling shooter Contra is probably the biggest fish, with the seminal space blaster Gradius coming close behind. Fellow shooters Time Pilot and Rush ‘N Attack are here as well, and early-days players will dig the really old stuff like Scramble, Circus Charlie and Pooyan, in which you play a pig with a bow-and-arrows shooting down balloon-riding wolves. Fighting fans should know Yie-ar Kung Fu and Shao-Lin’s Road are here for the kicking, and jocks can lace it up for Track & Field or Basketball. Cliff-climber Roc ‘N Rope is ready to go, as is the collision-minded Road Fighter (think Spy Hunter without guns). Then it gets more obscure, with Xevious-like vertical shooter Rainbowbell, and the monster shooter Horror Maze.

Everything looks exactly as you remember it, and if the game had adjustable difficulty or other options in the real world, it’ll have them here, too. Naturally though, some games don’t fare as well as others. Ever played Track & Field? It was the original button-masher. Try hammering the DS buttons the way you did the arcade machine. And if you think Gradius is tough already, wait until you try it on a tiny screen, where the paths between bullets are itty-bitty. There’s good stuff here (especially for what, two bucks a game?), but sometimes not even modern hardware can recreate the past very well.

More Info

Release date: Mar 27 2007 - DS (US)
Available Platforms: DS
Genre: Action
ESRB Rating:
Everyone 10+: Mild Violence


Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000