Tecmo, a company known for the highly popular Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive series, has made an attempt to revive some of their original games after some two decades since their retirement. The result is Tecmo Classic Arcade for the Xbox, a title that many would say should have remained in the 80's.
Tecmo Classic Arcade was released with eleven titles, some known by many, others not so much. The compilation includes Tecmo Bowl, Rygar, Starforce, Solomon's Key, Pleiads, Senjyo, Pinball Action, Strato Fighter, Swimmer, Bombjack and Tecmo Cup. Some of the more common known games are Bomb Jack, Tecmo Bowl and Rygar. Don't get me wrong, these games were somewhat popular in their day in the old arcade machines, but that doesn't mean they were all good.
Bomb Jack seems to be one of the better games in this collection, if you can call jumping around, floating and collecting bombs "better". The concept of the game is just as described, jumping around dodging the enemy and trying to collect all the bombs. Is it fun, you ask? Well with an Xbox controller that reacts just like the old joysticks on the arcade, my answer is no. At least this game isn't complicated to understand; perhaps a four year old would have an interest in it, as not to be a complete waste of money.
Now onto Tecmo Bowl, the one game that made it big back then, and is now virtually unheard of. Tecmo Bowl is a football game "compatible" for up to 4 players. You start out by selecting the amount of players, simple enough. Trust me if your playing this alone, do yourself a favor, go to the nearest sports arena and sign up to play football. Cause you'll just end up hating yourself for even purchasing this one. But if you actually manage to convince friends or family members to play Xbox football, and you just can't possibly manage to think of a reason to put one of the many better Football games in your Xbox, than this title actually shows a little promise. The game is coin operated, like the old arcades were, so you have to push a button to get the game going. Once the game is in motion, and the amount of players playing are selected, you get to experience Football at its "finest". You must choose you receiver first then once the ball gets in the air you must try and pass the ball to him. Note that you can't actually change who you control once the play is started. I noticed after playing Tecmo Bowl for about 20 minutes, my hands were sore from the erratic joystick movements, not to mention how rough it is on the controller itself. For example to get out of a tackle you have to simply wiggle the joystick around a lot, and it gets old quick. The game sure is entertaining when you play with four people just because there's a challenge involved in just getting the poor control port to work in your favor, and scoring at the same time.
As for the main menu, it seems to have just been thrown together in a few minutes. Looks like the designers wanted to keep an arcade look to the game selection screen as well. I guess they did this so that people would not be disappointed by the terrible games and graphics to come. I would have preferred to see a nice menu, with the name of the games overhead instead of the cheap mouseover type feature. The game selection menu features a mix of random game sound effects and a truly annoying song that repeats again, and again, and again. Tecmo should be ashamed to have released such an awful title and tarnish their upstanding reputation known for other legendary titles.
Tecmo did however add some extras for most of the games, unfortunately this was still not done properly. The extras were just all thrown into a category called the Gallery Mode, also known as "game extras dumping ground". It's just an area where you will find the original documents that came with your arcade system. They advertise with an on screen scrolling marquee that, you just have to select an item and you can zoom in to view it in greater detail. Did I mention the resolution of this entire compilation is already really low? Zooming in on the promotional stuff just causes an even bigger headache. Once zoomed in you can use the joystick to move around on the screen. This would sound normal, but they've managed to mess that up too. In order to navigate on the screen pushing upwards will push the document down and going down will bring it up. You'd figure they would have inverted the thumb pads to prevent this type of problem. My overall experience of this section of the game has not been a good one. Save yourself the pain, don't even go here, unless you're an arcade buff with nothing better going on in your life.
Tecmo Classic Arcade a good title if you miss your old time arcade game days, but I'm sure after a few hours of play you'll realize that you wasted ten years playing these mediocre titles. In my opinion, Tecmo created this game to capture its early years as a company and to bring back memories of good times you had in the arcades. The title of the compilation does not lead you into thinking anything was changed in the games included, so you're getting what you paid for. It comes highly recommended you rent this title before considering the purchase, you'll likely be disappointed. I'd also recommend you check out some of the better Tecmo titles such as Ninja Gaiden Black or Dead or Alive Ultimate for Xbox, you'll find that they aren't a waste of your hard earned quarters like this one is. Tecmo Classic Arcade is game compilation that should have been left to the history books.