Taito is one of those interesting historical games companies.

For the longest time I knew they made Space Invaders…. And that’s it. It turns out that from the 70’s through to very recently they have been absolutely pumping out arcade games, and with the Taito Collection packages you can check out 10 games from their history.

Straight out of the gate I will say this package is lacking.

When it comes to retro games, 80% of it is the fun of being able to play a preserved old game. The other 20% comes with the context. When was this released? What was it competing with? Were there design choices made for reasons? What made this game unique?  In other words, why are these milestones?

Taito Milestones 2

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection was the gold standard for collections, the number of pieces of art, the articles, the booklets, the everything. The amount of content for each game in that collection was insane, and while that might not be for everyone, that is how you make a collection that treasures and preserves the past.

Unfortunately Taito Milestones 2, and after some Googling, the same for Milestones 1, doesn’t get that deep. The games have been emulated beautifully to really feel like you are playing the same game that was being played 30-40 years ago. Well you know, same game, but on a Switch on the train instead of a bulky arcade cabinet in an arcade.  Still, you get what I mean.

Taito Milestones 2

When it comes to the collection itself, this is a really fun collection given the breadth of genres it covers.

You get an old school fighter with Solitary Fighters and you get some side scrolling action with the Legend of Kage.

Even within the shooters you get some nice variety with the Side scrolling shooters Metal Black and Darius II, through to Gun Frontier being a top down shooter. Kiki Kaikai is a weird one which is in every way a top down shooter, but because you play as a shrine maiden throwing scrolls, instead of a ship shooting at enemies, it feels like a totally different genre.

Taito Milestones 2

When it comes to the platformers, this is where I wanted to really see the collection’s value as some old school platformers stand up better than they should. Ben Bero Beh, Liquid Kids, and The New Zealand story all play OK, and offer something unique enough to justify giving each one a crack. The moment I saw the New Zealand Story I was intrigued.

Unfortunately the main character that is supposedly a kiwi…. does not look like a kiwi.  I know I am bringing 2023 baggage to a 1986 game, so everything was pretty loose, but you throw my country name into anything and I have high hopes.

Taito Milestones 2

The weirdest thing is Dino Rex.

The game’s aesthetic looks so much better than it should have for the time. And a fighting game with dinosaurs, I am so in. Unfortunately it is borderline unplayable.

It’s fascinating to play, but so damn hard to try to play. This is where some interesting information about the game, what was achieved, and how they tried to do it would have made this a potentially really insightful look at that moment in gaming.

Annoyingly it’s just a fascinating, painful to play, weird looking moment in history that has me more curious than informed.

What we have here is a really interesting collection of games from covering a massive number of years.  Seeing the changes in capability is great, and some games are actually fun to play.  As a historical collection though, it lacks in the history part which would have taken this from an OK collection, to an amazing tribute to these titles.

Taito Milestones 2
Taito Milestones 2 (Switch) Review
Game details

Released: September 2023
Rating: PG
Platforms reviewed: Nintendo Switch
Genre: Retro
Developer: TAITO Corporation
Publisher: ININ

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