Konami Classic Series: Arcade Hits (DS)

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Monday, April 28, 2008

Graphics: 7.50
Sound: 8.50
Gameplay: 8.50
Replays: 8.75

Konami Classic Series: Arcade Hits is an excellent example of how to flesh out the presentation and multiplayer options of any kind of handheld compilation title. Although some of the game choices don’t hold up near as well as others, the fact remains that the stellar ones more than make up for it. With a wealth of options and 15 games (including Contra and Gradius), this is one of the better classic game compilations to come out in awhile.

While some of the games on this collection are pretty well known (Contra, Gradius, Track & Field), there are plenty of lesser known ones as well (Circus Charlie, Pooyan, Shaolin’s Road). Some of these titles don’t seem to stand the test of time, but out of the 15 titles offered at least three quarters of them are likely to appeal to most players. Konami could’ve included even more games that people are clamoring for, but perhaps they are saving some for another edition.

Too many classic game compilations feel as though the developers quickly put them together to make a quick dollar. But the developers of Konami Classic Series: Arcade Hits really went all out with the presentation. There are various extras and even the ability to mess around with the actual settings of some of the games themselves (similar to how someone would’ve been able to do had they had access to the switches on the inside of an actual arcade machine). This may be a somewhat niche feature, but it shows that the developers really care about the players.

Many of these arcade titles were played vertically in their original versions, so they end up looking just a little squashed on the DS screen. This can be remedied by playing with the DS on its side, but that can make the games a little hard to play due to awkward button arrangements. So, hardcore fans will have to settle for slightly squashed games in a slightly lower resolution (the DS is at a lower resolution than many of these games were at the arcades). But in the end this isn’t really an issue, because every title plays great and this is the only true way to have them on the go.

Konami Classic Series: Arcade Hits has a wealth of multiplayer options, but unfortunately they are local area only. While you can’t share high scores over Wi-Fi (which would’ve been great), it is possible to play two-player via download play. It is also possible to send whole games to a friend’s DS, and that friend will keep the game until they turn their system off. These features are great, but being able to send high scores via Wi-Fi or even play two-player through the network would’ve been great.

All of the original music is replicated wonderfully through the DS speakers, and will likely be very nostalgic for players who remember these games from the past. A jukebox option is included, allowing you to play all of the music from each title in an almost Ipod like function. While not everyone is going to want to do that, hardcore fans of some of these titles will find it a fun inclusion.

Anyone who is looking for portable classics on the go will want to give Konami Classic Series: Arcade Hits a shot. Although the exclusion of Wi-Fi is unfortunate, the titles on here are extremely fun to play either solo or with a friend. Hopefully Konami will continue this series, and we’ll see even more nostalgic titles on the DS in the future.

Overall Rating: 8.25

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