Friday, April 23, 2010

Taito Legends 2 (PS2 Version)

John Marine | 4/23/2010 04:31:00 AM | |
(UPDATED: January 11, 2012)

Gone, but not forgotten, Taito Legends 2 is a trip back in time featuring some of Taito's classic games. Over 18 years of Taito arcade goodness is in this included in this title with 30+ games to choose from. This is your chance to play Taito classics as well as introduce yourself to newer Taito games from the past. Is it worth it? Find out in this blog entry!


JAN 11 2012 - edited and cleaned

--- Taito Legends 2 (PS2 Version) at a Glance ---

Taito Legends 2 PS2
^ from:, by way of

Taito Legends 2 features over 30+ Taito-made games ranging from 1979 to 1997. This is your chance to relive your favorite Taito classics or familiarize yourself with new titles. Each game allows you to customize various settings to make the game better suitable for you. You get some advice you can access to by pausing the game and going to "Game Description" and going to "Additional Info."

--- The Games of Taito Legends 2 ---

The games will all be reviewed in chronological order. This is a look at all the games you will be playing as you relive Taito history. Any games in italics are exclusive titles for the PS2 version. This blog entry will feature games that are NOT included in this title. One of the non-PS2 games would have made this collection of games better, and I'll tell you which one later.

Lunar Rescue (1979).

Six people are looking to get off the base of the moon and onto a ship. Drop the ship from the top of the screen to the base of the moon. Then, shoot your way up to reach the waiting rescue ship.

Balloon Bomber (1980, PS2 Exclusive).
You must shoot down a series of balloons carrying bombs. The bombs will take away as much of the playing field as possible. Your job is is to destroy all the balloons and make sure you don't become overly stranded when the bombs drop down on the ground.

Crazy Balloon (1980).

Navigate a balloon around a set course. The balloon will be swaying left and right as you try to navigate it around the course. A level is cleared when you successfully navigate the balloon from the Start point to the Goal. The faster you work through the course, the more bonus points you earn.

Qix (1981).

This is absolutely my favorite game (or at least one of them). It is a puzzle game where your job is to claim at least 75% of the playing field by drawing squares (called Stix). Your primary obstacle is the multi-colored trailing line known as the Qix (pronounced like "kicks") Scores are based on area. One of the most popular strategies is to try to cage the Qix to pick up the most claim area. However, the undulations of the Qix make it tough to really judge what it will do next. By the time to clear two levels, every stage after the third level will require you to claim 75% of the playing field by going up against TWO Qix. If you split the two Qix in every stage starting with Stage 3, your points will be multiplied. For higher scores, draw slow stix. If you fear you will be thwarted by the Qix while drawing boxes and other figures, you can quickly change to Fast Stix. You CAN NOT change from fast stix to slow stix, however. Also, avoid the Sparx (the wall-riding figures). Make sure to make your figures quickly because if you stall, a fuse will light from where you started the stix to where your marker is at present. There is also the Spiral Death Trap for which if you spin yourself into a spiral, the Fuse will catch up with you and take a life away from you. It is VERY addictive. Put the game at five lives so you can make the most points possible and play for a while.

Alpine Ski (1982).

You have a certain amount of time (which you can configure) to make it from the goal to the finish line. Hitting trees and such will take away precious time as you try to clear the course. You need to be careful in how you navigate the course. It takes some getting used to, that's for sure.

Wild Western (1982).

It's you, some bandits, and a train. Use the train as a shield against gunfire from the bad guys. You can even use the train for ricochet shots to take down the bad guys at an angle.

Chack'n Pop (1983).

This is a cute game whereas you end up controlling Chack'n. Your goal is to free the heart(s) from each level. The Monstas (the enemies are called Monsta) hatch from eggs. Bonuses are offered if you destroy multiple Monstas with one bomb. You get no credit if you just destroy the Monstas while still in their eggs. Free the heart(s) from the cage and exit the level. Apparently, you can earn bonuses by either destroying every Monsta (after they hatch) or earn a bigger bonus by escaping the maze without destroying a single Monsta. Good thing about this game is that you get a tutorial stage to where you can practice your skills before taking on the first maze.

Front Line (1983).

It's almost virtually unfair sometimes facing these enemies. Control your character to take down enemy soldiers and tanks. There is very little margin for error here.

The Fairyland Story (1985).

As a young witch named Ptolemy, she is able to turn enemies into cake. Use these cakes to drop them on the ground to defeat them. If you take too long to clear each stage, a ghost will pursue you and kill you. This game would become the godmother to one of the most popular platformer series of all-time, Bubble Bobble. If you want to continue, you must have cleared Stage 7 before trying to continue. If you've cleared Stage 7, press and hold the Player 1 or Player 2 start button and press Magic or Jump to continue. Otherwise, you'll have to do it all over again. Later levels can become VERY frustrating. There are 101 levels in all. Farthest I've reached was about stage 93.

The Legend of Kage (1985).

This classic platform game has you trying to rescue the princess from an enemy fortress. You play as a ninja named Kage (pronounced like "kah-gay"). You have an infinite number of shuriken as well as your trusty dagger (which also doubles as a shield). You must defeat four monks in Stage 1. You must defeat enough enemy ninjas to advance through Stage 2. Stage 3 has you leaping HIGH off the ground to access the enemy fortress. Stage 4 is absolutely brutal as you must go from the base of that fortress to the top floor to rescue the princess. After completing this task, you must then defeat the evil warlord back in the forest. I have NEVER cleared Stage 4 in my many attempts of playing this game. In order for you to really beat the game, you must clear all four stages, then clear all four stages again to see the ending. When out of lives, the game is over, and you can't continue. So make sure you clear this game in one playthrough if you want to see the ending.

Ki Ki Kai Kai (1986).

While many of us know it as "Pocky and Rocky," Ki Ki Kai Kai has you rescuing the Seven Lucky Gods. You play as priestess Sayo-chan, armed with lots of scrolls and a butterfly net. You are unable to continue from where you left off, so if you are to beat this game, you'll need to beat this without being down to your final life.

Kuri Kinton (1988).

This is a very whimsical and weirdly-paced action game where you must rescue members of a family captured by enemy forces. It can be pretty enjoyable for what it is.

Syvalion (1988, PS2 Exclusive).
You must control a large mechanized dragon around a maze. Your long dragon shoots a long tongue of fire while progressing through each level. This is the first game in "Taito Legends 2" to use the Taito logo with the stylized blue triangle as the Taito logo.

Bonze Adventure (1988).

Bonze Adventure is a platform-type game where you fire magical rosary beads at enemies. You must travel to the seven Hells to save the world. The final two stages can be frustrating, especially the final boss battle (should you make it this far).

Nastar Warrior (1988).

This game is one of the absolute worst games in this collection. Where do I begin? This game is terrible from top to bottom. The fonts is barely readable and horrible-looking There is no defending this game's pathetic overall play style. You control some muscular oaf armed with a sword and a shield. In its defense, the graphics are colorful and vivid. After Stage 3, the game is virtually unplayable as it's impossible to clear Stage 4 thanks to a badly-designed level. Nastar Warrior is known as "Rastan Saga" in Japan. Play this game up to Stage 3, and then exit the game. Don't waste your valuable life and time trying to clear Stage 4 because IT JUST AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN!

Raimais (1988).

Think of Raimais as Taito's answer to Pac-Man. You control a futuristic three-wheel ship through a maze as you run over these Energy Plates on the ground. Various powerups will help you to get the edge in clearing the level. How well you're able to clear each level will determine what kind of ending you get for this game. The main goal of the game is to rescue your brother from this dungeon.

Camel Try (1989).

Camel Try is a game of concentration and skill. It is a puzzle game where you must lead a ball from the starting point to a goal. This game is like "Marble Madness, except you're not necessarily guiding it on the ground. The game also has some pinball elements too. It's a very fun game that's worth a try. You earn more points for clearing the stage within the time limit. There are three levels of difficulty for you to try in this game.

Don Doko Don (1989).

With about 50 levels, you control one of two different carpenters. Whack enemies with your hammer, then throw those enemies into walls or other enemies to clear each stage and to pick up powerups.

Insector X (1989).

Insector X is a side-scrolling shooter where you must rid the air and ground of various mosquitoes. Not very exciting, but it is a very good game for what it is. I have NEVER gotten past Stage 1.

Violence Fight (1989).

Violence Fight is the only fighting game in this collection. The game is set in the early 1950s. A few of the stages give you full range of motion and the ability to pick up and throw items at your opponent. The game features seven stages and about six or seven different opponents. You can choose between four different fighters. Bad Blue is the well-balanced fighter. Ben Smith is a former U.S. Marine who is a good jumper and has some very good fighting ability once you master his fighting style. Lick Joe is a former professional wrestler who is very slow despite his powerful attacks. Lee Chen is a martial artist who specializes in proficient martial arts kicks. You face two other opponents later- Ron Max is like a much tougher Lick Joe while Tony Won is simply the most potent and powerful brawler.

I beat this game using Ben Smith. As a bit of Trivia, Lick Joe is from Aardmore, Oklahoma. The way the game spelled it was a typo because the name of the city is actually Ardmore, Oklahoma.

Growl (1990).

In a time where beat-em-ups were really at their prime, Taito's entry was a very politically-correct title. A game like this almost feels like a recruiting test for PETA as to how you try to viciously punish the bounty hunters and poachers for threatening wildlife. In the early 20th century with an Indiana Jones-esque batch of characters, wildlife is threatened by evil poachers. You represent one of four members of a Ranger corps set to defeat the poachers and bounty hunters. The best thing about this game is how you're able to take on a lot of enemies at once. You sometimes face as many as 12 to 16 enemies at once. This game is the absolute in "one vs. the world." Animals you free sometimes earns you a timely assist from them. These guys are equal opportunity ass kickers. The female enemies can be beaten as badly as any of the male enemies. The worst of which is where you could lift up one of the female enemies by their jackets throw them hard to the ground twice. Combat can be brutal in this game. Get used to the three kinds of enemies because you will see them VERY often. One enemy is this park ranger-like guy, the second enemy is a guy who usually packs a whip that viciously whips and tortures wild animals, and the third kind of enemy is a mini-skirt who tosses grenades and loves kicking the crap out of you as her panties are proudly displayed in a fetishistic kind of way. The final boss battle makes you question this game's storyline even more. The voice acting is very laughable.

This game is called Runark in Japan. The skirts on the female enemies are too short to where their panties are showing. The whip is the most effective weapon as you're able to handle enemies in front of and behind you. Other weapons include explosive barrels, grenades, grenade launchers, boulders, and a variety of guns. The worst thing about this game is that while the arcade version of Growl/Runark allows for up to four players to play, this PS2 version only allows for up to two players.

Gun Frontier (1990).

A visually-impressive game, fantastic-looking bombs can be released as you start collecting coins and gold bars. Collect bars of gold to build up your bomb energy. Collect coins to build up your machine gun power. This game is frustrating at most. You'll spend more time dying than actually accomplishing something. You'll be playing this game for a while if you really want a chance at beating this game.

Hat Trick Hero (1990).

This is a fun version of the beautiful game. You're on the pitch as you try to propel your team to victory. This is a purely arcade game where you try to score more goals than the other. You can even throw punches and hard tackles to get the edge. But be careful, the referee can catch you red-handed and book you yellow cards and even red cards for blatant fouls. You MUST win the game to advance. If you lose, game over. If you tie, game over. There are no tie-breakers. There are no penalty kicks. I'm not sure if there are corner kicks either. You either beat your opponent or try and try again. My advice to you is to set the time to the maximum- 3 minutes to have ample opportunities to win the game. It's a very fun game, but can sometimes be difficult. You can choose between eight teams (and I don't think there's much of a difference who you choose)- USA, Japan, England, Brazil, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, and Argentina. If you want to challenge yourself to this game, score as many goals as you can without picking up lots of fouls.

Liquid Kids (1990).

This is a very cute and childish platform game. Your character, Hipopo, throws these water bombs at enemies. About seven or eight stages are in this game. One of the best things about this game is that if you fail to beat a boss, the damage you have inflicted will carry into your next attempt, so you won't have to work as hard to beat each boss from scratch. Hold down the attack button to make bigger water bombs.

Majestic Twelve (1990).

In this reimagination of the classic Space Invaders formula, this game plays a lot like the classic Space Invaders, buth with powerups to help you battle baddies better. You even have a life meter for your shields. You have a better chance of clearing Space Invaders levels if you've never been able to do so with the classic game (as I have).

Metal Black (1991).

Metal Black is a side-scrolling shooter that allows you to fight in some intense battles. They key to powering up your ship is to use various Neurons. These Neurons allow you the change to pwoer up your ship and use a fantastic-looking Special attack to wipe out your enemies. Even when battling against major enemies, the big bosses can use the same Neurons to use against you. You can even get into a laser battle where if you have enough energy, you can shield a blast of laser energy from the boss to fire the laser energy back at the boss! Really, this game is just sad. It's sad because the world is already a lifeless planet in this game. Without giving away the ending, the ending is even more sad. This game is apparently the successor to Gun Frontier, only that you have a much better chance of beating this game than sit through Gun Frontier.

Grid Seeker (1992).

This game is set in August 1999. You are taken into the Middle East for some futuristic aerial combat for the Second Persian Gulf War. A big part of your offense is the use of the GRID (Gyrodrive Reactive Intercept Device). As your GRID collects enemy fire, your bomb energy is charged. When fully charged, you can let loose against those air-bound enemies. A cool powerup you get is that you sometimes get assists from other aircraft to help you gain an edge in combat. You choose between three different fighter craft with their own advantages and disadvantages- a helicopter, a fighter jet, and a stealth bomber.

Arabian Magic (1992).

The king of a kingdom has been transformed into a monkey. Help save the kingdom by banding together and taking care of business. You must defeat a variety of enemies and even rely on help from genie lamps to help you out in battle. Four different characters can be chosen to help deal damage and save the kingdom. Prince Lassid is a high speed character who is very average, but also very fast. Lisa is like Lassid, only one level weaker in power, life, and speed and relies on magic attack. Sinbad is an offensive powerhouse who has average speed, but is powerful and can take a beating. Afshaal is a defensive powerhouse the most powerful with the most amount of life, but his speed is very slow. This game features THE WORST SOUNDING GENIE EVER!!!

Dungeon Magic (1993).

The princess has been captured as a long-dormant demon is about to be awakened. This action game is a unique combination of beat-em-up and RPG. You level up your fighter throughout the game. Boss battles can be very intense. Four massive levels make up this game. You can pick up various elemental weapons to help you along the way. Having the right elemental weapon will help you beat enemies quicker. The elemental weapons range from fire weapons, ice weapons, and lightning weapons. You can choose between four characters. Ash is a Knight and is the best character to use in the game. Usually, the quickest character is very agile and proficient as an attacker. Cisty, an Elf, is that quickest character, but her attacks don't do much of anything. She seriously lacks power. Gren is the Fighter who delivers some powerful attacks, but isn't very quick. Vold is the Wizard who solely relies on magic attacks. Vold has even less power than Cisty, and he doesn't take beatings too well. This is a great game to play. My only problem is... this is a very deep game, but too deep for an arcade game. It would have been better as a home title rather than for a stand-up arcade. I think it's too deep for an arcade-style game. In Japan, this game is called "Light Bringer."

Darius Gaiden (1994).

Darius Gaiden is a visually-impressive masterpiece with intense side-scrolling shooting action. Wild powerup potential awaits your ship as you go up against intense opposition. Upon completing each stage, yuo can pick which route you want to go. You'll have to play this game over and over again to explore every zone.

Elevator Action II (1994).

The most famous Taito game series besides Space Invaders or the Darius games is Elevator Action. This game is the sequel to the hit franchise. Your job is to save the city from terrorists as you must enter red doors and diffuse bombs. Each red door features bomb information. Head into these doors and steal away these plans to prevent the bombs from exploding.

Space Invaders DX (1994).

If you've never played Space Invaders before, this is your chance to play this game in four different varieties. Play the classic game in four different varieties.

Cleopatra Fortune (1996).

This is a challenging puzzle game where you do more than just line up blocks. You also have to deal with statues, mummies, and more. So much more meets the eye for this game.

Gekirindan (1995).

The vertical shooter, Gekirindan, allows you to travel through time to save the world. The funny thing is that you don't go anywhere back in time further than World War II. It is a fun game, but it's a bit on the boring side. There is some great music for this game. There are five different periods you experience in this game. You start out in AD 3195 and must go through four other time periods.

Bust-A-Move Again (1995).

Here is a very fun (and somewhat addicting) puzzle game. Bonuses are earned for completing the stage quickly. Many people know this game as Puzzle Bobble 2. You get some assistance as to where the fire the balls after you continue. But once you clear a stage, you get no help from the shooter as to where to shoot the balls at. This game will test your skill very much.

Space Invaders '95 (1995).

This is a version of Space Invaders that is cute, cartoonish, and colorful. It can be a bit frustrating at times, but it's a fun title to play. Even the boss battles can be funny.

RayStorm (1996, PS2 Exclusive).
One of only two 3D games in this collection, this is an exciting 3D vertical shooter. The different menu sound effects come from this game. Expect beautiful graphics and exciting aerial combat.

Puchi Carat (1997).

Puchi Carat is just as addictive as Qix. The task of this game is to pursue 12 secret stones. You can choose between 12 characters. The one who holds all 12 Secret Stones will have his/her/their dreams and dreams come true. Colorful and beautiful graphics make up this game. You may elect to play a single game where you try to clear as many blocks as possible. This is a VERY fun game to play!

G Darius (1997, PS2 Exclusive).
This is the other 3D game in "Taito Legends 2." This game is the only game that has a full motion video (FMV) video to start the game. G Darius is a much more difficult Darius title. You can select which path you want to take after reaching the midway point of a level. You can take control of enemy craft to get yourself an edge in battle.

--- Games NOT Included in the PS2 Version of Taito Legends 2 ---

The following are games you will NOT find in this version of Taito Legends 2:

• Bubble Symphony
• Cadash
• Pop'n Pop
• RayForce

It was a great disappointment that the PS2 version doesn't include this game. This was a game I would have LOVED to have played in the PS2 version of "Taito Legends 2."

--- Taito Legends 2 Review ---

I think Taito Legends 2 is a great assembly of games. The problem I have with it is that I wished this game could have done a lot more to give players a chance to see game art, listen to songs from each game, and (maybe) allow for some cheats. I would have even liked more information on the history of each game and some fun facts on each title. This game just didn't do very much to share what makes these games "legends." It's still a good way to waste your hard-earned time.

Did you like my blog entry on this game? Do you want to get this game for your PS2? Click on the graphic below and buy from Amazon. I appreciate your support!

^ Taito Legends 2, for the PlayStation 2.

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