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Konami Classics Volume 1 – XBOX 360

Konami Classics Volume 1 – XBOX 360

KONAMI CLASSICS 1 coverPlatform: XBOX 360

Developer: Konami

Publisher: Konami

Release Date (NA): December 15, 2009

Genre: Compilation

Nerd Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Reviewed by Bubba Fett

 

Konami Classics Volume 1 (XBOX 360) is a collection of three separate XBOX LIVE Arcade games compiled in one package: Frogger, Super Contra, and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. This collection features 24 achievements to unlock (12 per title), along with the option to toggle between enhanced or original graphics. Compilations can be hit or miss as often times obscure titles are added for ‘padding’ but Konami Classics Volume 1 provides a solid selection of three complete and recognizable retro classics in one package.


Frogger

Frogger released to the arcade in 1981 and is regarded as one of the classics of video game history. The gist is simple, guide your frog home through a solitary screen of hazards that increase as the levels commence. You’ll dodge automobiles of varying speeds and congestion until you reach a stream where you must hop from log to turtle Frogger SCREENSHOT 1etceteras, all the while avoiding the water, and various other things that will kill you, until you reach your home at the top of the screen. But don’t take too long as you are also playing against the clock, you have approximately 30 seconds to get from start to finish.

Occasionally you can land on a lady frog, which will grant you a bonus if you escort her home in one piece. Another bonus is to land on a bug that randomly appears in your homebase. These games always seem to play a little off with the analog stick or XBOX d-pad, I find the original arcade-style joysticks offer the best control, but it is manageable and certainly not broken. As you advance cars move faster, as do logs and everything goes completely bonkers. It basically becomes ridiculous unless you are Billy Mitchell. Or literally a guy named Pat Laffaye who currently holds the world record of 896,980 points on an original Frogger machine. Frogger offers a good experience if you are feeling nostalgic for video gaming’s golden age or wish to kill a little time.


Super Contra

Bill & Lance are back in Super Contra (or Super C). Released to the arcade in 1988 Super Contra continues the tradition of blowing copious hordes of enemy soldiers and aliens to hell. Where the 1st Contra broke up horizontal side-scrolling with the addition of pseudo 3D levels, Super Contra takes a different approach with a top-down vertical view on a few alternate levels, which resemble games like Total Carnage, Ikari Warriors or Commando.

Super Contra SCREENSHOT 1Instead of the option to jump you are equipped with ‘shells’ that pretty much explode the face off everything onscreen. You’re given 3 ‘shells’ to start; additional ‘shells’ are acquired by shooting then collecting the power-ups per normal. A variation of the classic Konami code will get you infinite lives. And you will most likely need this cheat to finish the game as Contra games do not skimp on the bullets, hellfire and one-hit deaths. You are also limited to a handful of continues. To activate this cheat, at the title screen press up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A. You will know the code worked if you begin the game with 4 lives ‘remaining’ instead of normal 2.

Super Contra is a really short game; you can easily finish it in less than 30 minutes. The explosions are super big and your final score will be over a whopping 100 million but it’s a quick fix game for a brief diversion. That said, I still play it often just because it feels good to blow shit up and you always want to see how far you can make it without dying. Super Contra is a good game to workout your quick-twitch reflexes.

Read full review of Super Contra here!


Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

SOTN ENHANCED SCREENSHOT 2

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night was released in 1997 for the Sony PlayStation and is the reason to buy this collection. Whereas the other two games are good nostalgic fun, Castlevania: SOTN is a brilliant RPG-style addition to the Castlevania series. The sequel to Rondo of Blood, SOTN offers over 15 hours of challenging side-scrolling gameplay. The game has tons of replay value. You play as Dracula’s son Alucard (get it?).

Reportedly there are 5 different endings (I’ve finished the game twice and got the same ending both times). SOTN is a brilliant game, and easily one of the greatest I’ve ever played, flexing an amazing soundtrack, campy-to-horrible voice acting, epic boss battles, and difficulty in all the right ways. You may need to consult a walkthrough if you’ve never played the game before as SOTN can be cryptic at times, but like all good RPG-style games it rewards exploration. There are tons of weapons, potions, armor, and various miscellany scattered throughout the castle with a few lid-flipping surprises along the way (no spoilers here, play the game and see for yourself). In conclusion, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night kicks ass.

Read the full review of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night here!


Konami Classics Volume 1 retails between $15 – $20 online. That’s a pretty good deal for three complete games on one disc. Where Konami Classic Volume 1 stumbles is in the possibility that Frogger and Super Contra may get old, however Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is a work of art and a welcome addition to the XBOX 360 library. Kudos to Konami for compiling these three games together in one package. Go stretch your dollar on this compilation for the XBOX 360, I’m glad I did.

Written by Nerd Bacon

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