Bitwave Games' Toaplan Arcade Shoot 'Em Up Collection Vol.2: Review


This game was reviewed on PC.

Reviewed by:  David Cameron

The world of gaming is constantly evolving, but there's a special place in the hearts of many for the classics that defined the golden era of arcade gaming. Bitwave Games' Toaplan Arcade Shoot 'Em Up Collection Vol.2 is a delightful journey back in time, resurrecting the beloved shoot 'em up titles from the past and presenting them in a modern package for PC players to enjoy. With a collection of classic titles and thoughtful enhancements, the collection pays homage to Toaplan's legacy while delivering an enjoyable experience for both veterans and newcomers.

Game Selection and Nostalgic Appeal

Bitwave Games' Toaplan Arcade Shoot 'Em Up Collection Vol.2 brings together a carefully curated selection of titles that exemplify Toaplan's prowess in the shoot 'em up genre. Each game in the collection is a testament to the creativity, challenge, and addictive gameplay that defined arcade gaming in its prime.

The collection features a lineup of five iconic titles: "Vimana," "Batsugun," "Ghox," "Out Zone," and "Fire Shark." These games offer a diverse range of shooting experiences, from the vertical scrolling of "Vimana" to the innovative mechanics of "Batsugun." Whether you're a fan of traditional arcade shooters or you're looking to explore unique gameplay mechanics, this collection has something to offer.

Enhancements and Modernization

One of the standout features of this collection is the dedication to preserving the authenticity of the original games while adding enhancements that make them more accessible and enjoyable in today's gaming landscape. Bitwave Games has struck a delicate balance between nostalgia and modernization, catering to both veteran players who yearn for the past and newcomers who might be experiencing these classics for the first time.

Visual enhancements are immediately noticeable, with improved resolution options that make the pixel art look sharp and vibrant on modern displays. However, purists will appreciate the option to toggle between the original resolution and the enhanced mode, allowing them to experience the games in their original glory.

The collection also includes customizable control schemes, a feature that significantly improves the accessibility of the games. Players can map controls to their liking, using various input devices such as gamepads or keyboards. This level of customization ensures that players can enjoy the games in a way that feels comfortable and intuitive to them.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

"Vimana" takes players on a vertical scrolling adventure that showcases the simplicity and intensity of classic arcade shooters. The game's vertical orientation feels true to its origins, and the tight controls ensure a satisfying experience as you navigate through waves of enemies and dodge intricate bullet patterns.

"Batsugun" stands out with its innovative multiple-plane mechanics, allowing players to switch between foreground and background layers to avoid bullets and strategize their attacks. This unique gameplay element injects a fresh layer of complexity into the shoot 'em up formula, making it a standout title in the collection.

"Ghox" introduces a different kind of challenge, combining shoot 'em up elements with puzzle-solving mechanics. This deviation from the norm showcases Toaplan's willingness to experiment with gameplay and keeps players engaged with its unexpected twists.

"Out Zone" is a side-scrolling shooter that embodies the intensity of the arcade scene. The game's relentless action, coupled with its variety of weapons and power-ups, creates an exhilarating experience that keeps players hooked as they strive for high scores.

"Fire Shark" rounds out the collection with its classic top-down perspective and addictive gameplay. Its straightforward mechanics make it accessible to players of all skill levels, while its increasing difficulty curve offers a rewarding challenge for those who seek it.

Score and Final Thoughts

Bitwave Games' Toaplan Arcade Shoot 'Em Up Collection Vol.2 is a lovingly crafted homage to the golden age of arcade gaming. The collection's careful selection of titles, coupled with its enhancements for modern players, strikes a harmonious balance between nostalgia and accessibility. By preserving the essence of each title while introducing modern features, Bitwave Games has managed to create a package that appeals to both long-time fans and newcomers to the genre.

In terms of score, I would rate Bitwave Games' Toaplan Arcade Shoot 'Em Up Collection Vol.2 a solid 7 out of 10. While the collection does an excellent job of presenting classic titles with enhancements, there are a few areas where additional features could have taken the experience to the next level. Online multiplayer or leaderboards, for instance, could have fostered a sense of competition and community among players.

In conclusion, this collection is a testament to the enduring appeal of classic arcade shooters. Whether you're reliving the glory days of the arcade or discovering these gems for the first time, Bitwave Games' Toaplan Arcade Shoot 'Em Up Collection Vol.2 is a delightful journey that captures the heart and soul of a bygone era in gaming.

Reviewed by: David Cameron