Toaplan Arcade Shoot ‘Em Up Collection Vol. 1 Review

Toaplan Arcade Shoot ‘Em Up Collection Vol. 1 by developers Bitwave Games and Toaplan and publisher Bitwave GamesPC (Steam) review written by Jim with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Toaplan Arcade Shoot ‘Em Up Collection Vol. 1 is a collection of four classic arcade shoot ‘Em Ups consisting of Out Zone, Truxton, Twin Cobra, and Zero Wing. The four games were originally released in the late 80s to early 90s and some have been ported to other systems other than just arcade cabinets while others like Out Zone don't seem to be until now. I can't be positive about this but I do think Video game preservation is important so it is nice to see these old arcade classics re-released and with some added touches.

Out zone, Truxton, and Twin Cobra are vertical shooters while Zero Wing is the only horizontal shooter in the pack. These being arcade games mean they didn't have any story but once beaten every one of the games takes you back to the first stage to replay the game. This is my guess that in an arcade once you paid to play you would want to keep going and not have to stop just because you beat the game. All four games are solid shmups and I am glad they are getting re-released so more people can play them.

With that said the games did have some cool improvements. These games are really hard but you can slow down time, rewind, and fast forward time in the game so if you find one too easy or hard you can use these to help. You can also quickly save a game and quickly load. You can turn on assists like auto fire mode where you don't have to keep pressing the shoot button. You can change the difficulty setting and there is even a new very easy mode. You can rotate the screen 90 degrees to switch it any way you like. There, of course, is Steam achievements and lastly, there is a practice mode. These all add up to nice little touches that can help new players or someone who wants to beat the games.

Gameplay in each game is about the same in Out Zone, Truxton, and Twin Cobra. You shoot at everything and can get power-ups and upgraded gun pick-ups, and in each game, I had a favorite weapon. You also can pick up bombs in all four games where you can use these to blast enemies and or to save yourself from their bullets. You can collect these and save them for a boss as I did or just use them to save your neck. The only game that differs slightly is Zero Wing. The bombs in Zero Wing are not collected and kept until you use them. You can only get one at a time and you can use it but it also helps if you get shot it will explode then and there taking the hit instead of you and saving you a life. Each level ends with a boss fight and Zero Wing has a few mini-bosses along the way. Each game can be beaten in about an hour or so. They are not time-consuming games and can be fun to play when you don't have much time to play.

While playing I ran into no problems and there was no input lag as it was a perfect emulation of these classic arcade games. From the music to the sound effects they all seemed to match up with the original arcade games. I hope Bitwave Games brings more classics to PC and hopefully to consoles.

Now the only thing some people may have a problem with is the price. Each game is $7.99 each or $20 for all four games. These seem a bit much for games from the late 80s early 90s but with such care being put into making these games playable and work good on modern PCs, the $20 for all four isn't a bad price.


Overall Bitwave games did an excellent job with these classics and I cannot wait to see what they do next with what will hopefully be a second collection. Shoot ‘Em Up fans shouldn't miss out on these four blasts from the past. Without games like these there would be no Shoot ‘Em Up genre. I enjoyed this collection of games.

Score: 8 out of 10


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