To celebrate their 50 years of making video entertainment - first with "amusement machines" in video arcades and later some of our favorite titles on consoles - Konami is releasing three different bundles featuring a selection of games from all those years. Each will be heading to the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One (digital downloads only) over the course of the next 6 months. The first one, Konami Anniversary Collection: Arcade Classics, arrives April 18.
The Konami Anniversary Collection: Arcade Classics includes 8 arcade titles from the 80s, when arcades were king. Here are all the games that are in that collection (co-op titles are in bold):
- Haunted Castle - the arcade version of the original Castlevania
- A Jax (aka A-Jax and Typhoon) - a shooter that alternates between top-down/vertical scrolling and on-rails. Two player couch co-op
- Gradius (aka Nemesis)
- Gradius II (aka Vulcan Venture)
- LIFE FORCE (aka Salamander) - An offshoot of the Gradius series that I remember most from the NES. Two player couch co-op
- Thunder Cross - side-scrolling shooter with two player couch co-op
- Scramble - the first side-scrolling shooter with forced screen scroll and multiple levels. According to Konami, this title later served as an inspiration for the creators of the Gradius series
- TwinBee - previously a Japan only release until the Konami Classics Series: Arcade Hits on the 3DS, this was eventually labeled as a "cute 'em up" for its more cartoon-ish aesthetics compared to other shoot 'em ups of the time. Two player couch co-op
Along with those games, you'll get a "Bonus eBook" that includes "interviews with the development staff, behind-the-scenes insights, and sketches and design documents." It's worth noting that there's a little note at the bottom of the Arcade Classics page that states "Powered by Arcade Archives," which is the moniker used by Hamster Corporation for the emulated arcade games you see pop up on various digital storefronts every other week.
Beyond the Arcade Classics collection, there will also be a Castlevania Anniversary Collection and a Contra Anniversary Collection. Only four titles have been announced for those two so far, but both are currently slated for a "Summer 2019" release. We'll get the Contra collection added to our DB just as soon as they've provided the full list of games.