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Konami Antiques MSX Collection Ultra Pack

Reviewed by: Yashiro NanakaseMedia: CD
Released by: KonamiStatus: out of print
Platform: Sega SaturnNumber of games: 30
Year released: 1998Players: 1-2 (alternating)

Games included:
GradiusGradius 2G II: Ambition of GoferSalamanderParodiusTime PilotSuper CobraSky JaguarTwinbeeMopiranger
Antartic AdventurePenguin AdventureYie-Ar Kung FuYie-Ar Kung Fu 2Athletic LandMagical TreeKnightmareComic BakeryPippolsKing's Valley
Konami's BoxingKonami's Ping PongHyper Sports 2Hyper Sports 3Konami's GolfKonami's BilliardsKonami's TennisKonami's SoccerKonami RallyRoad Fighter

Looks like around 1995/96 almost every major video game company decided to start bringing back their classics in some way or another. By the way, Nintendo, we're still waiting for you to do the same. Namco created their Museum series, Sega Ages came around, Capcom created Capcom Generations, and Konami made the Deluxe Packs. Konami also recognized the fact that they truly got their start on the classic MSX home computer, and they capitalized on this fact a few years later by compiling the Konami Antiques MSX Collection Ultra Pack.
Penguin Adventure: Well, that heart's gone.

Now, most MSX games would not look out of place on the NES (especially since some made their way to the NES, such as Hyper Sports/Track & Field). This really makes me want to see an NES collection on the Gamecube, but I digress.Konami managed to pack a whopping 30 games on this one disc. And you thought Activision Classics for PSX had a lot of games on it. One thing I noticed about this package: This has got to be a classic shooter fan's wet dream. You get Gradius, Gofer's Ambition, Gradius 2, Parodius, Salamander, Twinbee, and Time Pilot, for starters.
King's Valley: Ever try to fend off mummies with just a pickaxe? Now's your chance!

A lot of other classic Konami arcade games are on here, such as Yie Ar Kung-Fu (and the sequel), Road Fighter, and Antarctic Adventure (and the sequel, Penguin Adventure). Also looks like Konami's entire MSX sports catalog is on here (Boxing, Tennis, Hyper Sports 2 & 3, Ping Pong, Billiards, Konami Rally), as well as some obscure gems (Comic Bakery, Knightmare, Mopiranger) and some filler titles (Magical Tree, Athletic Land, Pippols). You may notice that a lot of the big name MSX titles are missing. Among them: Vampire Killer [the MSX's Castlevania], Contra, Snatcher, Metal Gear, and perhaps the biggest disappointment, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. Who knows why Konami didn't include them? It's not like they had another MSX ultra pack planned.
Yie-Ar Kung Fu: Oh, right in the dingy!

As for actual playability...for the sake of space, I'm not going to go into intimate detail regarding the playability of every single game on this compilation. Let me say that Parodius, Salamander, Yie Ar Kung-Fu 1 & 2, Penguin Adventure, Hyper Sports 2 and Knightmare are worth the purchase price. There are plenty of other great games (and a few bad ones, of course) but those titles are what makes it worthwhile to me. With such great classic gameplay, and 30 games to choose from, it will be a long time before this title gets boring to you. Excellent for video game history buffs who aren't independently wealthy and can't afford an MSX and all these games.
Gradius 2: Double missiles come in quite handy here.

Worth the purchase: If you want a peek into Konami's MSX library and can't afford an MSX, yes.

Diversity: Here's where the comp shines. There's a little of everything here.

Playability: Konami, as usual, doesn't disappoint. All the games control exceptionally well.

Hidden gems: There are quite a few, namely King's Valley, Magical Tree, Comic Bakery and Knightmare.