Taito Milestones 2 – Review
Follow Genre: Arcade collection
Developer: Taito, Hamster Corporation
Publisher: ININ Games, United Games Entertainment
Platform: Switch
Tested on: Switch

Taito Milestones 2 – Review

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Good: Emulation remains as good as before
Bad: Japan-only ROMs haven't been translated
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Last year, we took a look at Taito Milestones, a collection of arcade games that curiously omitted the Taito games that most people would actually consider milestones, like Arkanoid or Space Invaders. Instead, we got a seemingly random selection of titles that felt like a quick attempt at cashing in on the inherent need of completionists to add Qix to their library. As such, we were a little skeptical when ININ Games announced that they’d be releasing Taito Milestones 2, but we were also more than willing to give this second collection a chance. After all, there are still plenty of gems in Taito’s vaults. Is Taito Milestones 2 a step in the right direction or is it subject to the same pitfalls as its predecessor?

Once again, we’re getting a selection of ten arcade titles from Taito’s enormous back catalog. This time around, the titles include Kiki Kaikai, The NewZealand Story, Metal Black, Gun & Frontier, Ben Bero Beh, The Legend of Kage, Liquid Kids, Darius II, Solitary Fighter, and Dino Rex. These titles hail from a slightly different time than the ones we saw in the first Milestones collection. Milestones 2 covers the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, whereas the previous collection focused on the early-to-mid ‘80s for the most part. Notably absent again are those real big hitters like Space Invaders and Bubble Bobble, leading to the question of what Taito considers a milestone. This rings especially true given that some of the games included here weren’t even considered very good when they originally debuted. Dino Rex is a very good example of this, as evidenced by the game’s own Wikipedia page. In fact, it seems that even Taito themselves aren’t overly enthusiastic about this collective release, as the eShop description for the game only describes half of the included games in detail, with the other half just listed as “also included”.

Just like with the previous Milestones collection, the majority of the included titles are available as standalone releases through Arcade Archives on the Nintendo eShop. Given that those separate releases come in at €6.99 each, you are saving some money by picking up Taito Milestones 2, with the caveat that you’d need to actually want at least six of the games included here. Three of the games (Darius II, Dino Rex, and Solitary Fighter) are exclusive to the collection, so once again completionists that jumped the gun on the Arcade Archive releases are forced to double dip. It’s a controversial practice that doesn’t sit easily with us, but Taito is hardly the only one doing this, as we’ve seen a similar thing with SNK’s Neo Geo Pocket Color Selection collections.

Perhaps the most enticing title in the collection is the exclusive Darius II, given the enduring popularity of the Darius games. Even so, we’d actually go as far as to say that cutesy platformer The NewZealand Story is a much more enjoyable game. As far as the rest of the collection goes, the games included here range from decent (Kiki Kaikai) to outright bad (the aforementioned Dino Rex), and the overall appeal of the collection is further diminished by the lack of variety, especially compared to the wider range of genres covered by the previous set. Of the ten games included in Milestones 2, four are shoot ‘em ups and two are fighting games. As a result, Milestones 2 feels more action-oriented and more focused, but we’d rather have seen some more outlandish titles included here instead.

As expected, the emulation quality itself is top-notch, so there are no complaints here in that regard. That said, we’re still clamoring for digitized manuals and other extras that would justify the existence of the collection as a preservation medium. A concept art gallery or soundtrack player would have gone a long way here, as evidenced by the Ninja JaJaMaru Collection. We should also note that no effort was put into translating games that didn’t have an English translation yet, so if you were hoping to play a localized version of Liquid Kids, you’re out of luck. Not translating Japanese roms is yet another practice that is becoming increasingly common, and while retro enthusiasts may not have an issue with swapping back and forth between a translated manual and a game, most casual players will not find this acceptable. We can’t exactly fault ININ for handling things in this way, as Milestones 2 gives players exactly the same as the first collection, just with a different selection of games. It would appear that the first Milestones collection was successful enough to warrant a follow-up. Still, we’re hoping for an eventual Milestones 3 to redeem itself, either by including a bona fide classic selection of games or by including some extras that make it feel like more than a ROM dump.


With Taito Milestones 2, Taito had the opportunity to fix some of the shortcomings of the first collection, but once again, they took a handful of previously released Arcade Archive titles, threw in a handful of “new” ones, and called it a day. We have to ask who the target audience for this Milestones collection is. The fact that the highly desirable Darius II is locked behind a €39.99 paywall will likely not sit well with fans of that series, and fans of retro arcade games probably already have the majority of these titles in their library. Last but not least, many of the games included here simply didn’t stand the test of time enough to appeal to a mainstream audience. That’s without even taking into account that several of the ROMs weren’t even translated. If the first Milestones collection felt like a cynical cash grab, then this one feels like a deliberate attempt to see how many people will be fooled again.

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