I only need to hear the term ‘retro collection’ to know I want a piece of the action. A chance to play some of my childhood favourites again, or experience older games for the first time without resorting to emulation or heading up to the loft armed with a feather duster and spider catcher. 

With VISCO Collection though, it is definitely the latter; a collection of seven arcade titles that, with the greatest of respect, aren’t exactly the most well-known of video game titles. But that’s exactly why a retro compilation is a good idea here: existing fans can replay their niche favourites, and newcomers can experience games they may not otherwise have heard of.

The VISCO Collection is also a little bit more than just full of simple ports, with many of the games on offer including online multiplayer, alongside traditional local multiplayer. But in terms of extras like soundtracks, manuals and other digital extras, you may find this compilation a bit lacking.

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Shoot ’em up with the VISCO Collection

But what about the games themselves? Well, with only seven on offer, we can review them individually. For many, this will be the first time playing these games, but chances are you will have played something very similar.

First up is Andro Dunos, which is a very generic space shoot ‘em up. However, for a game that released in 1992, it has some impressive visuals.

It follows the general trend of all shoot ‘em ups: collect power-ups to increase the size or number of your bullets whilst dodging all incoming fire. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really do anything else you haven’t seen on hundreds of other shoot ‘em ups. This is one of the titles that can be played in both local and online co-op, however.

Next up – alphabetically – is Bang Bead, which is a sort of sequel to another game we’ll discuss later on. Originally released in 2000, this is also the most modern game on the compilation.

Bang Bead, along with Flip Shot, are basically modern takes on the classic Pong game, but feels a bit more like Windjammers. Players choose their character and then have seven targets to defend, whilst attacking their opponents by hitting the ball back at them. Build up enough power and you can unleash a special attack. These range from making the ball invisible for a brief period, to allowing you to curve the ball by moving the thumbstick after you hit it.

Bang Bead features seven characters with another two to unlock if you beat the game. This also features local and online, but of the versus kind this time.

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This one is just weird

Captain Tomaday wins the awards for the most bizarre game in the VISCO Collection, but also the award for Most Likely to Take All Your Money at the Arcade. You control the titular character, who can only be described as a flying tomato with arms like Rayman. Your arms are your bullets however, as you fling your hands like projectiles in this vertical scrolling shooter.

Captain Tomaday has a neat feature though. Each appendage is assigned to its own button, and the longer you leave it before throwing a punch, the more potent it will be. It is an opportunity to experiment and plan in a game that unfortunately, is far too concerned with killing you at every corner rather than allowing you to progress in a challenging but fair capacity. Playing it in local or online co-op may help, though we very much doubt it

Flip Shot is the aforementioned predecessor to Bang Bead, but is actually the better game here. It plays almost identically, but this time around your special shots can be done at any time. There are also fewer targets to hit, but the biggest change comes from the fact that all characters now have a shield to bounce the ball off, rather than slapping or kicking the ball.

Flip Shot may look and sound visually inferior to Bang Bead, but this version seems to be a little bit better in the gameplay department. Again, this features local and online versus multiplayer.

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Ganryu is another fairly generic game in this compilation. This one is a side-scrolling hack and slash game that has you fighting off against ninjas and monsters. You are armed with a sword and a grappling hook, but you can find additional items along the way.

Another tricky game, but Ganryu does reward exploration with hidden items and hostages that are worth rescuing. Similar to Andro Dunos however, you have seen hundreds of types of these games, and unfortunately, Ganryu doesn’t do anything to put it over the others.

Another sports game, but of a more traditional variety is Goal! Goal! Goal! If the title doesn’t give it away, this is a football game, but one seemingly created by those who haven’t quite grasped the rules of the sport.

You choose your team from a roster of international countries that are merely different skins for the same 11 and then have two and a half minutes to score as many goals as possible. There is no half-time, no substitutions, there isn’t even a dedicated shoot button to utilise. A draw will not be enough, you must win the game to progress to the next round.

Here is the kicker though, quite literally. You really, and I mean really, have to go out of your way to win. Running in a straight line is slower than running diagonally, so zig-zagging across the field is the optimum path. But be warned, the opposition will foul you repeatedly, with only about one in 20 actually being flagged for a free kick. It’s a bit of a mess even for an arcade representation of a football game, yet there is still a unique charm to it that makes Goal! Goal! Goal! one of the better games in this compilation. And it comes with online multiplayer too.

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Football is on the cards

Neo DriftOut: New Technology one of the more recognisable games within this compilation, and it is easy to see why it has stood the test of time over the others. It is an isometric rally racing game that has you choosing from three fictional cars, but even someone with a passing interest will be able to recognise them as classic rally cars.

Neo DriftOut starts off easy enough with a practice stage, but after that things get a lot harder. A co-driver is on-hand to warn you of most of the upcoming corners but that can only get you so far. You will need to make good use of the drift mechanics in order to beat the target times. However, if you are unable to do so, Neo DriftOut kindly lets you at least finish that particular race, you just will not be able to progress any further.

As well as online multiplayer where available, VISCO Collection comes with all the usual bells and whistles you would expect nowadays from a retro compilation: CRT filters, save slots and a bit of background info on each game.

Perhaps there is a reason that many of these games are not household favourites; they have been lost to time in amongst all the other examples of middling games that emulate each other without pushing the boundaries. There isn’t a bad game in this compilation, but there isn’t exactly a great one either; there’s nothing stand out that would cause you to buy the VISCO Collection.

If you recognise some of the titles on offer in VISCO Collection, then you may have a different experience. But I suspect much of that would come through the most rose-tinted of glasses.

Source: https://www.thexboxhub.com/visco-collection-review/