irem collection volume 1 review cover

IREM Collection Volume 1: Review

The initial release of IREM Collection Volume 1 marks the beginning of a series of arcade title collections brought to you by ININ and Ratalaika in partnership with IREM and Tozai Games. This inaugural collection features three games: Image Fight, Image Fight II: Operation Deepstriker, and X Multiply. You can get your hands on this collection starting from November 21, 2023, on various gaming platforms including Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Nintendo Switch.

The initial entry in this compilation is Image Fight, a vertically scrolling shooter. It was initially launched in 1988 on arcade machines and was later made available on NES/Famicom and PC Engine. In the IREM Collection Volume 1, we can explore all four versions, allowing us to observe the variations across various platforms.

irem collection volume 1 screenshot 1

In Image Fight, we pilot a ship that can be enhanced with Pods. These Pods come in two colors, red and blue, and each color represents a different type of attack. Additionally, there are other upgrades available, like the Force, which not only grants us various weapons but also acts as a protective shield in case of a collision.

The collection reintroduces a game that would otherwise be hard to find, Image Fight II: Operation Deepstriker, which was originally released only for the PC Engine in 1992. This game is the sequel to Image Fight and features similar gameplay mechanics.

irem collection volume 1 screenshot 2

X Multiply is the third title in the collection. Unlike the other two titles, it is a horizontal scrolling shoot’em up game. It was released in 1989 on arcade. The collection offers both the original version released in Japan and the version specifically made for the rest of the world.

IREM Collection Volume 1 offers three significant video game presented in a unique manner on the screen. It provides two game modes: standard and arcade. The arcade mode follows an old-school style of play with no assistance, limited lives and dip switch settings. On the other hand, the standard mode allows us to utilize certain aids like rewinding, status saves, and cheats to reduce the difficulty. Moreover, visual filters can be applied to all modes, enabling us to recreate the cathode ray tube effect, for instance.

irem collection volume 1 screenshot 3

Even though it’s admirable that ININ and Ratalaika have made the effort to bring these previously exclusive Japanese console games to Xbox Series X|S, we were slightly let down by the limited selection of games in the collection, especially given the price of €24.99/24.99 US$.

The price doesn’t make sense considering there’s no extra content in the collection. We were hoping for at least a synopsis or some information about each game. Instead, all we get is a menu with no details. It feels like they’re excluding people who aren’t familiar with these games, making it a product only for nostalgic fans.

Our verdict

We would expected a collection that would appeal to both nostalgic gamers and newcomers. It would have been preferable to have more titles and greater attention to detail, especially considering the price

60/100

Pros

  • Three milestones of gaming
  • The standard mode provide aids

Cons

  • Only three games
  • No context
  • Poor attention to details

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