Tom Hanks has a lot to answer for. Films about talking to Volleyballs, living in an airport concourse and leading a platoon of soldiers to their death just to deliver a letter have brought him numerous gongs and induced a few good kips. But he almost got it right in one of his high profile movies. Sat at a bus stop wearing ill-fitting trousers and looking exactly like my old geography teacher, he delivered a line that pretty much sums up any compilation (be it music, games or anything else). Tom eulogised "Life is like a box of chocolates", which is wrong, but we get the sentiment. Everyone knows that a box of chocolates is for special occasions or to make up for some indiscretion, so the saying should really have been a little more accessible. I therefore prefer to go with "Life is like a bag of Revels". And so is Konami Arcade Classics.
A competent repackaging of a 1999 PlayStation compilation, with a lovely 50% extra thrown in (adding up to a total of 15 games, instead of the PSOne's 10), Classics charts the early years at Konami ranging from 1982's Scramble to 1987's Contra (or Gryzor). The package contains all the usual extras such as information on the games, pictures of the game board and scans of the control sheets to ensure you know how to play. As some of the games are vertical and others horizontal, it's possible to choose from various orientations and multiplayer options on some games which, from a single cartridge, is a nice feature. But with any retro collection, we're only really interested in two questions: Are the classic games we really want included, and do they still play well today? The answer (as always) is yes and no to both questions. Let's delve into the packet of Revels and see what delights we find:
Orange Creams - These are the ones you bite into and then politely spit back out into your hand and feed to the dog.