Dragon Blaze is Psikyo on top of its TATE shmup game. You might be a little disappointed that this strays so very close to bullet hell shmups instead of the more traditional games it made its name famous in this industry. However, 18 years on, the game remains a beautifully executed TATE shmup with a unique gameplay gimmick that goes beyond having the titular dragons as eye candy, effectively making them a core part of the high score chasing experience. You may be able to clear the whole game loop in under 30 minutes, but we very much doubt you will play it once and never touch it again. It's quite simply brilliant, addictive and another must-have shmup you need to add to your growing digital arcade Switch collection.
Namco Museum does a great job of highlighting the illustrious lineage of one of video gaming's most famous arcade companies; not only is it packed with addictive games that will keep you glued to your Switch for many weeks to come, but it boasts excellent emulation, a host of options, online leaderboards, a special challenge mode for each game and a new version of Pac-Man VS. which is sure to become the go-to party title for many Switch players. While there are a couple of titles that we'd have swapped out for other, more worthy offerings from Namco's past, you're still getting an excellent selection of games for a reasonable price here. Fingers crossed Bandai Namco will pillage the vaults for a second collection in the very near future.
The games which support TATE mode are:
- Dig Dug
- Galaga ’88
- Tower of Druaga
Punch-Out!! is not only a nostalgic slice of Nintendo’s arcade history, it just so happens to be one of the most enjoyable boxing games ever made, laying down the entire foundation not only for the whole series but for several other games adopting the ‘behind the boxer’ viewpoint. Over three decades later, it is still a joy to pick up and play, still proving to be extremely rewarding when you finally figure out your opponent's ‘tell’ and proceed to take them to the floor. Short, sweet and straight to the point, just like Mr. Sandman’s right uppercut – and the fact you can play it in TATE mode, just like the original arcade version, is brilliant.
With its single table, often obtuse mechanics and sometimes brutal difficulty, Demon's Tilt isn't going to be to everybody's tastes, but if you have even the slightest interest in pinball games then you really should check this out. While more tables would have been welcome and it's a shame that some of the visual effects have been toned down on Switch, what we have here is a game of stunning depth and complexity which rewards methodical players who aren't afraid to invest a lot of time learning all of the secrets and hidden tactics. The ability to play the game in TATE mode makes this Switch port even more appealing.
Danmaku Unlimited 3 is a brilliantly executed ‘best of’ bullet hell shmup ideas wrapped up into a phenomenal package. It is one of the best shmups money can buy. Even if you don’t particularity like shmups - or if Japanese bullet hells are not your particular favourite flavour within the genre - exposure to the insane light shows provided by this game might just turn you into a die-hard fan.
With short and snappy missions, Star Wars Pinball perfect for bursts of short play on a commute or longer sessions in search of high scores and holocron shards. Switch-exclusive features such as the Career mode, the updated Galactic Struggle, an unlockable soundtrack and support for vertical play make this a fine addition to the platform’s growing pinball library, and a silly yet authentic ode to all things Star Wars. Like fellow pinball game Demon's Tilt, TATE support is included.
This is how retro compilations should be done. Although the emulation has a few little hiccups along the way, the overall package here is wonderfully presented. Rather than just slapping a rudimentary menu over a bunch of old ROMs, it’s clear there’s been a lot of effort made here to catalogue an often forgotten period in one of Japan’s most important game developers. As with all compilations, there are a few misses, but the quality is generally high, and the supporting museum mode is an absolute treasure trove for retro enthusiasts.
The games which support TATE mode are:
- Alpha Mission
- Guerilla War
- Ikari Warriors
- Search and Rescue
- TNK III
- Victory Road
- Munch Mobile (post-launch DLC)
- Chopper I (post-launch DLC)
- Fantasy (post-launch DLC)
- Sasuke vs Commander (post-launch DLC)
- Time Soldiers (post-launch DLC)
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Mario (or rather Jumpman) may seem quite limited in his abilities (and death by a short fall is very old school), but Donkey Kong is a fun game. Tougher than the NES port it can get quite addictive as you seek to improve your high scores. Should the many re-releases of the NES version failed to have impressed, there's nothing here that will win you over, but for fans of the game, Arcade Archives Donkey Kong is something of an ultimate release. Three versions of it with a few display options and HAMSTER's usual array of modes and online leaderboards make this a great choice for fans of high score chasing games.
What do you make of our choices? Are there are any other TATE-ready games we've missed that you think should be included? Let us know with a comment below.