NICHIBUTSU ARCADE CLASSICS REVIEW - August 1996
|The oddest retro collection yet, Edge isn't
even quite sure that three of these games ever appeared in arcades.
What you get is Moon Cresta, Crazy Climber and Frisky Tom (the same games, and almost-identical versions, to the ones which appeared on the SNES collection of the same name year or so back), big coin-op names all (in Japan, anyway), but also three pseudo-sequels of uncertain origin.
SFX takes all the sound effects from Moon Cresta and puts them in a game that's like Gaplus on Valium. Tom's Strike Back is almost identical to weird voyeuristic plumb-'em-up Frisky Tom, except where the original was astonishingly easy (work out screen 1 and you'd go straight through to the end), the sequel is unbelievably difficult, as kamikaze rats divebomb you while you try to do three different things at once.
Crazy Climber '85 is both the most obvious sequel and the best game on the pack. The nightmarishly strange control system that condemned it to death in the arcades here is greatly alleviated by clever use of the Playstation's shoulder buttons, enabling the atmospheric and naturally addictive skyscraper-scaling gameplay to shine through. Nostalgics will buy this just for the opening fanfare of Moon Cresta, but students of pure gameplay (and it's relation to harsh arcade economics) won't get better research material then Crazy Climber for quite some time.