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[Nintendo Switch] VISCO Collection Review

[Nintendo Switch] VISCO Collection Review
EdEN
  • On November 24, 2023

VISCO Collection from QUByte Interactive and Pixelheart brings us seven old-school games in one neat package. Learn more in our VISCO Collection review!

 

VISCO Collection from QUByte Interactive and Pixelheart brings us seven old-school games in one neat package. VISCO is a video game company that was founded in Japan way back in 1982. The company has released many games during its history for the NEO GEO – both MVS and AES versions -the NEO GEO CD, arcades, and even home consoles like the NES, the Super Famicom (that would be the Japanese version of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System), the Sega Mega Drive (the Japanese/European name for what most of us know as the Sega Genesis), and even the Nintendo 64 and the Sega Dreamcast.

It’s now 2023, and the VISCO Collection takes us back with seven games in different genres, available for both those of you who got to play them back when they were released, as well as to new generations who are finding them for the first time. What are the seven titles we’re getting in this collection? They are Andro Dunos, Bang Bead, Captain Tomaday, Flip Shot, Ganryu, Goal! Goal! Goal! and Neo DriftOut. All games allow you to save your progress at any time thanks to a handy suspend state feature, and you can even create or search for an online lobby to play Andro Dunos, Captain Tomaday, Flip Shot, Bang Bead, or Goal! Goal! Goal!.

Andro Dunos is a sidescrolling shoot ’em up that was originally released in 1992 by SNK for the NEO GEO MVS and NEO GEO AES. For those of you who are new to the NEO GEO scene, the NEO GEO MVS was the arcade version of the hardware, while the NEO GEO AES was the home console version. Games were released in cartridges for both systems, but they were not compatible with each other since they used different cartridge shells – although there were ways to use a converter for this wink-wink, nudge-nudge.

VISCO Collection Review - Andro Dunos

As expected of an old-school game like Andro Dunos, the story goes like this: it’s the future, and an alien race has gone on an invasion spree. It’s up to you to pilot one of two spacecraft – the Yellow Cherry or the Red Fox – to give it your all and try to save humankind before it’s too late. I got to review the 2022 sequel on PlayStation 4, the aptly titled Andro Dunos 2, but I never got to play the original game, so I was definitely up for checking this one out!

 

You’ll control your spaceship with the left analog stick or the D-Pad, shooting with the A button. You can also press and hold down the button for a charge shot that will deal more damage. This is a risk-and-reward option since that weapon’s power will be lowered when you use a charge attack. Did I mention you can boost each weapon’s power by grabbing some power-ups? That’s weapons plural. What made Andro Dunos different from other shoot ’em ups is that you could change the weapon type by pressing the B button.

Next up is 1997’s Flip Shot, which the studio sums up as a new take on the classic game of Pong. What this means is that you’ll be selecting a character and working on hitting back a ball so that you can destroy your opponent’s targets before they manage to do the same for yours. Whoever destroys all targets first is the one who wins. The controls are simple and to the point since you’ll move your character with the left analog stick or the D-Pad as you wait for the ball to come into contact with your character to bounce it back. You can dash with the B button and can use a special attack with the A button.

VISCO Collection Review - Bang Bead

Flip Shot also led to the release of another game in this collection: Bang Bead, which launched in 2000. The premise remains the same, but we get new characters to play as while trying to destroy all targets on the other side of the screen while protecting our own targets. What else is new in Bang Bead when compared to Flip Shot? Well, controls have been reworked a bit, so you’ll have to press the A button to hit the ball back, with your character’s special attack now mapped to the Y button. You’ll still be able to dash by pressing the B button as needed so that you can try to hit back the ball before it destroys one of your targets.

Captain Tomaday, which was released for the NEO GEO in the year 1999, is a vertical shoot ’em up in which you’ll get to play as the titular superhero tomato who must save the day! This Neo Geo arcade game had you using said tomato’s fists as projectiles to defeat enemies and bosses along the way. It’s a game that, at times, reminded me of TwinBee from Konami, which launched in 1985 in Japan.

 

For this game, you’ll control your character with the left analog stick or the D-Pad as you try to avoid enemies and their attacks. You can use the A button to attack with your left punch and the B button to attack with your right one. If you punch with only one fist three times in a row, Captain Tomaday will charge up his special attack with the other fist so that when you attack, you can unleash a powerful anvil punch that will deal a lot of damage. You can change formation with the Y button, which will move around your clone character if you’ve managed to collect that particular power-up.

VISCO Collection Review - Captain Tomaday

What makes this one weirdly interesting is that as you collect mutation items, your character will change shape! You can turn into, for example, turn into a tiny version of Captain Tomaday, which is not that weird. But then you could end up changing into a green lizard that will use its extremely large tongue to attack enemies. Who knows, you might even turn into a monkey, thus forcing you to throw bananas at your enemies! And yes, there are still some more bizarre transformations for you to find.

Ganryu is a 2D sidescrolling hack and slash action game that was also released for the NEO GEO in 1999. This is another one that had a recent sequel on modern consoles, with Ganryu 2 – Hakuma Kojiro available on Nintendo Switch. You’ll be taking on the role of Miyamoto Musashi or Suzume on a journey set in Japan, as you destroy all enemies and bosses foolish enough to stand on your path. Your goal is to rescue Otsu, the one true love of Miyamoto and Suzume’s sister, who has been kidnapped by an evil ninja clan.

VISCO Collection Review - Ganryu

Once you start to play, you’ll control your character with the left analog stick or the D-Pad, jumping around with the B button and attacking with the A button. The Y button can be used to launch your chain, which can be attached to things so that you can then press the Y button again to move through the air. If you press down on the D-Pad or the left analog stick and the B button at the same time, your character will slide.

 

Goal! Goal! Goal! is a 1995 Neo Geo release that, if the game hasn’t clued you in, is a soccer game – the sport known as football to most of the world, but with an arcade twist. You’ll be able to select from the many different international teams (America, Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia, Holland, Belgium, Ireland, Spain, Morocco, Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Switzerland, Nigeria, Italy, Cameroon, Norway, Sweden, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Korea, Japan, France, England, and Uruguay), as you give it your all to beat your opponents. Matches are fast-paced and last a couple of minutes, so you’ll quickly be dribbling past opponents as you pass the ball down to a teammate who can score the winning goal.

Each team will have different stat values for you to consider for kick, defense, and speed. Once you’ve selected the team you’ll be playing as the next step will be to choose your three-letter name. Once that’s been taken care of, you’ll have to select the formation for your team, with the options being 4-4-2, 3-4-3, 4-2-4, 5-3-2, 4-3-3, and 3-5-2. What this means is how many of your players will be set as defenders, midfielders, and strikers.

VISCO Collection Review - Goal Goal Goal

You’ll be controlling your squad one player at a time by using the left analog stick or the D-Pad. Once you have the ball, you can pass it to a teammate with the B button. You can also kick the ball with the A button or perform a short kick with the Y button. If you press and hold down the A and B buttons, you can perform a special shot. When you don’t have the ball, you’ll be able to try to tackle an opponent by pressing the B button. You can also try to slide to gain possession of the ball by pressing the A button. Just be careful that you don’t end up committing a foul!

The last game in this collection is Neo Drift Out: New Technology. This one was released in 1996, and it follows Drift Out 94′, Drift Out 94′: The Harder Order, and Super Drift Out, which were released in 1991, 1994, and 1995. For this one, you’ll be taking on a rally racing experience from an isometric perspective. It’s an arcade game, so we’re getting an arcade-style take on racing, so you won’t be going down the sim route with this one.

Choosing one of the available rally cars will determine how the next race goes. Each car will have different values for speed, control, and body for you to consider so that they can match your playing style. There’s the Raffinato, the Stellare, and the Fencer as your options. Once you jump in, you’ll steer your vehicle with the left analog stick or the D-Pad as you accelerate with the A button and break as needed with the B button.

You can customize your experience with the VISCO Collection by going into the settings menu. Along with selecting the master volume and music volume balance, you can also choose the filter to be applied to a game’s look. Your options are Original, CRT – for that old-school CRT TV look from way back in the day – or apply the Smooth filter, which will give everything a more modern look. You can also change between a 4:3 presentation with the action in the middle of your screen, a Fit option that makes the screen in the middle bigger, or the Stretch option that, as the name suggests, will stretch the image to fit your entire screen. Granted, that last one is not going to be for everyone, but at least you have options!

VISCO Collection brings us seven old-school games in one neat package. There’s some good variety here variety in this one since you’re getting a pair of shoot ’em ups, a 2D action platformer, two “gotta destroy all of my opponent’s targets ASAP” games, a soccer game, and one racer, so there’s bound to be something in here for you to enjoy. I would have liked it to have some extras thrown in – some concept art or an interview with the developers would have been appreciated – but that’s about the one complaint I have. VISCO Collection is out on Nintendo Switch with a $19.99 price tag, making it an easy one to recommend.

Disclaimer
This VISCO Collection review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by QUByte Interactive.

Review Overview

A fun collection of seven VISCO games from back in the day
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Rating