Everything is better on LaserDisc
Taito has announced that they’ve got another arcade collection on the way, but this one is extra special. The Taito LD Game Collection not only compiles but also remasters three of the publisher’s classic arcade LaserDisc games: Time Gal, Space Battleship Yamato, and Revenge of the Ninja.
If you’re unfamiliar, these games are essentially interactive movies. The most popular example is the Dragon’s Lair games. You could also look at the various FMV games that came around in the early ‘90s. Essentially, you’d watch a short clip, choose an action, then the arcade would eat your money because you chose the wrong action.
These were made popular by the LaserDisc. These were the predecessors to the CD and were the first commercially available form of optical media. Essentially, imagine a DVD, then make it grow to the size of an LP record. They were available for a time as a way of storing home video. You’d get a much better picture than you would with a VHS, but you’d have to flip the disc halfway through unless you had a particularly fancy LaserDisc player that could automatically read both sides.
Anyway, the technology was popular in arcades in the mid-80s, but it kind of lost its edge quickly once people realized they were all graphics and very little substance. We got Time Gal and Revenge of the Ninja over here in the West on the Sega CD, but I don’t think Space Battleship Yamato ever got a port.
Whatever happened to the LaserDisc?
Taito LD Game Collection currently has a release date in Japan of December 14, 2023, but nothing is mentioned about an international release. I feel like the chances are good that we’ll see it, but not guaranteed. Space Battleship Yamato has dialogue in it, for example, but it could conceivably recieve subtitles over here. We’ll just have to wait and see. And hope.
Taito has been doing a pretty excellent job preserving their back catalog. Beyond the Taito Milestone collections that compile some of Hamster’s excellent Arcade Archives ports, we just got the Ray’z Arcade Chronology by M2. Getting the Taito LD Game Collection here in the West would be a big win, so fingers crossed that we get to see it. If not, I’m 100% going to import a copy.
The Taito LD Game Collection will release on Switch in Japan on December 14, 2023. No word yet on other territories or platforms.