Konami 88 Review

Konami 88 Review

Konami 88 stands as evidence that shoot-em-ups can succeed despite what many may believe about their genre.

This collection presents MSX versions of Konami arcade games that were previously available via Arcade Archive ports; many have held their place on industry charts for extended periods.


Konami 88 remains an enjoyable and satisfying experience despite being unfinished; its pace, button-mashing tolerance, and length make it well suited to quick sessions of play. Konami clearly wanted to experiment with multi-event game formula they helped shape; there are signs of this success with Iron Man Race and Firing Range events being particularly noteworthy examples of their efforts here.

However, many of the other sequences can be extremely frustrating and require many attempts before progressing. Furthermore, most character interactions feature voiced dialogue which really adds nothing substantial to gameplay.

Konami ’88 Games, released as Hyper Sports Special in Japan and ’88 Games in North America, is loosely inspired by the 1988 Olympics. Players compete in several Olympic-inspired events like 100m Dash, Long Jump, 400m Relay, Skeet Shooting, 110m Hurdles Archery & Javelin Throw. Each event has specific objectives which must be accomplished to claim gold; either by racing against time or beating specific score targets; which appear similar to Rush’n Attack except without its tight controls, manageable enemies & special weapons that made Rush’n Attack such a classic!


One of the many features that makes this game appealing is its stunning graphics. Utilizing MSX’s capabilities, each level boasts richly detailed backgrounds and characters which create an immersive atmosphere in every level, as vibrant colors highlight action-filled levels. Furthermore, sound effects play an essential part of playing this game; from bullets bouncing off metal machinery to hits to bosses; their audio contributes significantly towards an unforgettable gaming experience.

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Some of the games in this compilation are organized conversions of arcade games. For instance, The 88 Games is an Olympic-inspired sports game where players compete in eight events to claim victory. For instance, in 100 Meter Dash mode you must hit your fire buttons alternatingly to successfully finish race – graphics are beautifully designed including other athletes warming up for each race as you complete it successfully – though one drawback would have been adding crowd noise for an authentic feel.

Another noteworthy visual feature of this game is its incorporation of ads for other Konami games – something MSX developers frequently used as they recognized the value of including advertising within their titles.


Konami 88 offers eight classic games carefully chosen to form a compelling collection. Not to be mistaken with other early MSX game collections, every title in Konami 88 holds some kind of value that will appeal to gamers.

The collection kicks off with ’88 Games, an Olympic track and field game designed to test a player’s ability to press two fire buttons quickly alternating, in a fast rhythmic rhythm in order to successfully compete in various Olympic events. Once players deposit coins they begin counting down until their first event – 100m Dash – which they must clear before moving on to other events such as Long Jump.

While the graphics in ’88 Games may be minimal, their sound design is quite sophisticated. Utilizing a switch capacitor audio filter (SCAF), which enables sound effects manipulation by CPU, each AY chip contains two capacitors (0.047uF and 0.220uF) that can be switched into audio path, providing four possible filter capacitance configurations to choose from for sound designer use.

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Time Pilot and Moon Patrol were early Konami MSX releases that utilized this solution, too. According to estimates, an approximately 20-person team was responsible for creating each game using this system; which could explain why Konami produced such an abundance of MSX games so quickly.


Originating as Hyper Sports Special in Japan and later North America as 88 Games, this video game challenges players to compete in an array of Olympic events using only their skill and speed. After depositing a coin, play begins with the 100 Meter Dash where two fire buttons must be press in an alternating rhythm in order to beat both your competition and timer.

Once players have mastered this event, they can move on to the long jump where they must dash to the starting line and propel themselves as far as possible from there. This event was particularly challenging since its digital voice counted down time as players offtracked themselves from it.

Combat School offers impressive sound effects, featuring metal machines clinking when players press buttons frantically to blast away zombies. Meanwhile, its amazing music helps immerse the player into character as an elite commando; getting them ready for each stage like the jungle, waterfall, snowfield or base.