Throughout the years, Midway has developed and released numerous arcade games that many people know and love. With all these classic titles under their belt, Midway has once again decided to repackage and sell some more of these games to fans and nostalgia buffs alike. This year’s Midway Arcade Treasures Volume 2 is much improved over Volume 1, containing a nice interface and some games exhibiting a little more in the way of complexity. A few of these games are more recent releases from Midway as well as some releases from Atari, which Midway had acquired a while back. While the extras are a little lacking, and there are a few really bad games included, the collection has some great value and gameplay for its asking price.
Many genres are represented for gamers on Arcade Treasures Volume 2 including driving, shooting, action, fighting, and sports. The games range from 1-4 player, alternating between cooperative and versus – and they are as follows:
Wacko is a shooter where you try to match two similar aliens and shoot them both for a kill.
Pit Fighter is a 3-player co-op brawler with digitized graphics.
Primal is a fighting game in which you control what looks like stop motion animation dinosaurs.
Rampage World Tour is the sequel to Rampage and is a 3-player co-op action game in which you control monsters and wreck havoc and destruction on a city.
Spy Hunter 2, also a sequel and less successful than its predecessor, is a top-down, split-screen, 2-player co-op driving game.
Timber is a 2 player ?vs.’ game were the players try to chop down trees as quickly as possible.
Total Carnage is a shooter that is very similar to a top-down view version of Contra.
Xybots is said to be the first ever third-person shooter.
Wizard of Wor is a maze game in which you shoot monsters.
Xenophobe is a 3-player co-op game where players exterminate aliens on a spaceship.
APB is a top-down view driving game giving you control of a police car; the object of the game being to issue as many tickets as possible.
Arch Rivals is a basketball game.
Champion Sprint is kind of like R.C. Pro Am.
Cyberball 2072 is a futuristic football game.
Gauntlet 2 is a 4-player co-op hack and slash.
Hard Driving is a 3D driving game.
Kosmik Krooz’r is a shooter.
Narc is a side-scrolling shooter in which you kill drug dealers.
And last, but not least, there’s?
Mortal Kombat 2 and Mortal Kombat 3, the infamous fighting games.
Some of the games are simple, involving only a few buttons used for shooting. However, there are also more in-depth titles, like the included Mortal Kombat games, with their special move combinations and secrets. Most players will be happy to know that all the games’ control schemes are mapped out pretty well on the Xbox’s controller. There is also an option to change the controls to whatever style suites you. Another plus is that either the analog stick or digital pad can be used in all the games.
Many of the titles come with their respective set of options, which can be changed by pressing the ?X’ button while over the game’s icon at the game select screen. Also, there are some options that can be changed in-game by pressing Start. Most, if not all, games give you the ability to set the difficulty and the number of continues (default is infinite). An auto-save feature saves all changes directly to the hard-drive as well as scores gained in the games. These scores can be uploaded to a scoreboard via Xbox Live. This is one area where Arcade Treasures Volume 2 is a letdown. It would have been a better use of Xbox Live to allow for online play in the games. Getting four people together to play Gauntlet 2 could be impossible for some people, and Mortal Kombat 2 online could have made for some awesome old-school arcade competition.
The emulation of the games on Xbox is surprisingly good and close to the originals, which is probably what many classic gamers have worried about. The display looks good and there is even an option to resize the screen – if needed. This is not to say that the games are perfect. There are a few minor problems, especially on the more hardware intensive games like the Mortal Kombat series and Primal. More specifically, Mortal Kombat 2 and 3 have slight glitches where character shadows are often either missing or strobe. There are a few more glitches in some of the other games, but none of these really detract from the overall playing experience. When playing MK2, you will barely notice anything wrong because the game plays almost perfectly. The sound suffers just slightly in MK3, where a sound cuts out abruptly at the end of a battle or plays for too long after a fatality. The background music also seems too low and the sound effects too loud on certain stages. Other than that, the audio in this collection emulates well and should satisfy long-time fans of the games.
This collection is highly recommended to anyone who is a fan of Midway’s considerable classics library, or is just looking for a trip down memory lane. The extras are minimal – a brief history of the game, scans of a promo poster, boring short interviews with creators, a few videos, and the Xbox Live scoreboard. And, yes, there are some bad games, such as Wizard of Wor and Pit Fighter. But there are also numerous goods ones, such as Mortal Kombat 2, Mortal Kombat 3, Narc, Gauntlet 2, Cyberball 2072 and Arch Rivals. Many people will be buying this for the MK series alone, since no real perfect port of the original games has ever been released. To those fans, you will not be disappointed, even though the games are not exactly arcade perfect. However, the other games in Arcade Treasures Volume 2 are just as worthy and fun. And not to mention that the $20USD price tag for 20 arcade games is tremendous value and will keep many gamers busy for quite some time.