I don’t know as much as I might pretend to know about video games, but I do know that they were once a whole lot simpler, where the only objective was to rack up the highest score and type your initials on the screen as a testament to your greatness. Midway Arcade Treasures 2 takes us to those simpler times and reminds us why classics are considered such because they stand the test of time and can still be fun to this day, but it also does more, it reminds us that a lot of those old arcade games were wastes of our quarters. Had we only known as much when we were feeding those infernal machines, we’d have our initials at the tops of all those good games. Midway Arcade Treasures 2 (MAT2) takes you through a virtual history tour of a good sized selection of their games, including A.P.B., Arch Rivals, Championship Sprint, Cyberball 2072, Gauntlet 2, Hard Drivin’, Kozmik Krooz’r, Mortal Kombat 3, Mortal Kombat II, NARC, Pit Fighter, Primal Rage, Rampage World Tour, Spy Hunter 2, Timber, Total Carnage, Wacko, Wizard of Wor, Xenophobe and Xybots. So, if you’re in the mood to go retro than this is a good place to start because for a budget priced game you’ll get some of the all time classics all on one disc.
Since this is a collection of titles and it would take me years to write about every games visuals individually, I’ll just say that each game looks just like their arcade counterpart did. Take that for what it is because Mortal Kombat II, while looking a little dated still looks good and MK3 looks even better, but games like Arch Rivals and Rampage World Tour look really ancient. Games like Timber retain the Atari age signature look of a five color palette, and even that fifth color might be generous. Remember seeing Pit Fighter in the arcade when it was new? It was state of the art; the guys fighting looked real, now they just look really bad, pixilated and grainy. Then there is NARC, the images in that game probably haunted many a child in its day, staining their dreams with images of drug addicts throwing used needles at them and criminals dressed as clowns; it’s back just in time to make you go back into the therapy you just came out of. If you’re looking for state of the art visuals, you won’t find them here.
Audio wise, the same issues plague Midway Arcade Treasures 2 that plagues the visuals, namely: they’re really old. The oldest games suffer the worst, but they all suffer in the end. The music and audio would be good, if we were playing these games in their prime, but we’re not, so the audio suffers. No majestic orchestral scores, just some “beeps”, “boops”, and a “Fatality” here and there. I’m not sure you can expect much more from a retro game collection.
One of the things that makes most of these games classic is the controls. There was a time when the arcade joystick was the perfect controller, now that one can get that same joystick at home it’s a different story. For the most part the controls are good, but there are a couple games that are a little off due to the fact that the arcade offered up a different type of controller, be it a wheel or otherwise. Playing these games can be fun, but it’s probably not as fun to play a game like Championship Sprint or Test Drive without the wheel. Also, fighting games always suffer because of the button layout on the arcade cabinet versus the console controller. Other than that the game plays well, some games don’t hold up as well as others in the gameplay department, but overall they’re solid.
What is cool about Midway Arcade Treasures 2 is that each game can support as many players as its arcade counterpart could, so you can have three players in Pit Fighter, or four players in Arch Rivals. Of course even the most mediocre titles can be fun with good multiplayer and there are plenty of titles to choose from here, so there is no lack of options. The downside is that most people have better titles in their current collection. Still, though, if you’re jonesing for some retro gaming action, Midway Arcade Treasures 2 is as good a place to start as any.
The best part about retro gaming is the sense of nostalgia you get when playing. Playing a game that you fondly remember from your youth can often be a great feeling, so in that way MAT2 definitely succeeds. Not only do you get to play the games you loved during your younger days, but there’s plenty more bonus features here, too. You’ll get making of videos along with behind the scenes looks and more for every game, so there are plenty of extras for those interested in the making of games. You’ll find that there is a lot to love on this disc.
The best parts about Midway Arcade Treasures 2 also tends to be the parts that drag the disc down. Namely, I’m referring to the old and un-fun games, the stuff like Timber, Arch Rivals, Pit Fighter, Wizard of Wor, Wacko, and a couple others. About half of the games here are worthy and the other half are filler for the disc, but at $20 for 20 games it’s not a bad deal. Graphics, sound and gameplay are all outdated, but if you’re buying this or thinking about buying this you already have an inkling of what you’re getting into, so you obviously won’t mind.
If you like to reminisce over the old times when games didn’t require memory cards and 60 hours of playing time than Midway Arcade Treasures 2 is probably a wise choice to pick up. If there are any games you like here, then by all means, one dollar per game is a very tempting deal for a compilation disc like this. Happy retro gaming!
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