The 80s represents a time period in which gaming was rapidly changing, Atari was going through troubles, Nintendo releases the NES, and later began their battle with Sega, and arcades were everywhere. The arcade scene was very popular, and Midway took advantage of this and created some of the best and classic games ever in this time period.
This game uses itís name to present you with the games. When you put the disc in, the camera moves down into a tomb to find the treasures, hence the name, Midway Arcade Treasures; itís cheesy, but it works. Before you play a game, you are given options and instructions for it, along with other extras which reflect the game.
There are 24 classic games included on this disc. Most of the games are perfect ports and translate very well. They are all playable from the fairly easy to access menu. The games run fine, thanks to excellent translations to Xbox. This disc is loaded with some of the most unique and influential games ever, which is a very good thing for varietyís sake. One odd thing is that SpyHunter 2 is not included, because the original SpyHunter was also featured on the Xbox version of the remake. The games along with short descriptions (in alphabetical order) are as follows (bolded games are personal favorites) :
720ļ - Skateboarding game, somewhat hard to control.
Blaster - Flying space shooter game, first person view.
Bubbles - Youíre a bubble who must absorb things in a sink while avoiding hazards.
Defender - Space shooter in which you must dispatch with aliens and save captive humans.
Defender II - Sequel with roughly the same basis.
Gauntlet - ďHack Ďn slashĒ 4 player RPG style gameplay set in a medieval and mythical universe.
Joust - Fly on a buzzard and bounce on the heads of enemies in a jousting match.
Joust 2 - Sequel with the same basis, contains more options.
Klax - Puzzle game where you match colored tiles.
Marble Madness - Maneuver a fragile marble through mazes while avoiding hazards.
Paperboy - Deliver papers on your bicycle to customers while avoiding hazards.
Rampage - Play as giant mutant creatures and destroy cities.
Rampart - Medieval strategy game.
RoadBlasters - Street racing game, somewhat like Outrun.
Robotron: 2084 - Shooting game in which you must shoot in all directions to kill aliens and save humans.
Satanís Hollow - Space Invaders style game in which you must battle Satan.
Sinistar - Frantic Asteroids type game.
Smash T.V. - Similar to Robotron: 2084 in which you must shoot in all directions on a game show in which you shoot for your life to win big prizes and money.
Splat! - Throw food at your enemies in all directions
SpyHunter - Fight enemies from your spy car by using an assortment of gadgets and weapons.
Super Sprint - Fast overheard view racing game.
Root Beer Tapper - Serve root beer to all your customers as fast as you can.
Toobiní - Racing game in which you race down a stream on an inner tube.
Vindicators - Tank game, fairly complex for its time.
Itís hard to judge the graphics, because theyíre from over fifteen year old games, and they donít look like Xbox games. Although, the graphics maintain their old feel and vibrant colors that engrossed gamers many years ago. The gameís presentation and menu however is not much to look at, with the Dreamcast style menu graphics, which is pretty pitiful. There are also many video interviews, which, for the most part are incredibly bad quality, grainy, and reminiscent of some Sega CD and PS1 games.
All of your favorite beeps and boops are here, and for the most part, they all sound like they did years ago, unlike some other emulation ports like Sega Smash Pack for Dreamcast. The sound is pretty well done, but the video interviews sound somewhat washed out. The voices from the games are here as well and while not as legible as they could be, they are decent and do their job. The sound effects and retro music also aid and enhance the gameplay, with the unique sound that is fairly easy to recognize.
The games usually require few buttons, and sometimes it feels weird on the Xbox controller. You are usually given the option to move with both the joystick and dpad, depending on your preference. Since the games require so few buttons for the most part, they are very easy to pick up and play. For the most part the controls work fine and function the way that they should, but other times, the game just does not work well with the Xbox controller, which severely damages the quality of the gameplay experience.
The replay of this depends on what kind of a gamer you are. If you love retro stuff, this gameís for you, and youíll be enjoying marathons of classic gaming all the time. However, if youíre like a lot of people, these types of games just arenít for you, and they may be worth playing once or twice to check out, but youíll probably be back playing regular Xbox games in no time. Some games playtime can be extended thanks to multiplayer, like Joust and Gauntlet, which is good that if these games had multiplayer, then they include it. A lot of games have extra content, like interview, concept art, history, and other tidbits about the game, while others have next to nothing. Itís a good feature that Midway included background information about the games, but all of the games shouldíve had a substantial amount, instead of just selective ones. One exclusive feature to the Xbox version is the ability to go on Xbox Live and post your high scores for your games, while itís not much, itís certainly better than nothing. A lot of people will probably just brush this feature off, while others will unleash their competitive side and try their hardest to achieve a high score and get noticed. It wouldíve been better if you could play games against or with other people, like people have been doing with emulators for years, but unfortunately, scoreboards is the only Xbox Live feature present.
This is a hard game to review, mainly because itís made of classic games and it canít be reviewed the way that other Xbox games are. On one hand, itís always nice to see classic games properly emulated on consoles, along with extras, especially when itís done well. On the other hand, some of these games arenít their best versions, some games donít hold up well, and others just donít work with the Xbox controller. The Xbox version is the best version, yet again, but itís not a major selling point or anything to brag about. Since this game is a budget title, it makes the choice on whether or not to pick it up a lot easier. Unlike some other arcade/classic compilations, this one has lots of features, instead of just being a rushed, half-assed product, a lot of work went into this. I feel that 24 games, developer interviews, plus background and extra information on all of them, in addition to Xbox Live scoreboards is well worth the $20 MSRP that this game retails for. If you enjoy classic games, or if you want to catch up on a lot of classics that you maybe missed out on, then this is your chance.
Gameplay - 8.7
Graphics - 7.0
Audio - 7.4
Controls - 8.1
Replay - 8.5
Overall - 8.3
Edited by Barnolde, 18 May 2004 - 07:30 PM.