One of the benefits of getting older is the accumulated wisdom acquired with age. You learn things like not to eat yellow snow, buy low sell high, and that things were always more interesting when you were younger. You can say things like “Back in my day, we didn’t have any of this fancy 3D rendering technologies and physics engines…we had sprites driven graphics and we liked it.”. Statements like this cause younger gamers to roll their eyes and focus back to fighting the Convenant. That was the case until we had the recent wave of gamer nostalgia and game companies realized that Gen-X gamers spend a good deal of their discretionary income on ported version of the arcade games that they great up with.
Midway has already capitalized on this growing trend with one package of classics and they’re back again with another selection of classic arcade games. This time around Midway has dusted off the following titles for inclusion in the collection:
A. P. B.
Mortal Kombat II
Mortal Kombat 3
Rampage World Tour
Spy Hunter II
Wizard of Wor
There’s a little something for everyone in this pack but especially if you’re a fan of fighting games. The inclusion of the two Mortal Kombat games, Primal Rage, and Pit Fighter is a boon for any fighting junkie. These four games provide a nice slice of the fighting game history.
To be honest, the real game I was looking forward to in this package was Cyberball 2072. When I was in high school, I spent an inordinate amount of time in an arcade called Krazy Kats playing the tournament incarnation of the game (which allowed for some sweet two on two action…the gaming kind not the perverted kind that Yan gets into). Ah, the memories of Friday night tournaments and the joy of finding new ways to get the little robot football players to do something they weren’t supposed to. The included version of Cyberball is pitch perfect right down to the AI tendency to throw to the tight end in long yardage situations (this never made sense to me…) and how you can pass to wide receivers by bouncing the ball on the heads of the offensive line.
Midway has done an excellent job of transferring these games over although it felt a little odd to be playing some of these games sitting down in front of a TV rather than standing up in front of an arcade cabinet. The great thing about collections like this is that you can relive your childhood as well as try to finish games you never did growing up either because of a lack of time or a lack of quarters.
There are a couple of clunkers tossed in but that’s more a matter of taste and the original game design rather than the actual quality of the port. Did the world really need Spy Hunter 2? I’m not sure we did but now I’ve just pissed off all of the members of the Spy Hunter 2 fan club.
Each game has an options section which allows you to change the difficulty and other settings. Getting to see these options made me realize just how bad I was getting screwed in the arcades on occasion. This does enhance the replay since you can crank up the difficulty and play with some of the options for the games.
Each game also has an extras section which gives you a brief description of the game along with the cabinet art from the game. Most of the info is brief but it’s nice background info for those who never played the game or want to know more about the game.
Besides a few sub-part games, the only real complaint I have about the collection is that, by default, the game doesn’t save your high score information. You have to go into each game and set it up rather than having the game save each one by default.
Midway has put together a nice solid collection of games that can be enjoyed by yourself or with a group of friends (you could probably spend an entire night just playing through Gauntlet II with a bunch of buddies). Playing these old games really gave me some perspective on the progress we’ve made in games since these were initially released. Midway has also priced this collection aggressively and at $1 a game you really can’t beat the bang for your buck.
Despite a few clunkers there are enough good games here to justify the $20 price Midway is charging for the package. Plus, you canâ€™t really put a price on childhood memories or gaming history right?