Video Game Impressions – “Midway Arcade Classics”

My impressions of the Mega Man Anniversary
will wait until I’ve unlocked the two
Power Battle games. I like what I’ve seen so far,

Company Credits

Title: Midway Arcade Classics

Developer: Midway, Williams Entertainment

System: PlayStation
, XBox,
and GameCube

Release Date: Uncertain; it’s out now

Game Type: Collection of several classic arcade
games. Some games
support up to 4 players

Past game reviews can be found here.

Games Included

Many of the most popular Midway arcade games from the
1980s and early
1990s are collected here. Specifically, the set

  • 720: a skateboarding game I haven’t tried out
  • Blaster: a side-scrolling/looping shooter
  • Bubbles: you’re a soap bubble trying to get
    bigger without getting
  • Defender: Space shooter I haven’t tried out
  • Defender II: Sequel to the above
  • Gauntlet: Up to four players can play
    cooperatively, as a warrior,
    elf, wizard, or valkyrie to combat through dungeon
    after dungeon
    against ghosts, sorcerors, demons, and a variety of
    other beasties.
    Great fun.
  • Joust: Ride your ostrich around and knock
    other riders off
    of theirs.
  • Joust 2: Sequel to the above. I haven’t
    tried it yet.
  • Klax: A puzzle game that plays like a combination
    of Tetris and
    Connect Four.
  • Marble Madness: Roll a marble through an obstacle
    course in the
    allotted time.
  • Paperboy: You’re a delivery boy who needs
    to maintain his
    subscriber list as long as possible.
  • Rampage: Up to three players can play as a
    giant creature
    (ape, lizard, or wolf) on a rampage, destroying
    several urban areas
    while eating the military.
  • Rampart: A strategy game. Build your own
    walls, and wreck
    the other players’. Up to three players.
  • Roadblasters: It’s a race game that I haven’t
    tried yet.
  • Robotron: 2084: Shoot stuff a lot. I haven’t
    tried it yet.
  • Root Beer Tapper: Serve root beer to thirsty
    customers, and catch
    the empty glasses before they fall.
  • Satan’s Hollow: Another action game I haven’t
    tried yet.
  • Sinistar: Space shooter I haven’t tried out
  • Smash TV: You’re on a game show of the future.
    If you
    live, you’ll get some great prizes!
  • SPLAT!: I’m not sure what this is. I haven’t
    tried it out yet,
    and the directions in the instruction manual are
    written in poetry,
    but it sounds like an action game.
  • Spy Hunter: Protect the streets from evil. I
    haven’t played this
    since the old 8-bit NES days.
  • Super Sprint: race around a track with up to
    three players.
  • Toobin’: Ride your inner tube around the world,
    fishermen, and moving through gates like a slalom
  • Vindicators: Tank battle action game I haven’t
    tried yet.

You’ll notice some bold faced titles in the list
above. These titles
are the ones that convinced me to buy the collection.
There are some
fun games elsewhere in the package, but these are the
ones I was
looking for, so they’ll the ones that my impressions
will be based on.

I’m doing these as impressions instead of as a review
because there’s
a lot here, and because some of the categories are
hard to rank this
with. Do I rate the graphics according to how I
think they compare to
arcade games that were out when I was four years old?
That would
hardly be accurate. It’s not fair to compare to
today either, with
15-20 years of advancements since then.

The bottom line is, this is mainly a nostalgia
package. In that
respect, they made the right decision, by reproducing
the games as
exactly as possible. If you grew up playing these in
the arcades (and
what arcade didn’t have Gauntlet or
Rampage 20 years
ago?) you’ll see exactly what you remember at a
reasonable cost.
There’s even some behind-the-scenes stuff and other
trivia, including
interviews with the creators of Rampage (at
least on the PS2
version) that add some interesting points. If you’re
looking for
nostalgia or mindless amusements for several members
of the 80s
generation, give this serious consideration. I spent
four hours
playing Rampage before switching to
yesterday, and I didn’t even have others around
sharing the

A second collection will be out this fall, and I’ll
probably pick that
up too. As you can see by this
press release
, the second set will include
Arch Rivals,
Gauntlet 2, the first three Mortal
NARC, Rampage World Tour, and 14

4 replies on “Video Game Impressions – “Midway Arcade Classics””

  1. Man I f Feel Old

    To a game, I’ve played the original of every single title, when it was in the arcade. Road Blaster, Spy Hunter AND Joust? Hmmmm…

    Never will forget Guantlet (or at least the sheer number of quarters I blew on it).

    And anyone else horribly terrified of Sinistar? One of the first games with digitized voice. “Run, Coward!”

    And now they’re all “classics.” Damn…

  2. Road Blasters and Rampart
    These have to be 2 of the funnest games ever. I have so many fond memories of popping quarters into both of those. The PS2 version is impeccable in the recreation of these games… it is my understanding that they emulated the hardware to make Midway Arcade Classics, and it’s running off the original ROMs. I wish I had a sit-in arcade case for Road Blasters.

  3. My problems with this title
    I love all of those games. I had MAME way back and even before that had every B-day party at Chuck E. Cheese and put my quarters up on the cabinet like everyone else. So, I was totally stoked to get this title.

    First off, many of the games do not translate well to the game pad. Even games that just used a joystick and firebutton. The gamepad is a lot more tiring than a proper joystick and it’s a lot more inaccurate. Plus, many old school games had joysticks that just prevented you from going diagonal, so it easier to just lean on the stick and play. Not much could be done about this other than buying one of those arcade fighter joysticks.

    The worse part, though, is games like Rampage, Smash TV and Gauntlet. I remember seriously loving those games when they came out, and I realized that part of the fun of the games is the ‘gamble’ of how many quarters to pump in. Gauntlet, more than any other game, is a contest of who has the most quarters. And if you have an infinite amount, it’s just not as fun.

    What would have been cool would be if every session of the game you have a fixed amount of money to spend in a classic arcade, comprised of all of those games. THAT was the experience we all had, and that puts a limit on continues and I think would make it much more fun.

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