We take a trip down memory lane with Midway's upcoming collection of classic arcade games.
We've recently had the opportunity to get hands-on with unfinished PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions of Midway Arcade Treasures 2. The collection comprises no fewer than 20 of Midway's aging arcade titles, some of which can definitely be considered treasures. Arguably, the most significant titles included are Mortal Kombat II and Mortal Kombat 3 (the original Mortal Kombat was originally going to appear alongside them but will instead ship with the special edition versions of Mortal Kombat: Deception later this year). However, they're joined by plenty of other titles that are as playable today as they ever were, and they're made all the more enjoyable by the fact that you won't need deep pockets full of quarters to beat them.
Unlike Midway's first Arcade Treasures compilation, the vast majority of the 20 games included this time around are designed primarily to be played with a friend or three. In fact, APB and Hard Drivin' will be the only two games included that have no multiplayer option. There will be plenty of other titles that you can have fun with on your own, though, including Championship Sprint, NARC, Spy Hunter 2, Pit Fighter, Kozmik Kroozr' and, of course, the MK titles.
Unsurprisingly, you can expect the PS2 and Xbox versions of all 20 treasures to be more or less "arcade perfect," but in our work-in-progress version, a few of the games suffered from inconsistent frame rates and occasional graphical glitches. All of the games are already playing pretty much as we'd expect them to, though, and the developer has done a good job of translating the various control schemes to modern-day controllers. Admittedly, most of the games use very few buttons by today's standards, but there are a handful of games that employ the dual analog sticks to good effect--like the insane Total Carnage, for example.
Featured games that we've not mentioned yet, by the way, include Arch Rivals, Cyberball 2072, Primal Rage, Timber, Wacko, Wizard of Wor, Xybots, Rampage World Tour, Xenophobe, and the four-player Gauntlet 2. Since none of the games are going to see your console of choice breaking into a sweat, there really shouldn't be much to choose between the three versions of the compilation, save for the fact that the Xbox game will allow you to compare your high scores with those of other players via Xbox Live.
The danger with compilations like Midway Arcade Treasures 2 is that if you have fond memories of a misspent youth in the arcades of old, your rose-tinted spectacles can end up smashed on the floor after a couple of sessions. There's plenty of variety here, though, and we'd have to say that anyone unable to derive enjoyment from at least a handful of the 20 games included is unlikely to be reading this preview in the first place. In other words, since you've taken the time to read this, you should definitely keep an eye out for additional coverage of the game as its October release approaches.
- Release Date: Oct 11, 2004 (US)
- ESRB: MTitles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older.