Midway Arcade Treasures Deluxe Edition Review

While the list of games may look enticing, the package has a sloppy, thrown-together feel to it that significantly nullifies the nostalgia factor.

Midway's compilation series, Arcade Treasures, has made its way to the PC in the form of Deluxe Edition, which combines the games from Midway Arcade Treasures 2 and 3, both of which were previously released on consoles. In addition, the first Mortal Kombat game has been added to the package, making for 29 games in all. While some of the games run just fine, many others are so far off of the accuracy mark that you almost wonder if someone deep within Midway or emulation-focused developer Digital Eclipse actually hates these games or the people who love them.

There's a decent variety of games here, though the 2D ones hold up better than the polygonal games.
There's a decent variety of games here, though the 2D ones hold up better than the polygonal games.

Predictably, it's the older games that tend to work a little better. Stuff like Gauntlet II and NARC are, for the most part, just fine. But when you start to get into the bigger games in the package, it all falls apart. Many games are straight-up missing music. All of the Mortal Kombat games play on in near silence, as if the developers decided to make you really focus on the fighting. Pit Fighter is also missing its FM-synth-based tunes. In addition to the lack of music, the Mortal Kombat games don't seem to run very well and they show off some occasional graphical glitches.

While this might be "Deluxe Edition," you're really getting a collection of two compilation packages. You'll have to install Midway Arcade Treasures 2 and 3 separately, you'll need to run separate executables to access the two products, and you'll need to have different discs in the drive to successfully get past the StarForce security system built into both products. While all of this isn't the end of the world, it's enough of a hassle to be worth noting.

While you can play most of these games with your keyboard, you're really going to want a gamepad with at least one analog stick and six buttons on it to get the most out of the package. Unfortunately, you'll have to configure control in each game separately. Considering the increasing spread of dual-analog gamepads that look and act like a PlayStation 2 or Xbox 360 controller, it would have been handy if the game had some presets specifically made for these sorts of controllers.

Can you rip dudes' heads off? Yes. Will it be as satisfying as it was in arcades? Nope.
Can you rip dudes' heads off? Yes. Will it be as satisfying as it was in arcades? Nope.

Graphically, the games look enough like their arcade and console counterparts, but they're often lacking definition. Some games seem blurry. And the 3D games found in the driving package, like Hydro Thunder and San Francisco Rush 2049, haven't aged well at all, and these days they don't look classic and nostalgic--they just look ugly. The sound, more often than not, is just fine, but the missing music is enough to send a Mortal Kombat fan into fits of rage.

This compilation certainly has potential. The list of names on the back of the box has plenty of strong arcade classics. But the games come across in such an imperfect manner that the whole package just feels very sloppy. You're better off looking elsewhere for your classic arcade fix.

The Good
Good list of games
The Bad
Missing audio
Graphics often look blurry
Control setup is a hassle
You have to install it twice
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Jeff Gerstmann has been professionally covering the video game industry since 1994.

Midway Arcade Treasures 3 More Info

  • First Released Sep 26, 2005
    • GameCube
    • PC
    • + 2 more
    • PlayStation 2
    • Xbox
    Relive eight of Midway's classic arcade games in Midway Arcade Treasures 3. The game includes both single-player and multiplayer action.
    Average Rating395 Rating(s)
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    Developed by:
    Midway, Digital Eclipse
    Published by:
    Midway, Zoo Digital Publishing
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
    Animated Violence