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Reviewed: Midway Arcade Treasures 2
Author: Michael Ahlf       Date: October 29th, 2004
Page: 2
Midway did a very good job with their emulation layer; dipswitch settings, multiple player options, and even control map alterations are available. Where they lose points is in the kludginess of some of these options. Remapped control sets must be created before playing, and there are only two alternate settings available for a given game.

They also didn't include game manuals or move lists, forcing players to rely on sites like Gamefaqs for that information. Yes, it's arcade authentic, but when you're picking up Primal Rage again you don't really want to think about it or have to print out a 20+ page move list to remember how to play.

In terms of offerings, the compilation's got 20 offerings. You can expect some chaff, and there are a few doozies. There's Kozmik Krooz'r, which can hardly be described; Timber, a simulation of a logcutting competition; and APB, the notoriously ridiculous (and hard to play even with arcade controls) cop simulation in which you pull over drivers for littering.

Thankfully, that's the bottom of the barrel. In the middle are a few games that aren't quite as bad, nor as good. Rampage World Tour can be fun if you've got a Multitap adapter for three-player access, but I prefer the original Rampage. Total Carnage and Pit Fighter can be entertaining in a pinch. Mortal Kombat II and Mortal Kombat 3 are in there, but history has not been kind to these games; players of the Street Fighter series or any other modern fighting game will find them kludgy at best. Likewise with Primal Rage, an interesting idea gone wrong; the developers included the 2.2 rom version, which allows "classic" fighting (stick, then button) moves to be executed as well as Primal Rage's old held-button system; the result is more confusing than innovative.

The cream of the crop is in some real old gems, mostly quarter-suckers. NARC, the cop drug-busting game currently being remade as an FPS, is in there complete with dope dealers and missile launchers. Spy Hunter II and Gauntlet II as well, for fans of classic multiplayer games. For fans of basketball fans, they've included Arch Rivals, which was much better than its competitor title Double Dribble.

And then there's the sleeper hit - Cyberball 2072. Amazingly, this was the most fun game of the lot, though true enjoyment comes only when playing with a friend. It's on the level of the NES's Tecmo Bowl title, but with robots and explosions.

Is Midway Arcade Treasures 2 worth it? Tough call. If you are an avid collector, there are some tough-to-find titles in here. Without a few more well-aged classics, and heavy on the fighting titles (two Mortal Kombats, Primal Rage, and Pit Fighter) it may not be for you. Rent before buying.

Added:  Friday, October 29, 2004
Reviewer:  Michael Ahlf
Page: 2/3

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