Midway Arcade Origins Review

With each new release gamers are looking for better graphics, tighter controls, inspiring stories and interesting characters but sometimes it is nice to go back and play some classic arcade titles from years gone by. Not all of us can afford, or have the space, to own actual arcade cabinets nor do we want to spent copious amounts of money sitting in an amusement park with a bunch of kids. This makes the Midway Arcade Origins pack a fantastic way for gamers to kick back at home with some amazing games from the eighties and nineties.

The Midway Arcade Origins pack brings thirty-one of their games to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and, for the most part, they hold true to their arcade originals. Listing all thirty-one games would take some time but the pack contains classics such as Defender, Gauntlet, Robotron: 2084, Spy Hunter and Joust. Each game has a free play mode so you can keep playing without the worry of credits and standard score attack modes which allow you to play with the games as they were intended on the arcade cabinets. Players are also able to engage in local multiplayer for any games that offer this.

The look and feel of each arcade game is that of the originals and even some of the load times are authentic. It’s nothing to fret about as the games do run as smoothly as they did when first released but for those who are used to playing games on their home consoles, the choppiness that occurs from time to time may put you off. The controls can also be a bit of a bother with most of the games having been designed for an arcade stick but with a bit of time spent in free play mode, without the restrictions of credits, most games are simple enough to learn and can be enjoyed to their fullest in the score attack mode.

While the free play mode allows players to enjoy their favourite titles without worrying about dying, which is something you will experience on a regular basis with arcade titles such as these, there are also extra features that can help tailor the games to your liking. In free play you can adjust the difficulty, increase game timers or add more lives for each credit which makes completing the games a lot easier and can actually allow players to see these little treasures in their entirety.

The great thing about the Midway Arcade Origins pack is the huge variety of games on offer. The phrase ‘something for everyone’ has never been more appropriate with sports, fighting, driving, fantasy and puzzle games available plus many more. Favourites from the collection are Gauntlet, a fantasy game that sees you and friends travel across different lands clearing them of the any evil, Xybots, a third person shooter which uses your skill to twist and turn the camera plus your shooting ability to clear rooms of aliens and Spyhunter, a vertical scrolling driving game where you must destroy as many enemy vehicles as possible while protecting innocents.

Extras that fans can make use of are the online leaderboards for each game which allows friends to compete for the top spot, achievements/trophies, although these are rather weak and usually only expects the player to be able to finish the first level and a few graphical upgrades to make them look smoother for high definition televisions. While the games do look a little better like this, it will not make a huge difference and having that old school arcade look and feel is far better than trying to make the games look like something they are not.

The Midway Arcade Origins pack gives modern gamers the opportunity to play through a fantastic collection of some of the best arcade titles, but for those who are used to playing these games from an arcade cabinet, the nostalgic feel may be dampened by awkward controls. Of course, this can be overcome with the purchase of an arcade stick but unless you are extremely passionate about arcade games, this seems like an expensive purchase when the standard console controllers do the job well enough.

Tim Leigh

Tim likes games. Tim likes games A LOT. It’s highly likely he’s played on most of the platforms that support games over his long years playing video games and is a sucker for new technology. He can often be found on his Xbox 360 playing the latest RPG or playing a wide range of multiplayer games with his buddies. While doing this however, he’ll often have a casual game of Peggle running on his PC and making sure his planes are doing the rounds in Pocket Planes on the iPad. When he’s actually not found playing games he’ll either be at the cinema watching the latest film releases or at the gym attempting to get fit - attempting being the important word there

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