Midway Arcade Treasures 2 Review

Midway Arcade Treasures 2 is a collection disc with 20 classic arcade games released from 1981 (Wizard of Wor) all the way to 1997 (Rampage World Tour) by both Midway and Atari Arcade, which Midway now owns. The range of years is far greater than what there was in Midway Arcade Treasures, although it is questionable whether this is a better selection of games or not. Let’s talk about the games included here.

Here’s the list:

  • A.P.B.
  • Arch Rivals
  • Championship Spirit
  • Cyberball 2072
  • Gauntlet II
  • Hard Drivin’
  • Kozmic Krooz’r
  • Mortal Kombat II
  • Mortal Kombat 3
  • NARC
  • Pit Fighter
  • Primal Rage
  • Rampage World Tour
  • Spy Hunter II
  • Timber
  • Total Carnage
  • Wacko
  • Wizard of Wor
  • Xenophobe
  • Xybots

The big ones from my perspective are: Arch-Rivals (the precursor to Acclaim’s NBA Jam), Cyberball 2072 (a futuristic robotic football game with a ball that blows up if you hold onto it too long), Mortal Kombat II, Mortal Kombat 3 (obvious reasons) and Total Carnage, the sequel to one of the best games of all time, Smash TV (features on the first complication).

Granted that the list of big ones is larger here than in the first collection, but there is a question of how many people remember many of the games presented here. For example, I had never played Kozmic Krooz’r, its sequel Wacko, Wizard of Wor or Timber before this. They are all interesting games, but they are obviously ones I missed or just passed over in the arcade during my younger days.

Many of the games presented in this collection are poor follow-ups to classics: Gauntlet II, Rampage World Tour, Spy Hunter 2 and to a lesser degree Total Carnage (only because it is hard to top Smash TV) are just not as good as their originals. Atari holdovers like Pit Fighter and Primal Rage just don’t stand up to the other 2 fighters presented here: Mortal Kombat II and Mortal Kombat 3, the latter of which is the beginning of the MK downslide until this decade’s upturn. Another odd thing about this complication is that Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 is not presented which has many more fighters and balanced gameplay.

I think the games are presented quite well here, although I read a lot of people have problems with slowdown and the like in many of these games. Personally, I don’t remember a lot of how fast these games played, so it’s tough for me to differentiate the arcade game from what is presented here. I do seem to remember Cyberball 2072 having sharper graphics in the arcade, but that could be my mind playing tricks on me. I also notice a sort of graphical degradation in both Mortal Kombat II and Mortal Kombat 3 that I don’t think I noticed in the arcade.

These games are generally over a decade old though outside of Rampage World Tour, so I can forgive them in the graphical department if they aren’t exactly what was on the arcade screen.

Obviously we are working with old sounds and music that have not been redone for the edition like Capcom did with the Mega Man Anniversary Collection for instance. What is here is a re-creation of what was in the arcade and that is good enough for me.

The older games suffer more than the newer games.  In many cases the sound is a bit too loud in this game even when I crank my receiver down a bit.  The newer games have quieter sounds to them than the earlier ones do.  Games like Arch Rivals and Cyberball 2072 really have some annoying sounds on them that I don’t remember.  Of course, when I played these games I was in a packed arcade and couldn’t hear much to begin with.

The control is much better this time around because the collection is not full of games that had unique controllers for it (Super Sprint, Paperboy and Marble Madness were the big ones last year) and 1/5 of the games in the collection is made up of fighting games that work well with the D-pad of the Xbox when executing moves.

The standout control performer is Total Carnage since it is the control sequel to Smash TV, one of the best arcade games ever in my opinion. Nothing like moving with the left analog stick and firing with the right analog stick whichever way you want.

The loading screen for each game gives you what the controls are, so everything is self-explanatory.

This all depends on how much you liked the games when they were in the arcade. I noted the key ones in the Introduction to me: Arch-Rivals, Cyberball 2072, Mortal Kombat II, Mortal Kombat 3 and Total Carnage.

Arch-Rivals is a key entry because it was the precursor to Acclaim’s NBA Jam. Obviously archaic by NBA Jam‘s standards, Arch-Rivals still saw a lot of quarters from my pocket in its heyday.

Cyberball 2072 is a totally different beast that also saw many quarters go into it. A futuristic football game where your team is made up of robots, the key draws for this game was its 4-player gameplay and the fact that the ball kept heating up to the point of critical if you didn’t make it to the endzone. If you were the unlucky robot with the ball during the critical stage and didn’t score, say goodbye to your player.

Mortal Kombat II and 3 are also notable. MK2 is the clear standout of the two as it was a pretty big step up from the original. With MK3 they added such things as new characters and the ability to crash through multiple levels in a stage.

NARC is a game that is currently being remade by Midway. It was a cool side-scrolling action game. Basically it was like the side-scrolling action games of the time, but this time with guns and drugs. There were a lot of things that blew up real nice in the game too.

Lastly there is Total Carnage, the spiritual successor to Smash TV. This time you are dropped into a hostile environment and kill aliens and other bad guys.

This really depends on how much you want to play these games. Without the trappings of having to physically drop a quarter in these games, you can beat most of them in no time. A lot of them are worthy to look back on and play though.

There are a ton of extras in this game, including things such as concept art, videos, interviews with the developers, etc.  If I remember back to last year’s release I think there were more interviews and videos in that release than this one.  The interesting ones to watch are things like Mortal Kombat II‘s sales pitch video.  You can see how cheesy ads were back in the early 1990s with regards to selling a game to arcade owners.  Fact is they probably didn’t need to sell too much with MK2 since the original was such a great quarter muncher.

I’d say as long as you can find a good number of games to play here your value will be very high on this release.

Ron Burke is the Editor in Chief for Gaming Trend. Currently living in Fort Worth, Texas, Ron is an old-school gamer who enjoys CRPGs, action/adventure, platformers, music games, and has recently gotten into tabletop gaming. Ron is also a fourth degree black belt, with a Master's rank in Matsumura Seito Shōrin-ryū, Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do, Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance, and International Tang Soo Do Federation. He also holds ranks in several other styles in his search to be a well-rounded fighter. Ron has been married to Gaming Trend Editor, Laura Burke, for 21 years. They have three dogs - Pazuzu (Irish Terrier), Atë, and Calliope (both Australian Kelpie/Pit Bull mixes).
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